Empire's Voice, The Economist, Warns China and Lends Its Support for the Separatist Uighurs
August 9, 2014 • 1:10PM

In its Aug. 9 article, British Empire's voice, The Economist, issued a stern warning to Beijing, saying the Uighur separatists in Xinjiang could become as violent as the Russian Chechens, who were engaged in a separatist movement for more than two decades, using violence and drawing its strength from abroad, including Saudi Arabia.

Accusing Beijing of using "several tactics to assert control" over the Uighurs, who "came unwillingly into the Chinese empire," the article, China's far west: A Chechnya in the making, said it first encouraged a migration of Hans, then poured money into infrastructure and created jobs primarily for the Han migrants and, in tandem, adopted a hard line towards the merest hint of dissatisfaction on the part of the Uighurs. The Economist, issuing the warning about the Islamist jihadists that the Empire controls, said that "from Sudan to the West Bank, the evidence is clear: once religion enters any conflict, it becomes harder to settle." The parallel with Chechnya should scare Chinese President Xi Jinping, the article said, adding that Uighurs' religious traditions should be respected, so that all Muslims are allowed to visit Mecca, not just those approved by the government.

In recent weeks, Uighur violence has erupted in Xinjiang. According to official accounts, 96 people died in the July 28 clash in Yarkand, making it the deadliest incident of ethnic violence in China in five years. Beijing said there was an organized and premeditated attack in which assailants armed with knives and axes ambushed cars and trucks on Route 215, the main road south into the town. They identified the mastermind as Nuramat Sawut, a former imam who had links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a separatist group operating across the border in Pakistan.

On July 30, Jume Tahir, a vice president of the state-run Xinjiang Islamic Association, imam of the Id Kah Mosque, and a vocal defender of the Chinese Communist Party's ethnic policies in the troubled region of Xinjiang, was stabbed to death in the Silk Road city of Kashgar, state media reported.