BEIJING — China says 15 foreign ambassadors exceeded their diplomatic roles by issuing a letter expressing concern about the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of members of the country’s Muslim minorities in re-education camps.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing Thursday that it would be “problematic” if the diplomats were attempting to put pressure on local authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where the detentions have taken place.
Hua said the letter violated the terms of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations and that the ambassadors should not “interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.”
The spokeswoman said the letter was based on hearsay, despite widely distributed reports from detainees, relatives and officials documenting the sweeping and seemingly arbitrary detentions.
People from the Uighur community living in Turkey carrying flags of what ethnic Uighurs call ‘East Turkestan’, chant slogans during a protest in Istanbul, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, against what they allege is oppression by the Chinese government to Muslim Uighurs in far-western Xinjiang province. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)