Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chinese firms swoop into Israel looking for tech investments

China Spectator - 25 Sep, 2014

TEL AVIV—Chinese investors are pouring millions into Israel-focused, tech-investment funds — as well as launching their own funds and investing directly in Israeli startups — amid a frenzy of tech investment and deal making here.
Yongjin Group, a Chinese equity-investment management and financial- services company, has put between US$15 million and US$20 million into Israeli venture fund Pitango Venture Capital during the past year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Lenovo Group, the big Chinese computer maker, meanwhile invested around US$10 million in Canaan Partners Israel, a venture fund affiliated with American-based Canaan Partners, in late August.
And Ping An Venture, the venture investment arm of Ping An Insurance (Group), one of China's biggest financial conglomerates, in November created a US$100 million fund dedicated to U.S. and Israel tech ventures. It has made six investments in Israeli startups so far, said Jiang Zhang, an associate director at Ping An Ventures.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

China now gets more oil from the Middle East than the US does

By Brad Plumer

Vox - September 3, 2014

China is quickly overtaking the United States as the world's biggest importer of oil. Not only that, but China now buys more crude oil from the Middle East than the US does — a shift that some experts think could have big geopolitical implications in the years ahead.  Roughly half of China's imported oil now comes from the Persian Gulf, whereas America's reliance on Middle Eastern crude has been steadily shrinking in recent years. Here's a good map from Bruce Jones, David Steven, and Emily O'Brien of the Brookings Institution laying out China's situation:


Wang Yi Met with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China - 2014/09/27

On September 26, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.  Wang Yi stated that China's relations with Saudi Arabia enjoy a sound momentum of development. China stands ready to work with Saudi Arabia to put into practice important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and keep the strategic relationship between the two countries at a high level. The two sides should frequent high-level interactions, cement political mutual trust, and continue to understand and support each other on issues relating to each other's core interests and major concerns. The two sides should expand in an all-round manner practical cooperation in energy, railways, infrastructure construction, spaceflight, nuclear energy, renewable energy, agriculture and other fields and improve the relationship as countries of shared interests. The two sides should also promote negotiation between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the free trade area and make joint efforts to push for the establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).  Wang Yi said that as a good friend of Arab states, China supports them in properly resolving issues in the region with their own efforts and concentrating on development. It is in the common interests of Arab states. China values the important status and role of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, and stands ready to enhance coordination with Saudi Arabia on regional and international issues.


Time for a U.S.-China Partnership in the Middle East?

Zachary Keck

The national Interests -  September 21, 2014

The unraveling of the Middle East in recent months has laid bare the need for a fundamental change in U.S. policy. While no silver bullet will fix U.S. policy in the Middle East, enlisting China as a partner in the region would be a good place to start. Such a move would not only help stabilize the Middle East, but could also improve Sino-American relations. Under President Xi Jinping, China and the United States have pledged to forge a new type of great-power relationship. To date, this effort has largely focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. This is sensible insofar as Asia is the most important region for both the United States and China, and especially for interactions between them. At the same time, it is also the region where their interests are most at odds, and thus where cooperation is most likely to remain elusive.


China and the ISIS Threat

Already grappling with a home-grown terrorism problem, should Beijing fear the Islamic State?

By Gary Sands

The Diplomat - September 26, 2014

The Islamic State (IS), also widely known as ISIS and ISIL, is apparently attempting to make good on its promise to attack nations who oppose them. A week ago, in the largest counterterrorism operation in Australian history, 800 federal and state police officers raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney, sparked by intelligence that IS was planning a public street killing as a demonstration of its reach.
The arrests in Sydney follow the arrest of two men in Brisbane last week for allegedly preparing to fight in Syria, recruiting jihadists and raising money for the al-Qaeda offshoot group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front. Australia estimates about 60 of its citizens are fighting for IS and the Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria. To date, 15 of those fighters had been killed, including two young suicide bombers. Within Australia, the government believes around 100 Australians are actively supporting extremist groups, recruiting fighters and coaching suicide bombers, as well as providing funds and equipment.
Australia is not alone in taking the threat from IS seriously: The New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official stepped up security in Times Square on Wednesday following a recent Internet posting – purportedly authored by IS – that urged “lone wolf” terrorists to attack Times Square and other tourist spots. Also this week, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen living in upstate New York, arrested earlier this year on charges of plotting to kill members of the U.S. military and others, faces new charges that he tried to aid the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.


