China’s Spatial (Dis)integration: Political Economy of the Interethnic Unrest in Xinjiang

China's Spatial (Dis)integration
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Muslim Minority Aff. Government initiatives that contributed to the cultural and political degradation of the Uyghurs have fueled anti-Chinese sentiment in Xinjiang. The denial of political opportunities for Uyghurs to repudiate official decisions or seek self-regulation may exacerbate the authoritarian political system in China.

As a result, clashes between citizens of Uyghur ethnicity and those of Han ethnicity are more visible and have grown in severity during the Cultural Revolution — Local ethnic minorities and individuals associated with external terrorist forces e. For example, during the Yining incident of , protests sparked by the news of the governmental crackdown on attempts to revive Uyghur traditional culture escalated into a rampage involving over one thousand Uyghurs.

The protesters torched cars, looted stores, burned national flags, and shouted pro-independence slogans, leaving nine dead and more than one-hundred injured. Over the last two decades since the violence in Yining, similar riots have regularly broken out in the cities of Xinjiang, including the Urumqi incident, which claimed the lives of approximately two-hundred people in Net Jan.

Communist China constructed its own narrative: nationalism.

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Nationalism is a contested concept within the field of political science and sociology. Therefore, in many respects, the Chinese government perceives Uyghur ethnicity and its culture as a hindrance to the promotion of nationalism in Xinjiang. Since approximately C. During the Cultural Revolution, China purged all religions. No State organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. There is speculation that such administrative measures like the registration of religious venues, approval of the clergy ordination, restriction on the distribution of religious materials, and other similar measures help maintain authoritative regulation of religious activities.

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The more recently introduced measures such as prohibiting civil servants from fasting during the month of Ramadan, banning Islamic veils in public places, and forbidding religious names for Muslim babies in Xinjiang indicate that the Party is placing stricter restraints on the religious rights of the Muslim Uyghurs compared to the past measures. Since , government departments in Xinjiang have prohibited Muslim staff from fasting and engaging in other religious activities during Ramadan.

This ban has also been extended to include students and teachers. The term is vague and imprecise in the regulation; items may include head coverings, such as hijabs, niqabs, and burkas, and adornments of other types of clothing, such as emblems, objects, memorabilia, logos, or symbols related to Islam. Urumqi Municipality, Dec. CN [hereinafter Urumqi Regulation]. In , the Xinjiang authorities prohibited dozens of names with religious connotations e. Watch Apr. Although this rule has not yet been incorporated in official policy or formal law, it will make a practical impact on both the individual with such name and their families; such practical impact may include denial of government benefits, education, and healthcare stemming from the Hukou System. Since China first encountered insurgencies in Xinjiang, the Chinese government has drawn a direct link between violent attacks and religious extremism.

The major concern hangs over Xinjiang Muslims at risk of being influenced by the ideology of extremist groups in Central Asia. Think Tank , S. Since , the Chinese government has characterized nearly all the ad hoc or individual violent incidents involving Uyghurs as extremism- or separatism-driven attacks, including the most high-profile attacks, such as the Kashgar attacks and the Kunming Railway Station attack.

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China Morning Post Oct. Rather, the Chinese Government may insist that these violent incidents are instigated by extremist ideals related to Islamic doctrines and supported by overseas radical organizations.

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This contention seemed to be more justifiable when ISIS pledged to launch terrorist attacks in China as a new target. Subsequently, when ethno-religious tensions threaten these core tenets of the CCP, the government deems the rights and concerns of ethnic minorities as secondary to national security and social cohesion — the priorities of the ruling Party. In Part II and III, this Article will outline the major changes in counter-terrorism legislation following the September 11 Terrorist Attacks and critically analyze the practical framework adopted in the context of these legal shifts.

Like its Western counterparts, China has intensified its counter-terrorism laws since In the Amendments to the CL, the new terrorist offenses reflect either a global tendency of fighting particular crimes or the local considerations of terrorist threats. First, for example, the Amendment incorporated the offense of financing terrorism by holding both individuals and units criminally liable for making funds, financial assets, and economic resources available to those who attempt to commit or participate in terrorist acts.

Security Council Resolution adopted in September , which stressed the importance on controlling financial support for terrorism. Since the revision, the crime of organizing, leading, and participating in terrorist acts has existed as a principal offense in relation to terrorism. In , the Ninth Amendment to the CL enacted several measures prohibiting preparatory terrorist offenses with the aim of preventing the occurrence of extreme terrorist activities.

Article 3 : Whoever advocates terrorism or extremism or instigates terrorist activities by way of preparing or distributing any book, audio or video materials or any other article advocating terrorism or extremism or by instructing or issuing information shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, surveillance or deprivation of political rights in addition to a fine; or if the circumstances are serious, be sentenced to imprisonment of not less than five years in addition to a fine or forfeiture of property. Article 4 : Whoever, by using extremism, instigates or coerces the public to sabotage the implementation of the marriage, judicial, education, social management or any other system determined in national laws shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or surveillance in addition to a fine; be sentenced to imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years in addition to a fine if the circumstances are serious; or be sentenced to imprisonment of not less than seven years in addition to a fine or forfeiture of property if the circumstances are especially serious.

