What Does China’s Brokering Restoration Of Iran-Saudi Relations Mean For Uyghurs? – OpEd

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Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two Muslim rival states in the Middle East, held a ceremony to restore diplomatic relations in Beijing, China. The two countries will have two months to finalize the placement of ambassadors. This development could have significant implications for the region and the world as well as for Uyghurs.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries for years and competing for political and factional influence in the Muslim world.

China and others started to promote this diplomatic victory as beneficial for the Middle East and the world. 

However, the fact that China is the reason for the restoration of relations between these two rival Muslim nations may not be good news for the West and U.S. while the U.S. has been criticized for its past war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.  

China, a major U.S rival took the opportunity to expand its sphere of influence in the region and to play an active role in world politics to promote its image and increase its power.

The rally of the corrupt Muslim World around China is bad for Uyghurs

It is good to have a peace deal between any rivals anywhere in the world, but not by coordination of criminals who might use the deal as credentials to go ahead with their genocidal policies against Uyghurs and others.

It is a well-known fact that the government of China has been carrying out genocidal policies against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims for years, and Iran and Saudi among other most of Muslim countries  have been indifferent to it and even supported China’s anti-muslim campaigns in Uyghuristan and inland Chinese provinces.

The fact that the communist country, which has been carrying out a genocidal policies against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims for years, is instrumental in bringing together two Muslim rivals highlights the moral corruption and diplomatic weakness of the officials in the Muslim world. Islam requires Muslims to be harmonious and cooperative with each other, to maintain peace and cooperation, and to carry out beneficial and positive public relations with the outside world. 

This deepens the ties between Criminal China and two authoritarian Muslim countries and their allied nations and rallies them around China which makes it even harder to hold China accountable over human rights.

Improved China’s global image undermines the efforts to urge China to reform its policies

For years, China has been using its increasing global influence and rising image as a respected global power to help the ruling Chinese Communist Party cements its power in China and get more support from the people.

The peace deal between Iran and Saudi with China’s brokerage gave China momentum as a peacemaker as opposed to the US image as an ideological warmonger. But China’s success in dealing with peace between rival nations makes it harder to organize the international community to force China to change its human rights policies.

The improvement of the Chinese global image comparatively undermines the image of its rival U.S and U.S led actions at the world stage including human rights investigation at U.N. while many nations in the Middle east, southeast Asia and Latin America, and Africa still want to maintain economic relationships and normal diplomacy with China. Now they have better reasons to argue for not standing with the West on Uyghur issues because they choose to stand as “Peacemakers “rather than a trouble maker.

Over the years, China has been accusing the U.S. of using the Uyghur genocide topic as a tool to undermine China’s global image and contain its rise. While the majority of the Western countries condemn China over the Uyghur genocide, a majority in the global south constitutes to avoid talking of Uyghurs or supporting China.

Whether it succeeds or not, China’s diplomatic efforts to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine and its propaganda about it also give Chinese leader Xi credit for his effort as leader of the order. That is why the Chinese government propagated China’s 12-point deal and Xi’stalking with Zelenysky as the most effective way to make a peace. That is also one of the reasons why Xi is so confident to portray himself as a global leader and peacemaker and openly criticized the U.S. over human rights and its role in the middle east.

China uses its global influence and peacemaker image to get away with its genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and undercut global efforts to hold it accountable.

The West needs to reconsider its long-term strategic goals and policies in the global south it also needs to prioritize the policies of supporting Uyghur human rights in its diplomatic efforts in the middle east and other regions and educate them with facts,  while Uyghur needs to improve their advocacy capacity and efforts in the Middle East and African countries.

Tahir Imin Uyghurian is a Uyghur scholar and works for Asian American Advancing Justice, a civil rights organization based in Washington, DC, and founder of Uyghur Times.

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