BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- German football player Mesut Ozil seems to have been deceived by fake news and he should come to see for himself a real Xinjiang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press briefing in response to the Arsenal footballer's recent criticism on social media of China's Xinjiang policies.
"I don't know if Mr. Ozil has been to Xinjiang personally. But he seems to have been deceived by fake news, and his judgment has been influenced by untrue words," Geng said.
Ozil does not know that the Chinese government protects the freedom of religious belief of all Chinese citizens, including Uygurs, in accordance with the law, nor does he know China's counter-terrorism measures in Xinjiang are supported by local people of all ethnic groups, and no terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang for three consecutive years, he said.
"We welcome Mr. Ozil to come to Xinjiang, and walk around to have a look," Geng said. "So long as he has a conscience, can tell right from wrong and maintain an objective and impartial attitude, he will see a 'different' Xinjiang."