During his recent visit to China, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has praised China’s “anti-extremism” measures, which, according to human rights groups and eye witness accounts, include the illegal detention of Uighur Muslims, the forced separation of families, the use of torture, and the forced conversions from Islam to the state-sponsored Communist ideology.
In a visit to China for a $10 billion dollar deal to support a new refining and petrochemical complex in China as part of his larger Asia tour, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman spoke to what he implied as being reasonable measures by China towards “extremist” groups, which, under China’s definition, included the ethnic minority Uighur Muslims who are being targeted by the Chinese state for simply being Muslim.
Speaking to reporters, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman stated:
We respect and support China’s rights to take counter-terrorism and de-extremism measures to safeguard national security. We stand ready to strengthen cooperation with China.
Chinese Premier Xi Jinping also stated that Saudi Arabia and China must cooperate “to prevent the infiltration and spread of extremist thinking”.
These worrying statements, which imply that the genocidal tactics used by the Chinese state against the Uighur Muslims are legitimate, come after the pointed silence by Chinese authorities over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul by the Saudi state.
This alliance between Saudi Arabia and China, where international law and international human rights mean nothing, should not be taken lightly as the number of Uighurs held in detention camps across China has reached to almost a million. Only recently there have been reports of Chinese authorities forcing Uighur Muslims to consume pork and drink alcohol for the Chinese Lunar New Year in an attempt to combat “extremism”.
As Saudi Arabia continues to display inaction towards safeguarding human rights and continues to commit atrocities like the war in Yemen and the killing and torturing of its own citizens accused of dissidence, it becomes even more worrying when Saudi Arabia then extends its reach towards other questionable states like China who are also engaging in acts of human rights abuses.