[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] X [/yt_dropcap]injiang’s demographic and anthropic complexion is more complex than we tend to currently believe: according to China’s 2000 census-taking, 40% of the population of East Turkestan-Xinjiang is Han Chinese, while the remaining 60% is Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz or Oirat.
The latter are an ethnic group originating from the Altai Mountains, Mongolia; in the Russian Federation, they are called kalmik.
Hence, it is not a relationship between Han Chinese and Turkish-origin Uyghurs, but a complex network of alliances and tensions between various Islamic or non-Islamic ethnic minorities.
Obviously, the Uyghur issue is mostly political and strategic, rather than ethnic or religious, since everybody knows that the Uyghurs profess the Islamic faith.
For the East Turkestan’s population, the Sunni Islam has never been a strictly religious factor, but rather an ethnic-cultural and identity one.
Moreover, according to the latest scientific sources, the Uyghurs living in the Xinjiang region are estimated at approximately 10 million people, but they are present in all the 31 Chinese provinces – hence not just traditionally in Xinjiang.
This explains the perception of the danger caused by the extremist Islamization of the Uyghur Islam and, hence, operating in China.
Since 2001, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) has been affiliated to Al Qaeda while, in 2013, it was integrated into the Syrian-Iraqi “Caliphate”, with two other Uzbek-origin Islamist groups, thus soon swelling the ranks of the Jabhat al-Nusra Front – namely the Syrian faction of the organization founded by Osama bin Laden, which has been currently renamed as Jabhat Fath al Sham.
According to Arab sources, the Uyghur militants operating in Syria are estimated at approximately 2,000 and they communicate via a Telegram channel organized by TIP’s information and propaganda centre, known as Islam Awazi, which spreads a large number of strongly anti-Chinese – and obviously anti-Western – videos and texts.
On the other hand, TIP has already operated with terrorist attacks in China: in 2013 and 2014 in Tiananmen Square, and later in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang – not to mention the massacre of the Han Chinese in Kunming and Guangzhou, again in 2014.
A massacre perpetrated with knives and machetes – hence it not surprising that, today, the sources of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), the organization led by Rabiya Kader, note – with some shock – that the Chinese authorities force the owners of sharp blades to be registered with a special list.
Furthermore, TIP and the other Uyghur Islamist autonomist movements have always been secretly funded and supported by the Turkish intelligence services, on the basis of an ethnic-religious brotherhood, but also of a strategic project, which sees Turkey projecting onto Central Asia, thus uniting – under its geopolitical project – the Islam of the region and the many Turkish-origin minorities living in those areas.
Has NATO nothing to say in this regard? Can tension be created in Central Asia and in the Middle East, which could trigger the solidarity mechanism pursuant to Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the Atlantic Alliance?
In this case, China’s response has been economic: the State-owned oil company Sinopec has recently invested considerable funds in the oil fields and gas deposits in the Iraqi Kurdish areas – a clear instrument of geopolitical pressure against Turkey.
Obviously, it also becomes essential to defame China, accused of brutal repression of the whole Islamic and Uyghur population in China.
This leads to some Chinese weakness in the relations with the anti-terrorist and anti-jihadist fight of the West and of the Russian Federation, in particular.
Furthermore, Uyghurs’ bilingualism is largely prevailing in Northern Xinjiang.
In the urban areas of the region, only 20% of the population is Uyghur, while in rural areas the Uyghurs account for up to 80%.
Moreover, Islam penetrated Xinjiang as from the tenth century from the Turkish colonies in the Tarim region, and the Islamic religion spread equally between Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Uyghurs.
Hence, it is somehow a stretch to equate and relate Islam only to Xinjiang’s Uyghur issue, but it is certainly not by mere coincidence that only the Uyghurs, and not the other ethnic groups, operate permanently against the Chinese government and interests.
As the most reliable sources report, there are continuing clashes. They are often Uyghurs’ operations against Han Chinese, although, there is obviously a clear level of pressure put by the Chinese authorities.
On July 24, 2014, Uyghur militants killed 37 civilians and injured 13 others in Shache-Yarkand.
There was also the harsh reaction of the Chinese police.
