China refutes joint letter criticizing Xinjiang policies
China on Thursday refuted a letter, jointly signed by 22 nations, criticizing China's policy in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The letter, addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, disregards the facts, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press briefing.
"It has slandered and smeared China with unwarranted accusations, flagrantly politicized human rights issues and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs," Geng said.
People perform to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on July 10, 2019. [File photo: IC]
The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with the countries, Geng said, urging the relevant countries to respect the facts, abandon prejudice, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and stop politicizing human rights issues and using the issue of Xinjiang to interfere in China's internal affairs.
Geng stressed that Xinjiang issues were totally China's internal affairs, which were related to China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
"The Chinese government and Chinese people have the most say on Xinjiang issues and cannot be interfered by any country or external forces," he said.
Geng said Xinjiang had not had a terrorist incident for more than two years due to a series of anti-terrorism and de-extremization measures, including the establishment of vocational education and training centers, and people of all ethnic groups had sincerely supported the government's policy.
The Chinese side has invited a number of diplomats, media outlets, experts and scholars from various countries to visit Xinjiang and also sent invitations to the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, he said.
"We welcome those who truly uphold the principles of objectivity and fairness to come to Xinjiang but firmly oppose any external forces interfering in China's internal affairs, undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity through Xinjiang issues," the spokesperson said.