Mark

http://www.themarknews.com/2014/07/17/the-fallout-of-chinas-uyghur-policy/


On April 30, 2014, an attack at a train station in the capital of China’s Xinjiang region killed three people and injured 79 others. Haiyun Ma, a former task force leader on minority welfare in China, argues that the only way to prevent more violence is to revise the current repressive policies on the Uyghur minority.

China’s ethnic policies are largely to blame for the state of Uyghur–China relations. In the 1930s and 1940s, Communist China developed its own minzu (ethnicity) politics, which were borrowed from, and modeled on, the former Soviet Union’s nationality politics.

Chinese minzu policies after 1949 identified 55 ethnic minority ethnic nationalities, such as the Uyghur, as different minzu, and established ethnic autonomous regions, ethnic autonomous laws, and minzu-related agencies and apparatus at national and local levels.

China’s ethnic policy aims to provide services for socially and economically disadvantaged ethnic minorities. Minority groups’ rights are largely defined and generally realized through special ethnic policies, such as food stipends, lower requirements for college entrance, and liberal family planning. The minzu policy is thus supplementary to China’s constitution and basic laws.

In reality, the practice of the minzu policy by local officials in ethnic autonomous regions to some extent ignores China’s basic laws. On the other hand, China’s basic laws and institutions, no matter how imperfect, have protected Han citizen rights in Han regions.

The juxtaposition of ethnic autonomous laws in ethnic regions and basic laws in Han regions has resulted in bifurcated law enforcement on the ground, and has strengthened the divide between Han and non-Han.

The majority Han culture is seen to represent China as a political entity: The state, officials, and scholars have officially and publicly promoted Han language, clothing, culture, cults, and fashion. Meanwhile, due to their distinct cultural and ethnic features, the Uyghurs and other non-Han groups are perceived as less Chinese, or even un-Chinese, and are pushed towards nationalization (i.e., Hanification) through clothing, cultural, and language reforms.

The bifurcated law enforcement is most evident in Xinjiang, where the Uyghurs have been deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as Chinese citizens, such as practicing their religion and obtaining passports.

This already suggests the danger of alienating non-Han peoples in China. Since the 1990s, when Wang Lequan came to power as party secretary, the legal status of Xinjiang Uyghurs has deteriorated.

Instead of enforcing China’s basic laws and ethnic autonomous laws in Xinjiang, Wang’s Urumqi government instituted a series of local laws restricting Uyghur religious practices from publication, prayer, and public gatherings.

These local laws are in opposition to China’s basic national laws and deprive the Uyghurs of their rights as Chinese citizens. More seriously, they have not been discussed or passed by China’s National Congress. Here we see an official separatism supported by various local policies and regulations in the name of maintaining stability and sovereignty.

Wang Lequan is not the first to try to instate military rule in Xinjiang. His warlord predecessors endeavored to make themselves king of Xinjiang by creating tensions and conflicts in this borderland region when China was in turmoil from 1911 to 1949.

It is not coincidental that during Wang Lequan’s tenure as king of Xinjiang, relations between the Uyghur and the government have quickly worsened, as represented by the open conflict in Gulja in 1997.

Even China’s national campaign (the so-called “strike hard” campaign), whose goal in other provinces is to reduce ordinary crimes, has been twisted and manipulated by the Urumqi government, and positioned as a political campaign against the “evil forces” of separatism, extremism, and terrorism.

The bifurcated law enforcement in China, warlord legacy in Xinjiang, and lack of a national-level agency (such as the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, or CIA in the United States) indicate that Urumqi – not Beijing – has exercised sovereignty since the 1990s with regard to China’s Uyghur policy and anti-terror campaign. It is clear that China is not a complete and regular modern nation, not to mention a complete global power.

The 9/11 attacks on the United States provided a timely justification for Urumqi’s policies towards the Uyghurs. China’s opportunistic siding with the United States on anti-terror was a victory for the Urumqi government’s ongoing repressive Uyghur policy.

Beijing and Washington’s joint designation of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist group substantialized Urumqi’s long-held campaign against separatism, extremism, and terrorism. When China established an Anti-Terror Coordination Team and set up an anti-terror bureau in the Ministry of Public Security, Urumqi’s policy was promoted to a national level.

China’s opportunism, however, proved to be nearsighted. The new administration in Washington quickly corrected the previous administration’s “anti-Islamic fascism” campaign, clarifying that it was targeting terrorists represented by Osama Bin Laden. Later, the ETIM was removed from the terrorist organizations list, which to some extent embarrassed Beijing.

Beijing changed its Anti-Terror Coordination Team (with the United States) to an Anti-Terror Leadership Team in 2013, and it is now focused on the unrest in Xinjiang.

