On the 19th July, in an interview with the BBC, China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, has refuted reports that Uighur women in the western Xinjiang region are the subjects of a calibrated sterilisation.
Xiaoming was challenged with drone footage that seems to show Uighurs being blindfolded and herded onto trains. The “not beautiful coverage” of Xinjiang depicts the Uighurs kneeling, blindfolded and shaven. The video posted anonymously online last year, has resurfaced recently, and gained much attention.
"I cannot see this view," he stated, before probing the credibility of the source.
Reports and eyewitness accounts have blamed China of trying to eradicate the Uighur population in Xinjiang by forced sterilisation.
Directly contrasting his own local government statistics on the Uighur population growth, he stated that:
“Four, five years ago it was 4, 5 million, now its 11 million people [in Xinjiang] and people say we impose, we have ethnic cleansing, but the population has doubled in the 40 years.”
The Uighurs are a minority ethnic group originally deriving from East and Central Asia. Mostly Muslim, they are the second largest predominantly Muslim ethnicity in China. Many have accused the Chinese government of issuing a policy of cultural colonialism and refer to the same policy as a genocide of Uighurs.