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China touts Gulf state support for treatment of Uyghurs

China says it has gained support on issues such as treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Persian Gulf states following talks in which they agreed to improve relations

BEIJING – China said on Friday it had secured support on issues such as the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in a number of Persian Gulf states following talks between their foreign ministers in which they agreed improve their relationships.

He said they “have expressed their opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs and the politicization of human rights issues.” They also rejected the “politicization of sport and reaffirmed their support” for China’s hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics which will open on February 4, he said.

China is accused of detaining more than a million Turkish Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region as part of a campaign to wipe out their traditional culture, language and beliefs. He claims Taiwan as a capricious province to be brought under his control by force if necessary.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates often issue statements against interference in their own affairs when faced with criticism of human rights violations.

The Arab Gulf states are also using vague and vague counterterrorism laws to prosecute militants accused of undermining stability and national cohesion. Again this week, Human Rights Watch said Saudi authorities were apparently preparing to deport two Muslim Uyghurs to China, where they are at serious risk of being arbitrarily detained and tortured.

The two men have been imprisoned since the end of 2020 without charge. The human rights group cited a Uyghur activist who said he had already documented five cases in which Saudi Arabia forcibly deported fellow Uyghurs to China in 2017 and 2018.

China and the GCC, meanwhile, agreed to establish a strategic partnership, complete negotiations on a free trade agreement “as soon as possible,” hold a China-GCC strategic dialogue and sign a plan. action 2022-2025 to “elevate bilateral relations to a new level,” Wang said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed “China’s strong support for the GCC countries to maintain their national independence, security and stability, and will continue to oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of the countries. of the GCC in the name of human rights, ”Wang said.

China also pledged to support GCC countries in establishing a multilateral dialogue to explore “the way in the Middle East to resolve conflicts and disputes in the region, and urged that countries non-regional organizations play a constructive role to this end, ”he said.

The visit came as world powers including China attempt to revive the tattered 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna.

Other participants in the meetings included the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was also in China, but it was not immediately clear whether he had joined the meetings with the others and Wang did not mention this in his comments.

Amirabdollahian tweeted on Friday that he had exchanged views with Wang on a “wide range of issues”, including the Vienna negotiations and that he had reached “an important consensus”. He hasn’t developed.

China and the United States are increasingly competing for influence in the Middle East, where Chinese companies have found markets for goods and services ranging from highways to military drones. China is heavily dependent on oil and gas from the Middle East, and Beijing has also maintained close ties with Iran amid its nuclear ambitions and disputes with other Gulf countries.


Associated Press reporter Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

ABC News

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