Mesut Ozil Has Been "Deleted" By China After Comments

Mesut Ozil Has Been

"I don't know if Mr Ozil has ever been to Xinjiang personally but he's been completely deceived by fake news and false statements have influenced his judgment", he said.

"Hua called Pompeo's statement "utterly defamatory and groundless", adding that Beijing urged relevant USA officials to face the facts, be objective and fair, and not adopt double standards on counter-terrorism, let alone to use this as an excuse to launch unwarranted attacks against China", referring to Beijing's claims that activities in Xinjiang are about stemming a terrorist threat in the region.

The Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester City will no longer be shown on television in China due to comments made by Gunners star Mesut Ozil.

"Korans are being burnt". They shut down their mosques. Religious scholars are being killed one by one.

It continued: "But Muslims are silent".

The Arsenal midfielder, who is of Turkish origin, posted messages on Twitter and Instagram on Friday, expressing support to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in Xinjiang.

The government said Ozil was welcome to visit the northwest region and "look around".

"Ozil's move has ruined his image among Chinese fans and will have serious implications for Arsenal", who distanced themselves from the comments, the editorial read.

Rights groups and experts say more than one million Uighurs and people of other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have been rounded up in the camps in the tightly-controlled region.

After initially denying the camps existed, China then described them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of "extremism" and violence.

The Arsenal incident follows reports that China's regional government in Xinjiang is destroying its computers after a high-profile leak to the "New York Times" exposed the indoctrination and harsh treatment of Uighurs in Chinese internment camps.

Arsenal posted on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, that the the content Ozil shared was "entirely Ozil's personal opinion".

Beijing increasingly uses the threat of loss of access to China's growing market as leverage to try to control what companies, sports teams, universities and others say or do overseas about political issues.

The furore, which has potentially damaging repercussions for Arsenal and the Premier League in the lucrative Chinese market, follows the opprobrium heaped on the National Basketball Association in October after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Rights were sold for $700m in a three-year deal that runs through 2022.

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