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

For The Record  

FTR #727 Whither China?

Listen:
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Introduction: With the global economy continuing to navigate perilous waters, much media attention has rightly been devoted to assessing the role of China, present and future. Of particular interest is China’s continuing unwillingness to allow an appreciation of its currency. In so doing, China would sacrifice some of its role as Exporter #1 of the global economy, improving short and long-term prospects for those countries who are its trading partners and upon whose relative economic well being China’s future rests.

In addition, China has been cynical in much of its global diplomatic and political posture, often choosing narrow economic nationalist interests over a more balanced, mature approach to international relations. This program highlights an aspect of Chinese history and politics that suggests a motivation for the recalcitrance and a possible means of inducing China to become better international citizen.

Under a cynical rubric of “human rights,” Western nations have advanced the interests of so-called “dissidents,” whose political agendas are antithetical to the fundamental well-being of the Chinese people and the political and historical integrity of the Chinese nation. A salient case in point is that of Liu Xiaobo, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Following in the professional footsteps of the Dalai Lama, Liu’s ascension has resulted largely from German pressure on the selection committee. Liu’s “Charter ’08,” program is not one aimed at reform and the advancement of “human liberties. ”

” . . . In this Charter, the writer and political activist, who had already played a leading role in the Tiananmen Square riots in 1989, is also pleading for a fundamental transformation of the Chinese constitution, the radical privatization of state and public property and the abrogation of the land reform through privatization – following the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, large land owners and warlords had been expropriated in China. In contrast to the usual petitions of members of the Chinese opposition, the “Charter 08″ is therefore aiming not at individual reforms, such as a more comprehensive liberty of expression, but in fact at the overthrow of the People’s Republic. . . .”

Having surpassed the Federal Republic as the world’s top export economy, China’s continued growth is seen by Germany as a threat. Consequently, the Federal Republic has promoted the interests of the Tibetan, Uighur and Inner Mongolian minorities, in order to weaken China.

It might well be that, if the West were to halt attempts at de-stabilizing and fracturing the Chinese nation, those countries might find China to be a more tractable and mature international partner. Certainly, provoking an international trade war unnecessarily would be a disastrous for the U.S. and global economies at this juncture.

Certainly, conjuring the specter of China’s past, in which it was prey to imperial designs and during which its people endured grinding deprivation is only likely to cause China to push back, with potentially disastrous results in a world whose economies are fundamentally intertwined.

It should be noted that many of the same centripetal political and economic forces that advocate the territorial compromise of China are also looking to do the same thing to the United States.

Program Highlights Include: Review of the Muslim Brotherhood’s support for Uighur separatism; review of the Dalai Lama’s links to the Underground Reich; review of the UNPO and its cynical geopolitics; review of the German sponsorship of the policy of volksgruppenrechte–the rights of native peoples–and how it has dictated a continuity of action stretching from the Third Reich-sponsored South Tyrolean separatist movement to the Dalai Lama; review of Pan-Turkism; review of the China Lobby and its historical links to international fascism.

1. Focusing on the selection of Liu Xiaobo as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the program notes the German behind-the-scenes maneuvering to select Liu and the manner in which his political agenda is antithetical to the forward progress of Chinese society.

On the eve of the announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, German media have declared a Chinese “dissident” to be their favorite candidate. According to the German press, “it would be a courageous signal”, if the Nobel Committee awards the prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Honorary President of the Chinese Pen Center. Liu has been calling, among other things, for the far reaching privatization of state property in China, including the land that had been reapportioned to small farmers under the land reform. Since the beginning of the 1990s, German government circles, party foundations and NGOs have increasingly been using the so-called dissidents as a means of applying pressure on Beijing. Regardless of their concrete political demands, “dissidents” are presented to the German public as “human rights activists” to stir up anti-Beijing sentiments. Even though they currently have no influence in their country, these “dissidents” are being kept at the ready, as potential cooperation partners for the case of a change of system in China. In this third part of the series on Germany’s strategy towards China, german-foreign-policy.com describes the Chinese “dissidents'” role in Berlin’s foreign policy.

