Envoy says France misled on Xinjiang abuse claims

China | 23 Jul 2020 11:30 pm

China’s embassy on Thursday hit back at French criticism of Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, saying French politicians were being misled by a slanderous American, Australian and British campaign, Reuters reports.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday said the situation for Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang was unacceptable, asking that the Chinese authorities allow independent observers to enter the region.

He said Paris was not only basing its position on testimonies relayed by rights groups, but that it drew its conclusions from its own sources that there were imprisonment camps for Uighurs, mass detentions, disappearances, forced labour, forced sterilisations and the destruction of the Uighur heritage.

The comments drew a rebuttal in China on Wednesday with its foreign ministry spokesman describing the claims as lies.

Le Drian said on Wednesday his position remained unchanged despite the Chinese reaction and that if Beijing wanted to avoid criticism the right thing to do would be to allow observers into Xinjiang.

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