A farmer picks cotton in a field in Hami, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in the fall of 2020. [Photo by Pilates/For chinadaily.com.cn] Malicious lies and rumors will fall apart before facts and truth, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday, and reiterated China's determination to resolutely defend its national sovereignty, security, dignity and honor. Hua made the remark after showing reporters a video in which Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff of former United States secretary of state Colin Powell, suggested the Central Intelligence Agency exploit the Uygur ethnic group to cause unrest in China. "As admitted by this US official, the so-called issue in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is just a strategic conspiracy with an attempt to disrupt China from within and contain its development," Hua said. She said the sensational false accusations made by the US and its allies over Xinjiang such as "forced labor", "forced sterilization" and "genocide" are akin to a play staged by the US, and some politicians and media outlets have played a very disgraceful role. Some of them colluded with anti-China forces to produce rumors and smears against China. Others, out of ideological prejudice, would rather believe in the lies concocted by the anti-China elements than listening to the voice of the 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and seeing the fact that Xinjiang enjoys development and progress, Hua added. "We solemnly inform the US side that China is neither Iraq nor Syria nor the late Qing Dynasty trampled by the Eight-Power Allied Forces," Hua said, adding that it's time for the curtain to fall on the US-staged play. Also on Friday, the ministry announced sanctions on nine individuals and four entities from the United Kingdom that maliciously spread lies and disinformation after the UK cited the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang and imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and one entity. "No rumors can discredit the fact that Xinjiang's human rights situation is progressing, and no conspiracy can shake the determination of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to work together in unity," said Zhu Hailun, former deputy head of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang People's Congress. Zhu is also one of four officials being sanctioned by the EU, the US, Canada and the UK.