China has accused the group of seven (G7) of “political manipulation” after it criticised Beijing over various issues.
In a joint statement at the end of a three-day summit, leaders of the G7 countries urged China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The group, made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, noted the abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority group and the crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.
However, China’s embassy in the UK accused the G7 of “baseless accusations”.
“Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests,” a spokesman said on Monday.
The G7 has in a statement noted that ” the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies – included pledges on several issues, such as ending the coronavirus pandemic and steps to tackle climate change, as well as references to China.”
The group called on China to respect human rights in Xinjiang, a north-western region that is home to the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
China had also denied the allegations that it detained a million Uyghurs and other Muslims and imprisoned hundreds of thousands more in its crackdown in Xinjiang, which began in 2017. There have also been widespread reports of physical and psychological torture inside prisons and detention camps in the region.
The G7 statement also stated that rights and freedoms should be respected in Hong Kong, where China has passed a new security law last year making it easier to punish protesters. The leaders said Hong Kong should retain a “high degree of autonomy”, as established under agreements that were handed back to China in 1997.
The statement explains the “importance of peace and stability” across the Taiwan Strait – a heavily policed waterway that separates China and Taiwan. China sees democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province, but Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state.
It also sorts for a new investigation in China into the origins of Covid-19.