China blasts 22-nation letter criticizing Xinjiang policies

BEIJING (AP) — China has attacked a statement by 22 Western countries at the United Nations urging it to cease holding member of its Muslim population in detention centers.

It calls the measures necessary for national security and accused the countries of trampling on China’s sovereignty.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a daily briefing Thursday that the letter “disregarded the facts, slandered and attacked China with unwarranted accusations, flagrantly politicized human rights issues and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.”

China is estimated to have arbitrarily detained up to 1 million Muslims in Xinjiang. China denies abuse in the detention centers and calls them training schools aimed at combating extremism and providing employable skills.

Geng says Xinjiang has not suffered any new violent incidents for more than 2 years.

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