Sunday, March 16, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Unfortunately, the signal importance to these minorities of language, culture and religious rights evidently escapes China’s leadership. For many Uyghurs and Tibetans, for instance, the fight for symbols that recognize their identity – their own flag, a seat at the United Nations, a free media that tells their people’s story in their own terms, their own schools and political leaders – is a paramount concern. It is the stuff of their souls, for which some will resort to terror and violence, even laying down their lives in horrible ways.
. . .
Wednesday’s report suggests China will step up its struggle for regional power and influence against Japan in the coming year. The government indicated ominously that “we will safeguard the victory of World War II and the postwar international order, and will not allow anyone to reverse the course of history.” Combined with a promise to increase the military’s budget by 12.2 per cent, well in excess of anticipated gross domestic product growth, this cannot bode well.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Yesterday, I was asked to make a few comments for the Toronto Mandarin TV News. I judge that the questions the reporter asked me shed more light on the issue than my answers. For example, I was asked if I thought that the reason the incident occurred in Kunming is because so many Uyghurs travel to Yunnan to buy drugs. Another was did I think that the reason that the Uyghurs engage in terrorism is because they want are an independent East Turkestan so they can keep all the wealth generated by natural resource extraction in Xinjiang for themselves. So is it about greed? And there was the implication that all Uyghurs, coordinated by Rebiya Kadeer with U.S. support, foment terrorism to further their cause.
But I see the Han-Uyghur conflict as fundamentally a problem of incompatible and evidently irreconcilable narratives of history about the same piece of territory. Unfortunately, the signal importance of language, culture and religion to the Uyghurs largely escapes most Han people. But the fight for recognition of their identity, the symbols of their own flag, a seat for their nation at the U.N., a free media in the Uyghur language that tells their people's story in their own terms, and of course their own schools and political leaders is to many Uyghurs their paramount abiding concern, because it is the stuff of their souls. And for this some will resort to terror and violence and even lay down their lives.
I wish that I could see some path to a resolution of all this. But, regrettably, I cannot.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
It has not been denied by the Chinese MFA yet