From the perspective of Uyghurs and other Muslims in Central and South Asia, this anti-terror war is the Chinese translation of a mujahideen movement. A prolonged regional guerilla conflict with the goal of revenging China’s Uyghur policy will likely develop in Xinjiang and elsewhere (as recent deadly attacks in Kunming, Beijing, and Urumqi suggest) if China continues to allow the Urumqi government to implement its repressive policies.

Photo Credit: Uyghur Turkistan via Compfight cc

Haiyun MaHaiyun Ma is a former task force leader on minority welfare in China, and currently teaches in the history department at Frostburg State University in Maryland. His teaching and research interests are Chinese History, Islam and Muslims of China (including Xinjiang), China-Middle East relations, and China-Central Asian Relations.

islami-comm_banner_web1

http://islamicommentary.org/2014/07/china-to-uyghurs-eat-dont-fast-for-ramadan/

by HAIYUN MA and I-WEI JENNIFER CHANG for ISLAMiCommentary on JULY 15, 2014:

The common saying that “you are what you eat” suggests that food is closely tied to one’s social identity—and what one eats and when can often be key indicators of particular ethnic and/or religious traditions. Therefore, the gradual erosion of a group’s food traditions, coupled with the adoption of new ones, is tantamount to erasing a central component of social identity. In terms of policy measures, one way that majoritarian governments,have sought to assimilate its ethnic minority groups, has been to change the latter’s eating habits in order to make them resemble the food traditions of the dominant ruling group. Such cultural assimilation tactics seek to facilitate the state’s ability to govern and control these ethnic minorities, and to create loyal, obedient citizens for the country and majority ethnicity dominated government.

The Han Chinese-led government in northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is one such government that has instituted food policies in its approach to dealing with its restive Uyghur population, who are Turkic-speaking and predominately Muslim. This year the Xinjiang government has continued Wang Lequan’s (the former party secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) anti-religion policy and has instructed Muslim students, teachers, and civil servants in public institutions to forgo Ramadan fasting, and instead eat free meals monitored or provided by the government during daylight hours.

Since the dominant Han Chinese population does not fast during Ramadan (they are not Muslim), such measures in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region appear to be a direct attempt to re-socialize the Uyghurs (the largest Muslim ethnic group in Xinjiang) to be less culturally Muslim and more Han Chinese. The ban aims to weaken Uyghurs’ religious and cultural affiliations by assimilating them first into Han food customs and later into Han society. (The Han make up more than 90 percent of China’s population)

During the holy month of Ramadan, which began on June 28 and lasts until July 28 of this year, pious Muslims around the world are expected to abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset — often reaching more than 15 hours a day without eating or drinking. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam that is required by Islamic teachings for all healthy and able Muslims. The Uyghurs are thus expected, according to their religion, to observe fasting during Ramadan, just like their Muslim brethren elsewhere.

fasting

But Ramadan fasting has now become a domestic political issue. China’s harsh response appears to be in reaction to rising Han-Uyghur tensions and violent acts committed this year by Uyghurs in both Xinjiang and other Chinese provinces and cities including Beijing and Kunming.

This year, with China’s announcement on May 25 of a one-year anti-terror campaign in Xinjiang, local government agencies, state run companies, and public schools in Xinjiang are taking more stringent measures to impose and enforce the ban on Ramadan fasting among Muslim civil servants, teachers, and students than in previous years.

They are provided free meals for breakfast and lunch, while officials monitor them for compliance, namely, observing whether they ate their meals and thus broke their fast. These government measures claim to protect their health, especially students’ growing bodies. The local government also organizes parties and celebrations offering food during the daylight hours throughout Ramadan.

In many parts of Xinjiang, local officials have mobilized all resources necessary to prevent them from fasting. Pishan (Guma nahiyisi in Uyghur) County’s Industry and Commerce Department went so far as to hold “sincere conversations” — meetings to ask its employees not to fast. Ethnic-religious offices and *United Front officials in Hami (Qumul in Uyghur) have held meetings on how to strengthen its control over fasting during Ramadan. (The *United Front is a political consultative unit trying to unite all non-Communist influential individuals to embrace communism)

To add insult to injury, Muslim business owners in Xinjiang are punished if they close their shops or restaurants during the day, as is customary in many parts of the Muslim world during Ramadan.

There is no specific unified all-China policy on Ramadan. Local government policies on Ramadan fasting by Muslims in other regions of China, while varied, is thought to be more liberal.

From Assimilation to Alienation

Assimilation measures have long been justified by the Xinjiang government and government scholars who have run a huge “identity” industry since the 1990s.

