China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the UK ambassador to Beijing to protest the sanctions imposed against Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, local media reported.
Chinese Vice President Qin Gang informed UK Ambassador Caroline Wilson of Beijing’s countermeasures, according to the daily Global Times.
This came after Canada, UK and the US released a joint statement on Monday expressing concern over the Chinese government’s “human rights violations and abuses” against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
“China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labor, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilizations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage,” said the statement issued by Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The three countries have taken coordinated action, parallel to EU measures.
Beijing hit back strongly condemning the sanctions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the sanctions are “based on lies and false information.”
“The accusations against China are based on fake files, words from unidentified sources, and even distortion of official documents,” Hua Chunying, a ministry spokeswoman, was quoted as saying by state-owned CGTN television on Tuesday.
“They are interfering in China's internal affairs by using human rights excuses,” she added.