- Spitfire List - https://spitfirelist.com -

FTR #1094 The Destabilization of China, Part 5: Pan-Turkism, Islamism and The Earth Island Boogie

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE [1].

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE [2].

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE [2].

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself, HERE [3].

Mr. Emory’s entire life’s work is avail­able on a 32GB flash dri­ve, avail­able for a con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more (to KFJC). Click Here to obtain Dav­e’s 40+ years’ work. [4]

Please con­sid­er sup­port­ing THE WORK DAVE EMORY DOES [5].

This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment. [6]

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram con­tin­ues with exam­i­na­tion of cen­trifu­gal polit­i­cal and geo-polit­i­cal forces at work in the appar­ent­ly ongo­ing desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na.

This is a com­plex top­ic, involv­ing sub­jects dealt with at great length in past pro­grams over the years. We rec­om­mend using the search func­tion on this web­site (using quo­ta­tion marks) to gain a deep­er under­stand­ing of what Mr. Emory calls “The Earth Island Boo­gie.”

By the same token, under­stand­ing that con­cept involves obtain­ing a grasp of Pan-Turk­ism and some of its man­i­fes­ta­tions in the Uighur milieu inside Chi­na.

This descrip­tion has links to key pro­grams that will flesh out the lis­ten­ers’ under­stand­ing.

We begin an analy­sis [7] 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 [8], as well as FTR #‘s 720 [9], 723 [10], 819 [11], 857 [12], 862 [13], 863 [14], 878 [15], 879 [16], 884 [17], 885 [18], 886 [19], 911 [20].

Note that the geo­graph­i­cal focal point of the Uighur separatist/jihadist activ­i­ty not only encom­pass­es min­er­al and resource-rich Xin­jiang province, but lies in the area Chi­na has des­ig­nat­ed as an impor­tant area for their “Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.” That ini­tia­tive is a pro­gram designed to build rail con­nec­tions across what is known as “The Earth Island,” a project which appears to entail deep alarm on the part of inter­ests in the West.

” . . . . 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. . . . 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] . . . . 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] . . . .”

The Uighur/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/jihadist milieu is also dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 348 [21], 549 [22], 550 [23], 615 [24].

Next, we detail the long his­to­ry of NATO [25] and relat­ed ele­ments using the Uighurs to desta­bi­lize Chi­na, with Ger­many as an epi­cen­ter of Uighur activ­i­ty.

We review the ter­ror­ism against mem­bers of the Han Chi­nese major­i­ty in Xin­jiang by Uighurs.

” . . . . 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. . . .

As high­light­ed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 547 [26], 548 [27], 549 [22], 550 [23], the Uighurs are part of a cen­tripetal desta­bi­liza­tion effort [28] against Chi­na, uti­liz­ing the Dalai Lama’s SS-linked milieu, ele­ments of CIA, and the Haps­burg-con­trolled UNPO to effect the par­tial dis­mem­ber­ment of that coun­try.

We con­clude with dis­cus­sion about the Hong Kong Shan­hai Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. A major British bank, the growth of its largesse was inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the opi­um trade Britain forced on Chi­na through the Opi­um Wars.

The bank per­pet­u­at­ed it’s involve­ment with major nar­cotics traf­fick­ing, laun­der­ing funds for con­tem­po­rary drug car­tels.

Ulti­mate­ly, the bank became a vehi­cle for the financ­ing of ele­ments of Al-Qae­da and jihadism. We won­der if per­haps jihadist ele­ments of the Uighurs may be receiv­ing fund­ing through the insti­tu­tion?

1. We begin 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 [8], as well as FTR #‘s 720 [9], 723 [10], 819 [11], 857 [12], 862 [13], 863 [14], 878 [15], 879 [16], 884 [17], 885 [18], 886 [19], 911 [20].

The Uighur/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/jihadist milieu is dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 348 [21], 549 [22], 550 [23], 615 [24].

“Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (I);” [7]Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy [7]; 11/15/2018. [7]

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” [29].

[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 [30].

2. Next, we detail the long his­to­ry of NATO and relat­ed ele­ments using the Uighurs to desta­bi­lize Chi­na, with Ger­many as an epi­cen­ter of Uighur activ­i­ty.

