China, Russia Slam US Report on Human Trafficking
China and Russia are slamming a U.S. report that cited both countries among the world's worst in fighting sex trafficking and forced labor.
In its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, the U.S. State Department dropped Beijing and Moscow to its lowest possible rating, putting them at the same level as North Korea and Iran.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Thursday called the report "arbitrary," saying Washington should take an "objective and partial" view of its efforts to fight human trafficking.
In Moscow, Russia's foreign ministry suggested the State Department was simply ranking countries according to their degree of sympathy with Washington. It threatened to retaliate against any sanctions that could result from the designation.
China Sentences Uighurs to Jail on 'Religious Extremism' Charges
Chinese courts in the predominantly Muslim, northwest region of Xinjiang have sentenced 19 ethnic Uighurs to prison for inciting religious extremism and other related charges.
The official Legal Daily said Thursday the toughest sentence of six years in jail was given to a suspect who posted Internet material promoting holy war and ethnic hatred.
Some of the other suspects, it said, were given between two and five years in jail on other charges, including creating a public nuisance and spreading rumors online.
While the report did not specify the ethnicity of the suspects, their names indicated they were from the Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim Uighur community.
China says it faces a growing threat from Uighur extremists who want to form a separate state called East Turkistan. Many rights groups say Beijing is exaggerating the threat to justify its heavy police presence and close monitoring or Muslim institutions.