In 2004, Xinjiang local government and official scholars developed patriotism education withthe so-called “four identities study campaign” that clearly targeted the Uyghurs. These murky identities include: [1] the great Chinese motherland; [2] the Chinese people/nation; [3] Chinese culture; and [4] Chinese socialism. Since Han Chinese people eat every day and night in the Chinese motherland, the Xinjiang government perceives Ramadan as being at odds with the Chinese nation, culture, and political system. From this perspective, Uyghurs who do eat during the fasting hours of Ramadan are seen as open to cultivating a more Chinese (Han) identity.

The contentious relationship between Uyghurs, on the one hand, and the Han and the Chinese government, on the other hand, is rooted in the historical territorial conquest of Xinjiang (since 1949 known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), and the subsequent administrative policies toward the Uyghurs by the Chinese state.

The Xinjiang region, which Uyghurs consider their historical homeland, and which they call “East Turkestan,” was incorporated into Chinese territory and administration under the Qing Dynasty in the 1750s. Successive Republican and Communist governments in China strengthened their control of the region and its peoples. In response, Uyghurs have engaged in rebellions and revolutions, even establishing two short-lived independent republics in southern and northern Xinjiang in the 1930s and 1940s. Following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese Communists created the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 1955 in an attempt to both dilute the Uyghurs’ aspirations for self-determination and ease tensions between the Uyghurs and the Chinese state by offering a semblance of ethnic autonomy. There was relative peace for three decades.

However, since the 1990s, in the context of China’s ‘Great Power Diplomacy’ — a policy shift from supporting developing countries (under Mao) to developed countries (an economic development focus that began with Deng Xiaoping) — first the former Soviet Union and then the U.S have had an unprecedented influence on China’s domestic policies.

The collapse of the Soviet Union (a major ally of China after 1989) and the subsequent formation of the Central Asian Turkic republics into their own countries hit too close to home for the Chinese government, which was already keeping a watchful eye over possible Uyghur separatism. It is not surprising that hardliner leader Wang Lequan was appointed as the Xinjiang party secretary in 1990s and harsh policies were implemented in Xinjiang, in hopes of suppressing spreading Turkic ethnic-nationalism in Central Asia.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Chinese government embraced the U.S. War on Terror and declared its own war on Uyghur “terrorism” and “religious extremism,” thus changing the focus from Uyghur nationalism to Uyghurs’ religion.

The Xinjiang government started imposing numerous invasive measures against Uyghur religious behaviors. All Uyghur and other Muslim youth are now prohibited from attending all mosques, and the Xinjiang government has not given a reason. Older Uyghur villagers are only allowed to pray at a mosque of their own village and cannot go to other villages’ mosques to pray. (Note that all mosques are state-controlled and administered) Unofficial publications of Islamic texts are labeled and targeted as “pornography.” Local police uncover Uyghur women’s heads and remove their veils, and force Uyghur men to shave their long beards. Last, but not least, Uyghur families are routinely subjected to surprise, warrantless, searches of their homes (akin to break-ins) by the local police.

An unintended consequence of the Ramadan fasting ban, and other assimilation measures, is the further alienation of some Uyghurs who have worked for the government and have already have been integrated into Chinese officialdom and Chinese elite culture.

As many Xinjiang observers have noticed, the local government’s repression of religious behaviors has helped revive Islam among secularized Uyghurs, not only as a religious identity, but more importantly as a political symbol of anti-Chinese resistance. As the Xinjiang government’s intrusive measures against Uyghurs continue, the ban on Ramadan fasting for Uyghur civil servants, teachers and students is doomed to drive Uyghurs farther from Chinese culture and identity, not closer to assimilation. More seriously, this policy that originally targeted only the Uyghurs now has wider ramifications and has affected other Muslim groups as well.

- See more at: http://islamicommentary.org/2014/07/china-to-uyghurs-eat-dont-fast-for-ramadan/#sthash.2HkhJObF.dpuf

http://www.voachinese.com/content/issues-and-opinions-20140715-1/1957834.html

华盛顿 —
从6月28号到7月28号,全世界的穆斯林都在进行斋月的宗教活动,但在新疆的穆斯林,却被禁止守斋。除此之外,许多中国政府的政策都和穆斯林的信仰有所抵触。而在缩紧对新疆政策的同时,中国政府还拒绝了支持温和派维吾尔学者伊利哈木土赫提的美国学者史伯岭(Elliot Sperling)入境。

面对新疆最近越来越多的暴力冲突,中国政府缩紧控制手腕的政策对局势缓是否有帮助?还是根本在火上加油?