We review the ter­ror­ism against mem­bers of the Han Chi­nese major­i­ty in Xin­jiang by Uighurs.

“Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (II);” [25] Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy [25]; 11/26/2018. [25]

For decades, Uighur sep­a­ratists, under pros­e­cu­tion cur­rent­ly by the Chi­nese author­i­ties in Xin­jiang, have had their for­eign oper­a­tional base in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many. Exiled Uighurs in Munich had prop­a­gat­ed the seces­sion of west­ern Chi­na’s Xin­jiang Autonomous Region — “East Turkestan” — already in the 1970s over the US pro­pa­gan­da broad­cast­er Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty (RFE/RL). Since then, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many has become “the cen­tral out­post and the most impor­tant base for pro­mot­ing the cause of East­ern Turkestan inde­pen­dence,” accord­ing to a study on the Uighur exiles, with Munich host­ing the World Uighur Con­gress (WUC), the cen­tral out­post of a glob­al Uighur exile net­work. Its lead­er­ship is in con­tact also with Uighurs in Cen­tral Asia and Chi­nese dis­si­dents in exile in India and main­tains rela­tions with offi­cials in Berlin and Wash­ing­ton. A study pre­sent­ed by the US mil­i­tary, con­cludes that Uighur sep­a­ratism will hard­ly be suc­cess­ful — at least, not with­out out­side sup­port.

Central Outpost

Since the 1970s, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many (FRG) has grad­u­al­ly become “the cen­tral out­post and the most impor­tant base for pro­mot­ing the cause of East­ern Turkestan inde­pen­dence and Uighur nation­al­ism,” accord­ing to a study on the Uighur exiles.[1] Erkin Alptekin, who has been work­ing for the US pro­pa­gan­da broad­cast­er Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty (RFE/RL) in Munich since 1971, was one of the first promi­nent Uighur activists in the FRG. Alptekin could prof­it from his name: Pri­or to the 1949 found­ing of the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na, his father Isa Yusuf Alptekin had been con­sid­ered one of the lead­ing sep­a­ratists in what is today Xin­jiang. He had been appoint­ed Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of the Islam­ic East­ern Turkestan Repub­lic, which seced­ed from Chi­na in 1933, but only exist­ed for a few months. From the 1950s until his death in 1995, Isa Yusuf Alptekin had been active in Turkey, where­as his son was active in Munich — as the de fac­to “leader of the East­ern Turkestan inde­pen­dence move­ment in Europe.”[2] Erkin Alptekin has found­ed diverse orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the World Uighur Con­gress (WUC), head­quar­tered in Munich, over which he had presided from 2004 to 2006.

Global Network

The exiled Uighurs in and around Munich were always seek­ing to gain influ­ence on the poli­cies of the FRG — not only by their demon­stra­tions and peti­tions, but also through con­tact­ing mem­bers of par­lia­ment and min­is­te­r­i­al offi­cials in Berlin [3] with Erkin Alptekin play­ing a major role. From his Bavar­i­an exile, Alptekin has also been lob­by­ing in oth­er West­ern coun­tries. In the spring of 2004, he vis­it­ed the Unit­ed States, where he was received by promi­nent for­eign pol­i­cy experts in the US Congress.[4] In the sum­mer of 2009, he briefed the human rights com­mis­sion in the Ital­ian parliament.[5] Alptekin also sought to fos­ter con­tacts to Uighurs in Cen­tral Asia. For exam­ple, in the spring of 2000, he vis­it­ed Kyr­gyzs­tan for dis­cus­sions on the Uighur sit­u­a­tion of that coun­try. The Uighur minor­i­ty is esti­mat­ed at 50,000 mem­bers.

