A delegation of 32 envoys and senior diplomats from 30 Muslim-majority countries have paid a visit to China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learn about the region's economic and social development.
The five-day visit took place last week and included envoys from countries including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan. The delegation visited the provincial capital Urumqi in addition to Kashgar and Aksu prefectures. They were met by Ma Xingrui, secretary of the Party Committee of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
A spokesperson for the foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying said the diplomats visited mosques, Islamic schools, museums, old city renovation, grassroots communities, technology enterprises, green development and rural revitalisation projects.
What do Muslim countries have to gain from visiting Xinjiang? Does it improve bilateral relationship in any way? What are the pros and cons of such visits? Some people may think it's because they're genuinely curious, but wouldn't a surprise visit incognito be more appropriate if they're genuinely curious about Xinjiang?
It sounds more plausible that they're doing this for a specific purpose and not because they are curious about Xinjiang in any way whatsoever.