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China Cranks Up the Campaign to Lobby African Stakeholders on Xinjiang

Photo from a recent conference in Beijing where ambassadors from Burkina Faso, the Republic of Congo, and Sudan all enthusiastically endorsed China's policies in Xinjiang. Image via @WuPeng_MFAChina.

With Xinjiang now emerging as a core dividing issue in the increasingly acrimonious U.S.-China relationship, it appears that Beijing is leaning even more on its ties in Africa and other parts of the Global South as part of an effort to build a coalition to counter Washington’s well-documented accusations of widespread human rights violations in the Western Chinese region.

There was a noticeable increase earlier this year in messaging on Xinjiang from Chinese diplomats in Africa and Chinese propaganda outlets that broadcast on the continent. Now it appears they’re ramping up that effort even more with what appear to be newspaper columns written by sympathetic scholars, large-scale diplomatic events, and a coordinated social media outreach on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

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