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In Novem­ber 2006, Alptekin was replaced at the head of WUC by Rebiya Kadeer, a for­mer busi­ness­woman from Xin­jiang. In the 90s, she had been one of Chi­na’s most wealthy women, and, was hold­ing polit­i­cal office. How­ev­er, she was then arrest­ed for sep­a­ratist activ­i­ties and — under Wash­ing­ton’s polit­i­cal pres­sure — per­mit­ted in March 2005 to leave Chi­na for the USA. She has been active with­in the struc­tures of exile Uighur sep­a­ratists ever since. She was a can­di­date for the Nobel Peace Prize. At WUC’s Sec­ond Gen­er­al Assem­bly (Novem­ber 24, — 27, 2006 in Munich) she was elect­ed pres­i­dent. In the run-up to this assem­bly, Kadeer had spent time in Berlin, where she held talks also with Ger­man par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and offi­cials of Ger­many’s For­eign Min­istry. Dur­ing WUC’s Gen­er­al Assem­bly, she received more than 50 con­grat­u­la­to­ry let­ters from high-rank­ing politi­cians, includ­ing Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel.[6] In June 2007, she intro­duced her auto­bi­og­ra­phy (“Drag­on Fight­er”) at Ger­many’s Fed­er­al Press Con­fer­ence in Berlin. In Octo­ber 2007, she was again offi­cial­ly received in the Ger­man capital.[7] Kadeer has also fre­quent­ly met with high-rank­ing politi­cians in Wash­ing­ton, includ­ing Pres­i­dent George W. Bush in July 2008.

Murders and Molotov Cocktails

It remains unclear what role WUC had played in the July 5, 2009 Uighur pogrom-like riots in Xin­jiang’s cap­i­tal Urumqi. That day, accord­ing to numer­ous eye­wit­ness­es, thou­sands of Uighurs alleged­ly attacked Han Chi­nese, destroy­ing more than 200 busi­ness­es, 14 res­i­den­tial build­ings, and set­ting fire to more than 250 vehi­cles. Accord­ing to offi­cial fig­ures, 197 peo­ple were killed — includ­ing 134 Han Chi­nese and 10 mem­bers of the Hui minor­i­ty. Accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment, the WUC had been insti­gat­ing unrest also via inter­net, call­ing on Uighur “to be braver” and “to do some­thing big.” This was under­stood as a call for violence.[8] WUC denies these accu­sa­tions. How­ev­er, it is a fact that two days lat­er, fol­low­ing an exile Uighur protest in Munich, two uniden­ti­fied per­sons threw Molo­tov cock­tails at the local Chi­nese Gen­er­al Con­sulate. The same day, Uighur demon­stra­tors threat­ened Chi­nese tourists in Munich’s Marien­platz Square. A WUC spokesper­son was quot­ed say­ing that he does not know, who had thrown the Molo­tov cock­tails, “but he knows that our peo­ple hate the Chi­nese authorities.”[9] Sep­tem­ber 1, 2009, the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­t’s Human Rights Com­mit­tee invit­ed WUC Pres­i­dent Kadeer to pro­vide infor­ma­tion on the July 5 riots in Urumqi. Accord­ing to the com­mit­tee’s pro­to­col-like sum­ma­ry of the meet­ing, there was no men­tion of Uighur vio­lence against Han Chi­nese. There was mere­ly spec­u­la­tion about whether the police had pos­si­bly killed Han Chi­nese by mistake.[10]

A Pact among Separatists

WUC remains active in Munich. A year ago, in Novem­ber, it had con­vened its Sixth Gen­er­al Assem­bly, with more than 100 del­e­gates from 18 coun­tries. Ger­man Bun­destag and Euro­pean par­lia­men­tar­i­ans were also on hand, accord­ing to WUC reports. Dolkun Isa, a long-stand­ing Ger­man res­i­dent, was elect­ed pres­i­dent of WUC. One year ear­li­er, he had sought to vis­it Chi­nese dis­si­dents in Dharam­sala (India) — in vain.[11] Dharam­sala is known as the main base of oper­a­tions of Tibetan exiles. The WUC has always sought to fed­er­ate orga­ni­za­tions of all of the Chi­nese sep­a­ratists, includ­ing those sup­port­ing an inde­pen­dent Tibetan theoc­ra­cy.

The Significance of Exile

A schol­ar­ly the­sis, pre­sent­ed in 2015 by the U.S. Army Com­mand and Gen­er­al Staff Col­lege at Fort Leav­en­worth, Kansas, sheds light on the sig­nif­i­cance of Uighur exile. The author, a Major of the Pak­istani Army, con­clud­ed that the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang will remain tense and Uighur sep­a­ratism “with­out any exter­nal sup­port and recog­ni­tion, is not like­ly to succeed.”[12]

Please read also: Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (I) [7].

