Beijing: China on Thursday accused the United States of seeking to “disturb” its security policies after a US congressional report said Beijing’s mass internment of Muslim minorities may constitute “crimes against humanity”. The report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China described the situation of human rights in China as “dire” and worsening, a trend epitomised by the internment of as many as one million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the far west Xinjiang region.
In response, China’s foreign ministry characterised reports of its policies in the region as “rumours and groundless accusations”. Chinese policies “aim to safeguard the social stability and security of Xinjiang and are supported by the people,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters. “Relevant parties want to disturb such efforts. This is futile,” he said.
Beijing has a long history of accusing the US of fomenting anti-China “separatism” in Xinjiang, alleging Washington has sponsored groups advocating for the region’s independence in an attempt to weaken China. The region, which comprises one-sixth of China’s land area, is a jumping off point for the country’s ambitious new “Belt and Road” project aimed at opening up new overland routes to increase access to markets across Asia and Europe.