The Turkish pro-government daily “Yeni Safak” is accusing the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ignoring China’s 10 million Uighur Muslims of Xinjang province (45% of the population) during his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday.
The paper alleges that “the Uighur community both inside and outside China had expected bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, to raise the issue of China’s human rights violations against ethnic Uighurs”.
The Crown Prince is blamed for attempting to strengthen Saudi-Chinese relations instead of trying to challenge the “cultural, religious and economic discrimination” against the Turkic Muslim group.
What the Turkish newspaper seems to forget is the double standards it uses to criticize China’s treatment of the Uighur minority, conveniently forgeting to criticize accordingly standard treatment of the much larger (around 25% of the total population) Kurdish minority in Turkey.
According to Mohammed bin Salman’s words, “we respect and support China’s right to take counter-terrorism and de-extremism measures to safeguard national security. We stand ready to strengthen cooperation with China,” bin Salman said, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
As the pro-government media outlet clarifies, “Turkey earlier this month slammed China’s systematic assimilation policy for Uighur Turks”, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy calling it “a great embarrassment for humanity”.