China for regional response as blasts rock Xinjiang ~ Washington Promotes Islamism and Political Destabilization in Xinjiang Uygur, China’s Oil and Gas Rich Region
Multiple blasts on Sunday rocked Xinjiang, a border province that is China’s major energy hub, bringing sharply into focus Beijing’s escalating tussle to counter extremism at a local and regional level.
China Daily, quoting a Xinjiang-based news portal reported that the explosions in Central Xinjiang at two locations killed two people and injured several more.
Sunday’s blasts follow a deadly attack on July 28 that targeted a police station and government building near Kashgar, also in Xinjiang, killing 37 people, before police shot dead 59 of the attackers, state media reported. Two days later, Jume Tahir, a religious leader, apparently close to Beijing, was also killed at the Id Kah mosque, Kashgar’s largest.
Clashes with security forces in Xinjiang, home to the ethnic Uyghur minority, have killed more than 200 people last year. A spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, an organisation funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of the United States, told AFP that China’s policies had caused people to “resist fiercely in order to maintain their dignity.” But trashing this perception, China insists that secessionists from the East Turkistan Islamic Movement have been responsible for the violent campaign.
Beijing regards the movement particularly troublesome because a network of pipelines transiting gas to China’s industrial heartland pass through Xinjiang. The province, adjoining Tibet, also shares borders through the Wakhan corridor with Afghanistan, as well Pakistan and Tajikistan—all possible conduits of Jihadi permeation into China.
During a visit to Dushanbe earlier this month for a summit of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), visiting Chinese President, Xi Jinping inaugurated construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia energy pipeline, which would transit gas across Tajikistan into Xinjiang. But, he warned that attention had also to be paid to “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, which were posing a serious threat to regional security and stability.
With roots of militancy in Xinjiang spreading into the region and beyond, the Chinese, who are now inclined to include India and Pakistan in the SCO, have pushed counter-terrorism on top of the agenda of the grouping, which also includes Russia and four Central Asian states. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua, noted at the end of the Dushanbe summit that, “Separatist groups in northwest China’s Xinjiang, such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which has links with militants in Central Asia and Pakistan, have become rampant in recent years.” The commentary warned that Afghanistan’s Asian neighbours “could face huge security risks,” in the aftermath of the American withdrawal from Kabul later this year.
Washington Promotes Islamism and Political Destabilization in Xinjiang Uygur, China’s Oil and Gas Rich Region By Vladislav Gulevich
The Xinjiang Uighur region of China has been in the news in relation to the terrorist attack on October 29, 2013 in Tienanmen, Beijing. While there is no evidence of foreign involvement in the suicide bombing in Tienanmen square, it should be noted that Washington supports the separatist movement in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region (M. Ch. GR Editor)
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is the western edge of China (Xinjiang means new frontier in Chinese).
It borders on Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. 9 million Uyghurs (Sunni Muslims) make up 45% of the total population of the Region. From time to time protests hit the streets calling for independence from China. The USA has a role to play here, it defends the separatists on the international scene. The Uygur culture or rights don’t mean anything for Washington, but the Region enjoys strategically important geographic position being situated in the heart of Eurasia which is viewed as an area of its vital interests by the United States.
For the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union the Xinjiang Uygur Region was an area where its interests conflicted with Great Britain. The region provided access to India. Today there is a conflict of interests with the United States, which finds it important strategically to deny Russia and China an access the Indian Ocean.
Establishing control over the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region means getting a springboard for US penetration into the heartland of Eurasia. For instance, the geographic position of Kazakhstan makes it kind of a buffer zone against the Islamic radicalism coming from Afghanistan. Crossing the Kazakh territory, radicals would get to Russia (Kazakhstan borders on Astrakhan, Chelyabinsk, Saratov, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tyumen regions of the Russian Federation). Muslim Bashkiria and Tatarstan are in the vicinity.
While the USSR contained the spread of Islamic extremism, having tightly closed the southern border, Kazakhstan and Western Siberia remained parts of the Soviet Union. It has all changed by now. The US intervention into Afghanistan has exacerbated the situation near the southern part of Russia. In case the US gets a foothold in the Xinjiang Uygur Region, the things will exponentially worsen, there are many Uyghurs living in Central Asia (250000 in Kazakhstan, 60000 in Kyrgyzstan, 50000 in Uzbekistan etc).
The Region is rich in oil and gas, as well as rare-earth metals. There are 52 minerals extracted there. It’s an important trade and transportation hub, an economic center of western China. The Chinese commodities cross its territory to get transported to the Pakistani port of Karachi and then to South Asia. Pakistan and China are strategic allies, the destabilization of Xinjiang would hinder the flow of goods from Islamabad to Beijing. The Chinese law enforcement agencies report there are people on the wanted list in Pakistan among the dead Uyghur separatists. At that Beijing does its best to have good relations with Islamabad (1).
There is a major telecommunications project under construction – the Trans-Asia-Europe Fiber Optic Line, which is to connect Shanghai, China and Frankfurt, Germany passing through the Region (2). Oil and gas flows from the Caspian will cross it on the way to the Asia-Pacific. The Region borders on Tibet. The hue and cry raised by Washington from time to time over the human rights violations in Tibet is a trick the US propaganda machine resorts to while waging an information war against China.
Image: Head of the World Uyghur Congress, millionaire Rebiya Kadeer with George W. Bush.
The US goes to any length to support the Uygur separatists abroad, for instance the World Uyghur Congress headed by Rabiya Kadir , one of the richest Chinese in the world… She meets US congressmen and even has had a meeting with George Bush. She is a hyped symbol of Uyghur resistance. The 10 Conditions of Love movie devoted to her was shot in 2009. Despite the protests from Beijing, it was included into the Melbourne festival’s program.
The World Uyghur Congress cooperates with the so-called Tibetan government in exile and has branches in many countries, even in Australia. It should be noted that Anglo-Saxon powers (the United States of America, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia) have been including China into their agenda for a number of years, some time ago Australia became a host country to US Marine Corps unit.
Washington predominantly uses three issues to exert pressure on China: Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, where separatist protests are on the rise. That’s why the United States is well disposed towards the growth of Uyghur nationalism, using every opportunity to spur its radicalization…
Uyghurs Fighting in Syria
Rebels of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) which is active in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous district of China are fighting on the side of the “opposition” in Syria, the China-based Global Times daily says citing source in the country’s security services.
The paper says that members of the ETIM have been travelling to Syria since May to join al-Qaeda and other extremist organizations in fights against the regime.
The ETIM is on the UN list of terrorist organizations.
Its militants seek autonomy for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous district from the rest of China.