The G7 nations also condemned Hong Kong’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, with US President Joe Biden even urging Beijing to “begin acting more responsibly in terms of international human rights norms.”

After foreign leaders questioned China’s human rights record in Xinjiang and emphasised alleged atrocities against Uyghur Muslims, the region’s minorities, China accused the G7 nations of “political manipulation” on Monday. China accused foreign leaders of intervening in its internal affairs on the basis of “lies, rumours, and unfounded accusations.” The G7 nations also condemned Hong Kong’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests, with US President Joe Biden urging Beijing to “start acting more responsibly in terms of international human rights principles.”

“The Group of Seven (G-7) uses Xinjiang-related issues to engage in political manipulation and intervene in China’s domestic affairs, which we firmly condemn,” the Chinese embassy in London said in an official statement. The Chinese government has vowed to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms, according to an embassy representative who read the official statement from the Chinese government.

Beijing has recently garnered Western criticism for alleged human rights violations and forced labour practises in the Xinjiang province, which is mostly populated by Uyghur Muslims, China’s ethnic minority community. Several international human rights organisations have accused China of incarcerating an estimated one million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang internment camps. Beijing claims the action will eliminate Islamic radicalism, but Western countries are concerned about what they see as a flagrant infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

-Nikita Panicker