China's embassy in the UK has described comments by Boris Johnson's government on Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as a distortion of the truth.
In response to questions from reporters, a spokesperson for the embassy urged countries to stop "creating divisions and provoking confrontation," as it objected to the interference in the "purely internal affairs of China."
The backlash comes after Downing Street released a joint statement, Wednesday, following a virtual meeting between Johnson and Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison. It referred to "grave concerns" over alleged human rights violations, which the embassy spokesperson flatly denied.
"The so-called 'human rights violation' in Xinjiang is a malicious slander," the spokesperson said. "At present, Xinjiang is enjoying economic development, social stability and ethnic unity, and the basic rights of the people of all ethnic groups are fully protected, as anyone without political prejudice would recognize."
The embassy accused the UK and Australia of spreading rumors about the region and said both nations should stick to factual information.
The spokesperson pointed out that the Chinese Constitution and the Hong Kong Basic Law are the legal basis for governance.
"The fact that Hong Kong has been transformed from chaos to governance and from governance to prosperity in recent years has fully proved that China's implementation of the Hong Kong national security law, improvement of Hong Kong's electoral system, and implementation of the principle of 'patriots ruling Hong Kong' are conducive to better implementation of "one country, two systems," the spokesperson stated.
The embassy also urged the UK and Australia to respect the one-China principle and avoid official engagement with Taiwan, which they described as a "threat to "peace and stability" across the Taiwan Strait.
They reminded the two nations that China has always respected and supported the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea in accordance with international law and accused the UK and the U.S. of creating tension in the region by conducting military drills there.