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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chinese Muslims Uighurs - who cares?

The early July riots in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province in China's Far West, opposing turcophone Uighurs and Han Chinese, have been spun by Beijing as yet another "foreign interference" conspiracy organized by the Uighur diaspora in exile.

Pepe Escobar argues it's more complicated than that. All the trouble stems from the official Chinese policy of population transfer - enticing millions of Han Chinese to move to the Far West where they find limitless opportunities not available to the local population. And then there's the key strategic importance of Xinjiang province - immensely rich in natural resources.

China's spin plus heavy handed repression has been met by thundering silence all across the "international community". What a difference from the recent turmoil in Iran.

Bio
Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok.

Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007.




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