04/06/2024, 10.54
Send to a friend

Money more than Islam: Arab world exalts Beijing and denies abuse of Uyghurs

Delegation of Palestinian and Arab politicians applaud the dragon's policies and call Western accusations of human rights violations false. For experts, China orchestrates trips to Xinjiang to conceal persecution of the Muslim minority. At the same time, it seeks to expand its influence in the Muslim (and global) world. 

Dubai (AsiaNews) - The silence of the Islamic world, especially the Middle East, on the human rights violations of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, the far west of China, which is counterbalanced by interested praise of Beijing, is entering a new chapter in recent days.

In fact, a delegation of Palestinian and Arab politicians "extolled" the dragon's policies and called reports of abuse by Western governments false during a recent visit to the area, triggering an indignant response - and criticism - from local experts and activists and international.

In reference to the visit, the Global Times, the official English-language newspaper of the communist party, explains that the delegation was led by Bassam Zakarneh, member of the Palestinian Revolutionary Council of Fatah; furthermore, it was made up of politicians from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan and Tunisia. On March 27, the head of the Communist Party of Xinjiang, Ma Xingrui, welcomed delegates in the capital Urumqi.

The aim of the visit, according to a report by Xinjiang Daily, was to show a general vision of the situation in the western region and convey to the international community the narrative of a peaceful and vibrant area.

This story is in stark contrast to the denunciations of the United States and Western chancelleries, which have repeatedly accused Beijing of pursuing a policy of genocide against the 11 million Uyghur Muslims, imprisoning, torturing and sterilizing those who do not comply. Accusations always rejected by Beijing, according to which the (alleged) concentration camps were in reality professional training centers which have now been closed.

Pro-Beijing newspaper reports say that, during the meeting with Ma, the delegation praised China's creative governance measures and "unprecedented progress in economic development".

The head of the delegation then stated that "people of all ethnic groups lead a good life, enjoy full freedom of religious belief and have smiles on their faces", even if the newspaper story does not indicate the names of those who did statements or attributed direct quotes. The document goes on to say that the delegation attacked the United States and other Western nations for allegedly "slandering" China's Xinjiang policy by fabricating baseless false accusations.

However, experts and scholars of the region point out that Beijing orchestrated every moment and all aspects of the visit, establishing a priori what the delegates could (or could not) see, in order to hide the persecution of the Uyghurs.

“Visitors should have been able to speak directly and freely” with residents living in the region, said Robert McCaw, director of the Government Affairs Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“China apparently wants to reach out to these leftist movements in the Arab world and use them for its own propaganda,” added Mustafa Akyol, senior fellow at Cato's Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. “The Arab world - he warns - should not be influenced by China” and its propaganda.

On several occasions in the past, analysts, NGOs and activist groups have shown how Beijing uses these visits to Xinjiang to conquer other Muslim groups and distance them from the sphere of influence of the United States and other Western powers.

The Chinese dragon has also supported the Palestinians, trying to expand its influence in the Middle East as has also emerged during the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by Beijing.

Ten months ago, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a visit to Beijing that he believed the Xinjiang issue, often framed as a human rights issue, was actually a battle against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

“China seeks to build consensus and strengthen its global influence,” said Ma Ju, a Hui Muslim scholar who lives in the United States. Meanwhile, Muslim nations may be increasingly less willing to criticize China because they need its political support and investment.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
The Christians of the Near East and Islamist ideology
Christians pray for peace in the Middle East, entrusted to the Holy Family
26/06/2021 12:07
Churches of the Middle East: witnesses of Jesus in a world with more shadows than lights
Ramos-Horta loses E Timor presidential election, Guterres and Ruak in runoff
Middle Eastern Council of the Churches so that Christians do not disappear
12/05/2018 14:04


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”