Cui Cac – Truong Hoa Minh

On April 18th and 19th, the People’s Army (Quân Đội Nhân Dân) online newspaper ran two articles entitled respectively “Seven die in non-terrorshooting incident in Quang Ninh” and “Border gate resumes normal operations after shootingincident”, in which it is reported that “Two Vietnamese border guards and five Chinese nationals were killed in a shooting incident at a border gate in the northern province of Quang Ninh on April 18”, “At noon, when procedures were being completed for handing them [illegal immigrants] over to Chinese authorities in line with regulations and international common practice, some of the Chinese men snatched a gun from an officer and started to fire, killing a Vietnamese border guard on the spot” and “A number of others, including four Vietnamese border guards, were also wounded.”

The first question should come to mind, how come such ordinary men could, though briefly, take control of the situation and killed one Vietnamese major and one second lieutenant while injuring four border guards, despite the fact that they were up against armed forces of Vietnamese military officers and police, who could easily outnumber them?

The articles continue, “The immigrants, including 10 men, four women and two children, were detained early on the day when they were trying to illegally penetrate deep into Vietnam through Bac Phong Sinh border gate in Hai Ha district.”

Here comes the second question: how well do border gates between China and Vietnam operate, since the vehicle that carried those Chinese immigrants could run through a checkpoint after it was ordered to stop for check-in procedures? Even worse, the vehicle was able to travel deep into the inland territory of Hai Ha district (22 km away from Bac Phong Sinh border gate). One wouldn’t want to imagine what could have transpired if the people on that vehicle had illegally entered into Vietnam for other purposes rather than simply immigrating.

According to Quang Ninh authorities and various newspapers, the shooting incident took place between 12pm and 3.15pm. As a customs officer at Bac Phong Sinh border gate recalls on Vietnam’s Agriculture (Nông Nghiệp Việt Nam) newspaper:

“Our police and SWAT team, together with China armed forces, have managed to corner and arrest them… Around 3.30 it was announced the incident had ended. When I walked outside, there were dead bodies and bloodstains all over the place, while Vietnamese and Chinese officers standing around with guns in their hands… My heart was still beating so fast.”

It leads to the next question. Wasn’t 3 hours too long a period for a coordinated team of armed men specifically trained for combat to regain control over a handful of ordinary people arming with just a rifle loaded with 5 bullets and no more? Additionally, the shooting took place on Vietnam’s territory; so it was unnecessary for China soldiers to cross border unless their Vietnamese counterparts had been inadequate to handle the situation.

It is therefore reasonable to question the solidity of current defense at our borders.

Before an answer is settled, let’s take a look at these photos.

A photo taken by Tien Phong (Tiền Phong) newspaper’s reporter Thanh Duy (Thành Duy) with a caption: “Vietnam border soldiers hand over perpetrators to Chinese authorities.” This photo, however, was later removed from all Vietnamese state-owned media.

(China soldiers in camouflage-pattern uniforms; Chinese characters visible on the filming officer’s helmet)

Vụ nổ súng ở Quảng Ninh

A China SWAT officer in short-sleeved shirt and camouflage-pattern amour (Chinese characters on his armour)

This photo testifies to the participation of China armed forces in the killing and capture of a group of “illegal immigrants” in Vietnam’s territory. Therein, Vietnam soldiers were picking up a dead Xinjiang man while a China counterpart was observing in a gun-holding position. Who had allowed China’s armed forces to enter Vietnam’s territory?

During handover, Chinese officers were armed with weapons as opposed to Vietnam soldiers, who were empty-handed.

These two Xinjiang men had evidently been alive when they were handcuffed. However, they were left bleeding to death by both Vietnam and China authorities.

