Marise Payne hits back at Chinese embassy press conference, says ‘credible evidence’ of abuse
Foreign Minister Marise Payne states there are “credible reports of the systematic abuse and torture” of Uyghur ladies in reaction to a remarkable interview by the Chinese embassy.
Australian reporters were welcomed to an interview on Wednesday where they were revealed Chinese federal government propaganda videos rejecting the abuse of the Muslim minority Uyghur population in Xinjiang.
Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye blasted what he explained the “distorted coverage” of Xinjiang, and knocked Canberra for its criticism of Chinese human rights abuses.
But Ms Payne stated Canberra would continue to be “very clear” about its “deeply held concerns” over Xinjiang, where human rights groups approximated a million Uyghurs had actually been apprehended in internment camps.
“These are matters which we have raised at the highest level,” she informed Sky News on Thursday.
“I made a statement with my New Zealand counterpart at the end of last month about these issues, and we work closely with our international counterparts.”
Ms Payne declared trustworthy reports revealed the “systematic abuse and torture of women” in Xinjiang, together with re-education camps, spiritual injustice and required sterilisations.
She stated Australia had actually regularly promoted the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to be approved “open and free” access to the area, however had actually been turned down by the Chinese authorities.
In surreal scenes, Australian reporters were revealed a video– entitled “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land”– declaring the area had actually been “transformed … into a land of life, a land of thriving vitality”.
Various Uyghur Muslims were videoed rejecting their spiritual liberties had actually been cut, while agents from the Chinese regimes staunchly rejected misdeed.
Beijing has actually insisted its crackdown in Xinjiang was an action to a separatist revolt driven by Uyghurs, and rejected human rights abuses in the camps.
Liberal backbencher Eric Abetz explained Wednesday’s occasion as a “sickening display of propaganda”, however Ms Payne was more reticent to criticise the screen straight.
“The first thing that I would reinforce is the value of a free media, a free press, and free speech,” she stated.
“So that opportunity is available to diplomats in Canberra … I think that speaks volumes about the principles that do underpin our democratic system.”
Mr Cheng stated China would “not swallow the bitter pill of sanctions” in what was considered a cautioning to Canberra.
Ms Payne stressed out Canberra had actually not enforced sanctions on Beijing, however stated it had actually been “clear and consistent” in utilizing global systems to resolve human rights abuses.
“Australia has always been very clear, not just in relation to (the abuse of Uyghurs, but in relation to matters of human rights more broadly,” she stated.
“Where they are of concern to us we will make clear our views, no matter where they occur.”