Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1093 The Destabilization of China, Part 4

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: We begin with an excerpt of a New York Times arti­cle what epit­o­mizes the pro­pa­gan­dized and unin­ten­tion­al­ly iron­ic tone of our media with regard to Chi­na.

The arti­cle mocks the Chi­nese asser­tion that the U.S. is involved with unrest with Hong Kong, remark­ing that Chi­na ” . . . . has a long his­to­ry of blam­ing ‘for­eign forces’ for chal­lenges it has faced inter­nal­ly. . . .” This comes from the pub­li­ca­tion that has unwa­ver­ing­ly flogged the “Rus­sia-Gate” non­sense.

The arti­cle also pooh-poohs Chi­nese asser­tion that the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy was work­ing with the CIA to spon­sor unrest in Hong Kong.

In FTR #s 1091 and 1092, we not­ed the involve­ment of the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy with key play­ers in the Hong Kong dra­ma, as well as their net­work­ing with major U.S. politi­cians, includ­ing Mike Pence and Mike Pom­peo.

In past pro­grams, we have dis­cussed the Nation­al Endow­ment For Democ­ra­cy, a “kinder, gen­tler” U.S. intel­li­gence man­i­fes­ta­tion.

NED has sup­ple­ment­ed the decades-old tra­di­tion of CIA desta­bi­liza­tion and over­throw of gov­ern­ments that the U.S. views with a jaun­diced eye.

The Chi­nese analy­sis of the role of the NED is accu­rate. “. . . . One of the NED co-founders, Allen Wein­stein, explained its pur­pose to the Wash­ing­ton Post: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covert­ly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ . . . . ”

Next, we exam­ine an infor­ma­tive post from Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy, which notes that pend­ing leg­is­la­tion in the U.S. Con­gress would eco­nom­i­cal­ly dam­age U.S. and Ger­man com­mer­cial inter­ests, as well as hurt­ing Hong Kong’s econ­o­my.

We con­clude with a top­ic we have cov­ered before and will explore at greater length in our next broad­cast. We begin an analy­sis of the use of the Turko­phone, Mus­lim Uighurs as a desta­bi­liz­ing ele­ment in Chi­na’s min­er­al and petro­le­um-rich Xin­jiang semi­au­tonomous region.

Linked to Al-Qae­da, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and con­tribut­ing to the jihadist milieu in Syr­ia, the Uighurs also fig­ure into the Pan-Turk­ist milieu cov­ered in, among oth­er pro­grams: AFA #14, as well as FTR #‘s 720, 723, 819, 857, 862, 863, 878, 879, 884, 885, 886, 911.

The Uighur/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/jihadist milieu is dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 348, 549, 550, 615.

The arti­cle mocks the Chi­nese asser­tion that the U.S. is involved with unrest with Hong Kong, remark­ing that Chi­na ” . . . . has a long his­to­ry of blam­ing ‘for­eign forces’ for chal­lenges it has faced inter­nal­ly. . . .” This comes from the pub­li­ca­tion that has unwa­ver­ing­ly flogged the “Rus­sia-Gate” non­sense.

The arti­cle also pooh-poohs Chi­nese asser­tion that the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy was work­ing with the CIA to spon­sor unrest in Hong Kong.

In FTR #s 1091 and 1092, we not­ed the involve­ment of the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy with key play­ers in the Hong Kong dra­ma, as well as their net­work­ing with major U.S. politi­cians, includ­ing Mike Pence and Mike Pom­peo.

In past pro­grams, we have dis­cussed the Nation­al Endow­ment For Democ­ra­cy, a “kinder, gen­tler” U.S. intel­li­gence man­i­fes­ta­tion.

NED has sup­ple­ment­ed the decades-old tra­di­tion of CIA desta­bi­liza­tion and over­throw of gov­ern­ments that the U.S. views with a jaun­diced eye.

