What is Driving Violence Attacks in China’s Xinjiang – Extensive Voice of America Interview with IEMS’ Barry Sautman

Published on: 2014-05-02


Voice of America interviewed IEMS’ Barry Sautman at length for his comments on China’s war-torn Xinjiang province, where violence between ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese has led the Beijing government to declare de facto martial law in the region.

A short excerpt from Barry Sautman’s longer interview can be found below:

Q: Why we are seeing increasing violence in and outside Xinjiang?

A: “Over the course of the last three or four years there have been more than one hundred attacks in Xinjiang and that means that scores of people have been killed and many others injured.

“This appears to be not something that is a response to particular events happening in Xinjiang, but rather a fairly concerted campaign, the problem is because of the non-transparency of Chinese government security operations we don’t really know who is the campaign by, we know that Chinese government always attributes it to the East Turkestan Independence Movement but this is a kind of vague conception of probably an amalgam of groups with different positions and different connections internationally.

“But it does seem that this continuous series of attacks is the reflection of the fact that internationally there are a larger number of attacks by various kinds of Islamist groups, and that what’s happening in Xinjiang is part of that international upsurge. One could find connections between what happened in Xinjiang and what’s happened elsewhere in the Muslim work in terms of this upsurge of Islamists violence. It reflects the growth I think of Salafist currents within the Islamic world.”

Read the full article here: Q&A: What is Driving Violent Attacks in China’s Xinjiang?

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