In our 18 November 2020 issue the Australian Alert Service begins a new series, “Xinjiang: China’s western frontier in the heart of Eurasia”. Many of our readers have heard of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region only through lurid news media headlines about the alleged abuse and enslavement of the area’s Uyghur ethnic inhabitants. Melissa Harrison’s new investigation aims to demystify what is going on in and around Xinjiang, and why. The articles will explore the history of “geopolitical” manoeuvring around Xinjiang, from the British Imperial “Great Game” in the 19th century, through the Anglo-American “Arc of Crisis” policy against the Soviet Union during the late Cold War, and up to the present. We will show that human rights concerns have been weaponised against China by outside intelligence agencies who care little for the population living in Xinjiang, but are using the age-old imperial techniques of fomenting ethnic and religious conflicts, separatism and terrorism to disrupt the society of a presumed adversary nation.
The first article sketches the history of the region of which Xinjiang is part, and its position as the westernmost frontier area of modern China. Its place within China and astride the New Silk Road makes Xinjiang a target for Anglo-American strategists eager to destabilise China and wreck Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Click here to read Part 1 of our Xinjiang series. Harrison’s articles on “The China Narrative”, covering the role of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in promoting distorted views of China, can be downloaded here.