On another note, the way the April 18th shooting incident concluded is very telling. It is without a doubt that through this case, China government is sending a clear warning to Xinjiang people who are drawing up plans for third-country asylum.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities have come under fire for cooperating with their fraternal neighbor. Local rights groups and activists point out that the arrest and handover of runaway Uighurs on April 18th go against international norms in terms of protection of the rights of asylum seekers. Criticism also includes Bac Phong Sinh border gate officers’ unsympathetic attitude towards the arrested Uighurs, which more or less led to the fatal shooting, and subsequent maltreatment of these 16 asylum seekers, among whom there were 4 women and 2 children.



Rose Tang

The Chinese government has admitted the refugees involved in a deadly clash with Vietnamese border guards on Friday are from Xinjiang (East Turkestan) and did not mention anything about them grabbing guns from Vietnamese police. Vietnamese state media report five civilians and two Vietnamese officers were killed, four were injured, after the detainees snatched guns from Vietnamese police. The death toll from China is only one.

A document from the Fangchenggang city government dated April 18 says the gunfight happened around 1:10pm in the Vietnamese border gate of Ba Phong Sinh in Vienam’s Hải Hà City in Quang Ninh province bordering China’s Guangxi province.

“Local villagers say Vietnamese police were escorting a group of Xinjiang people (about 16 of them, including four women, two children) towards Bắc Phong Sinh. They went to the third floor of the Vietnamese border patrol office building to have a rest, ready to hand them over to China. Xinjiang people had a scuffle with Vietnamese police who then shot Xinjiang people. One Xinjiang person died. Others have dispersed. Three Vietnamese were injured.”

The one-page document, with the heading “Information of Political Tasks in Fangcheng District, Fangchenggang City” and issued by Chen Mansheng, was posted on weibo and circulated on Twitter. It states the Fangcheng district government deployed police immediately to the site in Vietnam to deal with the case. “Armed police, the military and Tansan Police Precinct all sent members to control the border gate of Lihuo.”

See below a photo of the document, the other two photos of the refugees are from Vietnamese media.

Vietnam’s state-owned newspaper Thahn Nien reports China alerted Vietnam of the border crossing Friday: “According to the Vietnamese Border guard, they were informed by Chinese colleagues at 5:30 a.m. this morning that a group of Chinese nationals was attempting to enter Vietnam illegally.”


VTV1 TV News phone interview with the head of Quang Ninh border about the refugees (Thanks Thien-Huong Carabella for sharing/translating): 2 were shot (dead), 3 jumped off the building and committed suicide, 4 injured. From Vietnam side: 2 were shot, among the injured (didn’t tell figure) there were 4 officers. Bac Phong Sinh border gate was closed until Saturday morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKBXr3dqL54

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Vietnamese authorities in Tra Co of the Quang Ninh province arrested 21 people who arrived by boat from China. Vietnamese media reported the group may be linked to the 16 people who crossed the border in Bắc Phong Sinh that morning. But there haven’t been any reports saying they’re from Xinjiang.

Rose Tang is a writer and artist based in New York. She covered China for 12 years as a journalist for major Western media organizations such as CNN and taught journalism at Princeton University. She was named Journalist of the Year by Society of Publishers in Asia. She survived Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 as a student protester.