Article 5 : Article E Whoever forces anyone else to wear the costume or symbol that advocates terrorism or extremism in a public place by means of violence or coercion, etc. Article 6 : Whoever illegally holds any book, audio or video materials or any other article while obviously aware that it advocates terrorism or extremism shall, if the circumstances are serious, be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or surveillance in addition to a fine, or be sentenced to a fine only.

Likewise, the CTL incorporated a list of similar offenses with a lower degree of malice and subjected offenders to custodial administrative sanctions. Technical investigation refers to the use of covert measures by police to obtain evidence that can be admissible by courts. Also, secret detention allows police to confine individuals suspected of terrorist offenses at a designated place without issuing a notice of detention to the family if it could impede the investigation.


In the next section, I show how uneven development has resulted in inequalities in private sector growth and participation between regions and ethnic groups. As noted by Adam and Cobham , these effects can be thought of theoretically as approximations to MTR terms. The opening of Soviet trade to all provinces can be seen as an attempt to extend China's opening-up policy to the economy as a whole. Springer, New York. Xinjiang's regional development, Asian Ethnicity , vol. Hide Footnote There are concerns among Central Asians that anti-migrant sentiment could rise again following the involvement of an ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan in a suicide attack on the St. Shares for other minorities experience a similar jump.

In addition, the CTL empowers Chinese police to use a cluster of control orders over the course of investigating suspected terrorist acts upon the approval of the chief of public security bodies above the county level. Laws 1, New S. Wales L. In the Amendment to the CL, the sentencing range for those who organize and lead a terrorist organization was changed from three to ten years to a mandatory minimum of ten years. Applicable solely to terrorism-related crimes, organized crimes, and crimes which threaten national security, special recidivism refers to circumstances where an offender recommits an offense at any time after serving the sentence or being granted an absolution, after which the recidivist is subject to a sterner punishment than ordinary re-offenders.

To match the new changes in the CL and CTL, criminal and administrative penalties have been regularized to apply to new offenses, such as financing of terrorism and preparatory offenses. Laws 1, 66, 1 — 6. The length of punishment for such offenses spans a wide range—from ten days of administrative detention to five or more years of imprisonment.

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Using publicly accessible data, this Article aims to unfold the trajectory of this tactic and examine its discourse and practical implementation. In Part III, this Article will investigate the substance, form, and manifestation of the major measures the Chinese government uses to respond to terrorism. Watch Oct.

Uyghur Point Of View

Help. Cover for China's Spatial (Dis)integration Political Economy of the Interethnic Unrest in Xianjiang. Book • 3 - Uyghur unrest and Xinjiang: Narrative. China's Spatial (Dis)integration: Political Economy of the Interethnic Unrest in Xinjiang (Chandos Asian Studies Series) [Rongxing Guo] on

Basin L. The iron-fist strategy has continued to be the dominant legal tool for counter-terrorism in post China. An examination of the and campaigns will shed some light on this new trend. The Uyghur protestors reportedly committed assaults and killings in the streets, causing deaths and more than injuries, with most of the victims being Han people. It promptly deployed paramilitary force, such as the Chinese Armed Police, to control the spread of violence.

Though the local government released some of the rioters by August , the majority remained incarcerated, and more than four hundred eventually faced criminal charges.

Footage of the 2009 ethnic violence in Xinjiang

As Nuer Baikeli, the then-President of Xinjiang, disclosed, in the next six months, the courts at all levels in Xinjiang tried ninety-seven cases and convicted individuals, of which 26 defendants were sentenced to the death penalty with either immediate execution or a two-year suspension. On May 24, , attackers in two cars crashed into shoppers at a street market and set off explosives, leaving the highest toll of casualties in a string of violent attacks since the riots thirty-nine people dead and ninety people injured. Since the Tiananmen attack in October , incidents of ethnic violence multiplied.

It is believed that there were numerous sizeable riots and uprisings involving anti-government protests, attacks on state institutions, and inter-ethnic clashes in Kashgar, Turpan, Khotan, and other areas in Xinjiang. From the attack to present day, there have been more incidents than those of the last ten years combined. China has begun to face intensified terrorist threats from both home and abroad. In this regard, repressive justice, characterized by coercion, imposition, and severity, came to the forefront to convey the message of zero tolerance for crimes that threaten the sovereignty of the state.

Similar to the campaign, the return of speedy prosecution and mass trials coincided with a surge in death sentences and executions. Nearly forty Uyghurs were sentenced to death, half of whom were executed within a period of less than six months. Neither the retention nor the gradual fading of campaign-style justice in the post counter-terrorism landscape is a surprising phenomenon.