Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun on Tuesday told the U.S. and other Western countries to stop interfering in China's domestic affairs after they accused China of mistreating people of Uygur ethnic group in Xinjiang.
The U.S., Britain and 21 other states criticized China at a UN meeting for setting up vocational centers in Xinjiang, saying local governments were detaining people from the ethnic group.
Describing those claims as "groundless accusations," Zhang said the vocational centers are preventive counter-terrorism and de-extremism measures adopted by local governments. It is not a human rights issue nor does it have anything to do with racial discrimination, Zhang said.
The U.S. and other Western countries should stop meddling with China's internal affairs, he added.
Zhang's remarks were jointly defended by over 30 countries. Diplomats from countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Cuba, all hailed China's remarkable record in promoting human rights and voiced their support on China's Xinjiang policy.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang responded to the issue on Wednesday, urging related countries to stop smearing China and review their own human rights record instead.
According to him, the incorrect remarks have been criticized and refuted by over 60 countries, indicating that China's remarkable achievement made in human rights protection and regional development in Xinjiang has been widely recognized by the international community.
"We hope that they should stop setting up double standard on human rights issues, follow the trend and take some concrete actions to address the issues," Geng said.