The Chi­nese analy­sis of the role of the NED is accu­rate. “. . . . One of the NED co-founders, Allen Wein­stein, explained its pur­pose to the Wash­ing­ton Post: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covert­ly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ . . . . ”

Next, we exam­ine an infor­ma­tive post from Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy, which notes that pend­ing leg­is­la­tion in the U.S. Con­gress would eco­nom­i­cal­ly dam­age U.S. and Ger­man com­mer­cial inter­ests, as well as hurt­ing Hong Kong’s econ­o­my.

We con­clude with a top­ic we have cov­ered before and will explore at greater length in our next broad­cast. We begin an analy­sis of the use of the Turko­phone, Mus­lim Uighurs as a desta­bi­liz­ing ele­ment in Chi­na’s min­er­al and petro­le­um-rich Xin­jiang semi­au­tonomous region.

Linked to Al-Qae­da, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and con­tribut­ing to the jihadist milieu in Syr­ia, the Uighurs also fig­ure into the Pan-Turk­ist milieu cov­ered in, among oth­er pro­grams: AFA #14, as well as FTR #‘s 720, 723, 819, 857, 862, 863, 878, 879, 884, 885, 886, 911.

The Uighur/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/jihadist milieu is dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 348, 549, 550, 615.

1a. We begin with an excerpt of a New York Times arti­cle what epit­o­mizes the pro­pa­gan­dized and unin­ten­tion­al­ly iron­ic tone of our media with regard to Chi­na.

The arti­cle mocks the Chi­nese asser­tion that the U.S. is involved with unrest with Hong Kong, remark­ing that Chi­na ” . . . . has a long his­to­ry of blam­ing ‘for­eign forces’ for chal­lenges it has faced inter­nal­ly. . . .” This comes from the pub­li­ca­tion that has unwa­ver­ing­ly flogged the “Rus­sia-Gate” non­sense.

The arti­cle also pooh-poohs Chi­nese asser­tion that the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy was work­ing with the CIA to spon­sor unrest in Hong Kong.

In FTR #s 1091 and 1092, we not­ed the involve­ment of the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy with key play­ers in the Hong Kong dra­ma, as well as their net­work­ing with major U.S. politi­cians, includ­ing Mike Pence and Mike Pom­peo.

“With Protests, Chi­na Angri­ly Con­nects the Dots Back to the U.S.” by Steven Lee Myers; The New York Times; 9/6/2019.

. . . . Chi­na has a long his­to­ry of blam­ing “for­eign forces” for chal­lenges it has faced inter­nal­ly, includ­ing the Tianan­men Square protests 30 years ago. But the depth and feroc­i­ty of China’s accu­sa­tions over Hong Kong sug­gest they are not mere­ly pro­pa­gan­da intend­ed for domes­tic or inter­na­tion­al audi­ences.

Instead, ana­lysts said, they reflect the think­ing of an increas­ing­ly anx­ious lead­er­ship that sees any man­i­fes­ta­tion of pop­u­lar sen­ti­ment in the streets as a poten­tial “col­or rev­o­lu­tion” like those that swept Geor­gia, Ukraine and lat­er the Arab world.

A 42-page report released recent­ly by China’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs sin­gled out the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, the con­gres­sion­al­ly fund­ed orga­ni­za­tion found­ed in 1983 to sup­port the spread of democ­ra­cy and human rights around the world, accus­ing it of under­writ­ing a sim­i­lar rev­o­lu­tion in Hong Kong.

“The U.S. is not sat­is­fied in overt oral sup­port for Hong Kong but resorts to finan­cial back­ing,” the state Eng­lish-lan­guage tele­vi­sion net­work, CGTN, wrote with inex­act gram­mar in an arti­cle post­ed on its web­site and includ­ed in the ministry’s report. The arti­cle went on to argue that the endow­ment act­ed in con­cert with the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency “in covert actions against gov­ern­ments.” . . . .

1b. In past pro­grams, we have dis­cussed the Nation­al Endow­ment For Democ­ra­cy, a “kinder, gen­tler” U.S. intel­li­gence man­i­fes­ta­tion.

