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Xi-Mohamud Handshake Proves Opposing China on Xinjiang Isn’t a Diplomatic Death Sentence for Small Countries

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the China-Arab Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 9, 2022. Image via the Chinese Embassy in Somalia.

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was one of at least a dozen heads of state to do a brief meet-and-greet with Xi Jinping during the China-Arab summit in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

The interaction was wholly unremarkable, but the fact that Xi would even choose to meet with Mohamud and publish a photo is important, given that Somalia twice this year has aligned itself with China’s critics on the extremely sensitive issue of human rights in Xinjiang.

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