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Resolutely oppose US using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in our internal affairs: China

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that China urges the United States to abandon its "prejudice" over Xinjiang, as the Trump administration considers sanctions against Chinese officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses in the Chinese region. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Beijing, China Sep 12, 2018, 03.53 PM (IST)

After China declared that the US should abandon its "prejudice" over Xinjiang, President Xi's government said it "resolutely opposes the United States using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs."

Also Read: Chinese paper blames West for encouraging Xinjiang extremists

"If the media report is correct, we urge the relevant side to respect the facts, abandon prejudice, and stop doing and saying things that harm Sino-US mutual trust and cooperation," Chinese foreign ministry said, adding,"China consistently resolutely opposes the United States using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs."

In a report, Human Rights Watch had said Uighurs in  Xinjiang were "forced political indoctrination" including arbitrary detentions, daily restrictions on religious practice. Beijing has denied that such camps are for "political education", instead it said it was vocational training centres aimed at bolstering economic growth in the region.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said people in China "fully enjoy freedom of religion in accordance with the law".

Last month, a UN rights panel said it had received reports that up to one million ethnic Uighurs may be held in extra-legal detention camps in Xinjiang.

China said the clampdown was on "extremist and terrorist crimes" in Xinjiang in accordance with the law. China does not target "any particular ethnic minority or seek "de-Islamisation" of the far western region, the government told the UN.

The US State Department had said it had received a letter from US lawmakers asking secretary of state Mike Pompeo to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials accused of overseeing the policies in Xinjiang.

State-run Chinese newspaper the Global Times had said Xinjiang "was salvaged from the verge of massive turmoil and that "it has avoided the fate of becoming "China's Syria"or "China's Libya."

It blamed "forces in the West" for "smearing" China. "Maintaining peace and stability in the region is the core interest of people both in Xinjiang and all of China," it added.