Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming denied human rights violations.
Great Britain foreign minister Dominic Raab has accused Beijing of “gross and disgusting” human rights violations against the Chinese Uighur population.
Raab said on Sunday that it is clear that the human rights of the Uighurs have been violated. Raab said reports of Uighur forced sterilization and mass arrests in Xinjiang Province call for international attention.
– It is clear that there are serious and disgusting human rights violations. It’s really, really worrying, Raab said in a BBC interview on Sunday.
Earlier this month, the United States announced sanctions against Chinese authorities suspected of being responsible for human rights violations against Uighurs, among others. The U.S. State Department statement describes imprisoned Uighur Muslims and other minorities in the region, including torture and sexual exploitation. China is also reported forcing women to sterilize or use contraception to limit the number of Uighurs.
One or two a day ago, a video shot last year of a drone circulated in the public, alleging blindfolded or kneeling Uighurs forced by China into trains and cars whose destination is unknown. Australian security services, among others, have found the video to be genuine.
BBC:n newscast the video was shown to the British Ambassador to China on Sunday Liu Xiaomingille, who was asked what was really going on in the video.
– I don’t know where you got this videotape. You know, sometimes prisoners are moved from place to place in all countries, Liu said.
The reporter asked him again about the matter, but Liu did not give any direct answer.
– There are no such concentration camps in Xinjiang, Liu said.
– There are a lot of false accusations against China.
Liu also said that “Uighurs enjoy a peaceful, harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups”.
– We treat all ethnic groups equally.
Liu was also shown an interview video of a woman who said she had been forced into sterilization. Liu responded by denying that any large-scale sterilization of Uighur women would be done in China.
– It’s completely against the truth.
However, he said he could not rule out individual cases.
– There are individual cases in all countries.
He blamed “some small anti-China groups” for videos like the one described above.
China’s the northwestern part of Xinjiang Province is inhabited by Uighurs belonging to the Turkish peoples, the majority of whom are Muslims. According to human rights organizations, nearly one million Uighurs have been imprisoned in retraining camps.
China previously completely denied the existence of the camps, but then acknowledged that the camps existed and that their purpose is to take the necessary measures to eradicate terrorism. According to China, the camps provide voluntary training for Uighurs.
However, the BBC recently arrived visit retraining camps, which, according to a BBC document, seem more like prisons. Secret documents leaked to international journalists last year also revealed that China is brainwashing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities in their prison camps.
It is not yet known what action the UK will take with regard to China.
Although human rights organizations criticize China for its treatment of Uighurs, most Muslim countries have been silent on the issue, as China is an important trading partner for many of them.
Business magazine Forbes reported early this yearthat Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung, as well as about 80 other international companies, have also been linked to Uighur camps. According to the study, Uighurs have been forced to work in factories under conditions that “strongly suggest forced labor”.
According to the report, between 2017 and 2019, more than 80,000 Uighurs were transferred to work in factories across China.
Relations between Britain and China have been tense even before Sunday, with news this week that Britain is banning Chinese company Huawei’s 5G devices. The ban on the purchase of new equipment will take effect on 31 December.
China has previously warned the prime minister Boris Johnsonia that Britain is due to face “consequences” if it treats China as a hostile partner.