勇哥春祺共识网编安! 张海洋2014甲午3.21识于魏公村


中央民族大学中国少数民族研究中心 张海洋






“其次”,何爷是前半辈子见过延安整风,干过刀头上舔血的营生,接受马克思主义民族观洗礼也早的老共产党人。他纵然肯定“民族自决”原则,也是基于共产党的党性和“英特纳雄奈尔”的普世价值。这境界绝非南京国民政府民族政策粉丝所能“度量”或望其项背。勇哥也承认自决原则有维护弱者权益的正义性,却又把它看成现代国家禁忌,这是香山、奉化、扬州人的双重标准和南京政府思维。其实自治自主跟自决一样,都是自下而上的治理之道,为的都是让少数民族既能在生态家园当家作主,又能用主体尊严能动来维护法治国家领土主权。况且何爷的重心也没不放在这个跟共产主义一样可欲难求的理想原则,而在当年曾给中国带来团结统一,近年能保证中国经济成功,今后且能助推新一轮以公平正义为核心的政治改革重启,今后更能给中国带来长治久安和中华民族复兴崛起的“民族区域自治制度”的实施实践上。老人的话句句都基于党纲党章,符合国家政策法规,且有他亲眼见证胡耀邦坚持完善民族区域自治制度的成果成效为证。姚文也不是非要否定地方自决,结尾时甚至讲到不怕国家优雅文明解体,只是害怕从自决延伸出来的“自治”会带来族际相残,因而又讲了一大套关于新疆西藏既然属于中国“现代民族国家”,就得“慎行”民族区域自治的国家理由Raisons Nationales。他只是没说现代中国只要没有民族区域自治制度支撑,就会变成南京政府那种“想象的共同体”,内忧外患和人权人道就会接踵至。













中国有识之士恒言今天这轮改革是接续1980年代。民族领域今年更要努力接续起1984年颁布《民族区域自治法》的后续工作。世人恒言边疆民族宗教领域事情难办。其实海哥已经看出它难就难在过去20多年里,辛亥革命南库用南京民国知识的狸猫,换掉了中国共产党北库北京中国知识的太子,因而才需要拨乱反正重启改革回归正轨。忘记了过去就是背叛。背信弃义终归不祥。国族同化是痴人说梦。皇帝的新衣维稳也难。依法行宪是天经地义。讲信修睦是人间正道。能诚信则反侧自消。不自治便宽严皆误。50后国人勉力哉。 海洋2014-3-24初稿


http://www.cdnews.com.tw 2014-03-03 19:50:59











China sees happy minorities and terrorists in Xinjiang
Posted at :2014-03-13 04:34:41
Posted by : Kelly OLSEN

China – Chinese portrayals of the far western region of Xinjiang veer from a happy land of dancing minorities to a hotbed of dangerous separatist terrorism, polarised and simplistic viewpoints that experts say are used to justify domination and harsh security.

The vast area has drawn international attention for its spasms of violence, which officials decry as “terrorism” by “Xinjiang separatist forces” — code for radicalised Uighurs, the region’s largest ethnic group, who are mostly Muslim.

Beijing blamed such separatists for a horrific machete attack at a railway station earlier this month, when 29 passers-by were killed and 143 injured.

But, at the same time, state media and official propaganda paint a more idyllic picture of Xinjiang, stressing an ethnic tapestry of brightly-coloured national costumes and customs against a background of breathtaking natural beauty.

“Minority people here are good at singing and dancing,” according to “Xinjiang Cartoons”, an English-language book illustrated with drawings introducing the region’s history, culture, society and environment.

“They turn this part of the world into a happy and harmonious world.”

The publisher is China Intercontinental Press, an arm of the national government’s information department.

“Xinjiang is a sea of song and dance,” adds a brochure put out by the regional government.

Both publications were made available to journalists covering the National People’s Congress, China’s Communist Party-controlled legislature, which ended Thursday.

There is a long history of Chinese influence and periods of rule in Xinjiang, which has religious, linguistic and cultural ties to Central Asia.

But, as in Tibet, resentment has been stirred by an influx in recent decades of millions of ethnic Han, who account for 92 percent of China’s population.

Experts say Beijing’s romantic depictions of Xinjiang are a key element in a narrative of constructed simplicity used to cast the region in a patina of vulnerability and innocence.

“This is the typical Han orientalism towards Uighurs and other ethnic minorities,” said Haiyun Ma, an expert on Xinjiang at Frostburg State University in the US.

The objectification of peoples and nations, aimed at domination, was analysed in the landmark 1978 book “Orientalism” by Edward Said, who focused on European and US attitudes towards and relations with the Middle East.

In the book, Said wrote: “Orientalism can be discussed … as the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient – dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism is a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority for the Orient.”

