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International relations

Beijing engages with Pakistan's Uighurs in 'charm offensive'

China wants Pakistanis on its side to protect its massive Belt and Road investment

A Uighur family prays at a local cemetery in Turpan county in Xinjiang province. Beijing has put many Uighurs in internment camps, according to media reports. (Getty Images)

QUETTA, Pakistan -- China is quietly launching a "charm offensive" to win over the Muslim Uighurs in Pakistan, where Beijing has invested billions of dollars through its Belt and Road Initiative.

In an unprecedented development, the Chinese embassy in Islamabad recently invited a group of Uighurs in the South Asian country to meet with officials. About a dozen Uighurs attended the meeting with Chinese diplomats, based on an image in a news release issued by the embassy.

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