NED has sup­ple­ment­ed the decades-old tra­di­tion of CIA desta­bi­liza­tion and over­throw of gov­ern­ments that the U.S. views with a jaun­diced eye.

The Chi­nese analy­sis of the role of the NED is accu­rate. “. . . . One of the NED co-founders, Allen Wein­stein, explained its pur­pose to the Wash­ing­ton Post: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covert­ly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ . . . . ”

“What Pierre Did Next” by Mark Ames; Pan­do Dai­ly; 7/31/2015.

. . . . I can’t think of anoth­er media tycoon who co-fund­ed a pro-US regime change with Amer­i­can intel­li­gence cutouts like USAID and the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­racy. That Putin tar­geted the NED does not mean it’s either hero­ic or evil—the NED’s sto­ry speaks for itself: The brain­child of Reagan’s CIA direc­tor Bill Casey, the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­racy was set up as an intel­li­gence cutout to sup­port US geopo­lit­i­cal pow­er and under­mine unfriend­ly regimes. One of the NED co-founders, Allen Wein­stein, explained its pur­pose to the Wash­ing­ton Post: “A lot of what we do today was done covert­ly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

1c. Next, we exam­ine an infor­ma­tive post from Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy, which notes that pend­ing leg­is­la­tion in the U.S. Con­gress would eco­nom­i­cal­ly dam­age U.S. and Ger­man com­mer­cial inter­ests, as well as hurt­ing Hong Kong’s econ­o­my.

“Protests in Hong Kong; ” Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 9/10/2019.

Mon­day evening, activist Joshua Wong arrived in Berlin from Hong Kong for talks with Ger­man politi­cians, includ­ing For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas. Wong rep­re­sents an oppo­si­tion par­ty that calls for a ref­er­en­dum, includ­ing a vote on Hong Kong’s future seces­sion from Chi­na. Just before his trip to Berlin, demon­stra­tors ral­lied on Sun­day in front of the US con­sulate in Hong Kong call­ing on US Pres­i­dent Trump to inter­vene in their favor with the city author­i­ties. Already since March, high-rank­ing mem­bers of Hong Kong’s oppo­si­tion have repeat­ed­ly vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton for talks with US Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo. Berlin is now fol­low­ing suit and receiv­ing lead­ers of the Hong Kong protests for talks with top gov­ern­ment offi­cials. Wash­ing­ton is prepar­ing new leg­is­la­tion for sanc­tions pro­vid­ing for puni­tive mea­sures against Chi­nese offi­cials and putting Hong Kong’s spe­cial eco­nom­ic sta­tus into ques­tion. Bil­lions in Ger­man busi­ness trans­ac­tions are also at risk.

The Next US Sanc­tions Leg­is­la­tion

Under the title “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act” Wash­ing­ton is prepar­ing new sanc­tions leg­is­la­tion. Its draft was ini­tial­ly intro­duced on Novem­ber 16, 2016 — dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tion of US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.[1] This past June 13, US Sen­a­tor Mar­co Rubio, a Repub­li­can hard­lin­er from Flori­da, along with Jim McGov­ern, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­man from Mass­a­chu­setts rein­tro­duced the bipar­ti­san Act in Con­gress. The Act would require the State Depart­ment to issue an annu­al report on the sit­u­a­tion in Hong Kong and “cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Hong Kong’s auton­o­my to jus­ti­fy spe­cial treat­ment afford­ed to Hong Kong by the U.S.” It would also require the US Pres­i­dent “to iden­ti­fy per­sons com­plic­it in sup­press­ing basic free­doms.” Their pun­ish­ment would be a denial of entry into the Unit­ed States “and a freez­ing of their US based assets.”[2] The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act is thus in line with the rapid­ly grow­ing num­ber of oth­er US sanc­tion laws, Wash­ing­ton impos­es at will, to bul­ly those abroad it con­sid­ers objectionable.(german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3])

