China on June 14 accused the Group of Seven (G7) of “political manipulation” after it criticised Beijing over its human rights record in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, in a communique after a three-day summit in England.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London said in a statement that the G7 “takes advantage of Xinjiang-related issues to engage in political manipulation and interfere in China’s internal affairs, which we firmly oppose.”

The statement accused the G7 of “lies, rumours and baseless accusations”.

Human rights groups allege that China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region into internment camps, which Beijing says is to eradicate Islamic extremism.

The G7 communique read: “We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

In a June 12 statement, the embassy spokesman had said: “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.

“We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”