Change China

On October 8th, the Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Several “dissidents” from the People’s Republic of China have been named as candidates, including the lawyer Gao Zhisheng and Rebiya Kadeer, an Uyghur separatist, living in exile in the USA, but receiving also quite a bit of attention in Germany.[1] But in the German press, the writer Liu Xiaobo is being named as “favorite”.[2] The political activist, who is also Honorary President of the Chinese Pen Center, is celebrated in Germany as China’s “public enemy Nr. 1”.[3] In the West, Liu Xiaobo is known as the leading author of an appeal for a complete reorganization of the People’s Republic of China. He has been convicted for “agitation aimed at subverting the government” – a criminal offense under Chinese law. He is currently serving an eleven year prison sentence. German NGOs are hoping that the Chinese dissident would receive more public attention, if he were awarded the Nobel Prize. 21 years after the Dalai Lama was awarded the prize, “five members of the Chinese opposition and a Uyghur from China’s Xinjiang province” have “good chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year”, announced the Society for threatened Peoples (GfbV).[4] Since many years, the GfbV has been maintaining excellent contacts not only to the Dalai Lama’s exile community and Uyghur separatists. Support for Han Chinese “dissidents'” demands is also among the GfbV’s objectives.

Dynamite for Peace

The “Charter 08”, co-authored by Liu, shows the real intentions behind the Nobel Peace Prize candidate’s remodeling plans, celebrated in Germany usually as “democratization plans”. In this Charter, the writer and political activist, who had already played a leading role in the Tiananmen Square riots in 1989, is also pleading for a fundamental transformation of the Chinese constitution, the radical privatization of state and public property and the abrogation of the land reform through privatization – following the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, large land owners and warlords had been expropriated in China. In contrast to the usual petitions of members of the Chinese opposition, the “Charter 08” is therefore aiming not at individual reforms, such as a more comprehensive liberty of expression, but in fact at the overthrow of the People’s Republic. Liu’s “Charter 08” therefore states that “the victory over Japan in 1945 offered one more chance for China to move toward modern government,”[5] but “the Communist defeat of the Nationalists” – the Kuomintang – “during the civil war, thrust the nation into the abyss of totalitarianism.”

Backfired

Chinese “dissidents,” such as Liu Xiaobo only play a marginal role in their own country, even more marginal than “dissidents” played during the Cold War. Many Chinese consider them henchmen of foreign powers, seeking to destroy China – like they wanted to do in the 19th and 20th century. The West is imputing a much more important role on a number of these Chinese “dissidents,” than they play in reality: Often these dissidents have been living for decades in exile and are far away from the discussions currently taking place in China. Some if these “opposition groups,” who had been praised for a while, have been not only exposed as sectarian but even criminal. One example is the polit-religion Falun Gong, which had, for a long time, even in Germany, been considered an ally against the Chinese government. German politicians had repeatedly demanded the legalization of this sect, which had been banned in 1999 in China, after thousands of its members had died under strange circumstances. Finally the media had to back-peddle. “The Chinese government produced a list of deaths: the sect is reported to have driven 1,660 people to their deaths,” reported the German weekly Die Zeit in 2001. “239 members of the sect are reported to have committed suicide; the others were sick but refused treatment because of the theories held by their master and finally died. There is no indication that these accusations have been fabricated.”[6] In 2004, the District Court in Leipzig ruled that Falun Gong can be called a “psycho-sect” in Germany.[7] The organization that had become completely irrelevant in China a long time ago, is playing no role in Germany today.

Provocations

The Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009 is but one example of how the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses Chinese “dissidents” to create public animosity toward the People’s Republic. China had been chosen to be honorary guest nation at the fair, to show reverence to the country that is so significant to the German economy. Yet Beijing was humiliated with a scene caused by two Chinese exile authors, known for their anti-People’s Republic positions. The two authors, who had already provoked a hefty political dispute before the book fair even opened, Frankfurt’s Mayor, Petra Roth, received them with the comment that she had “on several occasions also greeted the Dalai Lama” (another prominent opponent of Beijing).[8] The entire Chinese delegation, and all Chinese authors present, walked out in protest. According to the Frankfurt Book Fair’s own claims, it is a venue for an international cultural exchange to promote the convergence of nations.