Call for Papers: China in the Middle East - Indiana University China Office, Beijing, March 17-18, 2015

Indiana University’s Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair invites interested scholars and advanced graduate students to submit proposals for the conference below. The event will take place at the Indiana University China Office, Beijing, March 17-18, 2015. Please submit a 200-word paper proposal along with your CV to ksilay (at) indiana.edu, tugrulkeskin (at) pdx.edu, and zantao79 (at) pku.edu.cn by October 14, 2014.
Indiana University Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair Presents
An International Conference on
China in the Middle East
March 17-18, 2015

Organized by
Dr. Kemal Silay, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Tuğrul Keskin, Portland State University, USA
Dr. Zan Tao, Peking University, People’s Republic of China
Keynote Speech by

Dr. Pan Guang, Shanghai Center for International Studies 
Conference Program
March 17, 2015
IndianaUniversity China Office (Beijing)
9:00 - 9:30 AM Opening Ceremony
9:00 - 9:15 AM Welcome Speech by President Michael McRobbie (Invited), Indiana University
9:15 - 9:30 AM Opening Remarks by Dr. Kemal Silay, Indiana University
9:45 - 12:00 Panels
1.     Panel 1: Cultural Exchange between China and the Middle East
In this panel, we will explore social and economic history between China and the Middle East before and after 1949. Trade and commerce between China and the Middle East has a long-standing mutually beneficial history of exchange, which has created social and cultural bridges between these societies. The panel will examine the role of cultural exchange between Chinese and Middle Eastern Societies based on trade and commerce. 
2.     Panel 2: Sino-Turkish Relations: Past and Present
Unlike other Middle Eastern societies, the relationship between Chinese and Turkish societies is a historic one, based on social, political and economic diversification. Social and political connection can be clearly seen in the history of Turkish people in Mahmud al-Kashgari and Yusuf Khass Hajib’s writings and ideas; however, following the emergence of nation-states in the 20th century and the economic globalization of China after Deng Xiaoping, these two societies and states have established a more economic based exchange which has become the core of their relationship. Over the last 20 years, Chinese economic growth led to much attention in Turkish economic circles. As a result, more Turkish and Chinese business communities began to engage in trade exchanges. Turkey, as a member of NATO, and wanting membership in EU, began to seek economic and political partners in the globalized world. In this panel, we will examine the Chinese-Turkish relationship in the modern era with these factors in mind.
12:00-13:30 PM Lunch
14:00-16:30 PM Panels
3.     Panel 3: Sino-Iranian Relations: Past and Present
One of the examples of a stable relationship between China and a Middle Eastern state can be the mutually beneficial friendship between China and Iran. Iran has had a long historical and diplomatic relationship with the PRC in the 20th century; however, today, Sino-Persian ties are mostly in trade and commerce. With the growth of the Chinese economy and the search for more energy resources, the PRC began to shift its foreign policy towards the Middle East, specifically Iran. This panel explores current social, political, and economic trends in the Sino-Persian relationship.                  
4.     Panel 4: Sino-Israeli Relations: Past and Present
Although Israel was one of the first nations to recognize the PRC as a legitimate government, China did not establish its diplomatic relationship with Israel until 1992. However, since then, both countries have developed commercial and military links based on mutual benefits. An interesting aspect of the Sino-Israeli relationship is that the Chinese accepted Holocaust survivors escaping from Nazi persecutions. The panel investigates Sino-Jewish relationships in the contemporary era.          
March 18, 2015
Peking University 
5.     Panel 5: Sino-Arab Relations: Past and Present
Chinese and Arab-populated states are the product of the colonial conditions in the 20th century. However, both Chinese and Arab societies have an economic and social exchange which predates Islam. This exchange has created mutual understanding and led to mutual benefits. Chinese interests in Arab-populated societies are purely based on economic investment and energy resources. On the other hand, Arabs view China as a new global partner, not replacing the US and Europe, but rather as a new relationship in the globalized era. This panel focuses on social, political, and economic exchange between the PRC and Arab states in the modern era.    
6.     Panel 6: China’s Energy Security Strategy and the Middle East
The Middle East is considered an American backyard for energy resources; however, with the increased need of oil for newly emerging economies, the Middle East has received a lot of attention from states such as China. After 2020, US domestic oil production will eliminate the need for foreign oil sources; therefore, the US will play less of a role in the Middle Eastern oil market. However, current trends in the Chinese economy point to their increased need for foreign energy in the future. This panel will examine the overlapping interests of China and the United States in the Middle East.
Closing Remarks by Dr. Wang Enge, President, Peking University (Invited)

