hina’s ambassador to the United Kingdom has invoked “fake news” when asked about a recent leak of more documents detailing the inner workings of China’s detention camps in Xinjiang.
The documents, distributed to media outlets by the International Consortium of Investigate Journalists (ICIJ), describe how inmates at the camps are to undergo “ideological transformation” by cutting them off from their families for at least a year while they are held behind multiple layers of security and kept under a strict system of total mental and physical control.
“I know that they are prison camps. Why won’t you tell me the truth about these camps?” asked the BBC’s Richard Bilton at a Liu Xiaoming press conference on Monday evening.
“First of all, I would say that there are no so-called ‘labor camps’ as you describe. There’s what we call ‘vocational, education and training centers.’ They are there for the prevention of terrorists,” Liu responded, giving the same answer that the Chinese government has in the past while refusing to acknowledge the validity of the leaked documents which have been independently assessed by experts and concluded authentic.
“I’m telling you what the documents, the so-called documents you’re talking about, is a pure fabrication,” he continued. “Don’t listen to fake news. Don’t listen to fabrications.”
This is the moment our reporter, Richard Bilton, confronts #China's ambassador to the UK,@AmbLiuXiaoMing, about leaked documents which show how China is caging hundreds of thousands of people in brainwashing camps in #Xinjiang.#BBCPanorama #ChinaCables #Uyghurs pic.twitter.com/dxO4Vkvpo2
— Panorama 🌐 (@BBCPanorama) November 25, 2019
It appears, however, that the UK government has listened with the Foreign Office urging China to allow United Nations observers “immediate and unfettered access to the region” while also calling for “an end to the indiscriminate and disproportionate restrictions on the cultural and religious freedoms of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.”