Hence spreading the idea that the Uyghurs are a peaceful people tortured by a Han Chinese minority is groundless.
We must wonder whether and how the other Islamic minorities do not radicalize so much as, on the contrary, happens to the Uyghur population of whom, however, strong religiousness has never been noted.
All international sources have always underlined that Islamic orthodoxy applies only to a minority of the Uyghur population or of other local ethnic groups professing the Islamic faith.
Hence, the political Islam is a way to radicalize a people and does not belong to the religious and ethnic history of the Uyghurs living in Xinjiang.
From this viewpoint, it is fully rational for the Chinese government to fear the effects of Islamic radicalism – which, as already noted, characterizes only the Uyghurs and not the other Islam-faith minorities such as the Hui – combining with the Islamic radicalism, which has long been present in Central Asia and the Middle East.
Another reasonable and understandable Chinese fear is that the Uyghurs’ Islamic movement radicalizes also other ethnic and religious minorities against China.
This regards also the governments of Xinjiang’s neighbouring countries, which also host Uyghur minorities and fear the Islamist-jihadist radicalization of these groups.
Therefore, it is reprehensible to see how many European democratic parliamentarians, championing democratic and liberal ideas, accept – without ever raising objections – the propaganda of the Uyghur organizations in the West, often disguised or covered by the Tibetan world which usually organizes anti-Chinese activities in Europe and the United States.
At geopolitical level, it is not clear what China could or should do differently: Tibet has a top-level autonomous military command and a highly-efficient intelligence network, namely SIGINT (SIGnal INTtelligence), as well as some nuclear and missile sites.
Should it possibly leave everything and leave undefended its most sensitive border, namely the Tibetan-Turkestan one?
Who would benefit from this situation? The Americans, maybe? Not at all. It would be the beginning of the end for all Central Asia.
Hence it is strange that, in the West, the Uyghur issue is dealt with by taking for granted that there is only China’s “crackdown”.
Moreover, the network of Uyghur organizations is complex and requires huge funds.
We have already talked about this issue in other articles, but it is strange that, for example, some leaders of the World Uyghur Congress have multiple passports and move freely in Europe and in the rest of the world.
If they create yet another ill-omened and unfortunate “Uyghur spring”, like the previous ones, they will generate a final jihad in China, with currently unimaginable damage and dangers, even in Europe.
Finally, if anyone thought of a structural weakening and a strategic downgrading of the Chinese government, the whole Asia would collapse with China and there would be no Western economy capable of absorbing the terrible asymmetric shock created by these strategic follies.
Therefore, the situation is much more complex and the “sword jihad” has everything to do with it.
Westerners, however, have now fallen asleep and believe that the jihadist Islam is a matter of little consequence, an internal dispute within the Islam faith, a regional conflict.
Not at all. It is the first problem of our time – and, certainly, it cannot be solved with nice words or with the “seductions” of freedom or mass democracy.
This is proved by the failure of the psychological warfare operations known as “Arab springs”.
Hence the Uyghur issue must be dealt with very carefully, without demonizing the reaction of China which, however, is investing huge funds precisely in Xinjiang and without even thinking – as data and statistics demonstrate – that the whole Uyghur population can be hegemonized and dominated by its Islamist-jihadist or autonomist minorities.
The Problem of Uncontrolled Nationalism: The Case of Japan before the WWII
Authors: Chan Kung and Yu(Tony) Pan*
Throughout the modern history of the world, Japan is undoubtedly an interesting country: it went from the edge of becoming a colony to one of few independent countries in Asia before World War II, and after the Great War, Japan even became a great power. From a broader level, Japan’s success at that time showed that Asians were not inherently inferior to Westerners. Unfortunately, Japan which was supposed to be the leader of Asia to a bright future, chose the path fascism and imperialism. Eventually, Japan became the source of the Pacific War.
It is undeniable that from the Meiji Restoration until the early Showa period (the end of World War II), Japan adapted an expansionary policy, which brought deep suffering to its neighboring countries and ultimately dragged itself into the abyss of destruction. When World War II ended, nearly 70 years of development achievements were utterly wiped out by the war.
