Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Taking a second look at Xinjiang

A friend of mine emailed me this paper from the USI website and asked for my comments on it.

I found the paper difficult to read as there were repeated references to standard texts in international relations, but the paper accurately lays out that the Chinese are hell-bent on assimilating the Uighers into their version of a Chinese national identity. That sounds fine in theory, but this assimilation is a one way street, the Uighers are expected to conform to the Chinese way of life and the Chinese will systematically wipe out anything that represents Uigher culture. In short - this is not an exchange between equals.

Sohum Desai, an independent writer in his work on Xinjiang says,

In general the fate of the Uighers evokes strong reactions among many Indians and thus the exploitation of economic opportunity in Xinjiang presents India with a considerable challenge. This challenge cannot be met without building up a detailed knowledge of the situation in Xinjiang.

I am always hard placed to find a good and reliable news source on Xinjiang. I find that Google is a good place to start, but that seldom provides analysis. One wonders what is a good place to begin reading a basic analysis of Xinjiang's current political economy.

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