Pompeo urges Central Asian countries on Xinjiang

Voice of America reports:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged Kazakhstan to join Washington in pressing China over its treatment of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region…

Pompeo, speaking on February 2 during a visit to Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, said he raised the issue in talks with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi…

Tleuberdi, whose government has so far refused to criticize China over Xinjiang, made no comment on the issue and focused instead on economic and security cooperation.

Pompeo also went to Uzbekistan. Per Reuters:

Uzbekistan on Monday gently resisted Washington’s efforts to rally China’s central Asian neighbors against Beijing over its treatment of Muslim minorities, a contentious issue for the region which has close economic ties to China…

“We want to see Central Asia as a region of stable development, prosperity and cooperation, and we would really not like to feel on ourselves unfavorable political consequences in relation to some competition in our region between large powers,” Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said.

—Jeremy Goldkorn