In this context, an important question we need to ponder is: What led Japan to embark on an expansionary and self-destructive path? At what point in time did Japan’s policymakers start to lose its mind? What can future generations of nations learn from Japan’s tragic experience to prevent the same fate from happening again? As a country that has been entangled with Japan for generations and has a complicated relationship with Japan, these issues are of even greater relevance to Chinese researchers today.
Fortunately, there is actually a fair amount of scholarly research on the subject, and there exist four main explanations. The first is the “international structure theory” most commonly used by IR scholars (especially the realists), and the second, more common among Western scholars, is the “weak democratic government theory. The third is the “Pan-Asianism,” which focuses on the constructivist perspective. Finally, there is the political economy explanation of expansionary policies.
At the first glance, it seems that each of these explanations has its own rationale. Of the four, the view that the navy and the military were increasingly extreme in their struggle for policy dominance is the most possible explanation. However, it seems that each of the four existing explanations can, in fact, be incorporated into a new one, namely, that Japan’s self-destructive expansionary policies prior to World War II were the material manifestation of an uncontrolled nationalism. More specifically, these four explanations answer why the Showa government was unable to control the nationalist forces in the country. On the other hand, however, the question of whether nationalism would necessarily expand without outside interference and lead to expansionist policies was left unexplained.
Because of the natural characteristics of nationalism, it seems to us that there is a natural tendency for nationalism to expand in the course of its development. The main reasons for this phenomenon are not complicated. First of all, nationalism is a group ideology, which means that nationalists have a common goal at the macro level, but the boundaries of national interest are not consistently defined by different individuals. On this basis, because of the unreliability of group rationality, nationalism as a groupthink is prone to overstretch in the course of its development. Moreover, when such currents are not rationally controlled and end up holding state policy hostage, the state tends to follow a self-destructive path of expansionism. Pre-World War II Japan is a classic case in point.
It should be noted that the positive effects of nationalism is not being denied here, but it is crucial that a country’s policymaking process should not be ultimately being a hostage to nationalist forces. The question then, is how to prevent nationalism from spiraling out of control. From an empirical point of view, there are two different directions to prevent nationalism from getting out of control at the macro level: first, to eliminate “group irrationality” in nationalism; Second, to establish a corresponding gatekeeper between nationalism and state policymaking.
The first direction is essential to improve the thinking capacity and cultural literacy of society as a whole. This is a radical way to solve the above problems, and the improvement of the education system is the most crucial part of it. However, for reasons that are easy to understand, this approach often takes too long to implement, and the process is not really controllable. As a result, this approach, while very important, is often insufficient for policymakers.
The second approach, on the other hand, is a short-term solution (relatively speaking). To use the common metaphor of treating a bodily disease, a gatekeeper-kind-of-approach is not to eradicate the disease but rather to prevent it from damaging health amid acceptance of its existence. There are two other ways to establish gatekeepers: one is to establish a mature political system that uses institutional factors to insulate people from the negative effects of nationalism. This is also the more popular approach in developed Western countries. It should be noted that this approach has proven itself to be effective, most notably in the case of the United States, which also has two populist leaders, as opposed to Brazil, where institutional constraints and the resulting establishment have been significantly more effective in containing the negative effects of nationalism on the policy.
The alternative is to rely on a small number of political authorities within society to isolate the scourge of nationalism through the elite’s prestige and quality. Again, this is also an approach that has worked before. The best example is the significant role played by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the “reform and opening-up” process.
So, which is more effective, institutions or authority? This is not a question that can be easily answered. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and because every country and society is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
First of all, the main advantage of institutional gatekeepers is that once established, the containment is apparent and fairly solid; however, the disadvantage is that institutions may take a long time to develop and may come at a cost (e.g., the French Revolution). An authoritative gatekeeper’s advantage is its high degree of operability, while the disadvantage is the unsustainability and instability of the individual factor. On this basis, the realization of either approach needs to be linked to local realities; in other words, neither is necessarily successful. However, despite the different possibilities of approaches and paths, one issue is certain: in this day and age, uncontrolled nationalism is still a problem that threatens national interests, and this issue must be given sufficient attention and focus by policymakers.