今天我们邀请到两位嘉宾来参加节目讨论。一位是美国马里兰州霜堡大学历史系教授马海云先生,另外一位是美国哥伦比亚大学政治学系客座教授张博树先生。

马里兰州霜堡大学历史系教授马海云对穆斯林的斋月习俗以及斋月的意义进行了解释,“封斋是穆斯林以及伊斯兰教的人进行宗教反思,社会财富再分配的一个过程,封斋期间,穆斯林是一个和谐社会,大家都会思考自己的所做所为”,对于目前为何新疆禁止穆斯林进行斋月,很大一部分原因,和目前新疆问题政治化有关。

哥伦比亚大学政治学系客座教授张博树认同马海云的看法。他表示,新疆问题和西藏问题一样,都是民族问题,民族问题的凸显,和宗教保守主义越来越猛烈,维吾尔族人回归穆斯林传统,地方官员打压穆斯林传统有很大关系。

马海云同时补充道,新疆问题,并不仅仅是暴力事件政治化或者是宗教信仰政治化,而是新疆社会整个的日常生活都被政治化。另外,马海云强调,新疆政府不可能没有察觉到维吾尔人对政府态度的变化,很有可能新疆如今的混乱局面是故意而为之。这样的目的,很大程度上,是和当地政府有关,希望制造混乱,来凸显自身做为封疆大吏的重要性,也可以看作是一种政治斗争的存在。

* 激进温和派均遭打压 新疆政策意在何方*

日前,印第安纳大学支持温和派维吾尔学者伊利哈木土赫提的美国学者史伯岭在北京被拒绝入境,在国际社会引起很大反响。张博树认为,连土赫提这种温和派都要被当局逮捕并判刑,足以说明当前新疆大形式的紧张氛围。张博树认为,十八大以来新的领导班子,应该更理性的对待诸如新疆以及西藏的民族问题,但是目前领导班子所做的,却和人们的期待相悖。

马海云则认为,新疆目前不管激进派和温和派都遭到打压,是错误的,当局走入了新疆问题的误区,新疆缺少的不是民族政策,而是中国的基本法律。

禁维吾尔族封斋适得其反

Posted: 2014年07月11日 in Other authors

zb_logo_sg

http://origin-realtime.zaobao.com.sg/forum/views/opinion/story20140711-364694

中国聚焦

马海云

“吃什么像什么”的谚语,道出了食者的社会身份:吃什么以及什么时候吃,其实是特定民族的文化标识。因此,一般的政府以为,通过蚕食个体或群体的饮食传统,再辅之以其他配套措施,便可以弱化其社会文化认同。在政策层面上讲,一般政府都会寻求通过改变少数民族的饮食习惯,使其饮食文化趋同于主体民族,来达到同化或弱化少数民族的策略。这样的文化同化政策,据说可以增强政府管控少数民族的能力、增强它们对由多数民族控制的国家的忠诚度。

在穆斯林斋戒月,中国新疆维吾尔族自治区政府采取了诸多饮食政策,试图处理与维吾尔人之间的关系。 新疆政府的饮食政策,包括禁止国家机构的工作人员和在校学生封斋,并为他们在白天提供饮食。因为作为主体民族的汉族,在斋戒月期间无须封斋,所以这些规定本质上是重新社会化维吾尔人的一种举措,试图通过破斋来弱化维吾尔人的穆斯林属性,增强他们的“中国”属性。

封斋是伊斯兰教的五大支柱之一,全球所有的健康穆斯林在这个斋戒月期间都要封斋,以便集中宗教功修、进行个体身心反省以及出散施舍,从而在信仰上更靠近真主,在经济上进行一定程度的财富再分配,在社会上更贴近弱势群体,以便维持一个和谐的社会。作为穆斯林的维吾尔人,如同世界各地的穆斯林民众一样,自然也要责无旁贷地封斋。

但是,在维汉关系绷紧的现状下,新疆的斋戒月却被独树一帜地高度政治化。新疆地方政府擅自制定了一系列针对维吾尔和其他穆斯林的宗教政策:其中包括禁止未成年人进入清真寺(与此形成鲜明对比的是,中国其他各省高官政要,公开出席各种祭祖拜孔活动,甚至进行各种抽签算卦等封建迷信活动)、维吾尔人不得跨村礼拜、非官方的伊斯兰出版物居然被列入“扫黄打非”范畴。甚至维吾尔人与生俱有的男性长髯,居然也被列入打击对象,更不用说维吾尔妇女的头巾被暴力摘除现象。还有,新疆警方挨家挨户突击搜查宗教读物的行动,在中国也堪称一绝。

今年的斋戒月监控,在反恐行动的背景下更显得声势浩荡。除了上述措施之外,新疆很多州县地区的国家机构和单位,居然将监督维吾尔工作人员和在校学生白天饮食的工作,当成一项政治任务。皮山县工商局的网站报道了该单位进行“恳谈会”来系统化地破斋。哈密地区的民族宗教和统战部门召开专门工作会议,确保对维吾尔斋戒月的控制。即使那些私营的店主,如果因为在斋戒月期间,以装修的名义而停业的话,也面临着各种各种的行政和政治惩罚。