[1], [2] Yitzhak Shi­chor: Vir­tu­al Transna­tion­al­ism: Uygur Com­mu­ni­ties in Europe and the Quest for East­ern Turkestan Inde­pen­dence. In: Ste­fano Allievi, Jørgen Nielsen (Hg.): Mus­lim Net­works and Transna­tion­al Com­mu­ni­ties in and across Europe. Leiden/Boston 2003. S. 281–311.

[3] Yitzhak Shi­chor: Nui­sance Val­ue: Uyghur activism in Ger­many and Bei­jing-Berlin rela­tions. In: Jour­nal of Con­tem­po­rary Chi­na, 2013. S. 1–18.

[4] Susan V. Lawrence: Why Chi­na Fears This Uyghur Exile. Far East­ern Eco­nom­ic Review 09.07.2004.

[5] Troops flood into Chi­na region after riots. nbcnews.com 08.07.2009

[6] Yitzhak Shi­chor: Nui­sance Val­ue: Uyghur activism in Ger­many and Bei­jing-Berlin rela­tions. In: Jour­nal of Con­tem­po­rary Chi­na, 2013. S. 1–18.

[7] S. dazu Schwächungsstrate­gien (IV).

[8] Civil­ians, offi­cer killed in Urumqi unrest. Xin­hua 06.07.2009.

[9] Yitzhak Shi­chor: Nui­sance Val­ue: Uyghur activism in Ger­many and Bei­jing-Berlin rela­tions. In: Jour­nal of Con­tem­po­rary Chi­na, 2013. S. 1–18.

[10] Human Rights Sit­u­a­tion of Uyghur Eth­nic Group. Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Brief­ing, Sub­com­mit­tee on Human Rights — 1 Sep­tem­ber 2009.

[11] Dipan­jan Roy Chaud­hury: Dolkun Isa unknown in India till they can­celled his visa. economictimes.indiatimes.com 27.04.2016.

[12] Waqas Ali Khan: The Uyghur Insur­gency in Xin­jiang: The Suc­cess Poten­tial. Fort Leav­en­worth 2015.

3. As high­light­ed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 547 [26], 548 [27], 549 [22], 550 [23], the Uighurs are part of a cen­tripetal desta­bi­liza­tion effort against Chi­na, uti­liz­ing the Dalai Lama’s SS-linked milieu, ele­ments of CIA, and the Haps­burg-con­trolled UNPO.

“The Chi­nese Oppo­si­tion’s For­eign Hub;” [28]Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy [28]; 9/12/2019. [28]

With its pro­fes­sion­al­ly chore­o­graphed recep­tion of Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, Berlin is pre­sent­ing itself to the inter­na­tion­al pub­lic as the Chi­nese oppo­si­tion’s for­eign hub. Wong was per­son­al­ly wel­comed in Berlin by the For­eign Min­is­ter, and, he demand­ed at the Fed­er­al Press Con­fer­ence that action be tak­en against Chi­na. Ger­many has already grant­ed asy­lum to two oth­er dis­si­dents from Hong Kong, who had been call­ing for the city’s seces­sion from Chi­na and have been indict­ed for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in riots. For decades, Uighur sep­a­ratist asso­ci­a­tions have had their for­eign oper­a­tional base in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, includ­ing one accused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in prepa­ra­tions of the pogrom-like riots, which claimed the lives of near­ly 200 peo­ple. Ger­man politi­cians are sup­port­ing Tibetan sep­a­ratists as well — see­ing them as a point of lever­age for weak­en­ing the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. A Chi­nese writer, who called Chi­na a “pile of garbage,” was award­ed the Peace Prize of the Ger­man Book Trade.

