Background 1.6 million square km in size. Borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Abundant oil reserves. Largest natural gas producing region of China. Known as ‘Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’ or ‘East Turkestan’.
Demographic Xinjiang is home to several ethnic groups: – Uyghurs – Uzbeks – Kyrgyz – Tatars – Kazakhs – Iranians, etc Majority of the population adheres to Islam.
History 1912 Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China, control of the Xinjiang area taken over. Nov 1933 self proclaimed ‘East Turkestan’, but overthrown. 1937 Soviet Invasion in Xinjiang War. Second ‘East Turkestan Republic’ established 1944-1949 with Soviet support. This ended when People’s Liberation Army entered Xinjiang in 1949. (revolution v. invasion?)
History During Chinese Famine Xinjiang lost a lot of residents to the Soviet Union and East China. Student demonstrations in the 1980s Separatist Movement: – 1990 Riots in the Baren Township (20 deaths) – 1997 Ghulja Incident – 1997 Urumqi bus bombings
Recent Events 2007 Xinjiang Raid 2008 thwarted Suicide Bombing on China Southern Airlines flight 2008 Xinjiang attack (deaths of 16 police officers 4 days before the Beijing Olympics) July 2009 Urumqi riots September 2009 Xinjiang unrest 2010 Aksu bombing (led to trials of 376 people)
Articles “A year after Xinjiang Riots, Ethnic tensions simmer” “Armed Han residents take to streets of Urumqi seeking revenge” Council of Foreign Relations Article
Activity 1.How does the Xinjiang area relate to the national interest of ‘Territorial Integrity’? 2.What reasons do the Uighur give for their protests? 3.What are some similarities and differences between the Uighur protests in Xinjiang and the Taiwan independence movements?
Tomorrow… We will be watching the documentary “10 Conditions of Love”, featuring the leader of the Uighur protests, Rebiya Kadeer.
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