Should the U.S. Cooperate with China on Terrorism?


China File - 09.26.14

Richard Bernstein: Of course, they should.  But can they?  Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in the United States, China has defined almost any dissent from its policies there as examples of international terrorism.  It has also consistently tried to win western acquiescence in its suppression of the Uighurs by claiming that all Uighur protests, whether peaceful or violent, against China’s harsh rule in Xinjiang amount to terrorism.  For well over a decade, China’s propaganda has identified a group it calls the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, as a main instigator of Uighur violence in China, saying that ETIM has training camps in the borderlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan and is closely linked to al-Qaeda.  
Given the absence of peaceful avenues of protest and the mounting frustrations of many Uighurs, it is certainly possible that some Uighurs have joined extremist Muslim groups, and perhaps have instigated some of the Uighur violence.   Still, China has been able to produce no persuasive evidence that any Uighurs at all, much less a significant number of them, have actually joined the international jihad. Still less has it demonstrated that Uighur violence in China is anything other than local rage at China’s various methods of control, rather than part of the international jihadist movement.
Given this troubling circumstance, could China make a useful contribution in the newest anti-terrorist battleground, against ISIS in Syria and Iraq?  In general, China’s participation in international anti-terrorism efforts has so far been limited to support for UN Security Council resolutions.  In the past day or so, for example, China supported a resolution, sponsored by the United States, demanding that countries take action to stop the flow of foreign jihadists to Syria and Iraq.  The online Chinese daily Global Times reports that China has also promised to “strengthen our cooperation with various parties in intelligence sharing and personnel training.”
This could be a positive step.  If China chooses to make a real contribution against real, as opposed to imaginary, terrorists, that would, of course, be welcome.   But so far, the indication is that that China will attempt to use the new situation, as it did the attacks on 9/11, to divert attention from its repression of peaceful and lawful dissent in Xinjiang, illustrated most recently and most starkly by the life sentence meted out to the peaceful Uighur scholar-dissident Ilhan Tothi. If the rest of the world allows this “cooperation” to take place, it will not be so much gaining Chinese help in the real anti-terrorism fight as it will be collaborating in China’s ongoing violations of the rights of its Uighur citizens.


Friday, September 26, 2014

‘The China-U.S. Relationship is Basically Good’

