China is waging a global campaign against the Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority concentrated in its western frontier of Xinjiang. In the last two years, the country has ordered tech companies to spy on their phones, outlawed Muslim practices like wearing a beard or going to prayers, and detained at least one million Uighur Muslims in prison-like detention centers.
Daniel Greenfield The war of letters began when 22 countries penned a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning China’s treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minority communities.
The letter in defense of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang was signed by France, Germany, Canada, Sweden and 18 other, mostly Western and European, countries. The case of the missing Muslim signatories was solved when the People’s Republic of China fired back with its own letter signed by 37 countries.
This letter in defense of China’s crackdown on Islam was signed by 16 Muslim countries. While some of the Muslim signatories were drawn from African countries, the letter was also signed by ambassadors for the leading Arab governments including Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait. Pakistan, the world’s second largest Muslim country, also signed on.
In fact, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — a 57-Muslim country consortium that calls itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world” issued a report saying that it “commends the efforts of the People’s Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens; and looks forward to further cooperation between the OIC and the People’s Republic of China.”
While Western governments wailed about Muslim human rights in China, the leading Sunni nations of the world signed off on a letter praising “China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” Mandatory abortions, organ harvesting and the mass murder of millions are remarkable achievements.
No doubt about it.
The world’s top Muslim governments didn’t just settle for abstract praise of China’s human rights. Instead they explicitly defended China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang.
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers,” the letter reads. “The past three consecutive years has seen not a single terrorist attack in Xinjiang and people there enjoy a stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security.”
The war of letters humiliated Western governments which had failed to convince a single Muslim country to sign on to a letter criticizing China’s crackdown on Muslims. And they humiliated the Muslim signatories who demonstrated that China could intimidate them into endorsing a crackdown on Islam.
The People’s Republic of China’s idea of de-radicalization measures had allegedly included forcing Muslims to drink alcohol and eat pork, a ban on beards, hijabs and the name Mohammed.
Even Qatar, whose Al Jazeera propaganda outlet has broadcast claims of Islamist oppression in Xinjiang, was finally forced to sign on to a letter that effectively disavowed what its own media has been saying.
The Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority, its Islamists had sought to set up a separatist Turkic Islamic state, and the Islamist regime in Turkey had been vocal about their cause. Erdogan, the Islamist thug running Turkey, had in the past accused China of genocide. This year, the spokesman for Turkey’s foreign ministry had described China’s crackdown on Islamists as a “great cause of shame for humanity”. The spokesman had accused China of engaging in torture and brainwashing in concentration camps.
But then Erdogan, the most aggressive national exponent of Islamist causes in the region, visited China, and declared, “It is a fact that the peoples of China’s Xinjiang region live happily in China’s development and prosperity.” Then he told critics to keep quiet to avoid spoiling Turkey’s relationship with the PRC.
The People’s Republic of China had attained the complicity of the world’s most vocal Turkish nationalist in its crackdown on Turkic nationalism and won the support of the tyrant who had transformed Turkey from a secular democracy into an Islamist banana republic for its enforced secularization of Muslims.
It’s hard to imagine a greater diplomatic triumph.
What does China have that we don’t? Few of the 16 Muslim countries on the list are worried about the PRC’s military force. Instead, the Communist dictatorship has effectively leveraged its economic power in its national interest.
It has also made it clear that it will not tolerate criticism of its domestic policies. China was able to get not only Muslim countries, but the worldwide sponsors of Islamism, to sign on to its letter because they understood that crossing the PRC would carry a serious economic price.
The United States hands out foreign aid and trade agreements to countries no matter what they do. After getting caught harboring Osama bin Laden, we’re still dispensing at least $370 million in foreign aid to Pakistan. That’s down from $2.7 billion at the height of the Obama era. But still no small sum.
The PRC would never dole out $370 million to a country involved in undermining its national security.
But in the United States, cutting off foreign aid to a country, no matter how awful, is nearly impossible. The worse a country treats us, the harder we work to win that country over with extensive outreach.
The People’s Republic of China doesn’t view insults and threats as an incentive for outreach. Instead it uses its economic clout to reward or punish countries based on how those countries treat China.
The PRC does not dedicate its diplomacy to saving the planet, ending all wars, or any of the delusional nonsense that occupies American diplomats in between expensive lunches and pointless conferences. Its diplomacy is a blunt instrument meant to achieve simple ends. And, that makes it far more effective.
The war of letters demonstrated that China could recruit 16 Muslim countries to endorse forcing Muslims to eat pork, while Western countries couldn’t get even one to sign on in opposition.
MUCH MORE ABOUT China’s Uighur Muslims