Secede Tibet

For many years, west­ern pow­ers, includ­ing the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, have been using the Tibet con­flict as a point of lever­age for weak­en­ing the Chi­nese state. Where­as some of the Tibetan cler­gy tra­di­tion­al­ly have been will­ing to coop­er­ate with Bei­jing, oth­ers have been in con­flict with the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. Their demands range from ever greater auton­o­my, all the way to seces­sion, with some even demand­ing the seces­sion of “Greater Tibet,” which would not only include the autonomous region of Tibet, but Chi­nese provinces as well. Since the 1980s, a Tibet lob­by has been estab­lished par­tic­u­lar­ly in the West, in which the Dalai Lama, who is based in Indi­a’s Dharam­sala plays a key role. Since the mid-1980s, the demands of the Tibet lob­by have been reg­u­lar­ly picked up by Ger­man politi­cians, with, in par­tic­u­lar, the Green Par­ty and the FDP-affil­i­at­ed Friedrich Nau­mann Foun­da­tion serv­ing as its mouth­piece. The Friedrich Nau­mann Foun­da­tion has also orga­nized sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences, at which the Tibet lob­by could coor­di­nate its polit­i­cal activ­i­ties. At one such con­fer­ence an inter­na­tion­al cam­paign was orga­nized, attack­ing the Olympic Torch Relay ahead of the Olympic Games in Bei­jing in 2008. Man­aged by pro­fes­sion­al pub­lic rela­tions, the cam­paign caused con­sid­er­able dam­age to Chi­na’s image. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]) In Sep­tem­ber 2007, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel osten­ta­tious­ly received in the chan­cellery the Dalai Lama, who was at odds with Beijing.[2] Three Ger­man par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, includ­ing the Bun­destag’s Vice Pres­i­dent Clau­dia Roth (The Greens) cre­at­ed a stir in mid-Mai 2018, when they received Lob­sang San­gay, the pres­i­dent of the self-pro­claimed Tibetan gov­ern­ment in exile.

Secede Xinjiang

The West is also using con­tro­ver­sies in west­ern Chi­na’s Xin­jiang province as a sec­ond point of lever­age. There are two con­flicts inter­min­gling. On the one hand, seces­sion­ists have long been active in the Autonomous Region of the Tur­kic-speak­ing Uighurs. They seek to have Xin­jiang secede from Chi­na, to found “East Turkestan,” some even with the idea of fus­ing with the Tur­kic-speak­ing regions of Cen­tral Asia and estab­lish­ing a “greater Turk­ish empire.” On the oth­er hand, Islamist forces have been on the rise since the 1990s in Xinjiang’s social con­ser­v­a­tive rur­al areas. Ter­ror­ist attacks by Uighur jihadis have claimed numer­ous lives over the past few decades. Up to today, the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty, a union of Uighur jihadis is fight­ing along­side the al Qae­da off­shoot Hay­at Tahrir al Sham in Syria’s Idlib Province. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) Uighur exile orga­ni­za­tions have been active in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many and agi­tat­ing for the Xin­jiang’s seces­sion from Chi­na, already since the late 1970s. The World Uighur Con­gress, with its head­quar­ters in Munich, plays a cen­tral role in the glob­al­ly oper­at­ing asso­ci­a­tion of Uighur activists. The con­gress is being accused of hav­ing been involved in the prepa­ra­tions of the pogrom-like attacks on Han Chi­nese in July 2009, in Xin­jiang’s capi­tol Urumqi, result­ing in the mur­der of at least 197, includ­ing at least 134 Han Chinese.[4] May 8, 2019, the Pres­i­dent of the World Uighur Con­gress, Dolkun Isa, gave a report on the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang to the Human Rights Com­mit­tee of the Ger­man Bundestag.[5] Among the orga­ni­za­tion’s most loy­al Ger­man sup­port­ers is the Green par­lia­men­tar­i­an Mar­garete Bause, spokesper­son for Human Rights and Human­i­tar­i­an Aid of her par­ty’s par­lia­men­tary group.

