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.

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:

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.

China voices anger over release of Uighur Guantanamo trio

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 12:28 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Huzaifa, Abdullah, Khalil and Salahidin, four previously released Uyghurs in Bermuda in 2009 (Photo: William Farrington)

BEIJING: China voiced anger on Thursday over the transfer of three Uighurs from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay to Slovakia, branding them "terrorists" who will pose a threat to their new home. The trio were freed earlier this week as part of Washington's efforts to close the jail, and were the last of 22 Uighurs to be held in the prison, with the others being resettled in six countries including Albania, Bermuda, El Salvador, Palau, and Switzerland. Beijing had previously protested about the release of the men, who it says have links with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which the United Nations lists as a terrorist group and which China accuses of having separatist aims in Xinjiang.

Chinese Police Shoot Eight Dead in Xinjiang Clash

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 11:50 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Chinese Soldiers. Photo: CNN

BEIJING—Police shot and killed eight suspected assailants and arrested another person Monday in a clash outside a police station in the restive western region of Xinjiang, state media said. A brief report posted on the Xinjiang government's news website said the assailants, armed with machetes, attacked the police station in far western Yarkand county, throwing an explosive device that set fire to a police vehicle. The report's headline called the clash "a violent terrorist attack" but didn't provide further details about the suspects.

China’s treatment of minorities troubles Canada’s religious freedom ambassador

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 17:17 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Canada's Religious Freedom Officer Andrew Bennett speaks with reporters from his Ottawa office. PHOTO: ANDREA HILL/POSTMEDIA NEWS

OTTAWA — Canada’s religious freedom ambassador says he is deeply troubled about the Chinese government’s “egregious” treatment of religious minorities, and that he won’t hold his tongue despite growing trade ties between the two countries. Since becoming Canada’s inaugural ambassador for religious freedom in February, Andrew Bennett has condemned attacks and restrictions on religious minorities in Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Syria. But Bennett pulled no punches on China in an interview Monday, saying he remains very worried about the Chinese government’s “unacceptable” treatment of Falun Gong practitioners as well as Buddhist Tibetans, Uighur Muslims and Christians.

China's dilemma in Afghanistan

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 11:07 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Direct Chinese investments in Afghanistan totalled US$200 million in 2011, but the estimated value of Chinese-backed projects is higher. For example, a copper mine project in Aynak backed by state-owned Metallurgical Company of China and Jiangxi Copper Corporation is worth nearly US$3.5 billion. China National Petroleum Corporation also has an energy project in northern Afghanistan. With that economic toehold, there have been calls for Beijing to deepen its security engagement with Afghanistan to prevent extremists in restive Xinjiang from going to Afghanistan to receive training from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. China has blamed the movement for a car crash attack that killed five in Tiananmen Square on October 28.

The Uyghur Human Rights Project commemorates Human Rights Day

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 12:31 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Photo: Andy Worthington

UHRP urges Chinese President Xi Jinping to embrace the universal human rights embodied in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to respect the right of the Uyghur people to “freedom, justice and peace.” The annual December 10 commemoration of the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 is a reminder of the indivisibility of human rights and of government obligations to meet international human rights standards.


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