Commentary

China`s repression of Muslim Uyghurs making our relationship difficult

24 January 2021 Editorial Desk


As Joe Biden was set to be inaugurated as the US new president on Wednesday, the Trump administration just hours before leaving the office had declared that the Chinese government is committing genocide, repression and crimes against Muslim Uyghurs in China's northwestern Xinjiang province.
The declaration follows a Biden statement that he carried out throughout the 2020 presidential election campaign. Mr Biden's campaign team had referred to the oppression of Uyghurs as genocide during the campaign, saying that he stood against it "in the strongest terms".
The move, according to the western media reports, was the Trump administration's final action on China, made on its last full day, and is the culmination of years-long debate over how to punish what many consider Beijing's worst human rights abuses in decades. We think the decision was good and right, but it's too late.
Mike Pompeo, in one of his last acts as Donald Trump's secretary of state, adopted the harshest language in its description of the atrocities as an act of "genocide." On the other hand, Antony Blinken, President Joe's Biden nominee who succeeded Mr Pompeo, said that he agreed with it.
But the outgoing secretary of state's statement, and Blinken's agreement with it, mark a step change in American rhetoric surrounding Xinjiang, where more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslims have been   
sent to camps for "deradicalisation" and where women have been subjected to forced sterilisations and abortions to limit the growth of the Uyghur population.
However, the Chinese government rejected the allegation saying Pompeo's comment on Xinjiang is just another one of his ridiculous lies. Genocide has never happened in China and will never happen in China.
Now China is greatly involved in our various massive development projects, including the capital's metro rail system and the gigantic Padma Bridge. We appreciate for this. But the Chinese government's atrocities of Muslim minorities there cannot be justified in any way. They should be respectful to people of all religions.         
Though the America has uttered the word genocide, the question is whether other Western governments will say it, too. This month, Canada and Britain made vague announcements about steps they would take to block imports of goods made with forced labour. Last month, the European Union (EU) agreed an investment treaty with China that paid only lip service to the issue of forced labour.
In response to the revelations about China's programme of so called "re-education" camps for Uyghur Muslims, member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), including its powerful member Saudi Arabia, have also stayed silent yet. Such indifference to modernity has made Muslim countries so unimportant internationally. Oil money has not earned honour to these countries. They are exploited but they are not treated worth anything of importance. For any Muslim country such position is dishonourable.
International condemnation for genocide of Muslims notwithstanding, in our relationship as   a Muslim country with China is causing tension. China has to respect human rights and accept that the country belongs to the people and not to the communist party. China has plenty of money and making easy investments. So many countries welcome their investments. But human rights is a people's issue and the same will not be forgotten even where human rights are flouted.

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