PARIS: Chinas foreign minister defended detention camps in Xinjiang and Hong Kongs new security law on Sunday (Aug 30), brushing off human rights concerns by European countries and cautioning against interference in Chinese affairs.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on his first European tour since the virus pandemic erupted, seeking to revive trade and relations strained by the resulting global health and economic crisis.
Speaking in Paris on Sunday, Wang repeated the claim that all those sent to reeducation centres in Xinjiang have been released and placed in employment — even as rights groups and families report on continuing detentions of Uighur Muslims and the loss of contact with loved ones.
“The rights of all trainees in the education and training program, though their minds have been encroached by terrorism and extremism, have been fully guaranteed,” he told a conference at the French Institute of International Relations. “Now all of them have graduated, there is no one in the education and training centre now. They all have found jobs.”
The Chinese government has detained an estimated 1 million or more members of ethnic Turkic minorities in Xinjiang, holding them in internment camps and prisons where they are subjected to ideological discipline, forced to denounce their religion and language and physically abused. China has long suspected the Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim, of harbouring separatist tendencies because of their distinct culture, language and religion.
Asked about Hong Kongs security law, Wang said, “We certainly couldnt sit idly by and let the chaos go on, so we enacted a law maintaining national security that specifically suited Hong Kongs situation.”