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Transcript of: "China's 'War on Terror'", a.k.a. "The EyeOpener Report: The Real Roots of Xinjiang Terror"


0:00 [MUSIC]

0:11 James Corbett: On October 28, 2013, an SUV carrying three passengers crashed into a crowd of people waiting outside the gate of the Forbidden City, across from the infamous Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. All three inside the car were killed in the subsequent fire, along with two bystanders in the crowd. 38 others were injured. Although not the most spectacular terror attack in the world in recent years, the scene of flames and carnage under the watchful gaze of Chairman Mao, in the shadow of the heavily-guarded Tiananmen Square, was as unmistakable to the Chinese population as the smoking ruins of the Pentagon was to the America population. This was, or was intended to be taken as, an attack on the Chinese homeland.

0:51 It was not long before the incident was blamed on Muslim separatists from the country's northwestern Xinjiang province, China's largest administrative district, and a geostrategic area that shares 2,800 kilometers of border with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. As such, the government was quick to claim that the incident represented a bold new escalation in China's ongoing struggle with its restive Muslim population, part of the ethnic Uyghur minority. Since then, two mass murder incidents involving knife-wielding masked men, later identified as members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, have drawn further attention to the issue.

1:26 Male Television Presenter [voice-over, recorded]: A group of men -- perhaps even one woman -- went into this train station late into the evening here in Kunming and started hacking at people waiting in the line to get tickets and in other parts of the station. The police were deployed to the area. Four people, they say, were killed: four suspects killed, one suspect injured, who is the woman I describe. There really were these horrific images coming out on social media late into the night -- and some of them deleted subsequently -- of pools of blood and dead bodies lying strewn across the Kunming train station, this large train station here in the far southwest of China, John.

2:05 Female Television Presenter [recorded]: A blast has occurred at a railway station in Ürümqi, the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Government sources said details about the blast and casualties are unclear at this moment. Now ambulances and police cars have rushed to the scene. Police have cordoned off all entrances to the square of the station, and a police source said that train services have been suspended at the station.

2:33 James: As Pepe Escobar, geopolitical analyst and frequent BoilingFrogsPost.com contributor, explained last week on The Corbett Report, the Uyghurs are a persecuted minority in the country's untamed west who fine few opportunities for advancement in China's mainstream society, dominated by the ethnic majority Han Chinese.

2:49 Pepe Escobar [recorded]: The problem is, there's no political process -- logic -- behind all this. They are... they feel that they are being -- which is, I would say, 90 percent true -- they feel that they are being invaded, decimated. And there's a sort of slow-motion cultural genocide of the Uyghurs all over Xinjiang. And not only in those Silk Road -- Northern Silk Road, Southern Silk Road -- routes in the desert, around the Taklamakan Desert: in the big cities, as well. In Kashgar, where the Chinese have a very controversial project to raze the old Kashgar, old downtown Kashgar -- which is amazing. It's one of the most extraordinary places all over Eurasia, where they have that famous Sunday market, where you have not only Uyghurs but Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs: people from all over the region, from the Hindu Kush, from the Pamirs, from the Tian Shan Mountains; you name it: they go there to sell their wares.

3:57 It is... Uyghurs, of course, it is a heavily Muslim population, but it's not a Wahhabi-style Islam at all. They are relatively tolerant compared to the Wahhabis, for instance. There is not a heavy infiltration of Wahhabi-style missionaries in that region. It is an economic, political, and cultural problem which the Chinese don't know how to solve. First of all, because they consider the Uyghurs -- let's put it bluntly -- an inferior race; so they should be ruled by the Han Chinese, and they should be incorporated into this great western migration and development project in China.

4:51 James: Uyghur disenfranchisement is played upon to foment Islamic radicalism and political separatist sentiment. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement, seeking to wrest Xinjiang from China's control, offers a number of parallels to the shadowy al-Qaeda terrorist organization, including a mysterious leader living in a secret mountain base in Pakistan's lawless border region, and -- as FBI whistleblower and Boiling Frogs Post founder Sibel Edmonds revealed in last year's series on Gladio B -- direct support from NATO-associated Gladio operatives seeking to destabilize a geostrategic region in an ongoing, under-the-radar war for control of Central Asia.

5:29 Sibel Edmonds [recorded]: This is extremely important. Again, Xinjiang: Muslim population. And they are referred -- in Turkey, they don't call them Xinjiang. It's "[East] Turkestan," you know? [East] Turkestan. They speak Turkic dialect. Guess what? "Up there? A great place. Imagine: they get their independence, we can have our little mini base there. You know how close we are to China?" I mean, they... on the one hand you can say, "Yeah, there's Taiwan out there." Well, this is going to be even more important than Taiwan. And then look again: the other important strategic location for Xinjiang, for [East] Turkestan, a.k.a. Uyghuristan. You look out there, you see Pakistan, you see Afghanistan.

