China says U.S. trying to incite instability with proposed orders to block Xinjiang imports

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry, when asked about reports that the United States may ban some imports from China’s Xinjiang region over alleged human rights violations, said this is a pretext to oppress Chinese customers and incite instability.

The U.S. has no right or qualification to intervene, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have prepared orders to block imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations - dismissed by China - they are produced with forced labour, although a formal announcement has been delayed.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Andrew Heavens