Lastly, for contemporary China, the case of Showa Japan has another area of critical research value: how to deal with the current international order? History has shown that almost every attempt to challenge the existing international order independently has often ended in self-destruction. Successful transformations of the international structure tend to be incremental. In the case of pre-World War II Japan, the immediate effect of nationalism was to push the Japanese government to place itself on the opposite side of the prevailing international order. Today’s China has certainly not come that far. In fact, as Professor Wang Jisi says: “In those days, Japan was an ‘institution’ in the international order, while China was rejected and discriminated against by the West as an ‘other.’ Today, Japan is still ‘within the system’ of the international order, while China has risen to become the world’s second-largest economy and its military power is not what it used to be, but there is still the question of how China views the existing international order and how to deal with its relationship with the existing international order. ” In dealing with this problem, preventing the negative effects of nationalism on state policy is undoubtedly an important aspect.
*Mr. Yu(Tony) Pan serves as the associate research fellow and the research assistant of Mr. Chan Kung, Founder, Chairman, and the Chief Researcher of ANBOUND. He obtained his master’s degree at George Washington University, the Elliott School of International Affairs; and his bachelor’s degree in University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Mr. Pan has published pieces in various platform domestically and internationally. He currently focuses on Asian Security, geopolitics in Indo-Pacific region and the U.S.-Sino Relations.
CCP’s Motives for the Cultural Genocides in Tibet and East Turkestan
Despite more than sixty years military invasion of independent Tibet and East Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) by People’s liberation army of Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Gross human rights violation, massive crackdown and mass internment of Uighur Muslim peoplecontinue unabated. Prominent scholars and experts have debated in recent years over the motives and the implications of such oppressive policies. Months ago, yet another new reports and finding have revealed the implementation of military-style coercive labor programs in Tibet. A better understanding can be made by discerning the roots of such oppressive policies adopted by, and to find the connection between the mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the forced labor programs that Beijing has been implementing in Tibet. From a broader perspective, it would not be an overstatement to call the Beijing actions in Tibet and Xinjiang as imbued with genocidal intent. There are underlying similarities between the Mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the forced labor programs, as a fact that the Tibetan, Uighur, and other minority’s population are the victims of similar severe forms of repression due to their belief and securing Beijing’s rule over it. Both the Tibetan people and the Uighur are currently facing severe threat of identities extinction.
Beijing’s Final Solution in East Turkestan (CH. Xinjiang) and Tibet
The definition of the Cultural genocide is when there is a systematic effort carried out to exterminate the identity of a group through the means of destruction and annihilation of culture, language, religious institutions of that targeted group. The act of cultural genocide is generally carried out accompanied with infliction of violence and oppression.
For a long time, both the Uighur and Tibetans have been at the receiving end of the repressive policies of CCP, which aims to eradicate their religion, culture, language, and distinct identities. Recent uncovering of rising numbers of mass internment camps in East Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) and the military-style coercive labor programs in Tibet has brought more spotlight on the clear indication of the cultural genocidal attempt of the Chinese regime. Chen Quanguo is currently the party secretary of the region of East Turkestan (CH. Xinjiang). As soon as he took over as the party leader of the region in 2016, the persecution of the Uighurs and other minorities through mass internment camps escalate. It is not revelation that the architect of the internment camps in East Turkestan (CH. Xinjiang) Chen Quanguo was the former party secretary of Tibet for five years, where he has formulated and implemented similar draconian measures.
2018 was a big year, when United Nation has revealed the reports of hundreds of mass internment camps being built by the Chinese government in the region of Xinjiang. Ever since the reports of mass internment of Uighurs Muslims and other minorities in the prison-like establishment came to the light of the international community, Beijing has received extensive criticism and pressure likewise. Nonetheless, this pressure from the international community doesn’t seem to have stopped the cultural genocidal pursuit of the Chinese government as they have remained more resilient and repugnant. There are a spiking number of the new mass internment camps established during 2019-20. Through the intensive use of satellite images, records of the survivors and escaped victims, and other important tracking programs, research institutes such as the Australian Strategic policy institute in the recent month of September has present a database of around 380 internment camps build across the region till now.
