China Unrest (Xinjiang/ East Turkestan)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Rumpelstiltskin, Jul 6, 2009.

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    I do feel quite sorry for the Uighurs, generally speaking.
  2. They do seem to have a hard time of it-hopefully Smartascarrots will be along to offer some insight, it being his field...
  3. I believe that Uighurs were originally nomads who happened to settle in NW China. Unfortunatenly they settled on some mineral wealth and, being of the muslim persuasion, can be a bit extreme. I think that the Chinese tend to look for any excuse to keep them in order.
    I haven't met many but I didn't like any of them. (Even the women). I know that is not much of a benchmark as few like me.
  4. Absolutely out of the theme.

    There were many Uygurs in the Soviet union (mainly in Kazakhstan). One of them Murat Nasyrov became a popular singer in Russia several year ago.

    But this World is cruel. Our russian bosses of showbusiness decided to silence the singer. He was not allowed on TV, leading producers refused to sign contracts with him. As a result Murat comitted suicide... It was not about money, though. He was so popular that money from private parties was more than enough, but...


    Returning to the theme, I suggest that it is in blood of Uygur people. I mean a strong desire to be respected, to be treated fairly.
  5. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    China, like Russia, has no time for organised religion, and smites it relentlessly. Not really anything new here, and certainly nothing the outside World can do to influence the Chinese' brtual oppression of its minority groups.
  6. Did somebody mention China? :D

    If you consider the three 'disputed' areas of Chinese territory, Taiwan's the only one that isn't pretty straightforward.

    Tibet was only ever either a friendly power, tributary nation or vassal state up until the Communist invasion; it was never an integral part of any Chinese empire. Given the PRC’s stance over the large chunks of Manchuria they’ve given away to Russia and Mongolia, claiming inviolability of Chinese land over Tibet is pretty inconsistent to say the least. Incidentally, the Republic of China has never renounced claim to any of the territory given away by the PRC and claims sovereignty over Tibet to boot.

    Xinjiang is simple from the other way round – neither the Uighurs nor the Chinese are the original inhabitants, them being a group of nomadic peoples who’ve long since been absorbed into the mass of ‘ethnic’ Chinese peoples after the Western Han pushed out that way in IIRC 2nd Century BC.

    The Uighur had their own empire centred on what’s now Kyrgyzstan and after a pretty vigorous early pissing contest came to be on friendly terms with the Chinese throne; so much so that when they got their arrses spanked by the Kyrgyz and lost their capital, a large column of them headed east into friendly territory where they got settled in what’s more or less now Xinjiang under a relationship not dissimilar to the Krajina Serbs and the Hapsburgs.

    Personally, while I can sympathise that they don’t particularly like living under the PRC, their claims for independence are about as convincing as a Yorkshire jihadi wanting ‘independence’ for Skipton. Beijing’s rather muddled and ever-changing rhetoric over the last 60 years hasn’t helped clarify the situation, though.
  7. I don't feel sorry for the Uighurs at all. As they are extremist muslims who kill innocent Chinese people for not converting to Islam. Good ridance i say.
  8. The majority aren't extremists, though - just devout. Xinjiang has a long and hard-to-secure border with Pakistan to the south, a small one with Afghanistan as well as with a few less than stable former Soviet states. It's not hard to see how PRC can get the idea that outside influences are stirring up trouble, particularly given their ideological commitment to the idea of China as a multi-ethnic state.

    I was quite surprised and delighted to see CH4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy go after both the Chinese Embassy spokesman and the rep from the World Uighur Council, asking them both to provide evidence for their respective claims. Normally, western journos accept anything handed to them by these groups without question while treating the Beijing line as factless (see Dalai Lama ad nauseam). Just because it's propaganda doesn't mean it's automatically untrue.
  9. Hm, aren't the Uighurs like their more westerly Turkish cousins in this regard? That is, rather than a gigantic horde moving about, didn't elite language replacement 'convert' the previous Tocharian/Persian/Turkic peoples into Uighurs? This only matters if one wants to prove the priority of Uighur/Turkic/broadly Caucasian settlement in the region prior to Han expansion. I think even the Uighurs themselves play up the Tocharian connection, judging by their collective hard-on for the Lady of Loulan...

    Gratuitous Uighur pics follow:

  10. They are indeed of the Turkic family of peoples, but the Tocharian ancestry is hard to prove. A book called 'Tang China and the Collapse of the Uighur Empire' makes the point that Tocharians were already well settled in the area and freely interbreeding with the local Huns and Mongols (sounds like they went to an Old Firm match! :D) before the Uighur exodus arrived during the Tang Dynasty. I suppose with them forming the new gentry after that point, a certain impetus to 'keeping up with the Ormizts' amongst the locals might be expected, language and culture wise.

    I recall reading about a recent genetic analysis which was done on present-day Uighurs to try to show whether they were Indo-Aryan or not. It's of a minor interest to me because all the various ethnic groups in the far west of China like to try to prove they were there first and the truth is usually that none of them were. I don't remember the results in detail but I remember it rejected the hypothesis that the Uighur were a source population for the original local inhabitants. I'll keep digging and see if I can find it. Or perhaps I dreamt it?
  11. They'd find a warmer welcome in Florida.
  12. Fool, this is 2009 not 1919..
  13. I think the last lot found the welcome warm enough in Cuba. :twisted:

    They've blown hot and cold about organised religion, hence my earlier comment on 'muddled and ever changing rhetoric'. Nowadays, it's more a case that religion is subject to the same rules as any other part of public expression: you can do what you like so long as you don't advocate a change of rule, absolute sovereignty within the borders or an alternate source of authority. That's why Tibetan Buddhism and Roman Catholicism are tolerated so long as the spiritual leaders are appointed by Beijing.

    It's rather a shame, really, because China was traditionally a fairly eclectic country, spiritually speaking. The Ming court was one of the few places where you could meet representatives from pretty much every religion under the sun including a few I'd never heard of before. Jews, Muslims, Daists, Buddhists, Shamen and Christians existing side by side and on good terms at a time when they were cutting each other's throats pretty much everywhere else. Fast forward 600 years and all we see is the likes of the story that prompted this thread. What a damned awful pity.
  14. Sorry, but I just couldn't not post this picture:


    Puts G20 into perspective...
  15. Nice to see that the BBC's new China correspondent is keeping up their fine tradition of uninformed speculation, liberal rhetoric and internally contradictory China assertions. LINK. (My bold throughout).

    So Hu leaving the summit to concentrate on an important national issue is proof Beijing's writ has lapsed in Urumqi? How does that work, then? Particularly since the locals:


    Whereas his more experienced colleague reports:

    3/10, Quentin. See me after class. And take that copy of Kate Adie's Beijing memoirs out from the seat of your trousers.