BEIJING (AP) — Muslim leaders from the Xinjiang region have rejected Western allegations that China is suppressing religious freedom. They spoke at a reception for foreign diplomats and media that was the Chinese government’s latest move to counter accusations of abuses in Xinjiang. China has been accused of mass incarcerations, forced labor and forced sterilization in the far western region that has been put under a strict security regime after a series of terrorist attacks. The president of the Xinjiang Islamic Association accused the U.S. and other nations of spreading rumors and lies. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier condemned China for “crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs” during the release of an annual report on religious freedom.
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