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China hits back at Pompeo over Uighur remarks

CHINA has hit out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, warning that attempts by Washington to interfere in the country’s internal affairs are “doomed to failure.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the US of being addicted to lies and attempting to use “religion and human rights” against Beijing following Mr Pompeo’s recent remarks on China’s Uighur Muslim minority.

The US Secretary of State said last week that the Chinese Communist Party is “methodically attempting to strangle Uighur culture and stamp out the Islamic faith, including through the detention of more than one million members of Muslim minority groups.”

He released the statement to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and said he hoped China would take steps to become a “more open, tolerant society.” 

China has faced international criticism over allegations that the country’s Uighur Muslim population face persecution, with claims that as many as three million have been taken to “concentration camps.”

It dismisses the accusations as propaganda perpetuated by the World Uighur Congress (WUC), an organisation in receipt of funds from the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The WUC has been accused of links to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (Etim), a jihadist terror group committed to creation of an independent state called “East Turkestan” in China’s Xinjiang province.

Etim has carried out a series of terror attacks in China and sent jihadist fighters known as the Turkestan Brigade to Syria as terror groups vied to establish a regional Islamist caliphate.

Mr Geng accused Mr Pompeo of lacking the “most basic knowledge and understanding” of China’s Xinjiang province.

“The so-called re-education camps do not exist in Xinjiang,” he said, saying that “vocational education and training centres” are aimed at those who have been radicalised in an attempt to help them gain skills to support themselves and reintegrate into society.

President Xi Jinping has re-emphasised the Communist Party’s commitment to atheism, and authorities have closed large numbers of unauthorised churches which had previously been tolerated.

But despite this Mr Geng explained that there are 24,400 mosques across Xinjiang – one for every 530 Muslims.

“The number of mosques in the United States is less than one-tenth of that in Xinjiang, according to open data,” he said.

“It is a matter of different nature if one ignores facts and truth, is addicted to fabricating lies and fallacies, and attempts to use human rights and religion as an excuse to interfere with China’s internal affairs.”

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