China: Assimilating or radicalising Uighurs?

19-11-2014

The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a restive province in China's western periphery, is populated in almost equal proportions by Turkic-speaking Uighurs and Mandarin-speaking Han Chinese. The Uighurs, who are predominantly Muslim, call the region East Turkestan. Since October 2013, when China witnessed its first terrorist suicide car attack on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, for which the East Turkestan Islamic Movement claimed responsibility, the province has been haunted by a series of deadly assaults. Beijing has responded with its version of the 'war on terror' and the reinforcement of a range of policies aimed at 'better assimilating Uighurs into the mainstream Chinese society'.

The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a restive province in China's western periphery, is populated in almost equal proportions by Turkic-speaking Uighurs and Mandarin-speaking Han Chinese. The Uighurs, who are predominantly Muslim, call the region East Turkestan. Since October 2013, when China witnessed its first terrorist suicide car attack on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, for which the East Turkestan Islamic Movement claimed responsibility, the province has been haunted by a series of deadly assaults. Beijing has responded with its version of the 'war on terror' and the reinforcement of a range of policies aimed at 'better assimilating Uighurs into the mainstream Chinese society'.