China slams US for restricting visa to officials

The visa curbs followed the blacklisting this week of 28 Chinese entities involved in rights violations against minorities in Xinjiang, which China has said was based on "groundless" claims. (AFP File Photo)

Beijing on Wednesday decried a US decision to restrict visas for Chinese officials linked to the repression of Xinjiang Muslims and called on Washington to withdraw the measure.

The visa curbs followed the blacklisting this week of 28 Chinese entities involved in rights violations against minorities in Xinjiang, which China has said was based on "groundless" claims.

Rights groups say China is holding more than one million Uighurs and other minorities in re-education camps in the western region.

The US is "disregarding the facts, slandering and smearing China on Xinjiang-related issues," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference Wednesday, where he said the US actions were guided by "sinister intentions."

Geng called the US move "completely futile" and warned China would take "firm" action against violations of its sovereignty.

He also said China's commerce ministry would "soon" release its own entity list, which has been in the works for months.

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