'Torture remains widespread' in China.

The use of torture is widespread in China and the country needs major structural reform to its legal system for the situation to improve, a top U.N. envoy said on Friday.

Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, said his team was under frequent surveillance during a two-week trip that included Tibet and the northwestern Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang -- the first visit granted his office in a decade.

There was also evidence authorities had intimidated victims and family members the U.N. team tried to interview, he said.