A few days ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference. While there, I met some American friends. We had an interesting discussion about what seems to me to be a debate going on in the U.S. about China-U.S. relations: One side believes the China-U.S. relationship is going through a rocky patch and is at a “low point,” with many tough issues surfacing. The other side maintains that the overall China-U.S. relationship is good, notwithstanding the present difficulties. I share the second viewpoint for the following reasons:
First, the foundation of the China-U.S. relationship remains strong. Let me quote President Xi Jinping’s speech at the opening of the sixth round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue on July 9:
In the past 35 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, relations between China and the U.S. on the whole have moved forward and made historic progress although there have been ups and downs. There are now over 90 mechanisms for dialogue, and last year the bilateral trade volume exceeded $520 billion, bilateral investment accounted for over $100 billion. There are over 41 pairs of friendly provinces or states from both sides, and 202 sister cities. People-to-people exchanges exceeded 4 million every year. China-U.S. cooperation not only benefits our two peoples, but also promotes peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
In both China and the U.S. there are people complaining about the lack of strategic trust between the two countries. They mention quite a few facts to illustrate their worries. No one can deny these facts, but a coin has two sides. A comprehensive vision of the China-U.S. relationship is very much needed.

Reports: 50 were killed in China clash

Calum MacLeod

USA TODAY - September 26, 2014

The latest violent clash in China's troubled Xinjiang region, described by authorities as a terrorist attack, was far more deadly than first reported, according to state media accounts.
At least fifty people died Sunday, including 40 "rioters," and 54 other people were injured, after a series of explosions rocked Xinjiang's Luntai County, Tianshan Net reported late Thursday. Tianshan Net is a news portal run by the regional government. Previous reports said only two people had died.
Six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen were killed, and two rioters were captured alive, after what Xinjiang police called an "organized and serious" terrorist attack.
Over 300 people have died in the past year in Xinjiang-related violence, according to Chinese state media. Officials blame overseas terror groups for fanning the frustrations and separatist ambitions of the Uighur minority. A mostly Muslim people, many Uighurs chafe at cultural and religious restrictions set by the ruling Communist Party, and resent the economic dominance of China's majority Han ethnic group.
The explosions occurred at two police stations, a shop and a produce market, Tianshan said Thursday. The injured civilians comprised 32 ethnic Uighurs and 22 Han. The 40 "rioters," or assailants, either died from their own explosions or were shot dead by police who "took decisive action," the website reported.


A New Book: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China By Evan Osnos

Farrar, Straus and Giroux - 2014

As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals—fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture—consider themselves “angry youth,” dedicated to resisting the West’s influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.

Book Review.....

Monday, September 22, 2014

China and Iran to Conduct Joint Naval Exercises in the Persian Gulf


The New York Times - Sept. 21, 2014

Two Chinese warships have docked at Iran’s principal naval port for the first time in history, Iranian admirals told state television on Sunday, adding that both countries would conduct four days of joint naval exercises.
On Sunday, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported that Chinese Navy ships involved in protecting shipping in the Gulf of Aden stopped at an Iranian port on Saturday for a “friendly visit.” One of the vessels was the Changchun, a guided-missile destroyer, the report said.
The news agency posted images of one of the destroyers docking in the port of Bandar Abbas, where it was given a military welcome.
The Iranian and Chinese Navies were scheduled to start joint exercises on Monday, focusing on rescue missions, Iranian news media reported. China has been expanding the areas where its navy operates, most recently joining the effort to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Misunderstanding China

How did Western policy makers and academics repeatedly get China so wrong?

By Michael Pillsbury

The Wall Street Journal -  Sept. 17, 2014

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China while standing atop Beijing's Gate of Heavenly Peace. In the decades that followed, many China watchers in the West confidently predicted the fall of his regime. Others hoped that a cadre of moderates in the Beijing government would lead to a kinder, gentler, more democratic China.  As China turns 65 in a couple weeks, its ruling Party appears nowhere close to planning its retirement party. It is stronger, more nationalistic and more committed to maintaining one-party rule than at any time since Mao's death.  Nor has President Xi Jinping been the moderate reformer some hoped for. Under the cover of anti-corruption, Mr. Xi has consolidated his power over the party and squelched talk of democracy. In a speech to the National Congress earlier this month, he said that preventing the government from becoming "leaderless [and] fragmented" with "political fighting and wrangling between political parties" was among his top priorities. Even in Hong Kong, the last bastion of political freedom in China, Mr. Xi has ruled out free elections for 2017.


