China warns U.S. criticism at U.N. over Xinjiang not 'helpful' for trade talks

FILE PHOTO: The head of the Chinese delegation Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Jun delivers his opening remarks during a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) conference with the UN Security Council's five permanent members (P5) China, France, Russia, Britain, and U.S., in Beijing, China, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun warned on Tuesday that U.S. criticism at the world body of Beijing’s policy in remote Xinjiang was not “helpful” for negotiations between the two countries on a trade deal.

The United States, Britain and 21 other states pushed China on Tuesday at the U.N. to stop detaining ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, a move that was countered by Beijing and some 53 countries jointly defending its “remarkable” rights record.

“The trade talks are going on and we are seeing progress,” Zhang told reporters. “I do not think its helpful for having a good solution to the issue of trade talks.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese