The cost that keeps Muslim countries silent on the Uyghur genocide in China

Recently Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he “accepts” the Chinese version regarding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province. Khan, a fierce critic of Islamophobia, said the Chinese version of bringing about “improvement in society” was much better than the model followed by Western democracies. In fact, he praised the Chinese Communist Party for it.

China has called the mass detention camps where Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are transferred as “vocational education and training centers.” However, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have called these centers detention camps, which have nearly two million Uyghur Muslims, according to various research reports, and accuse China of committing genocide. and forcibly assimilating the Uyghurs by banning their religious practices and restricting their population growth.

China is also accused of using forced sterilization techniques on Uyghur women and of separating Uyghur children from their families. They are forced to learn Mandarin and are kept away from religious practices. Numerous investigative reports using satellite images have also revealed that China is destroying Uyghur mosques.

China is also accused of using forced sterilization techniques on Uyghur women and of separating Uyghur children from their families. They are forced to learn Mandarin and are kept away from religious practices. Numerous investigative reports using satellite images have also revealed that China is destroying Uyghur mosques.

Additionally, as detailed in numerous reports, China uses Uyghur Muslims as forced labor. Yet the Prime Minister of Pakistan and other Muslim countries praise this model.

In 2019, nearly 37 countries, in a letter sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended China’s policy in Xinjiang. The letter accused Uyghur Muslims of spreading terror and extremism and justified China’s actions as counterterrorism measures aimed at uprooting Uyghur Muslims.

Notably, 16 of the 37 countries have large Muslim populations, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Kuwait, Somalia and Sudan. The countries are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing 1.9 billion Muslims. This explains why even the OIC is silent on the Uyghur genocide.

In the past, Malaysia has defied requests for the extradition of Uyghurs to China and promised to continue this policy, but the government there rarely spoke about the Uyghur genocide taking place in China. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, once again a “staunch” critic of Islamophobia, has avoided criticizing China on the issue.

Turkey, which has around 50,000 Chinese Uyghurs over the years, has changed its Uyghur policy to become pro-China. According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Turkey was a safe haven for Uyghur refugees in the past, but not anymore. Although Turkey’s extradition treaty signed with China is pending final approval, it has already started detaining Uyghurs and putting them under strict surveillance. He has reportedly started deporting Uyghur refugees to China via third countries like Tajikistan, a predominantly Muslim country.

But why are these Islamic nations silent about China’s repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang? This may be due to Chinese investments and loans in those countries.

China has invested around $ 1.3 trillion in Muslim-majority countries if you add up investments made over the past 15 years and current and future economic agreements. Also, the calculation here does not include secret loans granted by China that borrowers are forced not to reveal, obviously by a confidentiality clause, as shown in a study by Georgetown University.

How does $ 1.3 trillion add up?

Past investments: According to statistics available from the Investment Tracker of the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, countries with more than 50% Muslim population saw $ 575 billion in investment from China between 2005 and 2020.

Most of the investments were made in several economically poor countries like Pakistan, Maldives and Sudan and Central Asian countries in the form of loans, sometimes paid at higher interest rates, as revealed by various research studies. It also means that the country receiving Chinese investments should give contracts to Chinese companies only if the loans and funds involve infrastructure development.

Muslim countries, such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Iran, Egypt and Turkey have captured much of the investment of $ 575 billion, or nearly $ 422 billion. Chinese investments and loans in five Central Asian Muslim countries such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan amount to $ 26.4 billion.

Chinese investments in Muslim countries

Chinese investments in all Gulf countries amounted to $ 83 billion while total investments during the same period in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, which are again dominated by Muslim majority nations, amounted to $ 197 billion.

Chinese investments present and future in Muslim countries: Country-specific media reports reveal that China has signed separate bilateral economic agreements with Muslim countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Egypt in a worth $ 736 billion. And as said before, even this list was not exhaustive.

Current and future agreements with China

If we add past, present and future economic agreements in Muslim-majority countries, China’s investments reach $ 1.311 billion or $ 1.311 billion. China is using economic leverage to appease majority Muslim countries to maintain their position over Uyghur Muslims. Most Muslim nations seem more than willing to comply, even if it means gross human rights violations and repression from their own community and the suppression of their own religion.

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