A Dou­ble-Edged Sword

Wash­ing­ton’s threat to deprive Hong Kong of its spe­cial eco­nom­ic sta­tus is a dou­ble-edged sword. The for­mer British colony is an impor­tant eco­nom­ic gate­way between west­ern coun­tries and Chi­na, through which trade and invest­ments are still being trans­act­ed with the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na on a large scale. Hong Kong is the Unit­ed States’ 10th largest goods export mar­ket. Last year, it pur­chased around US $37.5 bil­lion in US goods. At the same time, the US goods trade sur­plus with Hong Kong was US $31.2 bil­lion. Accord­ing to gov­ern­ment data, US for­eign direct invest­ment in Hong Kong (stock) was US $81.2 bil­lion in 2017. All this would be at risk, if the US admin­is­tra­tion deprives Hong Kong of its spe­cial sta­tus. Not only the Chi­nese, but the US econ­o­my would suf­fer seri­ous dam­age. Most like­ly, Hong Kong would also be affect­ed by this mea­sure. Com­pa­nies in the metrop­o­lis are already com­plain­ing of busi­ness loss­es due to the protests. Econ­o­mists esti­mate that the city could face a recession.[4] Revok­ing the spe­cial sta­tus would mas­sive­ly wors­en the sit­u­a­tion. Hong Kong would run the risk of los­ing its eco­nom­ic impor­tance. Already last year, neigh­bor­ing metrop­o­lis Shenzhen’s gross domes­tic prod­uct sur­passed that of Hong Kong. Soon Guangzhou, the sec­ond neigh­bor­ing metrop­o­lis could catch up with Hong Kong’s gross domes­tic product.[5]

A Clas­si­cal Esca­la­tion Strat­e­gy

It is all the more aston­ish­ing that the pro-west­ern oppo­si­tion in Hong Kong is so adamant­ly cam­paign­ing for the pas­sage of this Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act. Since March, at the lat­est, talks have been doc­u­ment­ed between lead­ing offi­cials of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the oppo­si­tion. For exam­ple, March 22, Anson Chan, who had served as Chief Sec­re­tary of the British Colo­nial Admin­is­tra­tion from 1993 — 1997 and lat­er from 1997 — 2001 in the same office for the decol­o­nized Hong Kong gov­ern­ment, held talks with Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, to dis­cuss “human rights” in the city. May 16, Mar­tin Lee, founder of Hong Kong’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, held talks on the same sub­ject with Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo. July 8, Hong Kong’s media tycoon Jim­my Lai met with Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, and short­ly there­after with John Bolton, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor. In mid-August, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of the lib­er­al Civic Par­ty were in Wash­ing­ton for talks.[6] Last Sun­day, in front of the US con­sulate in Hong Kong, a few thou­sand demon­stra­tors demand­ed the pas­sage of the law. We “trust” the Trump gov­ern­ment, one of the demon­stra­tors explained at the ral­ly held under US flags.[7] There­after, pro­test­ers van­dal­ized sub­way sta­tions, attacked sub­way atten­dants, erect­ed bar­ri­cades, and attacked police sta­tions. One Sub­way entrance was set on fire.[8] This is the clas­si­cal esca­la­tion strat­e­gy — also used dur­ing the Maid­an Protests in Ukraine — to pro­voke a reac­tion from the police and fur­nish the west­ern media images for their anti-Chi­nese report­ing.

Gate­way to the Chi­nese Mar­ket

The pas­sage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act would have grave con­se­quences also for Ger­many. With its trade vol­ume of near­ly eight bil­lion Euros, Ger­many is Hong Kong’s largest trade part­ner in the EU. Accord­ing to the Bun­des­bank, Ger­man com­pa­nies have invest­ed around five bil­lion Euros in the city. This metrop­o­lis, in which around 600 Ger­man com­pa­nies have a pres­ence, is still con­sid­ered — as con­firmed by the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs — to be “an impor­tant gate­way to the Chi­nese market.”[9] There­fore, Ger­many’s For­eign Cham­bers of Com­merce (AHK) in Hong Kong is strong­ly advo­cat­ing a peace­ful set­tle­ment of the con­flicts. Par­tic­u­lar­ly the “episodes of unprece­dent­ed vio­lence and van­dal­ism” dur­ing the protests were “inde­fen­si­ble” and “harmed our city’s rep­u­ta­tion,” the insti­tu­tion declared.[10] Dur­ing her vis­it to Bei­jing at the end of last week, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel, whose top pri­or­i­ty was to pro­mote Ger­man busi­ness inter­ests, (german-foreign-policy.com report­ed [11]) spoke in favor of solv­ing the con­flicts through “dia­logue.” “Every­thing must be done to avoid vio­lence,” the chan­cel­lor declared.[12]

