China’s embassy in Uzbekistan yesterday accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of slander after he raised the plight of Muslims in the Xinjiang region during a visit to Central Asia.
“No matter how many times it is repeated, a lie does not become the truth. Any attempt to slander China and sow discord in friendly relations between China and the states of Central Asia is doomed to defeat,” the embassy said in a statement on its website said.
Pompeo on Monday ended a week-long diplomatic tour with a visit to Uzbekistan, where he met with the ex-Soviet country’s leadership and foreign ministers from the five ex-Soviet ‘stans’ of Central Asia.
In both Uzbekistan and its oil-rich neighbour Kazakhstan the day before, Pompeo brought up what he called China’s “repression” of Muslims in Xinjiang.
In Kazakhstan he also met with citizens who said they have family members missing or incarcerated over the border in the region.