Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Unrest in Xinjing

Yes, that is what they call - 'unrest'. Whenever people fight for freedom, ayatollahs and party secretaries in this world call it 'unrest' as if it is some kind unnatural human social state!

No doubt it seems that Uyghurs in China wanting to establish Eastern Turkey in China have taken their inspiration from our sisters fighting against ayatollahs in Iran. The issue is not whether it succeeds or not, odds are staked against them considering brutal Communist Party of China; it is whether people dare to express their views and rest of the world takes notice of it and support them. In that regard the resistance in Urumqi, a city of around 3 million on the ancient Silk Route, is a step towards emancipation. Kashgar, another important city on the ancient Silk Route in southern Xinjing, also had demonstrations by people; fortunately without any bloodshed.

However, realpolitik demands to see if there is more than meets eyes. One cannot ignore the fact these riots and loss of more than 150 people in China are coming at a time when China wants to establish credentials as a stable global economic superpower whose currency can be an alternative to Dollar; especially on the verge of G8/G20 meeting in Italy. Rebiya Kadeer, the president of World Uyghur Congress is sheltered by USA in Washington DC. Do we see any reasons for tactical support by American Establishment (CIA?) here? However, Rebiya and her political organization seem to be genuine on surface.

One is unlikely to see any information in this regard and it will continue to remain speculation only. But there are reasons to be suspicious considering the uniqueness of Xinjing: it is the largest autonomous region of Peoples Republic of China (16% by area) though sparsely populated. It accumulated wealth based on minerals and hydrocarbons after hefty investment by Beijing. Dominant ethnic group is Islamic with unusual cultural affinity with Turkey (language is Turkic even though Turkey is hundreds of miles away on West) and which wants to regard itself of Eastern Turkestan. The region fundamentally lost its importance when the Silk Route lost its prominence. But it had enjoyed the supreme wealth for centuries. Peoples Republic of China in it's age old policy of taming these outskirts (like Tibet); has encouraged and forced settlement of Han mainland Chinese in these regions; the fundamental reason of resentment among Uyghur people.

China without Uyghur dominated Xinjing (16% of China's area) and Tibet (12% land of China); will be substantially smaller. Add to that an independent Taiwan and one gets the picture of 'designs' of China adversaries in International Politics. Is China another Soviet Union in making? It does not seem like and one is conditioned to presume that Communist Party leaders will be smart enough to learn lessons of history - empire disintegrates when the system produces Gorbachev and your economy is weak precisely at that point. No wonder, Chinese leaders are so desperate to keep up the economic engine at all cost. It is to avoid 'unrest' in Urumqi.

But it does not get avoided is a different matter.

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