The leaders of Australia and New Zealand have urged China to give outside observers "unfettered access” to Xinjiang, a move that is likely to draw criticism from Beijing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern "expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation” in China’s far western region and said the United Nations and others should be allowed to make "meaningful” visits, according to a statement they released after a meeting Monday in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The joint statement from the annual meeting also included statements on Hong Kong and the South China Sea, two other areas that China regards as domestic affairs.