Our Man in Beijing

Even if programs, such as “Charter 08” reflect quite well, the growing need to politically help with the configuration of the Chinese private enterprise, which is growing stronger, the splintered dissident movement in China has no roots strong enough to implement the transformations that Germany would like to see (privatization, land reform). The fear of political chaos, such as in the period previous to the establishment of the People’s Republic, is too deeply rooted in China. But the “dissidents” can be effectively used for scare tactics and to create animosity toward Beijing in Germany. Besides, in the West they are considered possible cooperation partners, to be kept in reserve for the future, in case a – currently improbable – radical transformation in the direction of the proposals in the “Charter 08” actually takes place. Their role-models are the “dissidents” in the eastern and southeastern European socialist countries of the 80s, some of whom came to office after the transformations of the 1990s – very much in the interests of the Western powers.

“Germany Versus China (III)”; german-foreign-policy.com; 10/07/2010.

2. Mote on Liu’s agenda:

Berlin is unanimously cheering the fact that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo. Already in the past, Chancellor Merkel has taken initiatives in favor of this Chinese “dissident” demanding his release from prison and will continue to do so, declared a spokesperson for the German government. Liu received the prize for his “struggle for fundamental human rights in China”, writes the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a matter of fact, Liu is demanding nothing less than the overthrow of the People’s Republic of China. Unlike petitions from other Chinese “dissidents”, the “Charter 08,” which he co-authored, is no human rights resolution, but rather a comprehensive political program, seeking a fundamental transformation of China. Among the demands is the creation of a federal state, such as the Federal Republic of Germany, a complete rupture with the Chinese state tradition covering several millennia. In addition the program calls for the reversal of all nationalization measures, taken since the founding of the People’s Republic. This would mean rescinding the land reform that has assured the small farmers’ existence to this day and the fulfillment of the demands of Western companies seeking to expand to China.

Plunge into Chaos

The essence of the 2008 published “Charter 08”, so acclaimed in Berlin, is the total transformation of the People’s Republic of China to accord with a western model. The name is patterned after the Czechoslovak government opposition’s “Charta 77” published in 1977. The authors hardly mentioned the fact that there had already been an attempt to “modernize” China, by having it adapt to the Western-style system and how a renewed failure of this sort of transformation can be prevented, remains their secret. Bourgeois revolutionaries under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty in 1911 and attempted to provide the country a Western-type constitution. The model did not work and China sank into civil war and chaos. The governing party at the time, the Kuomintang (“National/Nationalist People’s Party”) was unable to insure the territorial integrity of the country and reverted – beginning in the late 1920s – to implementing an increasingly open dictatorial form of government, which eventually grew into a Kuomintang single-party dictatorship. Japan’s aggression, in 1937 against the now defenseless Republic of China, exposed this system’s weaknesses. This was eventually followed by the revolution, which led to the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Sellout

The orientation of “Charter 08’s” economic policy is particularly radical. The paper calls for a comprehensive privatization and suppression of state enterprises.[1] In the People’s Republic of China, there is a right to private property, and in the past 25 years, the private sector of the economy has been growing increasingly stronger. Today it ranks second, behind state enterprises, in the forms of property in the country. It is doubtful, to say the least, that there is much approbation for the demand of suppressing state enterprises, which comprise, by far, the largest segment of “communal property”. As a matter of fact, in the People’s Republic there is growing resentment to the privatizations taking place over the past few decades. The demand for “more equality” or for a – limited – return to a planned economy is being raised more often. The “Charter 08” is heading in the opposite direction, demanding a complete privatization – in the midst of a global economic crisis, in which public acceptance for the neo-classical economic models is internationally declining. The authors of “Charter 08” are in line with the wishes of Western companies, expanding to China – pleading continuously for a lifting of the limitations – especially those on foreign ownership of property.

Purging Peasants?

Going far beyond these demands, “Charter 08” is calling for a reversal of the land reform and privatization of land ownership.[2] The land reform, which has been proceeding through several phases since 1950, initially expropriated the land of the large land owners and war criminals and reapportioned their estates to peasants and medium-sized farmers. The collectivization carried out since the mid 50s – where the farmers formed cooperatives and people’s communes – has been reversed to a large extent since the end of the 1970s. Today Chinese farmers are free to decide whether they want to conduct their business privately or in the form of a cooperative or a collective. The nationalization of the land, currently in force, the furthest reaching measure of the land reform, was carried out only since the end of the 50s. Since then, all land, including the land, on which farmers have built and planted all their lives – and to which they enjoy special hereditary concessions – is being leased from the state. The “Charter 08,” being praised in Berlin, explicitly demands the re-privatization of the land. But through which juridical and practical procedure, the land that the poor peasants and medium-sized farmers have been working for 60 years, is to be taken away and redistributed, is not explained in the document.

