China warns U.S. that criticism over Uighurs not 'helpful' for trade talks

  • 08:17 30 October 2019

China warns U.S. that criticism over Uighurs not 'helpful' for trade talks

The United States and 22 other countries at the United Nations pushed China on Tuesday to stop detaining ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, prompting China’s U.N. envoy to warn it was not “helpful” for trade talks between Beijing and Washington, APA reports quoting Reuters.

China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in remote Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centers” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. The United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.

“It’s hard to imagine that on the one hand you are trying to seek to have a trade deal, on the other hand you are making use of any issues, especially human rights issues, to blame the others,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun told reporters.

He said there was “progress” in the trade talks. But he said of the U.S. criticism of China at the United Nations: “I do not think its helpful for having a good solution to the issue of trade talks.”

U.S. and Chinese negotiators are working to complete the text of an interim trade agreement for U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile on Nov. 16-17.