With China Now Facing Al-Qaida Could Human Rights Abuses Stop?


Now that President Barack Obama has received the honor of getting a Nobel Prize, some are calling on him to make China a partner for peace. But, with China’s tainted human rights record this may be a bit premature.

Aside from Obama’s prize, the other big news of the week has been Al-Qaida’s direct threat against the Communist country over the governments treatment of the Muslim minority in Urumqi, Xinjiang. As you may recall, in July the riots in Urumqi between the Chinese military and the Muslims in that part of the country made headlines around the world. China was accused of religious persecution against the religious minority and some compared it to China’s repression in Tibet.

Al-Qaida’s threat has sent the Chinese government in a frenzy, telling the media that there is no reason why the terrorist organization should make the country its target. Here is a snippet of what China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Ma Chaoxu said in a written statement on Saturday about the “improving” situation in Xinjiang:

Xinjiang has fully implemented the policies of equality of all ethnic minorities and religious freedom…

Here is what Ma said about Al-Qaida militant Abu Yahya al-Libi:

China has the confidence and capability to secure national security, and protect the safety of people’s lives and properties.

The reality is that China would not be able to be a peace partner until it stops their human rights violations. China had the threat from al-Qaida coming. It was just a matter of time before the terrorist organization targeted another world power. The US needs to pressure China to clean up its act and finally put an end to religious prosecution as well as human right violations against its people.

China has already demonstrated that it wants to help the US — China has been a key ally in talks with the North Korean government. The North Koreans depend on China’s support for food and other resources, that is why China has a lot of leverage on its communist neighbor. We’ve somewhat benefited from that relationship and the American government can now assist China with the Al-Qaida threat — sharing intelligence and other information that could help China crack down on any terrorist, but we should demand that the country quits violating the rights of its people in return. China cannot continue ignoring the pleas from human rights organizations and the UN.