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US imposes visa restrictions on China over Uighur repression

The US has said it will impose visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials, accused of involvement in the repression of Muslim minority groups in Xianjiang, China.

In a statement, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said, "the Chinese government has instituted a highly repressive campaign against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang."

"The United States calls on the People's Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitarily detained, and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate," the statement added. See the full statement here.

China denied the claims of repression. "There is no such thing as these so-called 'human rights issues' as claimed by the United States," Geng Shuang, foreign ministry spokesman said.

"These accusations are nothing more than an excuse for the United States to deliberately interfere in China's internal affairs."

Earlier this year, more than 20 countries at the UN Human Rights Council signed a joint letter, urging China to end mass detention in Xianjiang.

The United Nations currently estimates that as as many as 1 million Uighurs have been detained. The Chinese government maintains that these education centres are crucial in their effort to stamp out religious extremism and violence within the region.

Read more here.