Surge of Forced labor programs in Tibet in the midst of strong criticism on Mass internment camps in East Turkestan (CH, Xinjiang)
In the wake of strong criticism and backlash, the Chinese government has appeared to bring up yet another new repressive policy in the region of Tibet. Which evidently have a resemblance to that of Mass internment camps. Adrian Zenz, a leading researcher on East Turkestan’s mass internment has disclosed through the reports and the findings of investigations undertaken dating back to 2016 about the establishment of forced labor programs in Tibet. Researcher Adrian Zenz was one of the earliest groups of researchers, who have alerted the world about the existence Mass internment camps. According to the reports published by Jamestown Foundation in “China Brief Volume” dating September 22 have shown that in just the first seven months of 2020, there were more than half a million Tibetan mainly consisted of the population from the rural area registered into the forced Labor programs. The forced labor program in Tibet shows the similar tendency that the Chinese government has adopted towards the Uighur. Under the guise of vocational training and labor training, the Tibetans enrolled in the programs have to strenuously undergo thought transformation and adoption of the Chinese identities. The Tibetans were forced to abandon their way of livelihood, thought and culture. In the words of Adrian Zenz on the Coercive labor programs in Tibet and the Mass internment camps in Ch. Xinjiang “In the context of Beijing’s increasingly assimilatory ethnic minority policy, it is likely that these policies will promote a long-term loss of linguistic, cultural and spiritual heritage.”
A month ago, the House of the Representatives of the United State has passed a resolution with overwhelming support in an outcry against the Human rights violation in Tibet. The resolution has conveyed a clear message of the urgent need to protect the identity, religions, and culture of the Tibetans. As elaborated in H. Res. 697 that the House of Representatives “affirms the cultural and religious significance of the goal of genuine autonomy for the people of Tibet”
Beijing’s logic behind their actions in Tibet and East Turkestan (CH. Xinjiang)
The current patterns of the actions that the Chinese government is following in the Tibet and East Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) can be drawn parallel to actions of the Nazi government before the horrendous Holocaust took place. It is an undisputedly fact that Nazi Germany led by Hitler thrived on an extreme form of anti-Semitism and that the wrongful hatred towards the Jewish people has played major factor leading to the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism itself is engraved with inherited stereotypes, prejudice, and false generalization of the Jewish people. It wouldn’t be so far fetch to say that the Chinese government has adopted a similar sort of generalization and stereotypes towards the Uighurs people and the Tibetan people. Uighur have been generalized by the Chinese communist party as bewitch with extremist thoughts. The religion and the identity of the Uighur people have been labeled as a form of extremism and need eradication by the CCP. In the words of the CCP officials, they compare the implementation of Mass internment camps as “washing brain” to cleanse the extremist thoughts.
The lack of urgency from the international community
The situation in East Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) and Tibet is a bit more nuanced, but if history has taught us anything then the Holocaust didn’t happen overnight but rather it was the culmination of decades of discrimination and repressions towards the Jews. The forced labor programs in Tibet and the mass internment camp campaign is only one of the Chinese communist party latest attempt to Sinicize and dismantle the Tibetan and Uighur’s culture, language and religion. Unless and until, the international community will urgently considered the issues of East Turkestan and Tibet more than just a side topic to discuss with China, the Chinese government’s cultural genocide actions will remain steadfast.
China according to Pascal Gauchon
There is no doubt that the United States wants to safeguard its global hegemony but this does not mean that the United States will remain first permanently, power will perhaps be shared in a world of permanent conflict. As for China, it does not have the ambition to rule the world. He wants to serve his interests, turn things to his advantage. However it has no missionary or proselytizing instinct, its culture does not have a purpose of global domination. Chinese emigrants who left for the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought with them a clod of earth to maintain the link with the country of birth. This is not what the European or American pioneers in search of the New World did.
The Chinese dream, like the Japanese dream of the past, would be to be the absent masters of the world, without having to administer it. Take advantage of it, take advantage of it, defend yourself from the risks that can come from the outside, say the Chinese but without governing it. This I believe is Chinese philosophy. In short, there is no global ambition in Chinese culture.
