Islamabad: Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari says the US is playing the ‘Xinjiang card’ against China while keeping silent on Kashmir and Palestine.
The Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) hosted a unique webinar on the “New Cold War? Playing the Xinjiang card against China” as part of its flagship event series, “Friends of Silk Road (FOSR)”.
The webinar brought together over 35 online participants and featured six keynotes. Panelists discussed how the “Xinjiang map” is being used by the Western world, especially the United States, to achieve their foreign policy goals of pressuring China.
Speakers pointed out that laws such as the “Uyghur Forced Labor Bill” and other legislation and policies regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet were part of a broader “China containment” policy. .
A brief video was released explaining how the United States made the politically motivated decision to remove the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is recognized as a terrorist group by the United Nations, from its list of terrorist groups.
He discussed double standards by the United States to demonize China, despite it having been at war in the Muslim world for some decades. Federal Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari said during the webinar that the United States is involved in starting a new cold war with China, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires greater international cooperation.
She claimed the United States had created laws, such as the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Law, to sanction China for using the “Xinjiang map.” She asked why the United States had not taken action against the genocide of innocent Kashmiris by the
Indian occupying forces. She asked why the United States had not spoken out against the elimination of Palestinians from their homeland by the Israeli regime.
She pointed out that the United States was losing power in the international arena due to its imperialist approach. “He also created the military alliance, AUKUS, focused on fighting China in the Asia-Pacific region,” she said.
She said efforts to fight China in Southeast Asia include a massive influx of military equipment and military cooperation.
Dr Shireen Mazari said Pakistan faces the challenge of whether it will move towards economic prosperity, which is now a central norm of Pakistan’s national security policy, or whether it will be sucked into extensive militarization by the United States. She said the rational way is to support the opening up of the world through international trade through the Silk Road, BRI and CPEC projects.
Dr. Shireen Mazari concluded that Muslims have suffered the consequences of the US War on Terror and militarization and cannot afford to go down this path.
The Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, said political and economic power in the world was shifting from West to East. He agreed with Professor Jeffery Sachs who believes that the United States has not been able to compete economically with China.
He cited a study by Professor Graham Allison of Harvard University that found China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest high-tech manufacturer.
He linked this to a recent report that China recorded 8% growth in 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed out that despite its opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative, the United States has launched its own copycat project, Built Back Better World.
He cited an article by Leslie H. Gelb in The New York Times titled ‘Breaking China Apart’, which said the US would ‘stir up separatism in China’ if it did not align and discussed the approach of demonizing, damaging, and Destabilizing countries.
He pointed to a July 2020 survey by Harvard University’s Ash Center which found that more than 90% of Chinese people support the Chinese Communist Party because it has provided the Chinese people with stability, continuity, peace and stability. Senator Mushahid Hussain concluded that if the United States works to create divisions, conflicts and encourage confrontation, Pakistan will continue to support China in its fundamental national interests such as Xinjiang, Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and the BRI.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Religious Harmony and the Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi said US bills or statements regarding lack of religious freedom in Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia are baseless. He suggested that these statements are politically motivated rather than fact-based.
Dr. Ejaz Akram said the Xinjiang issue is a flashpoint, which is being used by Western groups to rally parts of the Muslim world against China. Professor Li Xinguang explained that the West fears unity between Confucian and Islamic civilizations.
Ms. Saba Aslam explained that in international politics, the Western world, which has a colonial mentality, uses narratives and sanctions to demonize others.
Ambassador Masood Khalid said the West aims to trigger a domino effect in areas of China, like Xinjiang, that it perceives as vulnerable.
Additionally, Gerald Mbanda from Rwanda presented the African perspective and Africa’s experience with colonialism.
The dialogue was moderated by Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director of the Pakistan-China Institute. A diverse audience of students, scholars and the media took an active part in this webinar.