UN Should Conduct Probe Before ‘Jumping to Premature Conclusions’ - Researcher

© AP Photo / Eugene HoshikoUyghur protesters, sitting, are detained by security force officers after they marched to protest through the street in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province (File)
Uyghur protesters, sitting, are detained by security force officers after they marched to protest through the street in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province (File) - Sputnik International
Amid the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, a UN panel has heard reports of a “secret internment camp” where Beijing is allegedly holding up to one million Uighurs, a Turkic-language Muslim minority living in China’s restive western province of Xinjiang.

Sputnik spoke to Ching Chang, a research fellow at the Society for Strategic Studies, on the issue.

Sputnik: What is your take on the timing of the report? Does it come as a surprise to you that is has been released amid increased tensions between the US and China?

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Ching Chang: The United Nations is supposedly an honorable international organization that maintains a neutral position in order to manage all the issues under its jurisdiction. Nonetheless, sometimes, certain UN officials might not always act as they should. In particular, any judgment on behalf of the international organization and its subordinate departments should not be based on hearsay evidence only. It is very sad to see any international organization be rebuked so much simply because it lacks sufficient evidence to support its accusations against mainland China.

However, it is unwise to speculate about a link between the UN's accusations and the present US-China tensions since we do not have any solid evidence to prove such a plausible speculation. We hope the United Nations will put more effort into conducting an investigation before it so bluntly jumps to a premature conclusion that has humiliated its own reputation.

Sputnik: In your view, why is the majority of Western media hyped up on this topic?

Ching Chang: The western media is reasonable to put forth their concerns on this matter. Yet, it can hardly be said that they have hyped this topic. Nonetheless, their viewpoints and angles can be quite controversial.

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As mentioned before, they also need to put more effort into identifying the facts before making any reckless judgments. It is hard to identify what the real reason is for such a seemingly collective effort in media reports. It just proves that those media outlets believe that this is a good issue, sensational enough to grab readers' attention.

Sputnik: Some experts have noted that the US media and politicians are attempting to stir trouble and undermine Xinjiang's stability, what is your take on that?

Ching Chang: It is undeniable that many US media outlets and politicians maintain a high degree of interest regarding Xinjiang's stability. Nonetheless, we do need more solid evidence to prove that they have actually intervened in Xinjiang. Otherwise, we are as irresponsible as many western media outlets and politicians.

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Sputnik: What impact could this development have on the already tense relations between Washington and Beijing?

Ching Chang: It should have a very minor effect on the existing tensions between these two nations. There are many more important issues on the list of their further reconciliation efforts and on the negotiating table. The Uighur issue is just one in the western arsenal to deal with Beijing for the foreseeable future, yet, it will never be the core matter in their mutual relationships and interactions.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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