6:11 This is a very important region. This has been a very important region, prize, for the United States, for the West. We've been -- we've been doing a lot of things there. Every time you hear -- at least when I was working there, during this period that FBI was investigating these -- not operations there, but people here, the criminals in the US who carried out the operations there -- those terrorist attacks, they were orchestrated from a long distance, OK? You go to Turkey, then from Turkey you go to Brussels, to England, and then you go to the United States. So all the orchestration: it's not some minorities or some Muslims get together, suddenly they go and... it doesn't happen. It didn't happen that way, at least during that period.

7:01 James: Western support for the Xinjiang terrorists is not difficult to spot, and includes the fact that the East Turkestan government-in-exile, led by Anwar Yusuf Turani, is based in Washington, DC; has spoken at the National Press Club; met with President Clinton during his administration; and received explicit offers of support from President Bush and the National Endowment for Democracy-funded Uyghur World Congress: a German-based organization with a Sweden-based spokesman, Dilxat Raxit, that Central Asia analyst Christoph German told the Corbett Report last week asks as the Western media's go-to man for any and all stories about the region.

7:37 Christoph German [recorded]: He's probably the most quoted person when it comes to any incident in Xinjiang which involves the Uyghur minority. I mentioned earlier the Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, a CIA propaganda organ; and [unintelligible 7:52] also Radio Free Asia -- which is the equivalent for the Uyghurs, you could call it. And they report... a lot of their reports are a lot of... often sourced on the World Uyghur Congress and statements by Dilxat Raxit.

8:10 But he's also cited by our mainstream media. If you look at Reuters or AP, doesn't matter: almost all reports about terrorist attacks in China, in Xinjiang, have the same structure. They start by mentioning the attack and what happened. Then, they try to frame it within a certain context, which seems... which tries to paint, to portray the attacks as inevitable consequences of government repression. And then they have this guy, Dilxat Raxit, who confirms this by bringing in his expertise about the subject -- although he's based in Sweden, and he usually doesn't even know what happened in Xinjiang earlier in the day when he's asked. And after the latest terrorist attack in Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang, he talked to Reuters within hours of the attack, before any details had become known out of China. And he told them basically, "Yes, this was the consequence of government repression, and such incidents could happen again at any time." That was his statement; and that was picked up by the Chinese media, and they were very outraged about this statement.

9:29 James: The incidents so far are by no means massive or spectacular enough to fundamentally change the course of Chinese society or bring about Xinjiang's independence, but they are serving a number of purposes. For the West, the attacks help take the battle of the control of Central Asia directly into the Chinese homeland, and help destabilize a region that, as part of President Xi's New Silk Road Corridor of pipelines and trade routes, is of increasing economic importance to Beijing.

9:54 But Beijing, too, gains from the attacks in the same way that authoritarian power structures always benefit from attacks and atrocities: by making the formerly impossible appear probable. As Li Wei, a terrorism expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary international Relations, told the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times last week, "China has long been considering how to introduce a counterterrorism law. However, considering the complexity of the antiterrorism situation and difficulties of coordinating so many government departments and military forces involved in the issue, the counterterrorism law still isn't on the books."

10:31 Beijing is now openly mulling new anti-terror legislation that some are calling China's Patriot Act, and many analysts are expecting to openly target the Uyghur population. Given that the government is already increasing its network of informants in the region, with such programs as offering cash rewards for those who inform on neighbors with too much facial hair, it is questionable whether formal terror legislation is even needed at all. In the end, as with so many of these contrived geopolitical conflicts, the only people who clearly lose are the Uyghur people themselves, whose economic and political marginalization seem set to increase from here. In the great irony of global geopolitics, this will itself create a greater pool of disenfranchised youth to draw upon for future terror attacks, thus perpetuating a descending cycle of chaos and violence. And sadly, the only plausible way out of this, a plan for bringing about greater opportunities for the Uyghur people to engage in China's ongoing economic miracle, is so far off the political radar that it can't be found on anyone's map.

11:32 [MUSIC] James [voice-over]: This video is brought to you by the subscribers of BoilingFrogsPost.com. For more information on this and other topics, please go to BoilingFrogsPost.com. For more information and commentary from James Corbett, please go to CorbettReport.com.

11:46 [END]


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This transcript by "Adjuvant" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

changed October 31, 2014