(Natural News) Abdulhakim Idris, an Islam scholar and inspector general of the World Uighur Congress, has a simple explanation of why Muslim countries turn a blind eye on issues surrounding China’s abuses of Muslim minorities.
“China has taken over most Islamic countries,” he said.
Speaking on Monday, April 19, at a virtual panel hosted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Campaign for Uighurs, Idris said China is using its economic power to create a diplomatic advantage. According to Idris, China is exporting its repressive regime mainly to the Islamic governments of Central Asia and the Middle East.
He noted that most Islamic countries remain silent over genocide in China despite having historically strong bonds with Uighur Muslims and that those countries are following the orders of the Chinese regime and backing China’s position on affairs related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong in the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Idris is the author of a new book, “Menace: China’s Colonization of the Islamic World & Uyghur Genocide,” which exposes the extent of the Chinese regime’s power over the Islamic nations and the Western world.
In January, the Trump administration declared China’s abuses of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide. The communist regime has detained more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in internment camps and subjected them to forced sterilization, forced abortion, torture, forced labor and the removal of children from their families. (Related: Chinese surveillance firms helping CCP draft “standards” to allow surveillance systems to track ethnic minorities.)
Speaking at the virtual panel, human rights experts condemned Beijing’s efforts to spread disinformation about Uighur Muslims and exploit Islamic countries.
“China has falsely portrayed Uyghur Muslims as a threat to send them to concentration camps and deny them basic rights that millions of people have,” said Nihad Awad, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
China uses BRI to grow geopolitical influence
The Chinese government and state-controlled institutions are financing the massive construction projects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which several developing Muslim countries are a part of.
Since 2013, China has made the BRI a centerpiece of its plan to grow its geopolitical influence. The initiative pours billions of dollars into building roads, railways, ports, power plants and telecommunications infrastructure around the world.
The BRI includes 139 countries. They account for 40 percent of the global economy and 63 percent of the world’s population, according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Idris said China’s BRI had introduced a new form of colonialism. He stressed that China is the only winner in this economic welfare program as Chinese firms and workers are taking the lion’s share of infrastructure projects in developing countries.
“You can look at Pakistan to understand what happened to those who accepted this colonial order,” Idris said. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has admitted that the future of his country’s economy is now dependent on China.”
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a collection of infrastructure projects in Pakistan valued at $62 billion, caused a balance of payments crisis in the country that necessitated a bailout program from the International Monetary Fund.
Idris likened the Chinese regime to “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and accused China of hiding its crimes with propaganda. (Related: Chinese propaganda outlet pays $19 million to U.S. newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal).)
Meanwhile, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation President and CEO Andrew Bremberg warned that the Chinese regime could be exporting its abusive labor practices to the BRI countries. “The labor practices that China is engaged in many of these BRI countries do not comport with normal standard labor law, labor protections,” he said.
China lures countries into debt trap through BRI
China has lured many countries into a debt trap through the BRI. A new study led by AidData, a U.S. research lab at the College of William and Mary, showed that China’s loan contracts with emerging countries “have unusual secrecy provisions, collateral requirements and debt renegotiation restrictions.”
Researchers analyzed the legal terms of 100 Chinese loan contracts to 24 developing countries, many of which have participated in the BRI. They conducted an in-depth review over a 36-month period and found that China’s loan contracts contained unusual confidentiality clauses that prevented borrowing nations from disclosing the terms or sometimes even the existence of the loans.
In addition, Chinese lenders were given the freedom to cancel loans or accelerate repayment if they disagree with a borrower’s policies.
BRI, sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road, is an ambitious infrastructure project launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The original Silk Road surfaced during the westward expansion of China’s Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD). Trade networks were forged throughout what are today the Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as modern-day India and Pakistan to the south. Those routes extended more than four thousand miles to Europe.
Xi announced the initiative during official visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013. The plan is to create the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. The vast collection of development and investment initiatives would stretch from East Asia to Europe, significantly expanding China’s economic and political influence.
The Chinese leader’s vision included creating a vast network of railways, energy pipelines, highways and streamlined border crossings – westward through the mountainous former Soviet republics and southward to Pakistan, India, and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Xi subsequently announced plans for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road at the 2013 summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia. To accommodate expanding maritime trade traffic, China would invest in port development along the Indian Ocean, from Southeast Asia all the way to East Africa and parts of Europe.
Morgan Stanley has predicted China’s overall expenses over the life of the BRI could reach $1.2 to 1.3 trillion by 2027, though estimates on total investments vary.
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