China's foreign minister in Berlin rejects criticism on human rights


  • China
  • Friday, 14 Feb 2020

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shaking hands after holding a joint news conference in Berlin. Wang Yi rejected international criticism of his country's human rights record with regard to its Muslim minority following a meeting with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Berlin on Valentine's Day (Feb 14). - Reuters

BERLIN/BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rejected international criticism of his country's human rights record with regard to its Muslim minority following a meeting with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Berlin on Valentine's Day (Feb 14).

Reports about camps and detained Muslims in China's north-western regions were lies and fake news, Wang said on Friday after two hours of talks with Maas in the German capital.

Wang also responded to criticism of China's Hong Kong policy, citing the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

In September, Maas met Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of the democracy movement in the semi-autonomous territory's democracy movement, in Berlin.

The meeting led to a cooling in relations between Beijing and Berlin, with Wang cancelling meeting with Maas scheduled for October.

Following Thursday's meeting, Maas noted intensive discussions between Germany and China.

"At the same time, from our point of view, it is the case between good partners that in dialogue with each other, one can and must address the points where we are of differing views, such as on discussions in the area of human rights," Maas said.

Referring specifically to China's Muslim minority, Maas said the issue had been raised in his talks with Wang. "We are working on the basis that transparency would be best suited for dealing with this issue," he said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimates that up to a million of the around 13 million Muslims in China's north-western province of Xinjiang are being held in re-education camps, most of them Uigurs. - dpa/Asian News Network
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