Home Asian News The Hard and Soft Road of China in Xinjiang - The Diplomat

The Hard and Soft Road of China in Xinjiang – The Diplomat


China’s sensitivity to outside comments about its policies in Xinjiang is nothing new. However, Beijing’s latest approach to the region and its response to international condemnation of the Uighurs’ treatment seem to deliver quite contradictory messages. At opposite ends of the messaging spectrum: a state-backed musicals set in Xinjiang launched in late March, pushing the region into a utopia of ethnic unity and a Chinese court this week sentenced to death to two former Uyghur government officials for participating in “separatist operations”.

Shirzat Bawudun, the former director of the Xinjiang justice department, was found to have conspired with a terrorist organization (East Turkestan Islamic Movement), accepting bribes and providing “information to foreign forces” a illegal way. Sattar Sawut, the former director of the Xinjiang Education Department, was found guilty of including ethnic separatism, violence, terrorism and religious extremism in Uyghur textbooks. (Many of the people recruited by Chen Quanguo, the municipality’s Communist Party secretary, to help carry out the “crushing attack” against terrorism, are from the population. targeted clan).

External pressure on China has been promote by 2021, with legislatures and businesses in developed countries taking steps to hold Beijing accountable. Last month, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States impose coordinated sanctions atrocities in Xinjiang. (EU sanctions on China were the first sanctions the EU applied to Beijing on human rights issues since its persecution of civilians in Tiananmen Square in 1989.)

Not surprisingly, China has responded with its own measures. However, while Western sanctions are aimed at Chinese officials, China’s response to both politicians and researchers shows that they are not tolerant of what. considered “false information” about China. This subsequent escalation prompted drafting a declaration of solidarity signed by more than 1,150 scholars and researchers around the world condemning retaliation as part of a broader process to limit and control the scholarly debate about China-related research.

With political tensions rising, leaders in Beijing are leaning toward their tough dialogue. When it comes to Xinjiang, Beijing’s sensitivity is heightened against any questions about its authority and legitimacy. Recently, this has led to some boldism. In addition to a release US Human Rights Records Report in 2020, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said the United States was “playing by double standards and use human rights as a tool to maintain its hegemony. “In response to the US labeling of Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang as equivalent to” genocide, “Zhao accused the United States of committing five human rights crimes: colonialism, racism, export instability, intervening in domestic affairs and using double standards. Muslims in the United States also face discrimination.

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But even while pushing for a tough line, Beijing appears to be triggering a softer campaign of rhetoric to reenact the Xinjiang story. Music movie “The Wings of Song” tells the story of three men from different ethnic backgrounds – one Han Chinese, one Uighur and one Kazakh – working together to make their musical dreams come true. The film presents a highly stylized image of national harmony in the context of Xinjiang’s idyllic landscape – but one in which cultural and religious imprints such as language and headscarves have been removed. .

Although “La La Land” with these Chinese features may cause tone to deafening, it is consistent with presentations that Chinese diplomats have given in recent weeks. This week, the Chinese ambassador to Australia held Rare press conference and featured video conferencing officials from Xinjiang under the “Xinjiang is a wonderful land” banner. The overarching theme conveyed: Xinjiang is an area characterized by “religious harmony,” growth and prosperity, reaping the fruits of the policies that China enacted on behalf of the terror and anti-extremism.

It is important to note that the central government may be looking to send different messages to different audiences, including domestic Chinese, overseas Chinese communities, as well as national audiences. health difference.

Now China’s infamous “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy“Maybe not just for the purpose of signaling strength to an increasingly nationalist Chinese citizen.” Alex Dukalskis, an associate professor at College College Dublin at the School of Politics and International Relations, thinks this tough tone from an increasingly global China is possible. Talk to many groups including the Chinese elite and the increasingly nationalistic public; the audience is not Western (to show China’s leadership role in confronting the West); and elite Western audience (to “signal retribution if stepping out of the stream”).

However, managing this type of message can be a messy business and not always efficient. Beijing’s Xinjiang narrative may take both tougher and softer lines, but its use of two opposing tones represents an attempt by Beijing to test the best way to push. backward quibble, especially like boycott talk Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympic Games continued.



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