China has used a very small terrorist threat emanating from a handful of Uyghur Islamist extremists to launch an enormous crackdown in what it calls Xinjiang – the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). It has incarcerated up to 1 million Uyghurs in euphemistically termed ‘vocational centres’ and is trying very hard to erase all signs of Uyghur language and culture – all as part of the ‘Global war on terrorism’. Borealis is joined by GWU’s Sean Roberts to discuss his new book on this humanitarian outrage.
About my guest Sean Roberts:
Having conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Uyghur people of Central Asia and China during the 1990s, Sean has published extensively on this community in scholarly journals and collected volumes. In addition, he produced a documentary film on the community entitled Waiting for Uighurstan (1996).
His present research is focused on China’s development of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as well as on democracy development in former Soviet Central Asia. Roberts continues his applied work on the design and evaluation of democracy and governance projects in the former Soviet Union, most recently in Ukraine where he worked on a USAID project to support decentralization and anti-corruption.
►Check Sean’s book The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority