Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth


A few months ago I posted about China's internal resistance beyond that of their external political conundrum in Tibet. I concentrated, rather specifically, on the possibility of China's fracture along ethnic lines were it to face a collapse similar to that of the Soviet empire and put forth the Uighar and the Xinjiang province as a possible example.

The Uighur culture survived another near century that saw the fall of Manchu rule, the rise of Nationalist rule and it's subsequent demise at the hands of a communist surge, all culminating in the Cultural Revolution which established the foundations of the Chinese state we have come to know today.
And today there remains some 8 million Uighurs scattered about in the Xinjiang province, and into Uzbekistan. Unsurprisingly the Chinese have supplied the Xinjiang province with a Han influx designed to tone down the native ethnic presence. The result, of course, is a resistance to the rubbing out of ones culture. Tibet isn't the only ethic front of the Chinese struggle:

Now we have this, via Robert Kaplan:

It isn’t only Tibetans who have risen up against Chinese rule, but also Turkic Moslem Uighurs in China’s far western province of Xinjiang. The Chinese have reacted by arresting Uighur (pronounced WE-goor) activists in the Islamic center of Kashgar, and accusing Uighurs of ties to international terrorism. The Uighurs, in return, demand an independent state: that of East Turkestan. Even as China prepares to showcase its growing strength and dynamism at this year’s Olympics, the situation in Xinjiang, as much as the one in Tibet, demonstrates how it has yet to consolidate its border areas, with profound implications for China, the United States, and the world.


Kaplan lays his ideas out in a much more learned and cohesive fashion but it's gratifying to have posted on a subject only to have a coincidental follow up in a much better fashion by such an esteemed journalist.

Note the term coincidental. Contrary to "ripping off" (see commentary) or "plagiarism" (see ryanholiday's remark) which are subjects that entail a minor drama here at Soob.

4 comments:

Dan tdaxp said...

Unlike Tibet and Vietnam, East Turkestan does not have a climate inhospitable to Han. There's nothing to stop the demographic flood.

There is an issue of the National Geographic, I think from the 1930s, that talk about Han immigration to Manchuria. Manchuria is now almost exclusively Han. In a few generations the same fate will befall East Turkestan.

subadei said...

Funny as it was climate that staved off the Mongols for a time. Humid, wet weather was hell on their horses, morale and gear.

What gradient of warfare would you put demographic conquest (such as Manchuria and East Turkestan?) Or does it even fit?

Dan tdaxp said...

Sorry for the delay in getting back!

Simple population replacement without conflict wouldn't be a form of war, as there is no conflict between actors.

The People's Republic has been pretty clever in most areas except for Tibet. Generally, they exclude the local minority from population control measures, while moving in Han, so the minority does not feel a population squeeze, but is more quietly drowned as a distinct entity.

subadei said...

Interesting. Clearly there's a conflict in both Tibet and with the Uighar and said conflicts are born of the Han influx and a loss of cultural identity. The Chinese may be easing into these areas in a most non-kinetic fashion, but the natives clearly see the forest for the trees and are reacting. I'd say there's quite the conflict.