Canada’s Ambassador to China raised human rights concerns with Chinese officials during a recent visit to a province known for suppression of Uyghur minorities and forced labour practices, Global Affairs Canada said.

Ambassador Jennifer May engaged with Ma Xingrui, Xinjiang party secretary and the province’s top leader within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), during the three-day trip beginning June 19, according to a June 23 press release.

“Ambassador May raised concerns over credible reports of systematic violations of human rights occurring in Xinjiang affecting Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities, including those raised by [United Nations] experts, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Global Affairs Canada said.

Additionally, she expressed Canada’s concerns over reports of restrictions on Uyghur-language education and “the practice of forcibly placing Uyghur children into residential schools.” The ambassador also reiterated calls for China to allow independent U.N. investigators “unfettered access to all regions of China, including Xinjiang.”

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