German FM Maas to raise fate of Uighurs on trip to China

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will raise human rights issues in Xinjiang province of China on his upcoming visit to the country, his spokesperson said on Friday. "From our point of view, the situation in Xinjiang is worrying. Foreign Minister Maas will raise the issue with his Chinese counterpart," Maria Adebahr told a news conference in Berlin.

Germany's foreign minister plans to discuss the treatment of China's Muslim minority during an official visit to Beijing next week.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday that the situation in China's far west region of Xinjiang is "cause for concern in our view."

China has rejected accusations that large numbers of ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities are being interned for the purpose of political indoctrination.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters that Maas "will raise the issue with his Chinese partners."

She said that Maas, who flies to China on Sunday, will also discuss other topics including the trade dispute between China and the United States, the situation in North Korea and Berlin's bilateral relations with Beijing.

On Thursday, German lawmakers called on China to end repressive policies against Uighur Muslims in northwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region of the country.

During a debate at the parliament, lawmakers from opposition parties and Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, urged Chinese authorities to end massive surveillance in the region, and abolish arbitrary detention of up to one million people in internment camps.

Contact Us