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World News

France's Macron urges U.N. mission to visit China's Xinjiang region

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s president on Tuesday called for an international mission under the auspices of the United Nations to visit China’s Xinjiang due to concerns over the Muslim Uighur minority.

U.N. experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in Xinjiang. China describes them as training centres helping stamp out terrorism and extremism and giving people new skills.

“Fundamental rights are not a Western idea that one could oppose as an interference ... these are the principles of our organisation, enshrined in texts that the member states of the United Nations have freely consented to sign and to respect,” Emmanuel Macron said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This is the reason why ... France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,” he said.

Reporting by John Irish and Michel Rose; Editing by Alison Williams

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