Total Break

In their consequences, the “Charter 08” demands would essentially mean a complete revision of the constitution, the breakup of the People’s Republic and the establishment of a “Federal Republic of China”. The essential revisions have less to do with “freedom of expression” or “democracy”, but rather with the political economic order. Contrary to all Chinese tradition, political centralism is to be abolished. Together with Hong Kong and Macao, whose political systems must be preserved, a federative constituted “Federal Republic of China” is to be erected.[3] For thousands of years, China has had a centralized state. Already back in the Qin Dynasty, 2,500 years ago, uniformed systems of measurements and weights, a common currency, as well as a state system centralized around an imperial capital and emperor had been developed. All subsequent political systems, including the various imperial dynasties, the national bourgeois “Republic of China” of 1911 and the People’s Republic have maintained the orientation of centrally administering this enormous country, with its dozens of national entities and provinces. The demand of federalization is oriented on the system in the Federal Republic of Germany, among others – without these models being explicitly mentioned. “Charter 08” does not answer the question of how a country with 1.44 billion citizens, stretched across such an enormous territory should be federatively administered and simultaneously maintained as a nation state.

Freedom to Overthrow China

The German chancellor, in consonance with all of the Western heads of states, has been intervening on behalf of Liu Xiaobo, who is serving his prison sentence for calling for the overthrow of the People’s Republic. Berlin, which is not particularly known for its sympathy toward any possible domestic plans of subversion in Germany, is demanding his liberation.[4] The “Charter 08” program has been translated into German and reviewed more often in Germany, since Liu’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize was made public.[5] It is sure that this document will receive wide-ranging attention from leading media organs, providing the anti-Chinese agitation in Germany a new element for use in future campaigns to weaken their political rival in Beijing, campaigns such as during the run-up to the Olympics in 2008.[6]

“Federal Republic of China”; german-foreign-policy.com; 10/11/2010.

3. Recalling past efforts at de-stabilizing China, the program notes that Tibet has been a focus of those activities.

At a conference of more than 600 exiled Tibetans that began Monday at the seat of Tibet’s self-proclaimed “exile government” in Dharamsala (India), a long-time employee of the Heinrich Boell Foundation (affiliated with Germany’s Green Party) was demanding a radicalization of the Tibetan secessionist policy. This meeting will decide on the Tibetan secessionist strategy for the next few years. The Berlin-based Green-affiliated activist demanded, that the Tibet movement no longer formally be fighting for autonomy, but rather for the secession of this territory. In Dharamsala, this demand is becoming more popular. In spite of unambiguous radicalization tendencies, several German politicians and political organizations, for example the party affiliated foundations of the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), are maintaining their contacts to the Tibetan exile institutions and supporting their structures. The Heinrich Boell Foundation explains that its presence and capacity to “moderate” is important precisely because of a threatening escalation. German participation in future conflicts taking place in Western China will therefore be insured.

Uprising Movement

Tsewang Norbu, a long time employee of the Heinrich Boell Foundation [*] raised the demand during the current conference of over 600 exile Tibetans at the seat of the self-proclaimed Tibetan “exile government” in Dharamsala (India). The conference was convened by the Tibetans’ political-religious leader, the Dalai Lama, to discuss the strategy of the secessionist movement. Up to now, the Dalai Lama has always officially declared that he would be satisfied with an extensive autonomy within the People’s Republic of China and has engaged in negotiations with government officials in Beijing on that basis. Just a few weeks ago, he announced a breakdown in this negotiation strategy. This creates a realm for those, seeking a more aggressive policy to openly call for Tibet’s secession from China. This group includes the followers of the “Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement,” founded in 2008, but also those of the older, 30,000 member “Tibetan Youth Congress,” which according to its statutes pledges “to struggle for the total independence of Tibet even at the cost of one’s life.”[1]

Original

Tsewang Norbu, who spoke about the future strategy of the “exile government” in Dharamsala, wields a lot of weight in the exile Tibetan debate. A resident of West Germany since 1973, at the side of the Green parliamentarian, Petra Kelly, he developed during the mid-1980s the Green Party’s policy toward Tibet [2] and was hired by the Heinrich Boell Foundation in 1992. Norbu founded the German-Tibetan Cultural Society, was also active in the Tibet-Initiative Deutschland and is one of the original German supporters for the Tibetan exile in Dharamsala. Norbus’ position is also being propagated among sympathizers in Germany.

