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Beijing lashes out after diplomats seek explanation for Uyghur crackdown

China's Foreign Ministry has responded furiously to an official letter, reportedly drafted by 15 Western dip...

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 12:12 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 12:12 PM

China's Foreign Ministry has responded furiously to an official letter, reportedly drafted by 15 Western diplomats, calling for answers to the continuing human rights crisis in Xinjiang.

Facing reporters at her daily press briefing Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying lashed out, saying the diplomats should play a "positive role" rather than "interfering."

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"I don't know why they are worrying about Xinjiang's situation. Why did they make this kind of request that puts pressure on China? I think this kind of action is very unreasonable," she said.

She was responding to an earlier report by Reuters that a group of 15 Western ambassadors had drafted a letter to request a meeting with Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, seeking an explanation for the treatment of the Muslim-majority Uyghur people.

International pressure has been steadily growing on China in recent weeks to end its widely reported repression of the Uyghur, who predominantly live in the western province of Xinjiang.

A US congressional report estimated at least one million Uyghurs could be imprisoned in "re-education camps" in the province, an effort by Beijing to "Sinocize" the minority group.

According to the draft of the letter quoted by Reuters, the diplomats said they were "deeply troubled" by the reports emerging from Xinjiang.

"In order to better understand the situation, we request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss these concerns," the letter is reported to have said.

CNN has reached out to the embassies for a copy of the draft but they have either declined to comment on the reported letter or have yet to respond.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said while China was happy to allow diplomats into Xinjiang, they objected to the trips being used to "put pressure" on the local government.

"I think this kind of behavior is beyond the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ... if they try to interfere in local government's affairs with malicious intentions and prejudice, or groundlessly judge China, we firmly oppose this," she told reporters.

Uyghurs who have spoken to people inside the Xinjiang camps claim detainees are forced to repeat Communist Party propaganda, while some prisoners are beaten or tortured.

"Every day before your meal you have to sing a 'red' (communist) song, and say thank you to (Chinese President) Xi Jinping or the Communist Party," US-based Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja, who has family members inside the camps, told CNN.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 812694

Reported Deaths: 15142
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139601904
Mobile721751321
Madison51923685
Shelby37240339
Baldwin37044538
Tuscaloosa34902599
Montgomery33919719
Lee23122240
Calhoun22125469
Morgan20620370
Etowah19739496
Marshall18238298
Houston17288405
St. Clair15897337
Cullman15297290
Limestone15178198
Elmore15038284
Lauderdale14125294
Talladega13692271
DeKalb12554258
Walker11069364
Blount10081174
Autauga9883146
Jackson9776177
Coffee9176188
Dale8856180
Colbert8781200
Tallapoosa7032195
Escambia6725127
Covington6672179
Chilton6580160
Russell624758
Franklin5927105
Chambers5558142
Marion4952126
Dallas4854199
Clarke472681
Pike4716105
Geneva4558126
Winston4461101
Lawrence4252117
Bibb421686
Barbour355374
Marengo333989
Monroe329962
Randolph324763
Butler323994
Pickens313581
Henry310565
Hale308787
Cherokee299457
Fayette290579
Washington250851
Cleburne245958
Crenshaw243375
Clay239767
Macon230662
Lamar215446
Conecuh185351
Coosa177738
Lowndes173161
Wilcox167038
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125544
Choctaw86627
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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