China asks Turkey to retract ‘baseless accusations’ on Xinjiang situation

Beijing retaliates after Istanbul's claims about singer Abdurehim Heyit

Xinhua February 12, 2019
A file photo of an Uygur Muslim in Xinjiang. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: China has rejected Turkey's accusation of its treatment of Uygur Muslims in China's southwestern Xinjiang region.

“I have noticed the statement by Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson. It is abominable,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press briefing on Monday.

The Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson had claimed that famous Uygur musician Abdurehim Heyit died a year after he was taken into custody.

“In fact, he is alive and healthy. I saw his video on the internet just yesterday,” Hua said. “Turkey's statement is based on an absurd lie. Such a move of making groundless accusation against China is extremely wrong and irresponsible. We express firm opposition to this,” she said, adding that the Chinese embassy in Turkey had already responded to the statement and China lodged a “solemn representation” on Turkey over the issue.

Chunying said that since the 1990s, the "three evil forces" (terrorism, extremism and separatism) in China and abroad have plotted, organised and conducted thousands of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, causing massive casualties and injuries of innocent people of various ethnic groups.

China says UN observers welcome to Xinjiang, with conditions

Xinjiang's efforts in countering terrorism and extremism based on international anti-terrorism experience in recent years have made obvious progress and people in Xinjiang are satisfied with their lives and feeling more secure, the spokesperson added.

According to the spokesperson, ambassadors, diplomats and journalists from a dozen of countries including Turkey visited many places including vocational training centers in Xinjiang since the end of 2018 and their understanding of Xinjiang was increased via the visits.

Chunying said Turkey also faced the threat of terrorism, and it would only harm others and itself if it followed a double standard on terrorism.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson added that she hoped Turkey will not hear and trust only one side, but recognise and understand China's related policies and efforts, and take concrete measures to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between China and Turkey.


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