File photo Photograph:( AFP )
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the accusations are 'nothing but rumours and slander' in a press briefing
A day after Britain's foreign secretary accused China of committing "gross human rights abuses" against Uighurs, China on Monday described them as "nothing but rumours and slander".
Earlier on Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was "clear that there are gross, egregious human rights abuses going on... it is deeply, deeply troubling," when he was asked about the situation of Uighurs, a Muslim minority community in China, on BBC.
However, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the accusations are "nothing but rumours and slander" in a press briefing on Monday.
"The Xinjiang issue is not about human rights, religions or ethnic groups at all, but about combating violence, terrorism and separatism."
Raab also said reports of forced sterilisations and mass detentions in Xinjiang, a region in China where a large number of Uighurs live, require immediate addresal by the interational community.
The UK "cannot see behaviour like that and not call it out", he said.
Calling forced sterilisations as "complete nonsense", the Chinese spokesperson said the Uighur population had more than doubled in the last four decades.
Rights groups and experts have constantly spoken about the discriminition and injustices faced by Uighurs and accused Beijing of rounding up over a million people of this group in internment camps.
China argues that these facilities provide job-training and prevent Uighurs from taking extremism routes.