By Reuters, October 2019

China’s U.N. envoy has sounded a warning note over trade talks with Washington after the U.S. joined 22 other countries at the U.N. in criticising Beijing over the detention of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.

China has been widely condemned for setting up internment camps in the western region of Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centres” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. The United Nations says at least a million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.

However, China’s U.N. ambassador Zhang Jun said: “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.”

He said there had been “progress” in the trade talks but said of the U.S. criticism: “I do not think its helpful for having a good solution to the issue of trade talks.”

Zhang described the accusations against Beijing as baseless and a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs and deliberate provocation”.

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

Read the rest of the story via The Guardian