China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, denied the Uyghur genocide, claiming that those held in detention centers in western China are happy.
Qin made the comments during a Thursday interview with NPR in which he discussed the U.S. boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over the human rights violations and the “ongoing genocide” taking place against Uyghur Muslims in western China. (RELATED: ‘The US Will Pay A Price’: China Makes Threats After Olympic Boycott Announcement)
The ambassador made it clear that “those people violating the law are terrorists” and said, “the destination for them is prisons.” Qin also said other people were not being sent to prison but “vocational schools” in order to moderate “extremist ideas.”
“This so-called genocide or forced labor, these are big lies of the century. There’s no genocide at all,” Qin said, according to NPR.
China has developed a “dystopian hellscape” of internment camps for Uyghur minorities, where they are tortured under the direction of the Communist Party, an investigation by Amnesty International found.
Qin publicly denied the existence of concentration camps during a “fireside chat” interview with various members of the American press in December 2021, according to the Chinese embassy. “There are no so-called concentration camps. This is a lie. If you want to go to look at camps, you will be disappointed because there are no camps at all. You got pictures and videos about high walls, guarding towers, barbed wires. Yes, they are true, but they are prisons,” he told journalists during the meeting.
“Community Center” is what they called the Uyghur concentration camps in the beginning https://t.co/gWgN9nEGVz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 1, 2022
“There are only vocational training schools. Why did we set up this kind of school? It is to educate people, to save people,” Qin continued during the forum.
The ambassador held the line during his interview with NPR, saying that any accusations of a genocide against the Uyghur population were “fabrications, lies and disinformation.”
More than 380 detention sites have been built or expanded in western China since 2017, according to Australian Strategic Policy Institute researchers. Former detainees, family members and former instructors have reported that the Chinese government is using facilities to commit “demographic genocide” against Uyghurs through forced abortions, birth control, mass detentions and imprisonment, an investigation by The Associated Press found in 2020.
A former Chinese police officer described how he and fellow officers brutally beat and sexually tortured Uyghur prisoners. He said guards used extreme methods of consistent torture against both male and female detainees, some as young as 14 years old.