Urumqi, China (AP) — A spokesperson for the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region called genocide charges “untrue” as China received more pressure this week on the treatment of Uighur ethnic groups in remote border areas.
The British Parliament approved a non-binding motion on Thursday stating that China’s policy was equivalent to genocide and crimes against humanity. Human Rights Watch has appealed to the United Nations earlier this week to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity.
“The motion adopted by the British side was completely groundless,” said Chu Chunqiu, deputy director of the Communist Party’s public relations department in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. “This decision was based on statements made by some politicians, some so-called academic institutions, some so-called experts and scholars, and some so-called witnesses.”
According to foreign governments and researchers, an estimated more than one million people have been trapped in camps in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in recent years. Mostly Uighurs, predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, authorities have been accused of imposing forced labor, systematic contraception and torture.
The Chinese government flatly rejected the claim. The camp is currently closed and is characterized as a vocational training center that teaches Chinese, work skills, and laws to support economic development and combat radicalism. China saw a wave of terrorist attacks related to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region until 2016.
Hotels in Kashgar, the historic Silk Road town of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, were empty a few years ago, and some entrepreneurs didn’t want to invest because the tourism industry had declined due to fear of terrorism. He said government policy has regained the hard-earned stability.
The Foreign Ministry has labeled genocide’s allegations as “a huge lie created by international anti-Chinese troops.”
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the ministry, said in a daily briefing on Friday, “The UK is already facing a lot of problems in the country. These MPs care about their business and for their members. You should do something concrete. “
Britain was the latest Western country to make the genocide declaration. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was reluctant to use the term, but the US government and parliaments in Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada also accused Beijing of the genocide.
Human Rights Watch said it did not document genocide’s intentions in a report recommending that the UN Commission on Human Rights investigate the allegations and identify the perpetrators.
However, “if such evidence is revealed, the actions being taken against Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region may support the discovery of the genocide,” the report said.