Smash China

Along­side the sup­port for Tibet and Xin­jiang’s sep­a­ratists, Berlin has always sup­port­ed those from Chi­na’s mid­dle class milieu, who are in polit­i­cal con­flict with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. In 2010, for exam­ple, the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs explic­it­ly praised the Nobel Peace Prize being award­ed to the Chi­nese dis­si­dent, Liu Xiaobo. A polit­i­cal pro­gram, “Char­ter 08,” co-authored by Liu, includ­ed among the demands, one for the trans­for­ma­tion of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na into a fed­er­al­ly orga­nized repub­lic, along the lines of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, which would entail a rever­sion of the nation­al­iza­tion mea­sures under­tak­en by Bei­jing since 1949.[6] Liu Xia, the wid­ow of the Nobel Prize lau­re­ate, who died July 13, 2017, has been liv­ing in exile in Berlin since July 2018. For a while, the dis­si­dent artist Ai Wei­wei, who moved to the Ger­man cap­i­tal in 2015, had served as the key wit­ness against Bei­jing. How­ev­er, he is only sel­dom seen now, since he expressed sharp crit­i­cism of Ger­man con­di­tions and announced that he was plan­ning to leave. The Ger­man soci­ety thinks of itself as “being open,” but it shields ” itself, above all,” crit­i­cized Ai. It does “not real­ly accept oth­er ideas and argu­ments,” and has “lit­tle respect for uncon­ven­tion­al voices.”[7] On the oth­er hand, the Chi­nese poet Liao Yiwu, who has been liv­ing in Berlin since 2011, remains loy­al to Ger­many. In Octo­ber 2012, dur­ing his accep­tance speech at the recep­tion of the Peace Prize of the Ger­man Book Trade, Liao declared that Chi­na is an “infi­nite­ly large pile of garbage,” where “many regions and peo­ples are forced to be teth­ered togeth­er” and must be bro­ken down into numer­ous mini-states.[8] At the award cer­e­mo­ny, numer­ous promi­nent Ger­man offi­cials applaud­ed after Liao’s demand that the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na be smashed — Ger­many’s Pres­i­dent includ­ed.

Secede Hong Kong

Last year, at the lat­est, Ger­many began to also make itself a name as an exile plat­form for the Hong Kong dis­si­dents. In May 2018, for exam­ple, the first two men from Chi­na’s metrop­o­lis were giv­en asy­lum in Ger­many. The two mem­bers of the “Hong Kong Indige­nous” orga­ni­za­tion, seek­ing to secede the city from Chi­na, had been arrest­ed in the night of Feb­ru­ary 8, 2016, for their involve­ment in the bloody riots in the Mong Kok Dis­trict, where sev­er­al hun­dred per­sons had attacked police offi­cers with bot­tles and stones — wound­ing 80 — and set cars on fire.[9] Mon­day night, the Hong Kong activist, Joshua Wong arrived in Berlin and was imme­di­ate­ly wel­comed by For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas. Wong is Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of the Demo­sis­to Par­ty, which cam­paigns for a ref­er­en­dum, where also Hong Kong’s future seces­sion from Chi­na should be vot­ed on. Even before his arrival in Ger­many, he had announced that he was com­ing to explore whether Ger­many would be a suit­able exile coun­try for oth­er Hong Kong dis­si­dents. In fact, there are numer­ous demon­stra­tors fac­ing sen­tenc­ing for hav­ing van­dal­ized sub­way sta­tions and the local par­lia­ment build­ing, attacked police offi­cers with stones and Molo­tov cock­tails, as well as set fires near police sta­tions. On the week­end, thou­sands of demon­stra­tors called on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to intervene.[10] Their protests cor­re­spond to the well test­ed esca­la­tion strat­e­gy meth­ods, applied also, for exam­ple, in 2014 in Ukraine.

Germany Interferes

With a pro­fes­sion­al­ly chore­o­graphed recep­tion for Wong, Berlin is also mak­ing its mark as the Chi­nese oppo­si­tion’s for­eign hub. How­ev­er, the dis­parate milieu, who have found refuge and sup­port in Ger­many — Bud­dhists as well as Mus­lim sep­a­ratists, con­tro­ver­sial artists, lib­er­als, sus­pect­ed riot­ers — all share a sin­gle objec­tive, to put an end to the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na, as it cur­rent­ly exists, and if pos­si­ble — smash it. By allow­ing them to take the world stage and pro­vid­ing access to the for­eign min­is­ter, Berlin is brazen­ly inter­fer­ing in the domes­tic affairs of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. The fact that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment would itself cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly for­bid com­pa­ra­ble inter­fer­ence of for­eign coun­tries, can be seen in the fash­ion­able — although in many cas­es unproven — accu­sa­tions that Rus­sia inter­feres in the domes­tic affairs of west­ern coun­tries. The scan­dal, it would cause, if, for exam­ple one of the lead­ing activists of the protests of the G‑20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg would have been giv­en asy­lum in Moscow, or if the Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter would have wel­comed him for talks, is eas­i­ly imag­in­able.