Recep­tion by the For­eign Min­is­ter

Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, transat­lantic ori­ent­ed cir­cles, in par­tic­u­lar, are push­ing for an esca­la­tion of the con­flicts. For exam­ple, the Chair of the Greens, Annale­na Baer­bock, assert­ed that Bei­jing’s pres­sure on Hong Kong must have “con­se­quences” for Ger­man-Chi­nese busi­ness coop­er­a­tion. The For­eign Pol­i­cy Spokesper­son for the FDP Bun­destag Group, Bijan Djir-Sarai, had even sug­gest­ed that Chan­cel­lor Merkel renounce her trip. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[13]) Yes­ter­day, Joshua Wong, one of the lead­ers of the Hong Kong oppo­si­tion, arrived in Berlin, where he claims to be explor­ing, whether Ger­many could be a suit­able asy­lum coun­try for Hong Kong pro­test­ers. He also seeks to con­vince Ger­many to ban all Chi­nese from enter­ing the coun­try, who are respon­si­ble for human rights vio­la­tions in Hong Kong and to freeze their accounts. Should Ger­many do this, it would be antic­i­pat­ing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act. A mas­sive con­flict with Bei­jing could be expect­ed over such open inter­fer­ence in the domes­tic affairs of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas had already announced yes­ter­day that he was pre­pared to receive Joshua Wong for talks.[14]

For­eign Hub of the Oppo­si­tion

With the enhance­ment of its rela­tions with the Hong Kong oppo­si­tion, Ger­many is devel­op­ing its role as the sec­ond impor­tant for­eign hub, along­side that of the USA, of the oppo­si­tion to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. german-foreign-policy.com will soon report.

Please note our video col­umn on the con­flict with Chi­na.

[1] Rubio, Cot­ton Intro­duce Hong Kong Human Rithgs and Democ­ra­cy Act. rubio.senate.gov 16.11.2016.

[2] Com­mis­sion­ers Rein­tro­duce The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Act. cecc.gov 13.06.2019.

[3] See also The Era of Sanc­tions War­fare (II).

[4] Hongkong steuert auf Rezes­sion zu — “Erhe­bliche Störun­gen”. reuters.com 16.08.2019.

[5] Chai Hua: Shen­zhen sur­pass­es HK in GDP. chinadaily.com.cn 28.02.2019.

[6] Jodi Xu Klein: Hong Kong pro-democ­ra­cy law­mak­ers in US to dis­cuss city’s cri­sis with politi­cians and busi­ness lead­ers. scmp.com 16.08.2019. See also Proteste in Hongkong.

[7] Simone McCarthy, Min­nie Chan, Vic­tor Ting, Yujing Liu: Hongkongers march on US con­sulate to call for human rights help. scmp.com 08.09.2019.

[8] Hong Kong protests: peace­ful pleas for Unit­ed States’ sup­port quick­ly descend into usu­al may­hem as tear gas fired and MTR sta­tion trashed and burned. scmp.com 09.09.2019.

[9] Deutsch­land und Hongkong: bilat­erale Beziehun­gen. auswaertiges-amt.de 12.03.2019.

[10] FAQ — 2019 Hong Kong Protests. hongkong.ahk.de 02.09.2019.

[11] See also Die Wider­sprüche der Chi­na-Poli­tik.

