Xinjiang [China], May 1 (ANI): Sanctions imposed by western countries over human rights violations in Xinjiang are no more than "a piece of waste paper" and their real purpose is to hamper Chinese companies internationally, the region's government said on Friday.
"Their real purpose is to conduct an 'industry genocide', to sabotage the participation of Xinjiang in the global value chain," Xu Guixiang, a spokesperson for the Xinjiang regional government told a press conference in Beijing on Friday.
Xu acknowledged that the sanctions will have an impact on exports from companies based in Xinjiang, but he insisted that in the long term, these companies will increase their competitiveness by investing in science and technology, South China Morning Post reported.
Amid rising pressure on China over the Xinjiang issue, Beijing has ramped up its efforts to justify its policies against Uyghur Muslims.
Beijing has also organised media tours of Xinjiang to counter the allegations but reporters who have travelled to the region independently to investigate the allegations have reported being blocked by the authorities and followed by police, according to the SCMP.
This year the United States, Canada, Britain and the EU all imposed coordinated sanctions on those accused of human rights abuses in the region.
This prompted retaliatory measures from Beijing - and the growing international backlash has seen almost all products made in Xinjiang, including textiles, solar panels and even movies, coming under the spotlight.
Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide".
In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide. The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so.
In April, the United Kingdom declared China's ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a "genocide".
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community. (ANI)