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Islamic envoys say China is protecting minorities in Xinjiang after five-day visit

ENVOYS from 30 Islamic countries said they believe China is protecting the rights of the Uighur population in the semi-autonomous Xinjiang region after a five-day visit. 

Diplomats from countries including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan visited Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi along with Kashgar and Aksu prefectures from August 1 to 5. 

They were invited by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“The fruit here is so sweet, just like the life of people here,” Hassane Rabehi, Algerian ambassador to China, said. 

Mr Rabehi that he got to know the real situation of the people in the north-west Chinese province and, contrary to claims made by Western governments, the rights of all ethnic groups are well protected. 

The US and its allies have taken up claims by Uighur separatist groups that China has imprisoned large numbers of Uighurs, suppressed their culture and sterilised women to suppress the birth rate. The evidence provided for these claims has been hotly contested, emanating from limited sources including anti-China evangelist Adrian Zenz and the CIA-backed World Uighur Congress.

Few Muslim countries have accepted the accusations.

A letter signed by 45 Muslim countries in 2020 said: “It is an imperative to respect the basic facts rather than making unfounded allegations against China and interfere out of political motivations and bias.”

Mr Rabahi said that Algeria hopes to strengthen ties with Xinjiang on construction, education, agriculture and scientific research. 

Bruneian ambassador to China Pehin Dato Rahmani said that after years of effort, Xinjiang has made remarkable achievements in development and that different ethnic groups lived there harmoniously.

Earlier this year, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet resigned after she came under intense pressure following a visit to China. 

She was criticised for failing to find evidence of human rights abuses in China, including a genocide of the Uighur community.  

Anti-China NGOs had long demanded she visit Xinjiang to check allegations of mass incarceration of Uighurs, but dismissed the visit as a Chinese propaganda stunt as soon as it was agreed.

Her resignation was celebrated by the World Uighur Congress. Its advisor, Luke de Pulford, said that a “Uighur-led campaign” had “achieved its goal.” 

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