[12] Pressekon­ferenz von Bun­deskan­z­lerin Merkel und dem chi­ne­sis­chen Min­is­ter­präsi­den­ten Li am 6. Sep­tem­ber 2019 in Peking.

[13] See also Die Wider­sprüche der Chi­na-Poli­tik.

[14] Friederike Böge: Für Frieden. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 10.09.2019.

2. We con­clude with a top­ic we have cov­ered before and will explore at greater length in our next broad­cast. We begin an analy­sis of the use of the Turko­phone, Mus­lim Uighurs as a desta­bi­liz­ing ele­ment in Chi­na’s min­er­al and petro­le­um-rich Xin­jiang semi­au­tonomous region.

Linked to Al-Qae­da, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and con­tribut­ing to the jihadist milieu in Syr­ia, the Uighurs also fig­ure into the Pan-Turk­ist milieu cov­ered in, among oth­er pro­grams: AFA #14, as well as FTR #‘s 720, 723, 819, 857, 862, 863, 878, 879, 884, 885, 886, 911.

The Uighur/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/jihadist milieu is dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 348, 549, 550, 615.

“Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (I);” Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 11/15/2018.

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the West­’s cam­paign against Chi­na’s anti-ter­ror­ist mea­sures in its Xin­jiang autonomous region. The Chi­nese author­i­ties are tak­ing mas­sive repres­sive mea­sures against Uighur ter­ror­ists and their milieu. They are being held in camps, which Bei­jing says are “edu­ca­tion­al cen­ters.” West­ern gov­ern­ments are call­ing them “re-edu­ca­tion camps.” Infor­ma­tion on how many are being held, range from a few tens of thou­sands to a mil­lion. Dur­ing his inau­gur­al vis­it to that coun­try, Ger­many’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, Heiko Maas, pub­licly crit­i­cized Chi­na on this ques­tion. Bei­jing object­ed to Berlin’s inter­fer­ence in its domes­tic affairs. Over the past few years, hun­dreds and pos­si­bly thou­sands have fall­en vic­tim to Uighur sep­a­ratist ter­ror­ism against Han Chi­nese. Uighur jihadis are also fight­ing with­in the ranks of the Islam­ic State (IS). The Uighur seces­sion­ists, who seek to sep­a­rate Xin­jiang — call­ing it “East Turkestan” — from Chi­na, are receiv­ing sup­port from west­ern coun­tries, includ­ing Ger­many.

“Shut Down Imme­di­ate­ly”

Berlin is using the mea­sures being tak­en by the Chi­nese author­i­ties in west­ern Chi­na’s Xin­jiang Autonomous Region, to help inten­si­fy inter­na­tion­al pres­sure on the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. At the meet­ing of the UN Human Rights Coun­cil on Tues­day of last week, Ger­many, in league with France, Great Britain, Cana­da, and the Unit­ed States, called on Bei­jing to shut down the camps for Uighurs in Xin­jiang imme­di­ate­ly. On Thurs­day, the Ger­man Bun­destag debat­ed a motion tabled by the Green Par­ty group, call­ing on the Ger­man gov­ern­ment to demand of Chi­na that “all camps and deten­tion facil­i­ties be closed and the impris­oned be imme­di­ate­ly and uncon­di­tion­al­ly set free.” The Bun­destag also debat­ed sanc­tions against Chi­nese officials.[1] Mon­day, Ger­many’s For­eign Min­is­ter, Heiko Maas, upped the ante dur­ing his inau­gur­al vis­it in Bei­jing, where he declared, “We can­not accept re-edu­ca­tion camps.” The Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na must “devel­op trans­paren­cy” so that the out­side world can “make a final ver­dict on what is happening.”[2]

“Bla­tant Inter­fer­ence”

