Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun on Tuesday urged the UK to “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs” after London announced sanction measures for the persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
The UK announced on Tuesday that it would ban trade in goods related to the forced labor of the Uyghur Muslim minorityin Xinjiang, as tensions between London and Beijing intensify and a few weeks after a controversial agreement in principle on investments between China and the European Union, of which the British are no longer a part.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Beijing’s attitude towards Uyghurs is “barbarism” which is committed under the pretext of fighting terrorism and Islamic radicalism.
In response, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, Zhang Jun said the London measure was “Purely political” and “unfounded” attack and advised British diplomacy not to “interfere in the internal affairs of China”.
Zhang was referring to the fact that Raab criticized what he called “unacceptable human rights violations”, announcing measures to ban imports and exports linked to Uyghur forced labor.
Uyghurs are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang, a huge region in northwest China that shares borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to foreign experts, one million Uyghurs have been detained in recent years in political re-education campsdespite Beijing’s denials, which it says are vocational training centers, designed to keep people away from the temptation of radical Islam.