Kazakhstan… Putting the Xinjiang in Context

As America continues to bleat on about human rights in China, it supports and promotes the head-choppers to whom it has granted a franchise.

The short-lived attempt at a colour revolution in Kazakhstan has brought into focus the geo-political game being waged by the West in Central Asia. This clumsy attempt to once again destablise the region was quickly squashed thanks to the response of Kazakhstan’s fellow members of the CTSO, led by Russia. As all colour revolutions do, it tapped into genuine anger among the populace about rising fuel costs and other legitimate grievances. However any pretence that this was an organic, leaderless uprising was soon exposed, the beheadings were the giveaway.

The Central Asian region encompassing all the “Stans” has been largely at the periphery of world affairs until comparatively recently. Remote in the extreme, even during its time as a part on the USSR, it received little attention due to its strategic irrelevance. The emergence of China and Russia has changed that. Kazakhstan, sandwiched between them, along with its Central Asian neighbours, is now a battleground for the “great power politics” being played out. Kazakhstan is an essential component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and as such is a target of the Western powers, who are intent on doing all possible to stop it.

A cursory look at a map will show that China shares borders with 14 countries, seven of which are Islamic nations. It enjoys good relations with all of them. China itself has a large Muslim population, not concentrated in Xinjiang. They are to be found everywhere in China, along with the mosques at which they worship. Not alone as a minority group, China has five different ethnic groups inside its borders.

All are free and encouraged to practice and celebrate their individual cultures and languages. In Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, there are at least eight separate Muslim sects with their own mosques. Muslims are not forced to send their children to Chinese schools, and during the almost 40 years of China’s one child policy, the Muslims were the only group who were permitted to have more than one child. The suggestion that China persecutes Muslims is just a Western concoction.

Xinjiang is in the extreme N.W. of China, it borders six of the other central Asian Islamic countries. Once remote and undeveloped, it has in recent years received huge investment from the central government to help it modernise and develop a real economy for the first time. Parents there overwhelmingly want their children to go to Chinese schools, learn the language and have the prospect of a better life than the Islamic schools can offer. The enemy of the majority of the people there, is the same as it is in their neighbouring moderate Islamic countries, radical Islam.

Many Uyghurs have already been radicalised, they comprise a large part of the terrorist factions that have been present in Syria, Iraq, Libya and many more once stable countries that have been reduced to ashes. They are heavily armed and paid a $50 daily stipend, but by whom you may ask? That is not a question that need detain us for long. The Turkic Islamic army is one such faction that sprouted from Central Asia. The U.S. Government took them off the “terrorist” watchlist a year ago. They are just moderate terrorists apparently.

So, does China persecute Muslims? No. But it does have a genuine Western-backed radicalised Islamic faction looking to infect the youth of Xinjiang. It is a problem it shares with all the moderate, peaceful Central Asian countries. If China does indeed have re-education camps as the West claims, most Uyghur parents would prefer their children were there rather than waving an AK47 from the back of a Toyota pickup in a country they don’t belong.

As America continues to bleat on about human rights in China, it supports and promotes the head-choppers to whom it has granted a franchise. Many of the participants of the Kazakhstan violence were killed and many more were captured. In the coming days and weeks we can expect more revelations as to who the “instigators behind it were. It should make for interesting reading.

Dr. Eamon McKinney is an eminent Sinologist with more than 40 years’ involvement in China foreign business. He is C.E.O. and founder (1985) of CBNGLOBAl, his company has managed more than 300 major China-Foreign projects. He lives in Qingdao, China.

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