For example, on the maritime power front, there is no doubt that they want to develop a maritime power, intervene where their interests are at stake, defend themselves from threats, have a say in the rules that govern the world economy but this has nothing to do with American hegemony after 1945. China rejects the idea of world domination, even for itself.
The idea advanced by the Chinese nationalists is very different. They refer to the period of the Warring States, between the fifth and third centuries BC, a period in which no power, no order prevailed. In such a disputed world, China could carve out its own way without trying to impose any system.
Now, that China will succeed in becoming a great power is obvious. That it becomes such a dominant power as to create an order that replaces the existing order, it is legitimate to doubt it. Rather, the multipolar world will also be characterized by the presence of a certain disorder, in which Western countries no longer have the means to maintain the old order and China is likely to move away from its global responsibilities.
Having said that, we must not forget that China is a system of power in permanent mobilization and it is increasingly so with Xi Jinping marking a return to the spirit of Maoism. It has the advantages of an authoritarian and planned country, capable of pursuing long-term strategies without worrying about short-term profitability. In fact, the Chinese party state is restructuring the economy and society to capture innovation, to acquire it abroad by buying companies or stealing technology or even recruiting engineers. It is doing everything it can to remedy the lack of this fertile ground for freedom that we see as essential for innovation. Mobile telephony, the Internet and the so-called sharing economy have developed here faster than elsewhere. There is more social freedom in China – license, it should be noted – than the outside world believes, but certain things shouldn’t be touched. Criticism of the party state is not tolerated.
As far as Europe is concerned, this has proved to be very naive.
He hoped, for example, to rely on China to further his environmental goals, so much so that he had prepared a joint declaration to be proclaimed at the EU-China summit last June. But Beijing refused at the last minute due to the trade disputes between it and Brussels, confirming that Europe is not an essential strategic partner, but a market, a high-tech area where help can be found as in an open bar safe place to invest your capital.
As for the conflict in the South China Sea, Beijing, at least at present, has won the essential: the militarization of several coral reefs and the construction of artificial bases. The United States carries out many tests to show that access to its ships remains possible, but they are the only ones or almost the only ones, with France joining. China can therefore take a break to consolidate what it has earned, but of course there is a price to pay for Beijing: the rapprochement of Australia, India, Japan and Singapore.
Insecurity and bureaucracy hampering aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region
Nearly three months after the start of conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, hundreds of thousands of people have yet to...
How Crimea Strengthened Russia’s Eurasian Identity
While the west imagined Crimea was just a territorial dispute that had got out of hand and its annexation a...
More about how democracy should be elected -Interview with Tannisha Avarrsekar
Tannisha Avarrsekar, a political activist who wants to increase equality in the representation of political candidates in India. In this...
Flames of Globalization in the Temple of Democracy
Authors: Alex Viryasov and Hunter Cawood On the eve of Orthodox Christmas, an angry mob stormed the “temple of democracy”...
Public Council Sets New Tasks to Support Russia-Africa Relations
In this interview with Armen Khachatryan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Programme Director at the Roscongress Foundation, and now a...
Deliberate efforts were made to give a tough time to President Joe Biden
President Trump-Administration is over-engaged in creating mess for in-coming President Joe Biden. The recent deliberate efforts are made to give...
The Problem of Uncontrolled Nationalism: The Case of Japan before the WWII
Authors: Chan Kung and Yu(Tony) Pan* Throughout the modern history of the world, Japan is undoubtedly an interesting country: it...
Energy3 days ago
Engaging the ‘Climate’ Generation in Global Energy Transition
Americas3 days ago
2020: Stable Trends in an Unstable World
Americas2 days ago
No Senator Hawley, you don’t have a First Amendment case
Middle East2 days ago
Maritime Border Dispute: The South Lebanon Crisis
Africa Today3 days ago
Food for Mozambicans struggling amidst violence and COVID-19
Defense3 days ago
A pig in a poke of Lithuanian Armed Forces
Africa3 days ago
Review: As Coronavirus Rise Past Three million, Africa Hopes for Vaccine
Middle East2 days ago
Can Syria be reborn from the ruins after a decade of civil war?