China defends Thailand’s repatriation of illegal Uygur immigrants

Thailand repatriated more than 100 illegal Uighur immigrants on Wednesday, sparking protests from countries including the United States and Turkey.

China says it’s normal cooperation between countries as well as an international obligation, and it won’t accept politicization of the issue by foreign forces.

SOUNDBITE: HUA CHUNYING, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson
“A joint investigation by China and Thailand shows these repatriated Chinese minority citizens are illegal immigrants who have traveled to and stayed in Thailand through various channels. Illegal immigration using counterfeit passports violates law and disrupts the normal international order of exit and entry.”

The diplomat says some foreign governments and forces have ignored the facts and incorrectly termed these illegal immigrants “refugees,” thus criticizing the law-enforcement cooperation between China and Thailand and politicizing the issue.

She says these serve as connivance in illegal immigration and smuggling and a violation of relevant international treaties and law.

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