Forgotten Crimes

Berlin’s cur­rent inter­fer­ence in Chi­na’s domes­tic affairs is being car­ried out, in spite of Ger­many’s role in the late 19th and ear­ly 20th Cen­turies, as one of the main par­tic­i­pants in the crush­ing of the Chi­nese Empire — even includ­ing colo­nial mass mur­der. Although what was done then, is hard­ly known today in the pop­u­la­tion of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, it is gen­er­al knowl­edge In the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. german-foreign-policy.com will soon report.

Please note our video col­umn [31] on the con­flict with Chi­na.

[1] See also The Olympic Torch Relay Cam­paign [32].

[2] See also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I) [33].

[3] See also Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (I) [7].

[4] See also Set­ting the Sights on East Turkestan (II) [25].

[5] Besorgt über die Lage religiös­er Min­der­heit­en in Chi­na. bundestag.de Mai 2019.

[6] See also Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Chi­na [34].

[7] Swan­t­je Karich: “Berlin ist die demokratis­chste Stadt Europas”. welt.de 09.08.2019.

[8] See also Smash Chi­na (II) [35].

[9] See also Proteste in Hongkong.

[10] See also Protests in Hong Kong (II) [36].

4. We con­clude with dis­cus­sion about the Hong Kong Shang­hai Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. A major British bank, the growth of its largesse was inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the opi­um trade Britain forced on Chi­na through the Opi­um Wars.

The bank per­pet­u­at­ed it’s involve­ment with major nar­cotics traf­fick­ing, laun­der­ing funds for con­tem­po­rary drug car­tels.

Ulti­mate­ly, the bank became a vehi­cle for the financ­ing of ele­ments of Al-Qae­da and jihadism. We won­der if per­haps jihadist ele­ments of the Uighurs may be receiv­ing fund­ing through the insti­tu­tion?

[37]Gang­ster Banksters [37]: [37]Too Big To Fail” by Matt Taibi; [37]Rolling Stones [37]; 2/14/2013. [37]

. . . . Also known as the Hong Kong and Shang­hai Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, HSBC has always been asso­ci­at­ed with drugs. Found­ed in 1865, HSBC became the major com­mer­cial bank in colo­nial Chi­na after the con­clu­sion of the Sec­ond Opi­um War. If you’re rusty in your his­to­ry of Britain’s var­i­ous wars of Impe­r­i­al Rape, the Sec­ond Opi­um War was the one where Britain and oth­er Euro­pean pow­ers basi­cal­ly slaugh­tered lots of Chi­nese peo­ple until they agreed to legal­ize the dope trade (much like they had done in the First Opi­um War, which end­ed in 1842).

A cen­tu­ry and a half lat­er, it appears not much has changed. With its strong on-the-ground pres­ence in many of the var­i­ous ex-colo­nial ter­ri­to­ries in Asia and Africa, and its rich his­to­ry of cross-cul­tur­al moral flex­i­bil­i­ty, HSBC has a very dif­fer­ent inter­na­tion­al foot­print than oth­er Too Big to Fail banks [38] like Wells Far­go or Bank of Amer­i­ca. While the Amer­i­can bank­ing behe­moths main­ly gorged them­selves on the tox­ic res­i­den­tial-mort­gage trade that caused the 2008 finan­cial bub­ble, HSBC took a slight­ly dif­fer­ent path, turn­ing itself into the des­ti­na­tion bank for domes­tic and inter­na­tion­al scoundrels of every pos­si­ble per­sua­sion. . . .

