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Background Briefing: China and the Uighurs: Who Supports Chinese Policy? Carlyle A. Thayer July 2, 2013

[client name deleted] We would appreciate your assessment of this Xinhua story in support of China's policy in Xinjiang: (see below) Would you like to comment on how Cambodia has become more actively supportive of Chinese policy? Also, it's interesting to look at the other people they bring out to support the policy, are these people from countries similarly recipients of Chinese loans etc.? ANSWER: All countries that have diplomatic relations with China must sign on to the "one China policy." China is ever vigilant for any deviation from this. In 2009 when twenty plus Uighur asylum seekers sought refuge in Cambodia, China put considerable pressure on the Cambodian government to repatriate them. Cambodia complied. China claims that the Uighur separatists are extremist who promote terrorism. The sources identified in the Xinhuanet article come from various countries, not all of which are dependent on Chinese aid, such as India, Afghanistan and France. The remarks by the spokesman for Cambodia's Council of Ministers, Phay Siphan, were less partisan than other commentary. The spokesman merely decried violence and called for the strict application of the law. This stands in contrast to Sok Touch, deputy director of Cambodia's International Relations Institute, who called the Uighurs Islamic extremists. The other sources quoted generally followed the Chinese line that the Uighurs were terrorists or used terrorism to promote separatism. This raises the age old question of "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Since the Uighurs use violence this blurs the line between terrorism and the [legitimate] use of force for self-defence against an aggressive state. There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. The UN has been mulling over this issue for decades. Various agencies of the US Government employ different definitions, each definition is used to suit the purpose of the department concerned.

2 Certainly China uses economic inducements, propaganda and political pressure to get foreign governments and key opinion leaders to adopt China's official line.

Suggested citation: Carlyle A. Thayer, “China and the Uighurs: Who Supports Chinese Policy?,” Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, July 2, 2013. All background briefs are posted on (search for Thayer). Thayer Consultancy provides political analysis of current regional security issues to selected clients. It was officially registered as a small business in Australia in 2002.


China's strike on terrorism supported, int'l cooperation urged | 2013-07-01 00:58:18 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has a responsibility to crack down on the recent terror attacks in its Xinjiang region and the international community should strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, experts said. "The violent terror attacks occurred in Xinjiang is outrageous," said Ismail Debeche of the China-Algeria Friendship Association. "We strongly condemn the terrorists who attempted to destroy China's ethnic unity, peace and stability." Terrorism is a global enemy and every government has the responsibility to crack down on terrorism, said Debeche, adding that the China-Algeria Friendship Association supports and appreciates Beijing's determination and concrete steps to strike terrorism. A total of 24 people were killed on Wednesday by rioters in an attack in Lukqun Township in Xinjiang's Shanshan County. The rioters attacked the township's police stations, a local government building and a construction site, and set fire to police cars. Twenty-one police officers and civilians were injured. The police shot and killed 11 rioters at the scene and captured another four. Khalid Mahmood, president of the Islamabad Council of World Affairs, said some miscreants were trying to disturb Xinjiang's social and economic development and impede China's growth through repeated activities against the people and the state. Terrorism is not only the common enemy of Pakistan and China, but also of the rest of the world, said Mahmood. It is the right of every country not to allow any group or militant organization to hijack their interests, disturb economic development, social harmony and social stability, he added. Sok Touch, deputy director of Cambodia's International Relations Institute, said Islamic extremists attempted to separate the Xinjiang region from China through religion. Spokesman for Cambodia's Council of Ministers Phay Siphan said Sunday that as a friend of China, Cambodia wishes not to see any deadly violence in China and hopes that all issues in Xinjiang would be solved peacefully. "Any violent activities should be ended," he said. "A strict law implementation must be applied." Ramesh Chopra, a senior Indian critic on strategic issues, said the terror attacks that occurred in Xinjiang, similar to those in other countries, were manipulated by international extremist forces. The international community and every government should not give in to or connive the terrorists, he said, adding that they should strengthen cooperation to crack down on terrorism Regional players including India and China should also work together to deal with this common enemy of mankind, he said. Wahid Muzhdah of Afghanistan's Strategic Research Center said terrorism is the common

4 enemy of countries in Central Asia and poses a challenge to human civilization. For regional peace and security, the international community and regional organizations must join hands to address this trans-regional challenge, he said. "As a major country, China has its reason and capability to respond to terrorism in its own way," he said. "A series of steps taken by Beijing have worked to frighten the criminals and help safeguard stability in the country." Pierre Picquart, a French China expert, told Xinhua that the Chinese government is right in clamping down on terrorists in Xinjiang who used religious or economic excuses to stoke unrest and launch violent attacks. "Beijing wants to protect the freedom of the people," he said.

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