onsdag 7. april 2021

China denies abuse of Uyghurs in bizarre press conference

The Chinese government has held an extraordinary press conference in Canberra, trotting out members of a Muslim ethnic minority to deny they had been persecuted by the communist nation.

The Chinese embassy in Canberra invited Australian journalists to the meeting on Wednesday to defend Beijing’s human rights record in Xinjiang Province, where human rights groups believe more than a million Muslim Uyghurs have been sent to internment camps. But in a surreal press conference branded a “cheap stunt” by Human Rights Watch, Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye insisted Uyghurs were not subjected to oppression in Xinjiang.The press conference titled “Xinjiang is a wonderful life” kicked off with several technical issues inside the Chinese Ambassador’s Residence.

The room of press, academics and officials were forced to sit in silence for several awkward minutes throughout the two-hour presentation, while staff struggled to hear and translate the questions. One propaganda video about Xinjiang’s economic development showed panoramic views of a city with a ferris wheel, bright colours with people happily singing, dancing and eating together — in an attempt to demonstrate it was a “land of harmony and stability” after curbing the threat of terrorism and extremism in the region.