Ma said that such imposed exoticism helps telegraph to the Han that Xinjiang’s natives would be helpless without their tutelage.

“They are socially, culturally, politically backward, that’s why you need all these so-called laodage (big brother) Han Chinese to help them,” he told AFP.

Conversely, Chinese scholarship on Xinjiang has turned into an industry focused on anti-terror studies and projects dependent on state funding, Ma said.

“There is an ideological campaign against Xinjiang,” he said.

- ‘Three evil forces’ -

The idyllic image is in stark contrast to the very real violence that regularly hits Xinjiang.

Ethnic rioting in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009 left around 200 people dead and resulted in a security crackdown.

Numerous deadly clashes have been reported in Xinjiang since last April, and the railway station attack earlier this month in Kunming — 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) away in the southwestern province of Yunnan — raised fears violence was spreading beyond the region.

Authorities also blamed Xinjiang separatists with links to foreign extremist groups for a deadly vehicle crash in late October on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic heart of the Chinese state.

Xinjiang has borders with eight countries, five of them largely Muslim — Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

But outside experts largely see the problem as one of Uighur frustration with state efforts to interfere with religious identity and expression — accusations China denies, stressing it “protects the rights of all ethnic groups, including their freedom of religious belief”.

Authorities are careful, however, to avoid blaming Uighurs as a whole for violence, suggesting rather that anyone involved has been duped by wicked outside elements intent on breaking up China.

Terrorism, they say, is one of the “three evil forces”, along with ethnic separatism and religious extremism, from which Uighurs must be protected.

“China’s state-controlled media portray Xinjiang’s Uighurs as vulnerable to — and therefore as potential victims of — hostile foreign Islamist influences,” said Nicholas Dynon, who researches Chinese media and propaganda at Macquarie University in Sydney.

On one hand, Beijing puts out “positive orientalist images of content ethnic minorities” and “negative images of separatist elements infected by foreign extremist contagion” on the other, he told AFP.

The narrative, he added, was constructed “in the interests of national unity”


For three years running, the China-Arab Economic Forum held its annual gatherings in Yingchuan, the capital city of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in Northwest China — a region with the third smallest GDP in China.

The meetings, held in this “Muslim heartland,” attracted 18 national leaders, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 195 ministerial officials, and 93 diplomats from 76 countries — and resulted in trade contracts worth about $42 billion (RMB 254 billion). Five thousand foreign and Chinese enterprises and 3,000 businesspeople from China and abroad participated in these forums held in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Last Fall the forum, renamed the China-Arab States Expo, resulted in more than $42 billion (RMB 259 billion) in contracts— surpassing in one year the combined value of contracts signed at the previous three China-Arab forums.

The contracts, signed by a mix of private companies and state interests on both sides, were for agriculture, energy and new technology, cultural and educational tourism, halal food, and finance.

Organized by China’s Ministry of Commerce, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the transformation of this regional gathering to one of national relevance, significance and scale, indicates a joint effort to improve trade with Arab and Muslim countries aimed at “sustaining friendship, deepening cooperation, and joint development.”

The connection between international trade and diplomacy has a demonstrated history in China that dates back to the well-known ancient tribute system. In recent years, China has put a concentrated effort into strengthening relationships – both economic and political – with Arab and Muslim countries.

ChinaArabStatesExpoBannerThere were 22 Arab and 57 Muslim-majority countries targeted by organizers of the 2013 China-Arab States Expo. And many of them came; including representatives from Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and 67 other countries. The size of the Kuwaiti delegation was particularly noticeable in that it alone had an exhibition area of about 1000 square meters. Also of note, the expo wasn’t male-centered.

According to the latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce, Sino-Arab trade in the first 10 months of 2013 topped $194.9 billion. Although the expo’s precise contribution to overall Sino-Arab trade is unclear, the numbers (more than $42 billion) are strikingly significant given the small and resource-poor Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

While trade opportunities at the expo may have centered on Ningxia, representatives and business people from other Chinese regions also attended these gatherings for the chance to make Arab and local business contacts.