. . . . In April 2003, with 9/11 still fresh in the minds of Amer­i­can reg­u­la­tors, the Fed­er­al Reserve sent HSBC’s Amer­i­can sub­sidiary a cease-and-desist­ let­ter, order­ing it to clean up its act and make a bet­ter effort to keep crim­i­nals and ter­ror­ists from open­ing accounts at its bank. One of the bank’s big­ger cus­tomers, for instance, was Sau­di Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank, which had been linked by the CIA and oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies to ter­ror­ism. Accord­ing to a doc­u­ment cit­ed in a Sen­ate report, one of the bank’s founders, Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, was among 20 ear­ly financiers of Al Qae­da, a mem­ber of what Osama bin Laden him­self appar­ent­ly called the “Gold­en Chain.” In 2003, the CIA wrote a con­fi­den­tial report about the bank, describ­ing Al Rajhi as a “con­duit for extrem­ist finance.” In the report, details of which leaked to the pub­lic by 2007, the agency not­ed that Sulaiman Al Rajhi con­scious­ly worked to help Islam­ic “char­i­ties” hide their true nature, order­ing the bank’s board to “explore finan­cial instru­ments that would allow the bank’s char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions to avoid offi­cial Sau­di scruti­ny.” (The bank has denied any role in financ­ing extrem­ists.)

In Jan­u­ary 2005, while under the cloud of its first dou­ble-secret­-pro­ba­tion agree­ment with the U.S., HSBC decid­ed to par­tial­ly sev­er ties with Al Rajhi. Note the word “par­tial­ly”: The decision­ would only apply to Al Rajhi bank­ing and not to its relat­ed trad­ing com­pa­ny, a dis­tinc­tion that tick­led exec­u­tives inside the bank. In March 2005, Alan Ket­ley, a com­pli­ance offi­cer for HSBC’s Amer­i­can sub­sidiary, HBUS, glee­ful­ly told Paul Pless­er, head of his bank’s Glob­al For­eign Exchange Depart­ment, that it was cool to do busi­ness with Al Rajhi Trad­ing. “Looks like you’re fine to con­tin­ue deal­ing with Al Rajhi,” he wrote. “You’d bet­ter be mak­ing lots of mon­ey!”

But this back­door arrange­ment with bin Laden’s sus­pect­ed “Gold­en Chain” banker wasn’t direct enough – many HSBC exec­u­tives want­ed the whole she­bang restored. In a remark­able e‑mail sent in May 2005, Christo­pher Lok, HSBC’s head of glob­al bank notes, asked a col­league if they could maybe go back to ful­ly doing busi­ness with Al Rajhi as soon as one of America’s pri­ma­ry bank­ing reg­u­la­tors, the Office of the Comp­trol­ler of the Cur­ren­cy, lift­ed the 2003 cease-and-desist order: “After the OCC close­out and that chap­ter is hope­ful­ly fin­ished, could we revis­it Al Rajhi again? Lon­don com­pli­ance has tak­en a more lenient view.”

After being slapped with the order in 2003, HSBC began blow­ing off its require­ments both in let­ter and in spir­it – and on a mass scale, too. Instead of pun­ish­ing the bank, though, the government’s response was to send it more angry let­ters. Typ­i­cal­ly, those came in the form of so-called “MRA” (Mat­ters Requir­ing Atten­tion) let­ters sent by the OCC. Most of these touched upon the same theme, i.e., HSBC fail­ing to do due dili­gence on the shady char­ac­ters who might be deposit­ing mon­ey in its accounts or using its branch­es to wire mon­ey. HSBC racked up these “You’re Still Screw­ing Up and We Know It” orders by the dozen, and in just one brief stretch between 2005 and 2006, it received 30 dif­fer­ent for­mal warn­ings.

Nonethe­less, in Feb­ru­ary 2006 the OCC under George Bush sud­den­ly decid­ed to release HSBC from the 2003 cease-and-desist­ order. In oth­er words, HSBC basi­cal­ly vio­lat­ed its parole 30 times in just more than a year and got off any­way. The bank was, to use the street term, “off paper” – and free to let the Al Rajhis of the world come rush­ing back.

After HSBC ful­ly restored its rela­tion­ship with the appar­ent­ly ter­ror­ist-friend­ly Al Rajhi Bank in Sau­di Ara­bia, it sup­plied the bank with near­ly 1 bil­lion U.S. dol­lars. . . .