Monday, 24 August 2009

Xinjiang

Two hundred prosecutions. No, nor would I wish to stand trial in China. But a point still needs to be made.

Why are Han Chinese “Han Chinese”, but Uighur Chinese simply “Uighurs”? They have been Chinese for about as long as each other, i.e., more or less for ever. For that matter, they have lived in Xinjiang (even if not always at the current ratio) for about as long as each other, i.e., more or less for ever. But, of course, we all know why the Han are described as Chinese yet the Uighur are not. The Trots are in charge now. For that is what hatred of China in our media is: student Trotskyism from back in the day.

For all the same depiction of the perpetrators as the victims that we saw when Tibetans also turned on their age-old Han and Hui neighbours, the events in Xinjiang show up the vitally important point that just because the Chinese regime is nasty, that does not make its opponents nice. Those who want an ethnically pure Islamist state in Xinjiang are of a piece with those who want an ethnically pure feudal theocracy in Tibet, with those who feel that Maoism has been betrayed, with those who always saw Maoism as a betrayal of Stalinism, and with the Koumintang ludicrously agitating to have their accidental bolt-hole on Taiwan declared independent.

Is every one of China’s 56 ethnic groups to be given a state? The population clearances necessary to create such states in Tibet and Xinjiang alone would make the partition of India look like a parish council boundary dispute. Even leaving aside the horrifying visions of those who want control of those territories in order to give those visions life. The whole thing is completely unconscionable.

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