Via The Guardian:
Australia remains “deeply concerned” about China’s treatment of the Uighur people, including use of forced labour, the foreign affairs minister Marise Payne has said.
On Monday Payne revealed that China had blocked Australia’s attempts to offer consular assistance to dual citizens and their families, and rejected China’s claims that concerned nations had rebuffed an offer to visit Xinjiangprovince.
Payne made the remarks to Radio National ahead of an ABC Four Corners investigation on treatment of Uighurs, which has prompted Cotton On and Target Australia to commit to investigate their supply chains because they reportedly source cotton from Xinjiang.
Asked about the detention of more than a million Uighurs, Payne said Australia was “deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the use of detention facilities”.
“Those concerns have been raised with China regularly including by me directly in my visit last year.
“A letter was signed to the president of the Human Rights Council and the UN high commissioner for human rights a week or so ago – we were one of 22 signatories to that letter – and I think what that reflects is an increasing international focus on the developments in Xinjiang.”
Our great and powerful “friend”.