Saudi Arabia defends letter backing China’s Xinjiang policy

Source: Reuters

BY Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia on Thursday defended signing a letter along with 36 other countries in support of China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang, where the United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.

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An elderly man is seen behind a Chinese national flag in the Old City in Kashgar in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 6, 2018. Picture taken September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

China has been widely condemned for setting up detention complexes in remote Xinjiang. It describes them as “education training centers” helping to stamp out extremism and give people new skills.

Last week nearly two dozen nations at the U.N. Human Rights Council wrote a letter calling on China to halt it mass detention. In response, Saudi Arabia, Russia and 35 other states wrote a letter commending what they called China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.

When asked about Saudi’s support for the letter, Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters in New York that the “letter talks about China’s developmental work, that’s all it talks about, it does not address anything else.”

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