The Views Of The Uyghur People Of Xinjiang

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Project Summary This project analyzes the views of the Uyghur people of XInjiang, China with regards to recent Uyghur terrorist activities. It examines the role of economic and social integration of Uyghur people into the greater China nation. It will focus on the perceived lack of control of the Uyghur people and their marginalization by the Chinese government, This project proposes that terrorist tactics become more present when no other form of expression is available to societies with less economic and social mobility. Intellectual Merit This study utilizes methods and theory from socio-cultural anthropology and applicable historical research to further understand the unique situation of the Uyghur people. With additional…show more content…
The late 19th and early 20th century saw massive Han Chinese migration into the Xinjiang province following an attempted nationalist movement of the Uyghur people in creating an “East Turkestan” nation. As of 2010, Han Chinese make up nearly 40% of the population, up from less than 10% in 1920 (Spencer, 305). Xinjiang’s situation is often compared to that of Tibet, which has had it’s own nationalist movements, seen as seperatist movements by the Chinese government and has had varying degrees of international support. Like in Tibet, the Uyghurs in Xinjiang have seen severe government crackdowns on popular movements. Xinjiang has been a focal point of ethnic tension in China for the past several decades. Much of the unrest has taken the form of terrorist attacks on Han Chinese population centers or Chinese landmarks, such as the 2008 suicide bombing attempt on a China Southern Airlines flight (Davis, 2008), and a series of knife attacks in railroad stations and markets across Xinjiang and further south in Hebei province, which also has a sizable Uyghur population. Much of this unrest has been attributed to the Global Jihadi Movement by the Chinese government. As the Uyghur population is majority Muslim and reside in Central Asia, they are seen as susceptible to radical Islam. The concept of terrorism has previously been linked to faith, ethnicity and nationalism by anthropologists like Cynthia Mahmood, who in her book
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