Xinjiang official criticizes EU move

A senior official of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region urged the European Union on Thursday to abandon its prejudice, recognize the truth and refrain from going further down the wrong path.

"Otherwise, people in Xinjiang will fight back to the very end," Xu Guixiang, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Xinjiang Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, said at a news conference on Xinjiang-related issues in Beijing.

Xu made the remarks in response to media reports citing diplomats as saying that EU ambassadors agreed on Wednesday on a package of sanctions on four Chinese individuals and one entity over so-called human rights violations targeting the minority Uygur Muslim population.

"I want to make it very clear that we are firmly opposed to any external sanctions under the pretext of Xinjiang affairs and any interference in China's internal affairs," Xu said.

If the EU insists on using human rights as a cover to sanction China, they will be making a big mistake and seriously undermine China-EU mutual trust and cooperation, Xu added.

Speaking at a regular news briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that if the EU makes a wrong decision and just relies on fabrications by individual anti-China forces, it will be considered only as an act of political manipulation.

When asked whether the EU sanctions will put the China-EU investment agreement in jeopardy, the spokesman said that the deal is a balanced, high-level and mutually beneficial investment agreement.

The treaty will provide greater market access, a better business environment, a stronger institutional guarantee and brighter prospects for China-EU mutual investment, Zhao said.

If the agreement takes effect a day early, he said, companies and people of both sides will benefit from it a day earlier.

"What the EU should do is to push for the agreement to take effect at an early date instead of pointing fingers at China's internal affairs," Zhao added.