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The news that the Chairman of "Xinjiang" governemnt, Erkin Tuniyaz, has cancelled his EU visit, was published on Politico on February 13, 2023. His decision to cancel the visit is likely due to the growing international scrutiny and criticism of China's treatment of the Uyghur population in "Xinjiang" (that most Uyghurs prefer to call East Turkistan).
The European Union and other Western countries have expressed concerns over the alleged human rights abuses committed against the Uyghur people, including the use of forced labor and the suppression of cultural and religious practices. The cancellation of the visit suggests that China is feeling pressure from the international community to address these concerns and improve its human rights record.
The EU is expected to relaunch the human rights dialogue with China later this month, despite Beijing's imposition of sanctions on European diplomats, lawmakers, and scholars in 2020, according to an EU official on foreign policy. . However, the effectiveness of the dialogue in addressing the human rights concerns in "Xinjiang" remains to be seen.
Overall, the cancellation of the "Xinjiang" Chairman's EU visit is:
1. A significant development in the ongoing international debate over China's policies in "Xinjiang" and its treatment of the Uyghur population.
2. China is feeling pressure from the international community to address these concerns and improve its human rights record.
3. It shows that the Chinese government is sensitive to criticism of its policies and is keen to avoid further damage to its reputation.
Note: In Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), similar to the rest of the provincial-level governments of China, the top executive power lies in the hands of the Communist Party Seceretary of XUAR, Ma Xingrui, who replaced his predecessor Chen Quanguo who served in this role between Auguest 2016 to December 2021 and directly oversaw the establishhment of internment camps (concentration camps) in "Xinjiang" since 2017. As a Chiarman of "Xinjiang", Erkin Tuniyaz is believed to be only serving as a puppet adminstrative head of the XUAR and currently being used to parrot government propaganda due to his Uyghur ethnic identity.