China expressed concern on Tuesday the Taliban will become a threat to their efforts to maintain control in Xinjiang Province. The region to the North East of Afghanistan is home to the Uyghur minority, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group. The region was conquered in the 18th Century by the Chinese Quing Dynasty. As religion is illegal under Communist rule, the group has been mistreated by the Republic of China. To compound problems, the area is rich in oil and natural gas.
The Communist Chinese have turned Xinjiang into a surveillance state. They have attempted to destroy the cultural identity of the Uyghurs through mass arrests, extrajudicial executions and re-education camps. Mass rapes to impose fear and dehumanize subjects has been reported (Bitter Winter). These techniques were also used by the Chinese against Tibetan Buddhists; the accounts are believable.
There are some problems with China’s expression of concern.
First off, the Taliban are not going to invade China. They aren’t going to liberate Xinjiang Province and return it to Uyghur control as East Turkistan. They may supply arms to ETIM groups in the region who attack Chinese interests. This will provide China a way to create rhetoric to justify the re-education camps in Xinjiang. It may also legitimize Eric Prince‘s contract to train Chinese guards who are sent to the region (reuters).
It should be noted the Taliban (Qantara.de) and the Chinese (Tibetanbuddhistencyclopedia) have and continue to persecute Buddhists. They both use rape as psychological warfare when they gain control of a region (news.com.au). The Taliban and the Communist Chinese have a lot in common; they may share a common god without realizing it. They don’t necessarily want the outside world to see it….
The overall psychological affect on the world stage will be to see the US as an unreliable and weak ally, and the Chinese to be strong. China’s efforts to gain influence in places like Africa (DailyMail.uk) and South America (Time) will be greatly enhanced by the Taliban victory. I’m sure Karl Marx appreciates the attempt by China to make it seem they wouldn’t benefit.
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