严禁封斋的目的,在于强迫维吾尔人远离穆斯林的斋戒月文化,从而靠近主体汉人的饮食文化,进而将其融入到汉人社会。这些同化措施,在新疆自1990年代以来的庞大“认同”产业中,得到地方政府和利益群体的大肆鼓吹。2004年以来,新疆地方政府及其御用文人,将中国的爱国主义教育在新疆抽象为针对维吾尔人的四个心理学“认同”:对伟大祖国的认同,对中华民族的认同,对中华文化的认同,以及对中国特色社会主义的认同。

因为中国的主体民族的汉族没有封斋的习俗,维吾尔穆斯林斋戒月期间的封斋传统,被认为有悖于伟大祖国、中华民族以及社会主义制度。新疆穆斯林习以为常的斋戒月封斋传统,在这种意识形态下,居然被上升到国家认同和忠诚的高度。更为恐怖的是,这些认同基本上是心理学上的概念,没有一个可以衡量的法律框架。稍有历史常识的人都清楚,中国历史上的叛国者,即常说的汉奸,其实往往是那些最熟悉中国社会、文化、制度的汉人。“和而不同”的君子之道,居然被新疆地方政府做成“同而不和”的虚假团结。

更为严重的是,对那些早已纳入中国政治体制和官僚机构的维吾尔人进行斋戒月的监控,其实将会进一步弱化作为维吾尔人精英的国家工作人员,与国家既存的紧密关系。正如新疆观察家最近所注意到的那样,新疆地方政府对维吾尔宗教的严厉政策,早已复兴了很多世俗维吾尔人的宗教情结。伊斯兰教在这种结构性族群对立中,便不再仅仅是一个宗教,更成为反抗新疆地方政府政策的抵抗象征。如果斋戒月禁斋这样的左倾政策持续存在,维吾尔精英同中国的关系会越来越远,而不是相反。

作者是美国马里兰霜堡大学历史系教授
专攻中国穆斯林和伊斯兰教研究

Posted: 2014年06月9日 in Other authors

cdnews_039

http://www.cdnews.com.tw/cdnews_site/docDetail.jsp?coluid=109&docid=102788521

專論/通過內遷維吾爾人來解決新疆問題?——歷史的反思/馬海雲撰
http://www.cdnews.com.tw 2014-06-09 17:45:10
 
2014年4月30日發生的烏魯木齊火車站的爆炸事件震驚了中國的最高層。這是在中國最高領導人習近平訪問新疆不久之後進發生的,無論對習近平本人還是對政治局常委都對新疆事件之複雜性和緊迫性切有了切身的理解和感受。果不其然,一個半月後,以習近平為首的中國國家領導層于5月17日到19日在北京召開了第二屆中央新疆工作座談會。除了以往討論的新疆經濟建設和發展等主題之外,此次會議的一個核心議題是維護新疆的和平穩定。為此,習近平提出“有序擴大新疆少數民族群眾到內地接受教育、就業、居住的規模,”以便“促進各族群眾在共同生產生活和工作學習中加深瞭解、增進感情”。

 海外媒體迅速將這一資訊解讀為中國會大量將維吾爾人遷移到內地,以中國內地的龐大的漢族人口和據信具有強大同化力的漢文化來馴化和融合維吾爾人,實現維吾爾人對中華地理、民族、國家以及政治的認同。且不說以20世紀單一民族國家框架下的民族/種族同化論和國家/政治認同說來解決21世紀全球化帶來的諸多個群體和體間在政治、經濟等諸領域內的不平等問題能否在理論和實踐上可行,即使從中國和新疆近代史的角度看,這一通過使維吾爾人移居內地就能達到民族融合和社會穩定的計畫顯然沒有參考歷史的經驗教訓。

 將移民維吾爾人遷移到內地而實現社會穩定的想法和實踐並非為中共首創。早在18世紀的清朝,清代官員早已嘗試將維吾爾人移居到內地。當時的背景是,在清朝和准格爾蒙古人在17世紀末和18世紀初爭霸新疆東部和北部的時候,哈密和吐魯番的維吾爾人由於向心清朝而頻遭准格爾的侵擾,為了昭顯清朝對遠人的恩威,部分哈密和吐魯番維吾爾人獲准移居到內地甘肅的肅州等地。根據清代文獻可知,儘管這些維吾爾人在肅州開荒種地,但還是無法習慣與新疆相鄰的內地之生態、法律和人文環境而最終請求移回故地哈密和吐魯番。非凡如此,這一短暫的維吾爾人內附卻給清代帶來了相關的法律挑戰及其長遠的社會影響。

