For the last sixteen years, the Chinese Communist Party has been telling the Chinese people and the world at-large that it is waging its own “war on terrorism” in the Uyghur homeland of Xinjiang, known to Uyghurs as “East Turkestan.” Xinjiang has since become the most heavily garrisoned and surveilled part of the People’s Republic of China. As many as one million Uyghurs are now detained in Communist Party “political re-education” camps, where they have been subject to torture, medical maltreatment, and other abuses. Meanwhile, the “stability” of the region has become essential for PRC’s strategic “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and the Communist Party has used its influence around the world to stifle criticism of the human rights emergency in Xinjiang that it has created.
What is at stake for the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang? How has the PRC’s conduct and repression in Xinjiang affected its foreign relations, including with Pakistan, the countries of Central Asia, and the Middle East? What do we know about the policy debates among Chinese authorities and the people of China concerning Xinjiang and what, if any, are the dissenting views? What does the PRC’s conduct in Xinjiang tell us about the nature of the Communist Party’s power and the PRC’s ambitions to transform itself into a superpower?
On September 5, Hudson Institute hosted a discussion on the PRC’s “war on terrorism.” The panel will include Dr. Michael Clarke, associate professor at the Australian National University; Louisa Greve, director of external affairs for the Uyghur Human Rights Project; Andrew Small, a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund; Sean Roberts, an associate professor at George Washington University; and Rushan Abbas, a former Uyghur Service journalist with Radio Free Asia. The discussion was moderated by Hudson senior fellow Eric Brown.