Bei­jing strong­ly objects to Ger­many’s — and oth­er west­ern coun­tries’ — inter­fer­ence. In a let­ter dat­ed last Fri­day, the Chi­nese embassy in Berlin char­ac­ter­ized the Bun­destag’s Xin­jiang debate “a bla­tant inter­fer­ence in Chi­na’s domes­tic affairs and a gross vio­la­tion of its sovereignty.”[3] The Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na seeks dia­logue with Ger­many “on the basis of equal­i­ty and mutu­al respect.” The Ger­man gov­ern­ment should take this note of protest seri­ous­ly, “to insure that Ger­man-Chi­nese rela­tions devel­op in the prop­er direc­tion.” Chi­na’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs Wang Yi cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly reject­ed Maas’ sub­se­quent inter­ven­tion in Bei­jing. “This is Chi­na’s domes­tic issue,” Wang declared fol­low­ing his meet­ing with Maas. In Xin­jiang the issue is “the pre­ven­tion of ter­ror­ism.” The camps are a “pre­ven­tive measure.”[4]

Ter­ror in Xin­jiang

In fact, Chi­na’s mea­sures in Xin­jiang are part of its anti-ter­ror­ism oper­a­tion. It is a Chi­nese alter­na­tive to the West­’s “War on Ter­ror,” which, since 2001, has includ­ed the abduc­tion of sus­pects to for­eign tor­ture cham­bers — also in Europe [5] — and the use of drone attacks on sus­pects which have caused numer­ous civil­ian casualties.[6] Already since the 1990s, Xin­jiang has been faced with ter­ror­ist attacks by mem­bers of the Tur­kic-speak­ing Uighur minor­i­ty, fight­ing to secede this autonomous region from Chi­na, to found “East Turkestan.” Some seek an even­tu­al fusion with the Tur­kic-speak­ing coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia. The attacks that became known in the West includ­ed a Uighur ter­ror­ist attack at a coal mine in Xin­jiang in Sep­tem­ber 2015. The assailants delib­er­ate­ly tar­get­ed non-Tur­kic-speak­ing work­ers — espe­cial­ly those of Chi­na’s major­i­ty Han pop­u­la­tion — slaugh­ter­ing them with long knives. Accord­ing to west­ern media reports, at least 50 peo­ple died in the attack.[7] March 1, 2014 eight Uighur ter­ror­ists armed also with knives attacked civil­ian trav­el­ers in a train sta­tion of Kun­ming, the cap­i­tal of Yun­nan Province, killing 31 and wound­ing around 150, some seri­ous­ly. There have also been recur­ring pogroms tar­get­ing Han Chi­nese. For exam­ple, in July 2009, sev­er­al thou­sand Uighur in Xin­jiang’s cap­i­tal, Urumqi, attacked Han Chi­nese. Accord­ing to offi­cial fig­ures, 197 peo­ple were killed; how­ev­er, observers cal­cu­late the actu­al body count to be much high­er.

The Uighur Jihad

The Uighur sep­a­ratist spec­trum is over­lapped by the Uighur jiha­di milieu, who link the issue of Xin­jiang’s seces­sion from Chi­na to that of form­ing a Salafist theoc­ra­cy. Uighur jihadis have long since expand­ed their radius of actions beyond Chi­na’s bor­ders. This first drew pub­lic atten­tion, when it was report­ed that, in “the war on ter­ror,” which began in 2002, the Unit­ed States had been hold­ing more than 20 Uighurs in their tor­ture cham­bers at Guan­taná­mo. The last of the pris­on­ers were released only in late 2013. Uighur jihadis have long since expand­ed beyond their Afghanistan engage­ment to oth­er regions of the world. For exam­ple, the assailants behind a bomb­ing attack on August 17, 2015, in Bangkok, had ties to Uighurs. The attack was car­ried out at a shrine that was a tourist attrac­tion for Chi­nese. The attack killed 20 peo­ple, most of them eth­nic Chi­nese tourists.[8] Uighur jihadis’ activ­i­ties have also been reg­is­tered in oth­er South­east Asian coun­tries, such as Malaysia and Indone­sia — from where quite a few con­tin­ue on to Turkey, to sup­port the IS or al Qae­da. Last year, Chi­na had esti­mat­ed that up to 300 Uighurs are fight­ing in the ranks of IS, while Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment offi­cials set the fig­ures at up to 5,000 Uighurs who are oper­at­ing in var­i­ous jiha­di mili­tias in Syr­ia. Regard­less of the accu­ra­cy of these esti­mates, experts are cer­tain that a large con­tin­gent of Uighur mili­tias are fight­ing with­in the ranks of IS and al Qae­da. An analy­sis pub­lished by the Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter for Counter-Ter­ror­ism in The Hague warns that the Uighur jiha­di threat is large­ly under­es­ti­mat­ed in the West.[9]

