Pressed by his German counterpart Heiko Maas on issues such as the security law on Hong Kong and Uighur Muslims, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the highlighted issues in a press briefing in Berlin on Tuesday.
«In the past 40 years, the population of the Uighurs in Xinjiang has grown from 5.5 million to 11 million, and the population growth rate has exceeded that of other ethnic groups. How can there be ethnic cleansing? These comments are not only the most malicious slander against China but also a disrespect for the Chinese people,» claimed Wang Yi speaking of Uighur Muslims who are allegedly kept in detention centres in China.
According to several human rights organisations, more than one million Uighurs and other Muslims are imprisoned in camps in Xinjiang. China rejected the accusations, calling the camps «educational centres.»
Hong Kong security law was another point of contention for Wang Yi who added, «Any nation needs laws to safeguard its national security, so why can't Hong Kong have one? The central government determines any autonomous region's security because this is the central government's real power. Why can't Hong Kong have it?»
During the same briefing, Maas called upon China to «fully apply» the «one country, two systems» principle in Hong Kong, and stressed the necessity of «the rights guaranteed in the basic law to be respected,» adding that this will remain EU’s benchmark in the context of further developments in Hong Kong.