Radicalization

As Norbu writes, following the breakdown of negotiations between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, the Tibetan exile has “to come back to square one.”[3] The “Tibetans, as a people, have this right to self-determination and we should not forfeit this right.” Norbu is “convinced” that “the majority of the Tibetans in Tibet still retain a strong commitment to full independence for Tibet.” According to Norbu, only the Dalai Lama could have won the Tibetans over to accepting autonomy within the territorial boundaries of the PR China. When he dies “no Tibetan leadership” will be able to hold the population back from their striving for secession. Norbu therefore called on all participants at the Dharamsala conference, to radicalize the policy of the “exile government” and “struggle for complete independence” – in other words, to smash China.

No Opposition

According to Norbu, deficits in the political structures in Dharamsala have prohibited a parliamentary debate on a radicalization of policy. “In a parliamentary democracy you have a ruling party or coalition (…) and an opposition party or parties” writes the activist. “We do not have that.” Therefore the demand for a radical secessionist policy is also not being raised by a strong opposition and must be pushed at the current Dharamsala conference. But the former Green Party member does not want his remarks about the absence of parties and an opposition in the Tibetan “exile Parliament” to be mistaken as a criticism of principle: “I am not implying that a multiparty parliamentary system, per se, is better than a one or no party parliamentary system.”[4]

Violence

The tendencies toward radicalization in Dharamsala, which could lead the ‘”exile government” to take on a new course, are being closely observed in Germany. “Particularly young exile Tibetans, who grew up in India,” obviously tend “toward carrying out protest actions,” reports the Indian office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation.[5] “Since 2008, young leaders in the exile Tibetan community” have been using “a new rhetoric and even new political tactics.” In reference to those exile Tibetans, who, disrupted the Olympic torch relay this spring with violent actions, the foundation writes “they are placing, to a growing extent, the unconditional commitment to non-violence into question and seeking new forms of resistance.” According to articles in the German press, their objective is evidently “to drive up the ‘costs of occupation’ for the Chinese government.”[6]

Influence

German politicians and political organizations are closely accompanying the developments in Dharamsala. Above all the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (affiliated with the FDP) are supporting the Tibetan exile institutions from their bases in New Delhi. The Hessian Prime Minister, Roland Koch (CDU) entertains a close relationship with the Dalai Lama. The international network of exile Tibetan organizations and their sympathizers are also being promoted from inside Germany, particularly by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (german-foreign-policy.com reported extensively [7]). Whereas the Naumann Foundation is dealing with the “exile parliament” and the “reinforcement of democratic institutions” in Dharamsala,[8] the Boell Foundation, for example uses the “Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution,” an organization that is supposed to mediate between the antagonists.

Mediator

Particularly in the case of a possible change of strategy, to a more radical policy, it is very important to maintain intensive contacts to the organizations in Dharamsala, according to the program coordinator of the Boell Foundation. He makes a plea to the “Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution” that is supported by his organization, to broaden it activities to include mediation in the coming political conflicts with more radical forces, such as the “Tibetan Youth Congress.” The president of the foundation declared that it is necessary “to prevent any sort of misguidance,” thereby justifying an intensification of German activities in an increasingly inflamed exile Tibetan milieu.[9] It seems a certainty that in the coming conflicts in Western China, German organisations will be playing no insignificant role. This will provide Berlin influence in several Chinese provinces,[10] therefore weakening its rival, while reinforcing the German position.

