A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday said that the recent statements made by a U.S. official on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were "utterly defamatory and groundless."
Spokesperson Hua Chunying's remarks came after a U.S. official claimed that "China's repressive campaign in Xinjiang is not about terrorism, it's about China's attempt to erase its own citizens" after a meeting in New York with the foreign ministers of five Central Asian countries.
Over the past two decades, Xinjiang has been the epicenter of violent and terrorist activities, with an average of one violent and terrorist case occurring every day in severe times, killing many innocent people, including Uygurs, Hua said to the press.
Since Xinjiang adopted a series of preventive measures against terrorism and extremism, including vocational training, there has been no violent terrorist attack in Xinjiang for three consecutive years, she said, adding that the rights to subsistence and development of nearly 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been guaranteed to the greatest extent, and the measures have been supported by the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
"This is a basic fact that no one can deny, and all foreigners who have been to Xinjiang have acknowledged and affirmed it," Hua said.
"We urge relevant U.S. officials to face the facts, be objective and fair, and not adopt double standards on counter-terrorism, let alone to use this as an excuse to launch unwarranted attacks against China," she added.