By Giancarlo Elia Valori*
Recently the Uyghur organizations abroad are increasing pressures to convey the image of China as a “State of torture”. We do no certainly want to deny that the Muslim population in Xinjiang, which at the time of Mao’s Long March was simply called “the Western Region”, does not tolerate some restrictions, but it is anyway true that the Islamist and jihadist networks are largely present in the region and that, as always happens in these cases, they have visible structures covering the invisible ones.
And not necessarily the visible ones are bigger than the invisible ones. The amount of “invisible agents” in the case of a terrorist and jihadist organization is far greater than you can think of.
Finally, while recently Greece vetoed the EU’s condemnation of China for its “repression of human rights”, it is equally true that the congerie of human rights is a cornucopia where you can put everything and the opposite of everything. Moreover, it is hard to establish a subjective and natural “law” without an equally universal and shared order placing it into a framework of binding rules.
Unfortunately the strict nature of Roman Law – the perennial sphere of every sound legal reasoning – is not so widespread as it would be currently needed.
Instead of the Latin Ratio, there is a new “right of feelings” or even of “impulses and drives”, which now characterizes the EU position – a law heir to the one represented by the drunken leaders of the Germanic tribes under their oak.
A commercial, devised by the now endless private agencies safeguarding said “human rights”, has even created an artificial link between mass migration from Africa to the EU (but above all to Italy ruled by foolish leaders) and torture.
Not to mention the implementation of the human rights ideology to the LGBT minorities in the West, as well as the use of this theory of human rights for the now huge masses of immigrants from Africa to Europe, or even to minorities that although existing for centuries, are used against Asia’s development projects, such as the Baloch people in Pakistan against the “Sino-Pakistani Corridor” and the Sindh and Punjabi ethnic groups between Pakistan and India, as well as the Kachin people between China and Myanmar, a region where China is also investing massively.
In short, the non-State areas among the largest nations are used as clockwork mechanisms to destabilize or regionalize major economies in a phase of economic growth.
And this is already a clue.
Obviously this applies also to the Uyghur issue.
It is also worth recalling that, according to the Turkish police, the bomber of New Year’s Eve attack in Istanbul was an Uyghur – and Daesh-Isis mostly uses Uyghurs for its actions in Turkey.
Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Western China are all areas belonging to the region that has been identified as “Khorasan” by the Caliphate.
In fact, the terrorist of the “Reina” nightclub attack in Istanbul was identified as an Uyghur, but with the significant name of Abu Mohammed Khorasani.
An Uyghur who had been trained in Syria, then returned to Xinjiang and later moved to Kyrgyzstan with his family. From there he had arrived in Istanbul approximately one month before the attack.
According to the Chinese and Turkish security forces, at least 300 Uyghurs have become members of the Syrian-Iraqi Caliphate.
If we consider that, apart from training, every jihadist needs a protection and cover network of at least 40-50 people, we can calculate that there is a not negligible number of jihadists in Xinjiang.
Moreover, criminal gangs also regularly sell fake Kyrgyz passports to the Uyghurs fleeing Xinjiang to join the jihad.
There is already collaboration between Taiwanese and Uyghurs for actions against China, including non-military ones, while Rabija Kader, the founder of the World Uyghur Congress, would already like to proclaim the “East Turkestan Republic” against which, last March, Xi Jinping called for the construction of a “big steel wall” to control and isolate Xinjiang.
So far China’s policy towards the Uyghurs has been designed to integrate Xinjiang into the phase of fast economic expansion that has taken place throughout the country, as well as establishing shared security and economic relations with the neighbouring countries of the Uyghur region.
In the “New Silk Road” project, Xinjiang is seen as the primary corridor for energy and trade between mainland China, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Furthermore, we must also consider that one of the reasons that led to the war in Syria was the proposal made in 2009 by Qatar – an Emirate which is currently de facto at war with Saudi Arabia and many of its allies – for a gas pipeline from its North Field, at the border with the Iranian field, crossing Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria up to Turkey, to finally supply the European market.
