China on Thursday criticised the US for questioning a violent clash in the country’s northwest frontier Xinjiang which left 21 people dead on Tuesday.
The US state department has called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident which took place in the Kashgar area of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Exiled Uyghur groups complain of discrimination against the community which is in majority in the region.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday that the US should be more sympathetic to the violence as both countries were “victims of terrorism.”
Hua, speaking at the regular press briefing, said the US was making absurd accusations against Chinese policies that ensure “the rights, including the freedom of religion, of people from all ethnic groups.”
“We are firmly opposed to the U.S. in inverting black and white and confusing right and wrong. They are not only not condemning the violent terrorist incidents, but are making absurd accusations against China's ethnic policy,” Hua said, adding that the US should look in the mirror.
The clash, described by the region's information office as a “severe, violent, terror incident”, happened after three community workers in Selibuya township, Bachu county, found several suspicious people and knives in a house on Tuesday
On Thursday, state media reported that calm had “returned to Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region following a deadly terror attack.”
Mutalif Wubuli, commissioner of Kashgar prefecture, told China Daily the violent attack was properly dealt with and public order in Selibuya has been restored, and eight suspects have been arrested.
“People's lives are back to normal in Selibuya, and the arrested suspects are being questioned by police,” the commissioner said.
Qi Baowen, commander of the Xinjiang Armed Police, told state media that consequences of the incident were relatively severe because there are many casualties.
In March, courts in Kashgar sentenced 19 people for their involvement in organised terror activities and for spreading extreme religious information via Internet and cellphones.
The region has been on the front line of battling separatists, extremists and terrorists. The July 5, 2009, riot in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, left 197 dead.