LETTER: China does not deserve unjust attacks
Unfounded statements on the Uighur issue are unwarranted
Jane Raphaely’s letter on the movie Mulan contained sweeping and unfounded statements on the complex Uighur issue in China’s Xinjiang province “Disney’s disaster a dire warning”, September 13).
China is a multi-ethnic nation with 54 minority groups, whose political and religious rights are guaranteed by the constitution, which I personally witnessed “on the ground” in many parts of the country. Where is the outcry from all the other “oppressed” minorities?
Xinjiang, where 11-million Muslims live as part of a 26-million population, has benefited significantly from socioeconomic upliftment over the past few decades. In fact, the 57-member Organisation of Islamic States recently praised the Chinese government for its protection of the rights of Muslims in China.
China is confronted increasingly by separatist and terrorist activities, a result of religious extremism. Xinjiang has in fact suffered hundreds of extremist attacks, with many fatalities. This is a phenomenon many countries continue to grapple with, even our neighbour, Mozambique.
As with all countries, China has its shortcomings, but it does not deserve these unjust attacks, fuelled by frenzied and counterproductive Trump/Pompeo China-bashing. China, is after all, one of SA and Africa’s most important diplomatic and economic partners.
Gert Grobler, Former SA Ambassador to Spain, Japan and Madagascar. Presently senior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, Jinjiang China.
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