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Guest post: the route to better relationships with China lies along the Silk Road

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 12:40 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Silk Road painting. Photo found via Raffaello Pantucci

Coined by prominent Chinese academic Wang Jisi back in 2011, the ‘March Westwards’ strategy is the external component of the ‘Develop the West’ strategy that Beijing advanced to bring prosperity and development to its historically underdeveloped and turbulent western provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet. Long-standing sources of instability for the central government, the regions were racked by particular violence in 2008 (Tibet) and 2009 (Xinjiang). The brutality of the Xinjiang violence was a wake-up call, with more than 200 reportedly killed on the streets of Urumqi, the provincial capital, as the chaos forced then-leader Hu Jintao to leave an international G8 Summit in L’Aquila to manage the situation.

Chinese tightrope walkers' balancing act between Xinjiang and Beijing

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:47 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Like all dawaz performers, the Prince does not use safety equipment. Photograph: Jonathan Kaiman for the Guardian
From the top of the Prince of the Sky's high tower, the pavement below is a vertigo-inducing abstraction, a coarse grey expanse dotted with people-like specks. But the Prince, one of the best tightrope walkers in the world, doesn't think about the pavement. He looks towards his destination – another high tower on a distant hillside – and contemplates the thin steel cable strung across the expanse.
 

Understanding the Uighurs

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:33 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Today, China's boom has seen those tensions with the country's 10 million Uighurs resurface. The Government says the movement contains Islamic extremists, citing last October's suicide attack in front of the iconic Chairman Mao portrait in Beijing.

China and the great game

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 13:28 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Fortress on the Wakhjir pass. Photo: Caravanistan.com

The conflict in Afghanistan is becoming more complex by the day, spreading beyond its borders into south Asia. There are four main parties: the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan itself and the Afghan Taliban. Others, previously remotely involved, are increasingly drawn in-the most prominent being China. China's growth rate of close to 10 per cent per annum makes it a global economic hub with which to reckon, second only to the US. This may not however be socially sustainable as it perpetuates inequality in income, heavily concentrated in China's southern coastal area. Moreover, the country's ethnic cohesion is uncertain: apart from minority tensions, the Han majority is itself fractured among ethno-linguistic communities which have experienced sustained segregation.

Uyghur Muslims face 'oppression' in East Turkistan

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 12:29 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Uyghur Muslims face 'oppression' in East Turkistan. Photo: World Bulletin
Tension in Uyghur Autonomous Region between Uyghur Muslims and the police has been escalating recently, leaving many people dead and wounded.
 
Police in East Turkistan (Xinjiang) killed eight people who had attacked the pollice station with knives and explosives in the early hours of Monday, Xinjiang government news portal Tianshan reported.
 
A previous incident on December 17 killed sixteen people including two police officers in the old Silk Road city of Kashgar.
 

China needs rethink on Uighurs before more blood is spilt

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 16:26 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Uyghurs gathering in front of Idkah Mosque in Kashgar, East Turkestan. Photo: World Policy Blog

The bloody clash between ethnic Uighurs and the Chinese police that took place on December 15 in Xinjiang reflects a reality that rising China faces today. It was the fourth outbreak of such violence in Xinjiang since April, leaving at least 84 killed and 25 others injured. Then, on Monday, Chinese security forces killed eight people who allegedly attacked a police station in the region. As usual, Beijing called both incidents "terrorist" attacks, blaming a "violent terrorist gang" in Xinjiang, and scaled up security measures. However, enhanced security measures alone will not curb violence in the region, especially when the social and economic discontent of its Uighur minority remains unresolved.

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