 甘肅巡撫黃庭桂於1742年上奏說,因為維吾爾人特殊的語言的生活習慣,對移居內地肅州的作奸犯科的維吾爾人的懲罰(如流放)很容易致其餓死,這有悖於朝廷招撫遠人的初衷。為此,黃庭桂上書要求以苗疆辦理之例处置犯罪的維吾爾人,即他們在當地戴枷鎖服刑。清朝同意了這一請求,規定此地內附維吾爾人的案件只需報備刑部即可“外結”處理。儘管現有的清朝文獻還不足以清晰呈現出這一“優惠”內附維吾爾人的法律是否適用于內地穆斯林(即現在的回族),但一個顯而易見的傾向是,18世紀清朝的很多地方(如山東)官員表達了對這些特殊法律條文擔憂和不滿,多名官員上奏朝廷以更嚴厲的(歧視性)法律對待穆斯林,對於穆斯林打架鬥毆等作奸犯科者罪加一等。由於甘肅維吾爾人短暫移居內地後便又遷回原籍而不受這些歧視性政策的影響,但早已定居內地的回族穆斯林卻由此遭受了清朝的歧視性法律對待。這些系統性地政策歧視最終在19世紀中後期釀成了西北穆斯林的大規模反清起義。

 將維吾爾人遷徙到內地的策略還忽略了漢人社會根深蒂固的文化狹隘性和排他性。即便在少數民族統治的大一統清朝,內地漢人知識份子對包括維吾爾人在內的非漢人的民族和文化歧視足以引起任何統治者的警戒。在清朝征服和吞併新疆30年後,山東巡撫國泰于1780年向朝廷奏報了山東漢人知識份子的公開反維吾爾的評論。根據國泰的奏摺可知,山東壽光縣(即前任新疆書記王樂泉的家鄉)一個名叫魏塾的當地漢人知識份子,公開呼籲將維吾爾人驅逐出中國。壽光縣衙在魏塾家中發現了西晉江統所著的《徒戒論》一書。魏塾在評注此書時居然將清代之新疆(回部)和(晉之五部)相提並論並呼籲將維吾爾人驅逐出中國。當被問及他如何斗膽將清之回部同“五胡亂華”之胡做此聯繫時,魏塾認為“他們(維吾爾人)是外國來的。”

 換言之,即便維吾爾人被內遷,但是能不能實現民族和諧和社會穩定不僅僅僅是維吾爾少數民族所能決定的。正如維吾爾短暫內附肅州和魏塾反維事件所揭示的那樣,維吾爾人能不能在內地和新疆被接受和被融合,中國能不能成為一個寬容、和諧、穩定的社會,更多地同多數民族——漢人文化和漢人社會相聯繫,更多地同中國法律的公平實施和平等公民地位有關係,而和什麼文化同化和族群認同沒有多大關係。2009年的韶關事件從某種意義上早已昭示了維吾爾人被內遷後的漢-維關係和法律處置不當的後果。

              (作者馬海雲為美國馬里蘭霜堡大學歷史系助教授,專攻中國穆斯林研究)

http://www.merip.org/mer/mer270/chinas-strategic-middle-eastern-languages

China’s Strategic Middle Eastern Languages
by Haiyun Ma , I-wei Jennifer Chang
published in MER270

Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Primer
Though the People’s Republic of China has extensive commercial ties in the Middle East, its three strategic partners in the region are Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. It is not surprising, therefore, that the major Middle Eastern language programs in China today are Arabic, Persian and Turkish. The growth of Middle Eastern language and area studies in China has tracked with the changes in the political ties of the People’s Republic to the region.

The first Middle Eastern language to be studied extensively in China was Arabic, the language of the Qur’an. Several Chinese Muslim intellectuals — notably, Ma Jian — studied at al-Azhar and other Arabic-language universities in the 1930s and 1940s. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, these Muslim intellectuals returned to pioneer Arabic programs at China’s top universities, including Peking University, as well as research institutes and religion departments that laid the foundation for contemporary Arab and Islamic studies in China. Today some of China’s leading Arabic instructors are first- and second-generation students of Ma. Most of the Arabic programs are accompanied by Arab or Islamic studies centers.

Egypt was as the first Arab country to recognize the People’s Republic, and for some time Beijing’s strongest ties in Arab capitals were with Cairo. In the 1980s, oil-rich Iraq took Egypt’s place, as China served as the major supplier of arms and military equipment to Iraq (and Iran) during the Iraq-Iran war. As a consequence of the 1990-1991 Gulf war, Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as China’s key Arab partner.

Saudi Arabia was the last Arab government to recognize the People’s Republic, having recognized the Republic of China on Taiwan as the legitimate government of China since 1957 and disliking the communist regime’s atheist ideology. Saudi Arabia was also suspicious of China because of the Communist Party’s tense relations with its large Muslim populations, particularly the Uighurs in Xinjiang. During the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, Chinese Muslims were among the victims of the national campaign to eliminate “feudalistic” and “traditional” elements, resulting in widespread protest from Muslim countries around the world. China also violently clamped down on alleged secessionist struggles in Xinjiang. An arms deal in which China sold DF-3 (Dongfeng) intermediate-range ballistic missiles to Saudi Arabia marked a turning point, paving the way for full diplomatic relations in 1990.