[*] The German Green Party foundation dissociates itself from its employee Tsewang Norbu, who is calling for smashing the People’s Republic of China. Norbu is an activist in exile Tibetan organizations. Since a long time, he has been presenting himself as an employee of the foundation both in the press and in public announcements of his appearances. In a written declaration made to german-foreign-policy.com, the foundation declares: “we repudiate any connection between the article written by Mr. Norbu and the Tibet policy of the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The position articulated by Mr. Norbu in his article does not correspond in the least with the policy of the foundation. The Heinrich Boell Foundation calls neither for the independence of Tibet nor does it accept violence as a means of solving this serious conflict. (…) Mr. Norbu wrote the article in question in his personal capacity as a member of the Tibetan exile community. In the foundation, Mr. Norbu has a purely administrative function and is not employed in the domain of policy formulation. He is therefore not qualified to publicly speak in the name of the foundation on the Tibet issue. We respect the value of individual freedom of opinion, but are in full disaccord with the position articulated by Mr. Norbu.”

“Smash China”; german-foreign-policy.com. 11/19/2008.

4. The Turkophonic, Muslim Uighurs are another vehicle for destabilization.

Berlin is using the riots in the Xinjiang region in western China to launch strong attacks against Beijing. Claudia Roth, Chairperson of the German Green Party, is demanding that the People’s Republic initiate “speedy and unconditional investigations” into the bloody conflicts. Influential media in Germany are declaring Beijing’s minorities’ policy to be a “failure”, saying that China is confronted with an “explosion”. Uyghur separatists, who, with their anti-Han pogrom started the bloody riots last weekend, have maintained close ties to Germany for years. Their Munich-based representative, the World Uyghur Congress, has been active winning western support for Uyghur secessionist policy. During its last general assembly, held last May in Washington, the organization planned its next steps. They also have the ear of the German Foreign Ministry. The World Uyghur Congress had called for anti-Beijing demonstrations preceding these riots. According to Chinese reports, the Congress is behind last weekend’s bloody violence.

At least 150 people died in last weekend’s riots in Urumqi, capital of China’s northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Tensions had been growing for quite some time in that region. In September, Uyghur separatists are planning protests for the 60th anniversary of Xinjiang’s reintegration into the People’s Republic of China. The Turkic speaking Uyghur, are a Muslim minority living in Xinjiang. Some of them are striving to merge Xinjiang as “East-Turkestan” with other Turkic language territories in Central Asia and consider it’s secession from the People’s Republic of China a prerequisite. The tensions in Xinjiang had intensified at the end of June, when two Uyghurs were killed in the violent conflict that erupted between Uyghurs and other Chinese in Southern China. Last weekend Uyghurs started an anti-Chinese pogrom in Urumqi, attacking non-Uyghurs, their homes and their cars with clubs, stones and knives. It is not known how many non-Uyghurs were killed during the pogroms and how many Uyghurs died at the hands of Chinese security forces, suppressing the riots.

Solutions

An organization based in Munich, the World Uyghur Congress, is escalating tensions and most likely is also behind the calls for last weekend’s ethnic pogroms. This organization is directing the Uyghurs living in exile in the west. It held its third general assembly at the end of Mai – in Washington. In this context, it, in cooperation with the US-American National Endowment for Democracy (NED), also organized a “human rights conference” focusing on “solutions for the future of East-Turkestan”. A representative of the German Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker – GfbV) was listed among the speakers. The participation of US parliamentarians at the event[1] was very motivating for the Uyghur separatists. Subsequently, at the beginning of July, the World Uyghur Congress called for demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies around the world, under the pretext of protesting the deaths of two Uyghurs during the conflict in late June in southern China. According to the Chinese Xinhua news agency, the calls for the demonstrations were followed by appeals via internet, to be “braver” and “to do something big” – catch words that can be understood as a veiled instigation to violent action in Xinjiang.[2]

On the Forefront

The World Uyghur Congress draws on decades of anti-Chinese German-US cooperation. One of the founders of this organization is the prominent secessionist Erkin Alptekin, whose family is held in high esteem in Uyghur circles. He moved to Munich in 1971, where he became “Senior Policy Advisor” to the director of the US “Radio Liberty”. It was at that time, that the CIA began to establish contacts to Uyghurs seeking secession. “Some, like Erkin Alptekin, who have worked for the CIA’s Radio Liberty, are – in the meantime – on the forefront of the secessionist movement” writes analyst B. Raman, the Indian government’s former cabinet secretary.[3] Alptekin became the founding president of the “World Uyghur Congress,” established in Munich in April 2004, which, according to Beijing, has ties to terrorist milieus.[4]