In addition to generating an increased volume of trade, these trade fairs have also become a potential platform for increased political consultation. China’s No. 3 national leader Yu Zhengsheng (the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), at the expo’s opening ceremony, called for an “increase in mutual political trust and strategic consultation.”

A Bloody History

From a historical perspective, the location for the economic expo is of major significance. Ningxia had been a battlefield between the Hui and Han peoples since the late 19th century up to 1970s. Ningxia Hui Muslims were slaughtered at Jahirriyya center of Jinjipu by ZuoZongtang’s forces in the 1870s. This historical, religious, and ethnic hatred was reinforced in 1960s during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and its aftermath.

Three decades after Chinese economic reform of its coastal regions in the ‘80s, China has now begun to see the “usefulness” of the interior Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and it’s Hui Muslim population (they constitute about 34%) that, geographically isolated, had been perceived as economically backward compared to the coastal regions.

With this new expo and other initiatives, China is using the Hui connection to reach out to Arab and Muslim states. And, this has benefited Ningxia Muslims who are now engaged in trade with Arab and Muslim countries on a regional, national, and international scale.

Keeping in mind the historically bloody relationship between Chinese Muslims and the Chinese state since the 19th century, this new kind of economic outreach facilitated by cultural and religious ties could mean closer relations and a new and deeper level of trust between Hui Muslims and the Chinese state. This is no small feat.

There exists both a pattern in China’s thinking about the culture and religion of its Muslim citizens, and a history of using its Muslims for political gain when necessary. During the Sino-Japanese wars in 1930s, China deployed Muslim intellectuals and diplomats to gain Arab and Islamic support for China’s resistance war. (Is history repeating itself? In recent years, relations between the Chinese state and Hui Muslims have gotten closer as Sino-Japanese relations have deteriorated.)

The Chinese state’s perception and treatment of Hui Muslims serves another curious purpose. It’s the kind of “positive capital” that stands in stark contrast to China’s relations with its Muslim Uyghur citizens in the neighboring Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

It is worth noting the historical differences between these two populations:

• The Hui are not tied to a single region and, unlike in Xinjiang, there is no history of separatist movements desiring a more independent Ningxia.

• Regional leaders in Ningxia (both Hui and Han) are more open-minded, politically enlightened, and less obsessed with political and ideological campaigns than their counterparts in Xinjiang. In general, Ningxia leaders are less obsessed with “fighting terrorism” and have better communications and connections with Beijing.

• The Hui are more culturally and racially tied to the Chinese. They are actively involved in modern Chinese nationalism, and see that as a way of ensuring the survival of Islam in the Chinese nation.

• The Uyghurs had two short-lived independent states, East Turkistan Republics respectively in 1930s and 1940s in Southern and Northern Xinjiang, which Xinjiang officials constantly perceive as precedent for today’s Uyghur human rights activities.

While the future looks bright for China-Hui relations in Ningxia, China-Uyghur relations have precipitously deteriorated into tension, hostility, and violence on both sides.

The forums in Ningxia have showcased and promoted China’s relationship with its Muslims, while China’s government in Xinjiang has attempted to de-Islamicize Uyghur Muslims there through restriction of Islamic practices — in hopes of containing and even eliminating Uyghur Muslim connections with their Central Asian neighbors.

Another trade initiative — the annual China-Eurasia Expo — was launched in Urumqi in Xinjiang in 2011 as an attempt to increase trade with China’s western neighbors in Central Asia, but organizers in this case downplayed the role of Xinjiang’s Turkic/Islamic cultural and religious ties with the region. This trade fair is jointly organized by China’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Xinjiang government and Xinjiang Development and Construction Corps.