Saudi Arabia, with a quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves, is a natural choice to meet China’s energy needs. During a visit to Saudi Arabia in 1999, former president Jiang Zemin called the bilateral relationship a “strategic oil partnership.” In 2004 state-owned Sinopec reached an agreement that granted a concession for exploring and producing natural gas in the Empty Quarter, in a process from which US firms were notably excluded. Sinopec is projected to invest $300 million in the initial exploration phase. China replaced the United States as Riyadh’s largest oil customer in the same year, and remains among the top three, along with the US and Japan. One fifth of China’s oil imports now come from Saudi Arabia.

The Persian language is widely used by Hui and Uighur Muslims, especially by imams and Sufi communities. China officially established its first Persian program at Peking University in 1957 and began to recruit undergraduate students. At least three universities — Peking, Shanghai International Studies and Xinjiang — offer Persian at present. In addition, Iranian studies centers have been established at Shanghai International Studies University, Yunnan University, Northwest University in Xi’an and Southwest University in Chongqing.

Early Persian studies in China focused on literature, history and culture. Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, however, “Persian” studies in China transformed into “Iranian” studies, in order to better understand the revolution, the policies of Iranian regimes and Iran’s relations with the rest of the Muslim world, as well as China. More recently, much attention is paid to the Iranian nuclear issue and China’s energy interests in Iran.

China was one of the earliest and most important countries to support the Islamic Republic, particularly its nuclear program. From 1985 to 1997, China provided light-water reactors, machines, uranium products, atomic laser assistance and uranium conversion facilities to Iran. The Chinese government and supplier firms were mainly motivated by commerce. China was not involved in nuclear weapons activities with Iran, and the International Atomic Energy Agency did not object to Sino-Iranian nuclear cooperation.

From the US perspective, however, China’s assistance was allowing Iran to circumvent US efforts to limit Iran’s nuclear research program and other weapons procurement. A series of controversies tested US-Chinese relations. Soon after the Iran-Iraq war broke out, China sold Iran Silkworm surface-to-surface anti-ship missiles, one of which was fired at oil tankers escorted by the US Navy in the Persian Gulf. Washington pressured Beijing to verbally pledge to stop such shipments. Eventually, at the 1997 US-Chinese summit, China agreed to end its nuclear cooperation with Iran amid intense US pressure. Beijing was driven by a desire to improve relations with the US and to gain assistance with its own civilian nuclear program.

The pattern of Chinese accommodation with the US over Iran was complicated by the parallel emergence of China’s energy relations with the Islamic Republic. In October 2004 China reached a $70 billion energy deal with Iran, which allowed it to buy an annual total of 10 million tons of liquefied natural gas and 150,000 barrels per day of oil from Iran over 25 years. Sinopec was given a 51 percent stake in the Yadavaran oilfield in western Iran. Despite the UN sanctions on Iran and Washington’s efforts to isolate Tehran, including attempts to limit China’s energy imports from Iran as a means of punishing the country for its nuclear program, Iran remains a critical supplier of crude oil, and China’s major trade partner in the Middle East, second perhaps to the Gulf Cooperation Council economies.

The first Turkish program was established at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 1985. Later Shanghai International Studies University began to recruit undergraduate students into its Turkish-language program in 2011. The next year, Xi’an International Studies University introduced a Turkish major. In 2013 Peking University added Turkish language to its Oriental languages programs. Other specialized universities, such as military schools, also provide Turkish-language instruction. The increase in Turkish language study attests to the improvement of Sino-Turkish relations.

Prior to 1971 Chinese-Turkish relations were strained by Turkey’s Cold War alliance with the West and Ankara’s protection of Uighur leaders and activists of the East Turkestan Republic (ETR), who fled to Turkey after the creation of the People’s Republic. President Richard Nixon’s opening to China laid the groundwork for the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between Ankara and Beijing in that year. But Turkey’s tilt toward Europe and sympathy for the ETR were still stumbling blocks.

Since 2000, when the second obstacle was removed, relations have been much better. The Turkish government, during a visit from Zemin, announced that it respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, indicating that it would move to restrict Uighur activities in Turkey, particularly those of Uighur separatists.

The September 11, 2001 attacks and the US war on terror served to strengthen Sino-Turkish ties further. The governments increased their cooperation against “East Turkestan terrorists,” after China, the US, the European Union and the UN agreed to designate the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist organization. Details about this organization — said to be headquartered somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan — are murky at best.

