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The Chinese Dragon rebuilds its empire | Uighur MuslimsBY: Nuray | Category: Politics | Post Date: 2009-12-20
China seeks through the persecution of Uyghur Muslims and by wiping out their culture and language to assimilate them by force to accept Chinese dominance of their land. To turn Xinjiang into an industrial Chinese center, China hopes to end the question of the peoples of Eastern Turkistan as a forgotten race.
Just like in the past when Chinese emperors subdued eastern Turkistan, the Chinese Communists ever since they came to power in 1949 have consolidated their power by exploiting Xinjiang's mineral wealth while persecuting the Uyghur Turkic Muslims there. To China economic development is the best guarantee to keep the region stable as it aims to preserve Xinjiang Chinese by making it the center of industrialization.
The Chinese have always regarded themselves as occupying the centre of the world. Scholar Christian Tyler has pointed out that although the ancient Greeks resented non-Greeks, they tolerated them as ‘barbarians' or non- cultured. The Chinese made no such concession. To the Chinese all around them were considered ‘savages' and had to be treated savagely. Chinese scholars in the 1920s were still relying on Chinese myth claiming that Tibetans were descended from sheep while the Chinese word for Muslim ‘Hui' carries in the sign for ‘dog'.
In reality the Uyghur Turks had an advanced and a rich civilization even before the emergence of China. Since the 19th century and early 20th century scientific and archaeological expeditions to the region of Eastern Turkistan's Silk Road discovered numerous cave temples, monastery ruins, wall paintings as well as valuable books and document .. The art treasures, documents and manuscript s found were fascinating rendering Eastern Turkistan as having attained a high degree of civilization which dominated Central Asia for over a thousand years. This civilization was destroyed by the Manchu invasion of their land. From that moment the Chinese began to change history with lies and propaganda to justify their invasion and the wiping out of the Uyghur people and their culture.
Uighur Muslims have resisted the encroachments of the Chinese until the emergence of powerful Manchu ruler Qianlong who annexed Eastern Turkistan (Huijiang) which was renamed Xinjiang ‘New Frontier-. In order to justify Chinese annexation of this rich region to future generations a passage from the 1772 Huijiang zhi (History of Xinjiang) gives an idea of how the Uyghurs were regarded:
The Muslims' natural character is suspicious and unsettled, crafty and false. Hard-drinking and addicted to sex, they never know when they have had enough. They understand neither repentance nor restraint, and wild talk takes the place of shame. They are greedy and parsimonious. If husbands, wives, fathers or sons have money, they each hide it away from themselves. If even one cash falls into a drainage ditch, they have to drain, sift and dredge until the coin is retrieved. They enjoy being proud and boastful, exaggerating their reputation. They prefer ease to industry, considering an opportunity for inactivity and sleep a great boon, and a drunken binge from dusk to dawn a great joy. Their character is lethargic, and they lack foresight. They do not know what it is to learn skills or to store grain, thus they must have someone to rely on in order to survive.
Based on the above characterization of the Uyghur Muslims, the Chinese justified their presence to modernize these ‘uncultured' peoples. The Nationalist Chinese under Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists followed suit in their attempt to destroy these people. The Chinese were still not strong enough as the Chinese Nationalists were fighting the Chinese Communists. At this precise moment the nationalist Uyghurs in their attempt to save their land set up the Xinjiang Turkic People's National Liberation Committee in Alma Ata in 1943 and managed to get the Chinese to agree to self rule for the Uyghurs within China. Once the Communists consolidated their power self determination idea came to an end.
Since communist rule and the story of the Uyghurs has been a series of tragic events. The Great Leap Forward was an economic and social plan used from 1958 to 1961 which aimed to transform rapidly agrarian China from a peasant society into a communist modern industrialized nation led famine and the exodus of over 1 million of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and even Han Chinese. During the Cultural Revolution of 1966 which resulted in wide chaos and economic disarray, the Uyghurs were held as suspect for not assimilating with socialism. Mao-tse-tung, the Chinese Communist leader persecuted the Uyghur Muslims by ordering mosques to be attacked, Holy script ures to be burned and clerics to be paraded through the streets. Arrests and executions of Uyghur Muslims followed suit.
China is still today obsessed with following Mao's guidance to make the economy its first priority. However when it comes to national rights of ethnic groups, China remains recalcitrant and seeks harsher ways of restricting individual and national rights.
China under the gaze of the international community is rushing to empire building which makes it dangerous for future generations of liberal Chinese, Uyghur Muslims and Tibetans. China has lately inaugurated the construction of 1833 Kilometer long Central trans-Asian gas pipeline which would carry gas from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan all the way into Xinjiang. From there it will be redirected to reach Shanghai.
All the benefits will be enjoyed exclusively by the Chinese as bigger roads connecting one another will make it easy for the army to be dispatched quickly to put down any resistance by the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. China has already expanded itself by getting the right of exploitation of energy mining projects in Central Asian countries such as Kirghizstan. To the shock of human rights organizations, Chinese authorities are forcing the Uyghurs as well as Chinese peasants into labor camps whose conditions are so harsh to build a modern and economically advanced China.
Unless the West puts pressure on China in international organizations to give rights to its national ethnic groups, the world in a short time will be facing a very dangerous dragon that will not stop in its pursuit of power and influence internally and externally.
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