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Islamic communities in China & Kazakhstan


Islamic communities in China & Kazakhstan

Friday saw the close of China’s annual “Two Sessions”, the back-to-back meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Some 3,000 delegates had travelled to Beijing for the meetings, which opened on March 3rd against the backdrop of a trade war with the United States, a slowing economy, and increasing international suspicions concerning Chinese technology companies, especially Huawei.

But, although this was barely discussed at these meetings, concern ins increasing in the international community over China’s crackdown on religious expression on its Muslim minorities. At the beginning of March, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, meeting in Abu Dhabi, adopted a resolution on “safeguarding the rights of Muslim communities and minorities and commended China for its treatment of Muslims. The resolution attracted immediate criticism and accusations of kowtowing to economic pressures. Despite initial denials from China, the United Nations says a million Uyghurs have been detained in “political re-education camps” and Human Rights Watch reports that surveillance and repression in Xinjiang has increased dramatically over the past two years. Two weeks ago, producer Yvonne Tong visited China and Kazakhstan to talk to members of Islamic communities there.

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