They’re Turkic, Too

by Joshua Foust on 3/4/2008 · 2 comments

Joshua Kucera, who last year went on an epic journey along the Silk Road (one I would love love love to do myself some day), has a week-long series on the endpoint of his journey, the Uighur province of Xinjiang, in far western China.

The first dispatch deals with his entry into the province (the Chinese have exerted influence for “milleniums?” What are those?), and is a fairly straightforward account of his arrival in the province—including the political sensitivity of dealing with the Uighurs.

His second dispatch deals with Ramadan, which I would imagine is a sticky subject.

I told him I was surprised to see how developed Kashgar was. “The Uighurs are just keeping these roads and buildings for the Chinese,” he replied. “More and more Chinese are coming here, and they have skills we don’t. We’re getting poorer and poorer, and eventually we’re going to end up as their slaves.”

Hrm. It’s really worth reading. He has a great photo gallery for each dispatch, as well.

Previously: How China’s water policies are slowly draining Lake Balkhash.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Carlos Spottorno March 4, 2008 at 11:38 am

Hi I would like to share my last photostory with you. Please, feel free to comment.

Vincent March 8, 2008 at 11:06 am

I like reading Kucera’s dispatches all the same but I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at Kucera describing a closeted separatist barber in Kashgar then putting up pictures of a barbershop he “visited” in the attached photo gallery. I must say that first of all it’s far too ambiguous whether or not the barbershop in the picture is the same one referenced in the article. Secondly, even if it isn’t, it probably won’t matter at all if the wrong person at the State Security Bureau reads the article, browses the photo gallery, and contacts the Kashgar PSB on the principle of “better safe than sorry.”

Isn’t it a journalist thing to be more discrete about your sources?

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