In the Foreign Ministry

Alptekin’s successor Rebiya Kadeer, who, at the end of the 1990s was the richest business woman in the People’s Republic of China, has been living in exile in the United States since 2005. In November 2006, she was elected president of the World Uyghur Congress – in Munich – and, at this occasion, visited Berlin for the first time. Only a year later, in October 2007, she met with representatives of German party-affiliated foundations and the German Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee in addition to holding talks with the German Foreign Ministry.[5] She is being systematically groomed to become the Uyghur PR overseas symbol – corresponding to the model of the Dalai Lama, appealing for sympathy for Tibetan separatism. Rebiya Kadeer (“Mother of the Uyghurs”) has been proposed several times already as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her biography was introduced in the German National Press Conference, receiving the German media’s attention, at the time.

Three Peoples

The German media points with interest to the fact that Xinjiang, the region threatened by secessionists, is very significant to China. It constitutes a geo-strategic bridgehead to Central Asia and is rich in mineral resources; in particular extensive oil and natural gas deposits are believed to be in Xinjiang, as well as gold and uranium. But above all, the Uyghur secessionists are in no way acting in isolation. Alongside their contacts to western government circles, they also maintain close ties to the secessionists of the autonomous regions of Tibet and Inner Mongolia. “Our three peoples are linked through geography, history and more recently also Chinese occupation,” claimed the Dalai Lama in the late 1990s. “I remain optimistic that in the not too distant future the true aspirations of the peoples of East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet will be fulfilled.”[6] The sympathy Berlin feels toward the Uyghur secessionists is based on hopes that the strategic rival, the People’s Republic of China, could be seriously weakened by the loss of an enormous amount of territory leading from Tibet to Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia.

“The Future of East Turkestan”; german-foreign-policy.com; 7/07/2009.

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #727 Whither China?”

  1. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/02/us-china-usa-uighurs-idUSBREA0107R20140102

    China denounces U.S. for sending Uighur ‘terrorists’ to Slovakia

    BEIJING Thu Jan 2, 2014 3:49am EST

    (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Ministry criticized the United States on Thursday for sending the last three Uighur Chinese inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Slovakia, saying they were “terrorists” who posed a real security danger.

    Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper are the last of 22 Muslim minority Chinese nationals to be moved from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, according to the Pentagon.

    Slovakia’s Interior Ministry confirmed that it would take in the three. Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people from China’s far western region of Xinjiang.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the three were members of the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which Beijing labels a terror group.

    “They are genuine terrorists. They not only threaten China’s security, they will threaten the security of the country that receives them,” he told a daily news briefing.

    “China hopes that the relevant country … does not give asylum to terrorists, and sends them back to China as soon as possible.”

    Qin added that China did not appreciate a recent U.S. State Department call for Chinese security forces to exercise restraint following the latest outbreak of violence in Xinjiang, also blamed by Beijing on “terrorists”.

    “These remarks neglect the facts and are feeble,” he said. “We urge the United States to abandon their double standards when it comes to terrorism, and immediately stop saying one thing and doing another, to avoid sending the wrong message to violent terrorist forces.”

    The United States said it was grateful to Slovakia for its “humanitarian gesture.”

    Most of the Uighurs at Guantanamo were captured near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in late 2001, and were believed to have trained with the Taliban. But U.S. officials have deemed they pose no threat to the United States.

    In 2008, a U.S. court ordered that they be released. They have been resettled in El Salvador, Switzerland, Bermuda, Albania, and the Pacific island nation of Palau.

    The U.S. government has said it will not return the Uighurs to China because they would face persecution there.

    Many Uighurs chafe at restrictions on their culture, language and religion, though the government insists it grants them broad freedoms.

    The region has been beset by violence with at least 91 people, including several police, killed in unrest in Xinjiang since April, according to state media reports.

    China has blamed some of the violence on Islamist militants with connections to foreign groups, including al Qaeda, plotting holy war.

    Many rights groups and exiles say China exaggerates the militant threat to justify its firm grip on energy-rich Xinjiang, which abuts Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

    (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

    Posted by Vanfield | January 5, 2014, 8:04 pm

Post a comment