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China says Belgium after destabilizing Xinjiang in case of Uighurs

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian takes a question at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020. (File photo by AFP)

China has decried a resolution in Belgium’s parliament warning of “serious risk of genocide” against Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Wednesday said the parliamentary move in Belgium sought to “undermine social stability in Xinjiang and contain China's development.”

Samuel Cogolati, the lawmaker who authored the motion, the Chinese official said, “maliciously spread lies and false information, seriously damaging China's sovereignty and interests.”

The Belgian parliament is to confirm the motion during a plenary session on July 1.

Zhao also warned the Belgian lawmakers against “harming the overall state of China-Belgium relations.”

The Belgian resolution would be the latest to describe China's treatment of the Uighurs as “genocide.” Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the Czech Republic have already denounced “crimes against humanity” in the Muslim minority group.

Activists and UN rights experts say at least one million Muslims have been forced into camps in the western autonomous region of Xinjiang.

Beijing denies reports that Uighurs are unfairly marginalized, saying it is addressing underdevelopment and lack of jobs in the heavily Uighur populated areas such as Xinjiang.

Chinese officials have characterized the camps as “vocational education and employment training centers” for “criminals involved in minor offenses.”

The United States, Britain, Canada, and the European Union have imposed sanctions on China with regard to allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang.

China has also imposed sanctions on a number of American and Canadian officials in retaliation.

The mostly Muslim-Turkic ethnic group of Uighurs, which makes up about 45 percent of the population in Xinjiang, has long accused Beijing of cultural, religious, and economic discrimination.

China’s government rejects the accusation. It believes exiled separatist groups are planning ‘attacks’ in the resource-rich Xinjiang, which is strategically located on the borders of Central Asia.

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