Wednesday, 20 October 2021
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China: Xinjiang Province And The Escalation Of Islamic Extremism And The Probable Consequences For Chinese Investment In The African Region PDF Print E-mail
The Uighurs is ethnically of Turkish decent and of a predominantly Muslim group. They make up the majority in Xinjiang, a region autonomous in northwest China bordering Central Asia and Mongolia. Their relations have often been tense with the ethnic Han Chinese who predominates in China. Many Uighurs feel they're discriminated against by the government in Beijing and a Uighur separatist movement was established and has existed for decades.

Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, now living in Virginia rallied in Washington recently, blaming the Chinese government for the violence. Chinese officials have blamed Kadeer, who heads the Uighur American Association (UAA), for inciting violence. However Kadeer, who has been exiled from China four years ago, denies the charges.

The Uighurs have been for decades been marginalized by Beijing due to reasons pertaining to ethnicity and religious backgrounds. The Chinese government in its bid to enhance peace and security in the autonomous region should have established relevant organization to address the Uighurs pleas for economic security way before the issues escalated. The issues of the Uighur mining killings could have been prevented if only the Chinese authorities took early action.

The trigger of the "war on terror" after the 911 attacks has made Muslim nations go on a defying path with the West and its allies, especially the US. The Bush Administration claiming many of the Muslim nations as "havens" for terrorist organizations has created the ongoing resentment of US policies in regards to the war on terror. This ignited "Minority Muslim Extremist" groups around the world to take advantage and to sympathize with terror organizations such as Al Qaeda. The ongoing terror fight now has escalated to a level of uncertainty as the support for these groups grows ever increasingly worldwide.

The Chinese government should now be more cautious than ever before as they are not fighting a conventional type of war. Vietnam clearly proved that a non-conventional war was the ultimatum of Vietnam's victory together with the Chinese government on America's defeat in 1975. Winning the "hearts and minds" of its people is the first lesson for Chinese authorities to endeavor in its efforts for peace and security in the autonomous Xinjiang province.

Beijing should realize that the might of its military and political means of addressing issues pertaining to its citizen's right for freedom and justice can no longer be fought with military and political agendas. The threat of terrorism is global and it is no longer international terrorism that we may need to tackle but the "lurking" and "emerging' (escalating) homegrown cells that have support from terrorist organizations operating globally.

Terrorist organizations are watching every move of the Chinese authorities on the Uighurs and will use their influence on supporting the cause of these minorities. This will give rise to "homegrown" cells to launch multiple propagandas that will have Beijing scrambling for new actions. Beside these developments, it is wise to take extreme precaution not only in China but China's investments abroad, especially in the African region where Chinese targets are more volatile for attacks.
The Chinese government may see this as a local level to address the threats and subdue minority interest of the Uighurs including local uprising from Chinese origins that are fighting for basic human rights. This will be a lost battle for Beijing as the support from terrorist organization infiltrating the Uighurs will cater for more violence using the Uighurs platform and internationally to sabotage China's investment abroad.

It is a possibility that a terrorist organization or extremist group may launch attacks on Chinese investments in Africa. An "eye for an eye" which clearly represents many Chinese philosophies will be used by terrorist organization widely operating in Africa to attack Chinese investments. There is no Chinese military or political agenda that can punish or subdue these threats from happening as they are not under the control of the Chinese government.

The cold war has long been gone and the former "cold war" countries are now engaged in a conflict not from their former adversaries but from within and with a new dimension of warfare. No "sound nation" will engage in a "world war battle" but regional disputes may happen and it will somehow be constrained to a certain geographical area. The days of "political dictatorships" are nearing and this includes developing nation's political systems of repression.

Beijing needs to readdress its political agenda with regards to religion, freedom, justice and its humanitarian reforms. Only this can, and will address the issues relating to minorities and its citizen's in China and the current Xinjiang province from falling into a terrorist platform. Beijing will not be able to use its prior force, such as the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989 to subdue these current threats. We must note that the key is always "winning the hearts and minds" in a desperate need to survive.