China says UN rights chief welcome in Xinjiang but not for investigation

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends the launch of a joint investigation into alleged violations of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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BEIJING, Jan 28 (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry said the United Nations human rights chief is welcome to visit Xinjiang but not for the purpose of an investigation, when asked about a report the commissioner was invited to come in the first half of 2022.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular media briefing on Friday that the invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights was extended a long time ago.

The South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that China had agreed to let the commissioner visit Xinjiang after the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

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Reporting by Emily Chow, Writing by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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