Relations have continued to improve. In June 2009, Hamid Gül was the first Turkish president to visit Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. There he signed seven economic agreements resulting in more than $1.5 billion in contracts. The Uighur-Han clash on July 5, 2009, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called “genocide,” tested relations. But soon afterward, bilateral relations picked up where they had left off. In 2010 the Chinese and Turkish air forces held a joint military exercise in Turkey, the first time China had so collaborated with a NATO member nation. In 2011 a Turkish industrial park was planned in Urumqi, and Turkey agreed to train 50,000 Chinese imams that same year. A more recent example of expanding strategic cooperation is a Chinese defense company’s $4 billion contract to build Turkey’s long-range missile defense system.

As these strategic ties between China and the Middle East thicken, so will the development of Middle Eastern area and language studies proceed apace in China.

China’s New Silk Road Strategy

Posted: 2014年05月27日 in Other authors

http://www.merip.org/chinas-new-silk-road-strategy

land bridges

China’s New Silk Road Strategy

by Haiyun Ma , I-wei Jennifer Chang | published May 20, 2014 – 4:14pm
In the current issue of Middle East Report, we write about the strategic logic of China’s increasing investment in teaching Middle Eastern languages, particularly Arabic, Persian and Turkish. A key goal of the push for Middle Eastern language competency is to help rebuild the Silk Road that China stood astride in centuries past.

The ancient Silk Road bridged China and the Middle East via Central Asia and facilitated rich commercial, political and cultural exchange. After a long interlude, the Silk Road is back. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of the Central Asian republics in the 1990s provided China with an opportunity to restore this channel of communication. In 1990, the People’s Republic commenced construction of the Eurasian Land Bridge, a highway and high-speed rail line that traverses eastern Russia and ends in Rotterdam. A second such land bridge connects Rotterdam to the port of Lianyungang in the northeastern Jiangsu province. And still a third is planned to go through Turkey, with a branch ending in Egypt.

Beijing intends the new Silk Road to be much bigger and better than the old. Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of an overland “silk road economic belt,” as well as a “sea silk road,” during visits to Kazakhstan in September 2013 and Indonesia in October 2013, respectively. These proposed routes are meant to transform bidirectional east-west exchange into multi-directional networking.

In order to promote this networking, the People’s Republic has built two exposition platforms in the northwestern part of the territory it controls. One is the annual China-Arab States Expo, headquartered in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and established in 2013. The China-Arab States Expo is aimed not only at “sustaining friendship, deepening cooperation and joint development” but also at achieving an “increase in mutual political trust and strategic consultation.” Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are the key Arab players.

The second platform is the annual China-Eurasia Expo, which was launched in 2011 at the Xinjiang city of Urumqi in 2011 as a way to boost trade with China’s western neighbors, as well as foster cooperation in infrastructure, electricity, real estate, mining and refining, textiles, agriculture, technology, finance and tourism, among other areas. Among the participating countries are Turkey and the Turkic countries of Central Asia. Turkey’s importance to the project is self-evident: It has considerable influence in the capitals of the Turkic states as well as among the Uighur population in China.

In addition to the land bridges, another planned route leads from Kashgar in southwestern Xinjiang province to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan. Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif’s 2013 visit to Beijing finalized the proposed economic corridor.

This south-south route will greatly shorten the time and distance of transport of Middle Eastern oil and gas to China and reduce the risks associated with the east-west sea route — whether piracy or interdiction by rival naval powers in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese investments in the Gwadar port and the Kashgar-Gwadar railway are meant to make the flow of energy from Saudi Arabia and Iran more stable and secure. For Iran, meanwhile, the Kashgar-Gwadar linkage, together with the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline that should be finished soon, will increase access to the rising energy markets of China and India. Hossein Dehqan, the Iranian defense minister, went so far as to call China a “strategic partner” during an early May visit to Beijing.

But, of course, these grand plans do not exist in a geopolitical vacuum. The progress of Chinese-Iranian ties is hindered somewhat by China’s continued desire not to offend Washington, at least not too grievously. On April 29, Iran canceled the contract for a Chinese state-owned oil company to develop the South Azadegan oilfield on the grounds that the firm has done “no effective work” since receiving the bid in 2009. Iranian officials blamed US sanctions, which penalize third parties for doing business with Tehran as the dispute over the Iranian nuclear research program drags on.

In many ways, moreover, the Chinese visions of silk roads for the twenty-first century are a response to another “new silk road” plan, one hatched in India. Once crucial difference between China’s plan and India’s is that the latter has the full backing of the United States. It surely helps India’s case that New Delhi markets its plan as a way to rescue Afghanistan from poverty and chronic political instability. While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton endorsed the Indian “silk road” as providing “credible alternatives to insurgency” in the South and Central Asian arc of crisis.

The road ahead for China’s new Silk Road strategy may not be uniformly smooth.