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China's ambassador to the United Kingdom overtly dismissed authenticated footage depicting prisoners blindfolded with shaven heads being loaded onto trains.
BBC host Andrew Marr sat in studio with Liu Xiaoming, pulling up "disturbing drone footage" that has gone viral on social media in the past couple days.
Marr said that "this is almost certainly over northern China, over Xinjiang. Can you tell us what is happening here?"
Xiaoming replied that he could "not see" before going on to say that this was not the first time Marr had shown him this footage.
When Xiaoming attempted to rationalize what was going on in the video by saying that Xinjiang is one of the most beautiful places in all of China, Marr fired back by saying that "ambassador, that is not beautiful coverage, however, is it?"
Marr continued: "Can I ask you why people are kneeling, blindfolded, and shaven, and being led to trains in modern China ... what is going on there?"
Xiaoming responded: "I do not know where you get this video tape..." Marr pressed him by asking what was going on in the particular video, but Xiaoming refused to concede that it was authentic coverage.
Marr then said that "these [the videos] have been going around the world, been authenticated by Western intelligence agencies, and by Australian experts who say these are Uyghur people being pushed onto trains and taken off."
Xiaoming went on to call into question the validity of "Western intelligence," saying that this could have been a false accusation against China. He continued by saying that the population of the area in question had more than doubled in the past 40 years, combatting that idea that a certain group of people had been persecuted.
Marr ended the segment by saying that, "according to your own local government's statistics, the population growth in Uyghur jurisdictions in that area has fallen by eighty-four percent between 2015 and 2018. Eighty-four percent."
Xiaoming refused to accept this statistical fact by saying "that's not right." He concluded that the Uyghur population in the area had more than doubled.