China's government has strongly denied allegations by Britain that forced labor and other human rights violations are being committed against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a plan on Tuesday to tighten rules to rid the supply chain of products linked to the forced labor of Uighur Muslims in China. He cited evidence of human rights violations committed against Uighurs.
Commenting on the matter on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said forced labor is a lie fabricated by Western countries, and stressed that it does not exist.
Zhao said Britain should immediately withdraw its mistaken decision and stop interfering in China's internal affairs. He added that China will take all necessary measures to protect its national interests and dignity.
Raab said British firms will be required to check their supply chains and report the results. He said suppliers found to be profiting from forced labor will be barred from government procurement.