Chinese State Media Claim German Officials Endorse Muslim Concentration Camps

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows buildings at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center, believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. - As many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other …
GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

China’s state-run media on Friday claimed that Germany this week expressed support for Beijing’s anti-Muslim tactics in Xinjiang.

The claim, made by China’s state-run Xinhua news outlet, came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel landed in Beijing on Friday.

Merkel traveled to Beijing amid calls for her to take a tougher stance on China’s human rights record.

The U.S. and the United Nations assert that China has forced at least one million Uighurs and other Islam adherent minorities into concentration camps in Uighur Muslim-majority Xinjiang. China insists that the camps are “educational and vocational training centers” aimed at combating terrorism and religious extremism.

A Chinese delegation from Xinjiang concluded a four-day visit to Germany on Thursday, ahead of Merkel’s visit to Beijing, Xinhua reported. The delegation met with officials from the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior in Munich on Monday.

During the meeting, the German officials said that combating terrorism and radicalization through educational and vocational programs “are solid practices,” Xinhua reported, noting:

The German side said security is the precondition for economic growth and the development of tourism, and that combatting terrorism at its roots and eliminating radicalization through education and vocational training programs are solid practices.

The Xinhua report made it appear that the German officials accepted that China’s Muslim concentration camps are, indeed, “education and vocational training programs,” despite eyewitness testimony from survivors that Chinese officials perpetrate torture, indoctrination, and slavery in the “centers.”

Germany is facing the challenge of balancing human rights concerns and economic discussions with China, one of the European nation’s largest trading partners.

Berlin has spoken against the mistreatment of Muslims in Xinjiang. The European economic powerhouse joined the United States in blasting China over the internment of Muslims in Xinjiang during a closed-door United Nations Security Council meeting in July, Reuters reported.

On Friday, however, Deutsche Welle (DW) pointed out:

The German foreign minister has also been critical of China’s actions in the western province of Xinjiang … but discussions with Chinese authorities about human rights abuses are becoming more difficult and infrequent.

According to the United States, China is subjecting Muslim detainees to various human rights abuses, including torture and communist indoctrination. The so-called re-education or mind transformation camps are designed to eradicate prisoners’ religious and ethnic identities and replace them with loyalty to the inherently atheist Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

China claims that the facilities are voluntary vocational and training centers designed to combat religious extremism, terrorism, and separatism.

Arguing that it has eliminated major terrorist attacks over the last three years, Beijing has urged the international community to adopt its anti-Muslim tactics in Xinjiang.

Xinhua reported Friday:

The [Chinese] delegation also hopes to exchange experience with the German side on deradicalization and how to resist international terrorist forces.

Harald Pickert, [the] inspector with the Bavarian police, said at the meeting that terrorism is the common challenge facing both Germany and China.

Although no terrorist attacks have taken place recently in Germany, counter-terrorism work cannot become lax, he added.

The Chinese delegations also discussed Beijing’s tactics in Xinjiang with the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Wednesday.

On Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper cautioned European allies against cozying up to communist China. He argued that Beijing is seeking to expand its global influence by leveraging economic power and pilfering technology.

“I would caution my friends in Europe – this is not a problem in some distant land that does not affect you,” he said in London.

The Muslim world has been mostly silent on China’s crackdown against Islam adherents within its borders. Several Muslim-majority countries, including China’s “all-weather ally” Pakistan, have even come out in support of Beijing’s’ oppressive tactics in Xinjiang. Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has lambasted India over its activities in New Delhi-administered Kashmir.

Khan has condemned New Delhi for revoking Indian Kashmir’s autonomy, claiming the move will lead to “genocide.”

In a series of strongly-worded tweets this week Khan said:

India’s violation of all international laws including humanitarian laws is there for the world to see. So why is the world silent? Is the international community’s humanity dead when Muslims are being persecuted?

Ironically, China has also accused India of trying to carry out “ethnic cleansing” in Kashmir.

Nuclear-armed China, Pakistan, and their mutual rival India all have competing claims to territories within the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

China considers its Kashmir territories — Aksai Chin in the Indian controlled part and the Shaksgam Valley in the Pakistani portion — to be part of Xinjiang.

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