CHINA’S Uighur Muslims are not in concentration camps but are being retrained as artists, estate agents and chefs, the country’s ambassador to the UK said yesterday.
Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming made the claims in a bizarre press where he claimed the Muslim minority population were not being herded into concentration camps.
In a fiery address the ambassador said criticism from the UK had “seriously poisoned” relations between the nations.
The nations have rowed over Hong Kong, the ban on tech giant Huawei playing a role in the 5G network, and British criticism of human rights abuses of the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Mr Liu called the claims “the lies of the century” which were being spread by Western media.
He claimed the region had be plagued by terrorism – playing a series of clips of violence in the region, complete with dark music and sound effects.
The ambassador attempted to debunk a video which caught him off guard on the Andrew Marr show earlier this month – which showed Uighur men bound, kneeling on the floor and being led on to trains.
‘China is always a defender of world peace’
He denied there had been any concentration camps, and said the population had been “re-educated” and were now working in cushy jobs – showing the men and women in various propaganda clips.
He said the accusations were “rumours and lies” about the treatment.
He suggested that “so-called victims” of persecution including forced sterilisation were either separatists or “actors trained by anti-China forces in the US and other Western countries”.
The ambassador attacked hawkish Tory MPs who have forced Boris Johnson into taking a tough stance on Beijing.
Mr Liu added: “History has proved and will continue to prove that China is always a defender of world peace, a contributor to global development and upholder of international law.
“A stronger China will make the world a more peaceful, stable and prosperous place.
“However, some British politicians cling to the Cold War mentality and uphold the remarks of anti-China forces outside and inside the UK.
“They play up the so-called China threat and see China as a hostile state, threatening a complete decoupling from China, and even clamour for a new Cold War against China.”
China has already threatened not to recognise the BN(O) passport as a valid travel document and warned that the UK needed China after Brexit.
He added: “It is hard to imagine a global Britain that bypasses or excludes China.
“Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunities, decoupling from growth and decoupling from the future.
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In a further sign of the deteriorating relationship with China, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned a decision to block 12 pro-democracy candidates from standing in Hong Kong’s legislative council elections in September.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said: “I condemn the decision to disqualify opposition candidates from standing in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council elections.
“It is clear they have been disqualified because of their political views, undermining the integrity of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
“The Hong Kong authorities must uphold their commitments to the people of Hong Kong.”
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