A diplomatic war of words has emerged between the American and Chinese embassies in Canberra, amid claims Beijing is harassing Uyghur minority people living in Australia.
- The US ambassador said Uyghurs were being “harassed by agents of a foreign power”
- He said fake Chinese police cars were being parked outside their homes
- China’s foreign affairs ministry said the allegation was “laughable”
Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been subject to a wide-ranging security crackdown in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where it is believed more than a million people have been rounded up and put in detention camps.
In an interview with ABC News Breakfast last Thursday, US ambassador Arthur B Culvahouse Jr said China was monitoring and intimidating Uyghurs living in Australia, and that this involved the use of fake Chinese police cars.
“Uyghurs who are lawfully in Australia, who are raised in Australia, working, paying taxes in Australia, are being harassed by agents of a foreign power,” he said.