“Our Mar­tyrs”

For Chi­na, this ter­ror­ism is that much more seri­ous, because Xin­jiang is a strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant region. That autonomous region com­pris­es cen­tral sec­tors of the “New Silk Road” (“Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” BRI) project, cur­rent­ly Bei­jing’s most impor­tant for­eign pol­i­cy mega-project. Unrest in Xin­jiang threat­ens not only the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na’s domes­tic tran­quil­i­ty, but also its rise in world pol­i­cy. This unrest is being sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly fanned from abroad. Turkey, under Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has assumed a promi­nent role. While still may­or of Istan­bul and long before becom­ing Turkey’s pres­i­dent, Erdoğan had declared that “East Turkestan is not only the home­land of the Tur­kic peo­ples, but also the cra­dle of Tur­kic his­to­ry, civ­i­liza­tion, and cul­ture. The mar­tyrs of East Turkestan are our martyrs.”[10] Uighur jihadis have reg­u­lar­ly used Turkey as a safe haven. In his talk with german-foreign-policy.com, the Ger­man expert on intel­li­gence ser­vices, Erich Schmidt-Een­boom con­firmed that Ankara’s intel­li­gence ser­vice has repeat­ed­ly “sought to sup­port seces­sion­ist attempts” in Xinjiang.[11]

In Ger­many as well

Uighur sep­a­ratists are active in Ger­many, as well, at times, even with offi­cial sup­port — which sheds a new light on Berlin’s most recent attacks against the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. The activ­i­ties date back to the cold war. german-foreign-policy.com will soon report.

[1] Antrag der Abge­ord­neten Mar­garete Bause, Kai Gehring, Jür­gen Trit­tin, Dr. Franziska Brant­ner, Agniesz­ka Brug­ger, Uwe Kekeritz, Kat­ja Keul, Dr. Tobias Lind­ner, Omid Nouripour, Cem Özdemir, Clau­dia Roth (Augs­burg), Manuel Sar­razin, Dr. Frithjof Schmidt, Ottmar von Holtz und der Frak­tion Bünd­nis 90/Die Grü­nen: Schwere Men­schen­rechtsver­let­zun­gen in Xin­jiang been­den, aufk­lären und ahn­den. Deutsch­er Bun­destag, Druck­sache 19/5544, 07.11.2018.

[2], [3] Friederike Böge: Diplo­ma­tis­ches Ball­ge­fühl. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 13.11.2018.

[4] Chi­na recht­fer­tigt “Umerziehungslager” für Uig­uren. zeit.de 13.11.2018.

[5] See also 17 Years “War on Ter­ror”.

[6] See also Die Phase der geziel­ten Tötun­gen.

[7] At least 50 report­ed to have died in attack on coalmine in Xin­jiang in Sep­tem­ber. theguardian.com 01.10.2015.

[8] Thomas Fuller, Edward Wong: Thai­land Blames Uighur Mil­i­tants for Bomb­ing at Bangkok Shrine. nytimes.com 15.09.2015.

[9], [10] Col­in P. Clarke, Paul Rex­ton Kan: Uighur For­eign Fight­ers: An Under­ex­am­ined Jihadist Chal­lenge. ICCT Pol­i­cy Brief. Novem­ber 2017.

[11] See also Vom Part­ner zum Konkur­renten.

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #1093 The Destabilization of China, Part 4”

  1. Appre­ci­ate the sign off.

    “Have fun.”

    What a way to end the show.

    Posted by VS | October 29, 2019, 9:06 pm

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