Roberts: Uighur’s attachment to their traditional lands and ways of life is seen by China’s Communist Party as a risk to the successful implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative

PONARS Eurasia
03 Jan 2020

(VOA) While the international attention on China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang has focused mainly on ethnic and religious issues, Beijing’s economic development plans in the strategic region also play a key role in shaping the conflict, some experts and observers say. [...]

According to Sean Roberts, a professor of international development at George Washington University, Uighur’s attachment to their traditional lands and ways of life is seen by China’s Communist Party (CCP) as a risk to the successful implementation of the BRI.

“The intention to make Xinjiang a central part of BRI created a new urgency in the CCP to prevent further Uighur dissent in the region. In many ways, what we are seeing today is an attempt to entirely eliminate any possible Uighur dissent to the transformation of their homeland that the BRI will inevitably facilitate,” Roberts told VOA. [...]

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