Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused footballer Mesut Ozil on Monday of being influenced by hearsay and false reporting, after Ozil made a series of posts on social media in support of the Muslim population in China's autonomous Xinjiang provinceMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th December, 2019) Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused footballer Mesut Ozil on Monday of being influenced by hearsay and false reporting, after Ozil made a series of posts on social media in support of the Muslim population in China's autonomous Xinjiang province.
Posts in support of the Uighur population appeared on Ozil's social media on Friday. English Premier League club Arsenal, who the footballer plays for, quickly distanced themselves from Ozil's comments in a statement released to the media. Arsenal stressed that Ozil's opinions are his own, and that the club would not involve itself in political issues. Arsenal's game on Sunday, that was due to be broadcast on Chinese state television, was replaced by another Premier League game.
"I don't know if Mr. Ozil has visited Xinjiang before, but he seems to be blindfolded by some fake news and his judgment was clouded by falsehoods," Geng told reporters during a briefing in response to a journalist's question.
"We welcome Mr. Ozil to visit Xinjiang and see the place with his own eyes. As long as he still has an unbiased mind and the conscience to tell the truth, he will see a Xinjiang different from what he thought it was," Geng said.
In late August 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reported that large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities were being held in political "reeducation camps" in Xinjiang often for long periods, and without being charged or tried under the pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has refuted these claims as unfounded and not reflective of reality.
According to the Chinese authorities, they have established vocational education and training centers so that people can learn the language and law, as well as gain professional skills. The centers are also said to help strengthen the resistance to extremism and terrorism.