Given the tension and hostility between the Uyghurs and Xinjiang authorities and the Chinese government’s “Anti-Three (Evil) Forces” campaign (“separatism, extremism, and terrorism”), Uyghurs have found it difficult to participate in this government-organized trade fair. They are not encouraged to participate, probably out of China’s fear that they (the Uyghurs) will build closer relations with Central Asian Turkic states. Instead China has focused on encouraging the Han (ethnic Chinese) to engage in China-Central Asia communication.

As Ningxia’s utilization of Islam indicates, trade is not merely an exchange of goods, but also a communication of culture and emotion. China seems not to have considered that Uyghur participation in the China-Eurasia Expo would enrich the Uyhur community and greatly contribute to the projection of Chinese economic, as well as cultural, power in Central Asia.

Chinese officials should re-examine the Ningxia business model, which was endorsed by the Beijing government, and, ironically, initiated by a Ningxia government previously suspicious of Islam and Muslims. The success of the China-Arab States Expo proves that cultural tolerance and economic prosperity can be interconnected. And that, in the end, Islam turned out to be a selling point.

Ningxia and Xinjiang, Eurasian stops along the ancient Silk Road, should both be tied to the country’s strategic plan for the restoration of this historic trading route. (a long-range project the Chinese president Xi Jinping formally announced during his visit to Kazakhstan in early September 2013).

China is also promoting another project — the Trans-Asian Railway, or Eurasian Land Bridge, that would strengthen China’s economic ties with the West by connecting Asia and Central Asia with Europe.

What is lacking in both these initiatives, and China’s broader business strategy, is an acknowledgement by China that there could be positive benefits to come out of the Uyghurs’ historical, ethnic, cultural, and religious connections with Central Asia and their religious connections with the broader Muslim world. And that the Uyghurs could be seen as a source of peace and prosperity, as opposed to instability.

China’s No. 3 national leader Yu Zhengsheng said the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region lies at the crossroads between China and the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Europe, and that it should play a more important role in Sino-Arab cooperation.

If the China-Arab Expo can bridge differences between China and the Arab and Muslim countries it does business with, and achieve prosperity for all, then there’s no reason to exclude Uyghur participation in the China-Eurasia Expo, Silk Road project, and China’s broader economic outreach to Muslim countries.

It can only increase China’s prosperity and improve China’s relations with Uyghur Muslims as well as the Muslim World

Posted: 2014年03月12日 in Original Thoughts

Is the existence of Uyghur Muslims under threat in China?http://islamicommentary.org/2014/03/watch-is-the-existence-of-uyghur-muslims-under-threat-in-china/

Analysis: Is the existence of Uyghur Muslims under threat in China? March 10, 2014 (Part 1) A knife attack by 8 assailants left 29 dead at a train station in South West China last month. It is an event that is likely to have serious implications for Chinese Uighur Muslims. The Chinese authorities have blamed the terror attack on Uihgur separatists from the Xianjing region.

This may pave the way for even greater restrictions on the Uighur population. They are already routinely subjected to strict security checks. The arrest of prominent academic Ilham Tohti last month under charges of fomenting separatism has been condemned by the international community. So what is behind the repressive actions of the Chinese government? And are the Uighur’s really a threat to Chinese state security?

Here to discuss this is host John Rees, and in the studio is Enver Tohti Bugda, Independent Researcher, Rod Wye, Associate Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House and on Skype is Nicholas Bequelin, Senior researcher, from Human Rights Watch.

Welcome back to Analysis segment two, where we are talking about the latest measures taken against Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government.

Protests and riots in China’s autonomous Xianjing province in recent years have shown the growing discontent of native Uighur Muslims.

Migration into North Western region, coupled with increasingly repressive policies against Uighurs, has meant that they are now a declining proportion of the population.

So are we seeing the beginning of the end of Uighur Muslims in China?

Host is John Rees. Studio guests are Enver Tohti Bugda, Independent Researcher, Rod Wye, Associate Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House. Via Skype is Dr. Haiyun Ma, from the Department of History at Frostburg State University in the U.S.