PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE UYGHER MUSLIMS

PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE UYGHER MUSLIMS

Muslims across the world are shocked about the continued horrific news of Chinese concentration camps and clamp-down on the Uygher Muslims in the Xinjiang Province, something which is now getting significant global media coverage.

In August 2018 a United Nations panel revealed more than one million Uygher Muslims were estimated in detention in “counter-extremism centres”, and “another two million have been forced into so-called re-education camps for political and cultural indoctrination”. [1]

Since then and under the borrowed Western banner of ‘fighting terrorism’, more information of the Chinese oppression, torture, sexual violence, separation of parents from their children has been revealed by mostly Muslim media outlets to raise awareness of the plight of the Uygher Muslims. Large numbers of Muslims around the world have galvanised to raise their voices in support of their Uyghur brothers and sisters.

Western media outlets were relatively quiet on this matter, however, over the last two years they have raised the plight of the Uyghur Muslims putting pressure on China to respond.

In October 2020, the US and EU used the United Nations Human Rights Committee to criticise China over its policies on the Uyghur Muslims. This resulted in 43 countries signing the statement criticising China on the existence of re-education camps in Xinjiang.

The US has also warned its companies on doing business in Xinjiang and has also threatened to blacklist some Chinese companies. On 9 Nov 2021 the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said in a report it was “gravely concerned” that the Chinese government “may be committing genocide”. [2]

After years of inaction and dealing with the Chinese under normal political and diplomatic protocols, why is there now an awareness campaign and sudden pressure by Western countries and media on China? Have the US and UK suddenly grown a moral compass by which they seek to stop the oppression of the Uyghur Muslims in China? Whilst allowing the oppression and killing of Muslims in other places such as Palestine, Kashmir and Syria?

No-one is fooled by the West’s sudden criticism of China’s Xinjiang policy. It is now in their interest to try and expose the Chinese policy towards the Muslims in Xinjiang. What would this interest be? It is to contain China’s economic growth and political reach and halt China’s ambitions. Exposing China’s treatment of its citizens in one part of the west placing pressure on China in order to embarrass her globally as a nation that is authoritarian and undertakes Human Rights abuses.

The West’s audacity has no boundaries. On the one hand they expose regimes for doing what they themselves have done and somehow think the world will fall for their fake gestures. For example, occupying Iraq and Afghanistan: killing over a million people in Iraq and thousands in Afghanistan, allowing Palestine to be occupied and usurped every day and causing destabilisation across many countries. What type of moral high ground can the West claim whilst exposing the Chinese government?

What makes things even worse is the silence and in many cases the support of the Chinese government by the leaders in the Muslim world. For example, Imran Khan a few years ago said, “Frankly, I don’t know much about that.” More recently in June 2021 he refused to acknowledge and condemn the actions of the Chinese government by saying they have been “one of the greatest friends to us in our most difficult times,” and any conversations with Beijing on Xinjiang would happen “behind closed doors”. [3]

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman supported China’s right to undertake “anti-terrorism” and “de-extremism” measures [4]. In July 2021 President Erdogan of Turkey discussed with President of China Xi and talked about the potential for commercial and diplomatic ties [5] between the two countries instead of accounting and exposing the Chinese for what they have been doing.

China has a huge dependency for oil from the Middle East, billions of raw materials from Indonesia such as iron and steel – $7.53B and mineral fuels, oils, distillation products – $7.04B and many more billions worth of raw materials. [6]  These are all essential mineral;s for China’s export driven economy.

Similarly, China depends on Central Asia for trade and raw materials worth billions. In fact, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) through which China hopes to grow even more and dominate the region of the Middle East, Asia, parts of Europe and North Africa with its trade, goes right through this region. If China felt threatened in this initiative alone, it would think twice about the Uygher issue. China has for long realised its dependency on the world’s oceans is a major vulnerability and she has been searching for alternative supply routes to circumvent the Straits of Malacca which could be blockaded. Central Asia and Pakistan are the key alternatives for China and her dependency will only grow in the future placing these nations in a strong position if these choke points were cut. In leaked excerpts from unpublished documents that were put online in November 2021 this vulnerability was admitted by Xi Jinping: “In one 2014 speech covered by the leak, Xi argues that the belt and road initiative, his signature foreign policy project, requires a stable domestic security environment. He asserts that the entire country’s national security and the achievement of China’s major goals in the 21st century will be in jeopardy if the situation in southern Xinjiang is not brought under control.”

This clearly demonstrates if a few governments of the Muslim world took action by boycotting or stopping imports and exports to China and used their  strategic advanates of China, she would be extremely vulnerable


[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/8/10/one-million-muslim-uighurs-held-in-secret-china-camps-un-panel

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/world/asia/us-holocaust-museum-china-uyghurs-report.html

[3] https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/22/asia/imran-khan-xinjiang-axios-intl-hnk/index.html

[4] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/2/23/saudi-crown-prince-defends-chinas-right-to-fight-terrorism

[5] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/14/turkeys-erdogan-chinas-xi-discuss-uighurs-in-phone-call

[6] https://tradingeconomics.com/indonesia/exports/china

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