Cliff, T. (2012). The partnership of stability in Xinjiang: state–society interactions following the July 2009 unrest. The China Journal, (68), 79-105. [Link]
Most analyses of central government policy in Xinjiang focus on “the Uyghur problem”.
This article demonstrates the coexistence of a significant “Han problem” in Xinjiang, and
thereby throws a different light on relations between center and periphery in China. Central government reactions to the Ürümqi riots in July 2009 suggest that stability among the Han population of Xinjiang is the center’s primary objective, and that this stability is seen to be facilitated by a particular style of development. Furthermore, state–society interactions in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 riots show that Han in Xinjiang perceive themselves to possess collective—if limited and contingent—influence. This perception is the product of the mass frame through which, I argue, the Han mainstream view their relationship with the central government. I call this mass frame “the partnership of stability”
A pretty interesting article that argues that Chinese policies are put in place to appease the Han rather than deal with an “Uyghur problem”. The conclusion states that:
Most studies of Xinjiang touch on social and political stability in the region, and almost all of them presume that the central government is focused on dealing with “the Uyghur problem”. Liu Yong, for example, criticizes the central government’s response to 7/5 as “an economic band aid”, saying that the measures will not be effective in addressing Uyghur discontent and quelling dissent. I contend that the central state conceives of the problems in a different way. Recent policies in Xinjiang have not focused on winning over the Uyghur population. Rather, the massive injection of funds into Xinjiang and the paired assistance program are intended to make the region attractive to Han and accelerate cultural change in Xinjiang. That means privileging Han people and Han ways of doing things.
The development of minority education and the practice of bilingual education in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Rong, M. A. (2009). The development of minority education and the practice of bilingual education in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Frontiers of Education in China, 4(2), 188-251. Link
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is an area of great importance for the ethnic minorities of northwestern China, and the development of local minority education has been a constant concern in both government and academic spheres. By means of analyzing government documents, statistical data and research literature, this article attempts to define the fundamental modes and development processes of minority education in Xinjiang. Furthermore, the article elaborates on discussion of the development and problems relevant to bilingual education in the concentrated Uyghur communities of southern Xinjiang based on the author’s field research in the Kashgar Prefecture in 2007.
I think this paper is saying that bilingual education is necessary – Uyghurs should learn Mandarin and English, and Han living in the southern regions should learn Uyghur – so everyone can become educated, learn to communicate, and advance as a society. It also states that the government should provide schooling in the language the student wants to learn in, and says the Chinese government allows minorities to learn and speak their native languages. This was written in 2009, so considering how “bilingual” education is slowly becoming a monolingual, Mandarin education (with the exception of having Uyghur language classes in Uyghur) this was probably an overly optimistic view from eight years ago. Oh well.
An elephant in the planning room: Political demography and its influence on sustainable land-use planning in drylands
Orenstein, D. E., Jiang, L., & Hamburg, S. P. (2011). An elephant in the planning room: Political demography and its influence on sustainable land-use planning in drylands. Journal of Arid Environments, 75(6), 596-611. Link
Two distinct, conflicting, land-use planning paradigms affect drylands: one seeking environmentally sustainable outcomes and one addressing political-demographic concerns. The environmental paradigm is relatively new and is couched in the lexicon of sustainable development, combating desertification and biodiversity conservation. These concerns proscribe planning principles that allow for human settlement in drylands while minimizing its environmental impact. The latter paradigm has a longer history, born in central governments’ desire to secure sovereignty over outlying regions. These concerns result in planning goals that conflict with environmental goals. The environmental paradigm encourages compact development and efficient land-use, while the political-demographic one encourages in-migration of ‘friendly’ populations and the establishment of a physical presence on a maximum amount of land. Using Israel’s Negev Desert and China’s Xinjiang region as case studies, we suggest that successful implementation of sustainable dryland management depends on recognizing the challenge presented by political-demographic planning motivations. As such, successful implementation of environmental planning requires resolution of existing political conflicts. Since drylands are characteristically geographic and demographic frontiers, they are ideal settings in which to study the conflict between environmental and political-demographic goals and they provide an opportunity to better understand how this conflict creates a barrier to sustainable development.
This paper… was a little confusing…
No Rights without Duties: Minzu Pingdeng Nationality Equality in Xinjiang since the 1997 Ghulja disturbances
Finley, J. S. (2011). ‘No Rights without Duties’: Minzu Pingdeng [Nationality Equality] in Xinjiang since the 1997 Ghulja disturbances. Inner Asia, 73-96. Link
This article analyses the handling of the Ürümchi riots of 2009, and of the Shaoguan incident which provoked them, from the perspective of ethnic inequality and discrimination. The core argument posits that, in the eyes of the state and many of its Han subjects, pre-1997 dreams of Xinjiang independence represented a precocious attempt to break away from the state patron. As articulated in the PRC constitution and policy documents, the provision of nationality equality in contemporary China is contingent upon the duty to defend the nation-state; with this duty once abandoned, those rights are forfeited. I show how riot targets reflected Uyghur perceptions of increased socio-economic marginalisation since the 1997 Ghulja disturbances, a period characterised by state crackdowns and reduced civil rights. Finally, the article explores the ways in which Chinese leaders have begun, since late 2010, to address the socioeconomic and linguistic-cultural roots of the conflict. In conclusion, I note that long-term peace in the region depends upon effective implementation of existing policies and the authentic devolution of policy-making power to local Uyghur (and other minority nationality) officials and scholars.
The political salience of language and religion: patterns of ethnic mobilization among Uyghurs in Xinjiang and Sikhs in Punjab
Reny, M. E. (2009). The political salience of language and religion: patterns of ethnic mobilization among Uyghurs in Xinjiang and Sikhs in Punjab. Ethnic and racial studies, 32(3), 490-521. Link
This article examines the reasons why the politicization of language has not been translated into disruptive forms of ethnic mobilization as opposed to the political salience of religion among the Uyghurs in Xinjiang throughout the 1990s and the Sikhs before and after the creation of Punjab in 1966. The article argues, from a structural-rationalist perspective, that language-based claims in Xinjiang and in Punjab have been accommodated by the respective central governments to a larger extent than religious claims have. Accommodation has taken the form of particular policies as well as greater incorporation of minority elites on the basis of language, which have in turn significantly reduced the possibilities of anti-regime sentiments and the incentives for disruptive forms of pressure on the basis of linguistic claims among the minority group. Religious claims have, however, not been accommodated in a similar way.