China yesterday urged the US to condemn what Beijing has called terrorist attacks in Xinjiang instead of lecturing the country on human rights.
Twenty-five people including six police officers and six Uygurs were killed on Tuesday in a knife, axe and arson attack, the deadliest violence in the region since Urumqi was rocked by clashes in July 2009 that killed nearly 200 people.
Xinjiang spokeswoman Hou Hanmin was quoted by the Global Times as comparing the violence to the Boston Marathon bombings. The US State Department on Wednesday expressed regret at the loss of life and urged Beijing to "provide all Chinese citizens, including Uygurs, the due-process protections to which they're entitled".
The US refusal to condemn the attack showed double standards considering it had been the recent victim of a terrorist attack, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
"We simply oppose the US reversing black and white, confusing right and wrong, and continually refusing to condemn violent terrorist incidents, and instead, making wild accusations about Chinese policy towards ethnic minorities," she said. "We hope the US will turn a mirror on itself and all its own domestic problems instead of pointing fingers at other countries."
Police in Xinjiang were investigating eight suspects, with authorities reportedly accusing "terrorists" of ambushing police.
The Uyghur American Association urged the international community to dismiss the terrorism claims, saying it was a way of justifying extreme force.
US Ambassador Gary Locke was in Xinjiang with a delegation of American executives when the attacks took place.
Agence France-Presse, Reuters