“Like Leaving San Diego for Tijuana”

by Joshua Foust on 3/5/2008 · 4 comments

Joshua Kucera has another dispatch from Xinjiang, this time where he interviews Michael Manning, of Other End of China fame. He’s discussing, naturally, the transition between the Han and Uighur sections of Korla, where Manning lives.

Fully realizing the two situations are not at all analogous, I can’t help feeling an eerie parallel between how the Chinese government has internally colonized its seized territories, from Tibet to Inner Mongolia to Xinjiang, and how much it resembles the Soviets’ internal colonization policies. Not so much when he deported all of Chechnya, but more like when Russians were urged to move south under Virgin Lands. It just may be as environmentally disastrous, too.

Anyway, keep reading.


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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 Registan.net. 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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{ 4 comments }

Inkan1969 March 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Do you know how popular the movement for independence is in Xinjiang/Uighurstan? Is there as strong a movement as there is for Tibet?

Michael Hancock March 7, 2008 at 12:10 am

The movement was strong enough to get the US to put one of the Uighur pro-Caliphate groups on the terrorism lists, giving the CCP the greenlight to oppress the Uighurs in the name of the “War of Terror.”

The main problem is that Uighurstan has no Dalai Lama. Tibetan monks make great copy, and the only thing Xinjiang has is old silk road stops no one but history hounds know about. Kashgar and Urumqi are completely unknown, to the point where news about the Uighurs for most Americans is in one ear, out the other. Might as well be covering news on Neptune.

Horin March 7, 2008 at 9:06 pm

9.11 is kind of “death sentence” to the Uighur and their independence movement, because it has made islam, their religion, the number one enemy of US or all Western countries.

Now, Germany and Turkey are two major places of their independence activity. Central Asian governments are deporting Uighur dissidents back to China, because the tie with China is now much more important to them than their brothers. You can easily guess the destiny of those deported dissidents.

There is another area that has been colonized by the Han China. That is Manchuria. The Manchu people has a distinct culture and language, but few people now speak their own language due to heavy assimilation to the Han Chinese, unfortunately.

Inkan1969 March 10, 2008 at 8:56 am

Just recently China claimed to have foiled two terrorist plots that they attribute to Uighur separatists. How credible do you think those claims are? Are there really Uighur separatists willing to resort to these tactics, or is this a sham China is pulling to try to discredit the Uighur movement.

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