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Canada (158,052)
POLI 338 (20)
Juan Wang (20)

POLI 338 - Mackerras: Xinjiang at the Turn of the Century.doc

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 338
Juan Wang

Mackerras – Xinjiang at the Turn of the Century: The Causes of Separatism − largest province − largely Muslim − Uygur (most populous ethnic group) − also large Kazak population − separatism movements have strengthened since 1990 − stronger perhaps than even Tibet − this is despite government efforts to crush all secessionist tendencies Argues: strengthening of separatism due to various reasons, including strained relations among various nationalities in Xinjiang, strengthened in the 1990s by the collapse of the Soviet Union Situation in Xinjiang, 1990-2000 − Chinese government's policy towards minorities is autonomy and national unity − minorities are allowed limited autonomy to run their own areas − however, not allowed to secede from PRC under any circumstances − 1982 Constitution as well as May 1984 law mandates that head of government of autonomous regions must be member of the minority; may choose to not implement central laws which do not suit needs of local minorities − also allows them to follow own religion and customs, as well as their own language − however, minorities underrepresented among cadres, despite CCP efforts to train minorities − surprising that they are tolerated at all, considering CCP prohibition of religion − major incident: Zahideen Yusuf, inspired by 'holy war' of Afghan mujahideen − Yusuf struck on April 5, 1990; China responded harshly, crushing rebellion next day − other large-scale incidents occurred throughout 1990s − China arrested independence activists − supports came to demand their release; riot broke (Feb 5) − simultaneously, separatist demonstration attacked government building − police intervened again with violence − on Feb 25, 1997 to coincide with memorial services for Deng Xiaoping, three bombs exploded on buses in Urumqi, killing mostly children − suppression of separatists is ongoing, with executions reported from time to time Ethnic composition and population in Xinjiang − 20 official nationalities in Xinjiang − significant Han immigration into Xinjiang − proportion of Han as total population of Xinjiang peaked in 1978; fell after due to one-child policy − however, in-immigration appears to have increased during the '90s relative to the '80s − increase in Islamic nationalities almost completely natural Causes of Separatism in Xinjiang Outside Forces − usually refer to USA; could refer to exiles or Islam-based groups − most prominent are two sons of Isa Yusuf Alptekin − similar to Tibetan exiles in some regard − however, also different − no leader comparable in stature to Dalai Lama − negative image of Islam in the west − lack of emphasis on pacifism in Islam − they also lack unity − 'Shanghai Five': China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan − discussed military, security, and economic concerns and cooperation − set up in July 2000 an anti-terrorist centre to combat Muslim extremists and drug traffickers − June 2001 saw addition of Uzbekistan, forming the Shanghai Cooperation Organization − observations: − all think their mutual relations are very important − based on common view that pan-Turkic sentiment not in their interests − all concerned by rise of Taliban in Afghanistan − share interest with US in opposing Taliban-form of Islamic fundamentalism − during 1970s and 80s, Chinese foreign policy focused on opposing Soviet hegemony, driving China to side with US in the war in Afghanistan against Soviet Union − result turned out contrary to China's interests (and those of almost all other powers) Islam − have allowed resurgence of religious practice since late 1970s − also feared as source of separatist feeling − Mackerras believes there is partial, though not full, j
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