The following year, however, Bashar al-Assad decided to support the Iran-Iraq-Syria line, the so-called “Islamic pipeline” which, however, would have been an alternative to Gazprom.
Therefore, while this happened in Syria, with a careful management of internal chaos, of destabilization and of Gene Sharp’s technique of “nonviolent action”, that would be nothing compared to what may occur in Xinjiang to slow down, block and destroy China’s energy and economic project with the “New Silk Road”.
This is the second clue.
China will shortly invest 25 billion US dollars in the streets of the region characterized by the old Turkmen ethnic group.
The Sino-Pakistani Corridor, another key Chinese project, starts with a 900 billion US dollar infrastructure investment for the Tashkurgan-Gwadar line – and once again the starting basis for the line, as well as most of its immediate borders, are at risk of jihadist terrorist infiltration which, however, will always have its natural platform in Xinjiang.
Let us not consider the do-gooding rhetoric of the European Parliament, which on June 22 last, with its EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, called for greater attention by the Chinese government to “civil society” (a concept fully alien to China’s old and modern political culture), as well as to the protection of “activists”, who are often agents of the enemy soft power, with a view to drafting or revising useless treaties.
Europe is a continent which cannot distinguish between friends and foes, neither its own nor its allies’.
A continent that will not last.
Moreover, the Uyghur region also has as many as 122 minerals, often with the largest reserves throughout China.
Even rare metal reserves, which are currently decisive for developing new information technologies.
Not to mention precious stones, gold, jade and salty materials which are needed for the production of glass and paints.
The same holds true for the 25 billion cubic meters of water, which are essential in the rest of China, with glaciers having a surface of 24,000 square kilometres, which could provide 2,580 million cubic meters of additional water.
It would be the solution to China’s huge water problem.
The Xinjiang coal reserves account for 38% of Chinese total reserves.
Currently oil and natural gas in the Uyghur region account for 25% of the Chinese total reserves.
And it is hard to believe that this region, which serves as a base and primary land corridor for the great Chinese Road and Belt project, cannot become the starting point triggering off a new “chaos strategy” in the near future.
This is the third clue.
Initially, the Uyghur terrorists of the Bishkek bombing and of the Urumqi revolt were largely trained in Pakistan.
Moreover, Al Qaeda trained Uyghurs in Afghanistan so as to send them back to their areas of origin to carry out terrorist attacks.
Furthermore, with a view to differentiating their energy sources from the increasingly dangerous Middle East, both China and Japan look to Central Asia’s oil and gas with great interest. China, in particular, needs a safe corridor for the Azeri, Kazakh, Uzbek and Kyrgyz oil and gas.
Blocking the Xinjiang line or making it unsafe is the best way to force China to the prices, political tensions and military crisis of the Middle East countries.
Hence, incidentally, this is the reason underlying the farsighted Chinese policy towards Israel.
At geopolitical level, for the new Central Asia’s “big game”, the United States can rely on the only projection force of the Armed Forces, while the Russian Federation has the strategic advantage of its position and its long relations with many countries in the region. China has the chance of being the most capitalized country in Asia and also having Armed Forces capable of controlling the territory and projecting its power onto the Pacific and the South China Sea, as well as onto the South.
But it has a weak point, namely the great ethnic differences which, unfortunately, materialize above all on its borders.
At this juncture, we could consider for China a Horatii and Curiatii- style policy.
Separating the ethnic groups, making some of them friendly, while hitting the target minority with the necessary harshness.
Certainly, the participation of ethnic minorities in current China’s rapid economic development – as is currently already happening – is a further good strategy.
However, this creates a class of new wealthy people linked to the government, while the new impoverishment will inevitably create new insurgency areas.
Instead of believing in some “human rights” militants, paid by who knows who, it would be useful for Europe to tackle the geostrategic problem of supporting Central Asia’ stabilization, by cooperating with the Sino-Russian axis to avoid the jihadist contagion and, above all, the contagion of the powers that support or use it.
About the author:
*Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “La Centrale Finanziaria Generale Spa”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group and member of the Ayan-Holding Board. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title of “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France.
This article was published by Modern Diplomacy