China on Wednesday refuted US senators' allegations that it is committing genocide against Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims in the restive Xinjiang province, asserting that the American lawmakers are obsessed with making up "lies" to "vilify" the country for selfish political gains. According to reports, a resolution moved in the US Senate stated that China’s campaign against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region constitutes "genocide”.
Asked for his response to the Senators' charge, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that the US Senators are "entrenched in their anti-China bias and obsessed with making up all sorts of lies to vilify China and seek selfish political gains”.
“The so-called genocide is a rumour deliberately started by some anti-China forces and a farce to discredit China," he said.
Wang claimed that from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, an increase of 2.55 million or 25 per cent, higher than the 14 per cent for the whole population in Xinjiang, and much higher than the two per cent for the Han population.
Since last year, China faced severe international criticism including from the UN and western countries over allegations that it is holding over a million people, mostly ethnic Uyghurs in internment camps in Xinjiang in a bid to wean them away from religious extremism.
Resource-rich Xinjiang province is the home for Turkik speaking Uighur Muslims. The province is restive for several years over settlements of Han Chinese.
China defends the camps, describing the facilities as re-education centres aimed at de-radicalising sections of the Uyghur Muslim population from extremism and separatism.
Friction between the US and China has been growing over a host of issues including trade tariff, the Chinese military's offensive manoeuvres in the South China Sea and the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.