Australia’s most senior diplomat has responded to a bizarrefrom the Chinese embassy in Canberra, and she wasn’t backing down. there are “credible reports of the systematic abuse and torture” of Uyghur women in response to an extraordinary press conference by the Chinese embassy. Australian journalists were invited to a press conference on Wednesday, where they were shown Chinese government propaganda videos denying the abuse of the population in Xinjiang.
Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye lashed out at what he described as Xinjiang’s “distorted coverage” and slammed Canberra for criticizing Chinese human rights abuses.
But Ms. Payne said Canberra would continue to be “very clear” about its “deeply held concerns” over Xinjiang, where human rights groups estimated acamps.
“These are matters which we have raised at the highest level,” she told Sky News on Thursday.
“I made a statement with my New Zealand counterpart at the end of last month about these issues, and wecounterparts.”
Ms.credible reports showed the “systematic abuse and torture of women” in Xinjiang, alongside re-education camps, religious oppression, and forced sterilizations.
She said Australia had consistently pushed for thehigh commissioner for human rights to be granted “open and free” access to the region but rejected Chinese authorities.
In surreal scenes, Australian– entitled “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land” – claiming the region had been “transformed … into a land of life, a land of thriving vitality”.
Various Uyghur Muslims were videoed denying their religious freedoms had been curtailed, while representatives from the Chinese regimes staunchly denied wrongdoing.
to a separatist insurgency driven by Uyghurs and denied human rights abuses in the camps.
described Wednesday’s event as a “sickening display of propaganda”, but Ms. Payne was more reticent to criticize the display directly.
“The first thing that I would reinforce is the value of free media, a free press, and free speech,” she said.
“So that opportunity is available to diplomats in Canberra … I think that speaks volumes about the principles underpin our democratic system.”
Mr. Chengwould “not swallow the bitter pill of sanctions” in what was deemed a warning to Canberra.
Ms. Payne stressed that Canberra had not imposed sanctions on Beijing but had been “clear and consistent” in using international mechanisms to address human rights abuses.
“Australia has always been obvious, not just about (the abuse of Uyghurs), but about matters of human rights more broadly,” she said.
“Where they concern us, we will make clear our views, no matter where they occur.”