Disbelief | 

Mick Wallace says reports that one million Uighur people are detained by Chinese Government are 'grossly exaggerated'

'I don’t agree with an awful lot of the anti-Chinese rhetoric that is taking place at the moment'

Irish MEP Mick Wallace doesn't agree with the current anti-Chinese rhetoric

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Ireland South MEP Mick Wallace has described reports that one million Uighur people are being detained by the Chinese Government as “grossly exaggerated.”

Speaking on Newstalk, Mr Wallace expressed disbelief that hundreds of thousands of people are being held in detainment camps in the XinJiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

“I have actually asked the Chinese to go to XinJiang myself and see for myself what is going on there because, giving how reporting is done these days, so much of it is inaccurate. I want to go and see for myself what is going on,” he said.

“The figures the Americans initially got on the number of people detained in the region were brought up by one guy who is totally anti-Chinese. He is a right-wing fascist from Europe.”

The Irish politician raised eyebrows yesterday when it was revealed how he believes Europe could learn from China when it comes to serving the interests of its people better.

Speaking after he told a newspaper well-known for its support of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that the party was doing a “great job", Mr Wallace said there was “frightening” anti-Chinese rhetoric evident in the Irish media.

“I don’t agree with an awful lot of the anti-Chinese rhetoric that is taking place at the moment and it is frightening that some Irish newspapers are going down that line as well,” he said.

“If you were in the European Parliament for the last 12 months the anti-Chinese rhetoric that is going on here is absolutely frightening.”

Although he is “not a fan of any Government on the planet” he insisted he would be giving out about the CPC if he was living in China.

When it was pointed out that if he was living in China, he wouldn’t be allowed to give out about the Government, he said: “I don’t agree with that.”

Asked about the personal stories from Uighurs who have left China, Mr Wallace said every country has citizens who give out about their government and said it was “much the same” as Irish people giving out about Micheál Martin or Leo Varadkar.

The UN has said it has received many credible reports that one million ethnic Uighurs in China are held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”

Amnesty International found that around 660,000 people are being detained and up to 1.3 million people may have been forced to attend mandatory day or evening re-education sessions.

Last October, October, 39 UN member states expressing grave concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and other regions.

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