China urges Oman citizens to invest in Xinjiang despite Uyghur 'genocide'
China urged Oman's citizens to invest in and travel to Xinjiang province on Tuesday, despite Beijing being accused of committing a genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities there.
Chinese authorities from Xinjiang and the country's embassy in Oman held an online session called "Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land" to promote the region, according to the Times of Oman.
Oman's population is overwhelmingly Muslim, with around 86 percent of the country's residents following the Islamic faith.
Nasser Al-Busaidi, Oman's Beijing envoy, spoke in praise of the situation in Xinjiang and noted he had visited the province two years ago, according to the Chinese Communist Party's China Daily newspaper.
"I'm impressed with the fast economic development of the region and I can see how happy people are," he is quoted as saying. "More importantly, the region has eradicated terrorism and religious extremism."
"I hope more people from Oman can travel to Xinjiang and see it for themselves," he reportedly added.
"With the support of the central government and the Xinjiang people, the region will surely have a brighter future."
Counter-terrorism is a pretext often used by China to justify its persecution of Xinjiang's Muslim ethnic groups.
Beijing has long persecuted the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minority groups from China's Xinjiang province 👇https://t.co/hau9IB5Dnp— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) April 13, 2022
There are an estimated one million Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims detained in camps, which Beijing claims are providing "education".
Rights groups, however, have accused Chinese authorities of committing horrific abuse against detainees, including torture, systematic rape, and forced sterilization.
Chinese ambassador Li Lingbing however, did not mention this in the session, instead describing Xinjiang as "the gateway from China to the West."
She also called it "a key part of [Beijing's] Belt and Road initiative", referring to a controversial investment programme that sees China help build infrastructure abroad, but which have been described as an attempt to gain dominance over poorer nations.
The United States has formally accused China of committing genocide against the Uyghurs, as have the parliaments of Canada and the United Kingdom and numerous human rights groups.
The New Arab has contacted Oman's Foreign Ministry for comment.