China's treatment of Uyghurs sparks anger near new embassy site in London
China plans to refurbish its embassy building and establish its biggest diplomatic mission in the world at a site in London. But the plan has already started facing backlash from some local councillors and residents.
Some people in the locality have said the embassy isn't welcome until Beijing stops its alleged mistreatment of Muslims in China. In the said locality, four in ten are Muslims -- the highest proportion than in any other borough in the United Kingdom.
China is believed to have detained up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in the far-western region of Xinjiang, according to the US State Department.
Beijing says it's providing vocational training and helping to deradicalise segments of the population to combat alleged Islamic terrorism and violence in the region.
But several reports have claimed inhuman activities at the site -- forced labour, forced sterilisations of women and sexual assault -- are rising.
Some local opposition councillors say that they too are concerned about the implications of embassy's move and want the issue debated at council meetings.
They, however, don't outright oppose the mission coming into their neighborhood.
Any problems with the embassy plans could prove troublesome for China's international image. At a ceremony to hand over the site to the Chinese mission in 2018, Ambassador Liu said he hoped the embassy would become a London landmark.
Demonstrators on Thursday gathered in dozens of cities around the world to protest China's treatment of certain groups in the country, including Uyghurs, Tibetans and people in Hong Kong.
The UK took some action against China following its implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, which has stifled a pro-democracy movement in the former British colony.
The UK has also condemned China several times over the camps in Xinjiang, including at the recent UN Rights Council meeting. Activists say they want so see the UK go further and impose sanctions on the people and organisations running the camps in Xinjiang.