Chinese ambassador slammed for denying ‘chilling’ ethnic cleansing claims
China’s ambassador to the UK has been widely criticised by MPs this morning for denying claims of ethnic cleansing against Uyghur Muslims in Northern China and instead drawing attention to the “beautiful” scenery in the region.
Liu Xiaoming was shown footage during a BBC interview of hundreds of chained Uyhurs being loaded onto trains headed for internment camps in the province of Xinjiang in scenes widely described as resembling trains headed for Auschwitz in World War II.
After a long pause, Xiaoming began to speak about how Xinjiang was the most beautiful place in China, before saying that the video was just a “transfer of prisoners”.
He added that Uyghur Muslims have a “harmonious” life in the northern province, despite growing evidence that a million are in concentration camps, women are being forcibly sterilised and the rate of death among the minority is far higher than the rest of the population.
Xiamong said these were lies propagated by an “anti-Chinese element” and that “the majority of Xinjiang people are happy with what is going on with Xinjiang – in the past three years there is not one single terrorist attack in Xinjiang”.
Conservative MP Nus Ghani took to twitter to strongly denounce the Chinese ambassador for his performance and accuse China of carrying out genocide.
“The chilling truth is that this is an ongoing genocide according to the United Nations’ definition, yet the UN isn’t putting a stop to this,” she said.
“The UK must follow our American allies and impose Magnitsky sanctions on those responsible.”
SNP MP Stewart McDonald said the interview showed the UK was right to ban Huawei this week from helping build the UK’s 5G infrastructure.
“Any lingering thought that Huawei is independent of the Chinese Communist Party is being utterly shredded by the Chinese ambassador,” he said.
In a wide ranging interview Xiaoming also criticised the UK’s Huawei decision, saying it was a “dark day” for the UK.
He also said China would impose sanctions on the UK if it targets Chinese nationals through its new Magnitsky act.
The act will see the UK impose sanctions, such as freeing assets and disallowing entry into the country, on people accused of violating human rights.
“You’ve seen what happens in the United States, they sanction Chinese officials, we sanction their senators, their officials – I do not want to see this tit-for-tat happen in…China-UK relations.”
“We never believe in unilateral sanctions, we believe that the UN is the authority, has the authority, to impose sanctions and if the UK government go that far to impose sanctions on any individuals in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it.”