China and the Middle East : Embarking on a Strategic Approach

By James M. Dorsey

RSIS Commentary - No. 18 3 – 1 6 September 2014


As the United States becomes embroiled in yet another military intervention in the Middle East, China is embarking on a long-term approach to the region that would secure its access to resources and trade, and enable cooperation with the US on Chinese terms. The approach takes as its starting point that with US influence in the region in decline, political and economic indicators suggest that it’s just a matter of time before the pendulum swings in China’s favour.


CHINA HAS embarked on a Middle East strategy that is shaped as much by contemporary US predicaments in the Middle East as it is by a set of foreign policy principles that contrast starkly with those of the United States, with a determination not to repeat what China views as US mistakes. While there appears to be broad consensus on these points, China’s policy community seems to be divided on a host of questions related to integrating them into a comprehensive policy towards the region. These questions range from the role of democratization to the degree to which China should assert its influence in the region.

The extent of the policy debate was evident during a recent government-endorsed two-day symposium between Chinese policy analysts and former ambassadors to the Middle East and several of their scholarly Western and Arab colleagues. A glimpse of those differences goes some way to explain the focus of the Chinese policy debate. The debate is framed by an emphasis on external rather than domestic drivers of crisis in the Middle East and the importance attached to the formal aspects of political processes such as Chinese official statements and outcomes of elections in the region irrespective of whether they were free and fair, for example Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s re-election in June, rather than political reality on the ground. Ironically, framing that alongside the principle of non-intervention in a country’s domestic affairs effectively amounts to support for autocratic regimes in the Middle East, a policy for which the United States has paid dearly.

The end of US hegemony

The contours of Chinese policy in the Middle East and the assumptions on which they are based have begun to emerge even as US credibility is undermined as a result of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, US support for political change in the region is perceived to be misled; US reluctance to become further embroiled in the region’s conflicts foremost among which is Syria, and its inability to nudge Israelis and Palestinians towards a resolution of their dispute. “US backing off on the Syrian chemical weapons issue signalled the end of US hegemony,” said An Huihou of Shanghai International Studies University’s (SIIS) Middle East Institute who served as Chinese ambassador in five Arab countries.  An was referring to the Russian initiated negotiated resolution of the issue after US President Barack Obama last year shied away from acting militarily on what he had earlier described as a red line.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Conference on Uyghur Studies - The George Washington University, Washington, DC - September 25-27, 2014

First International Conference on Uyghur Studies - History, Culture, and Society 

The Uyghurs are one of the ten most populous stateless nations in the world.  While the Uyghur people have a long history of cultural accomplishments and political influences, they have remained marginal in international scholarship given their ambiguous position both in regional studies and in geopolitics.  Nonetheless, given the contribution of Uyghurs to global and regional historical and cultural processes, there has developed a transnational community of scholars whose research is focused on the Uyghur people’s history, culture, society.  This conference is the first attempt to bring together a broad spectrum of this international community of scholars, drawing from the academic communities of the Americas, Russia, Turkey, and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.  Hopefully, it will serve as a basis for future transnational collaboration on the history, culture, and society of Uyghurs throughout the world. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014, Lindner Commons, 6th floor
9:00-10:00am      Opening

Session 1: The Policy Debate
Chair: Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)
Sean R. Roberts (George Washington University)
Michael Dillon (Independent scholar, formerly Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Durham)
Gardner Bovington (Indiana University)
Henryk Szadziewski (Uyghur Human Rights Project)
Seyit Tumturk (World Uyghur Congress, Turkey)

11:00-11:30am Coffee break

11:30-12:45pm    Session 2: Roundtable Discussion – Uyghurs in Geopolitics Over Time
Chair: Sean R. Roberts (George Washington University)
Dru Gladney (Pacific Basin Institute, Pomona College)
James Millward (Georgetown University)
Alexander Lukin (Vice-President for research and international cooperation at the Diplomatic Academy)
Erkin Ekrem (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
Yunus Koç (Hacettepe University, Turkey)

12:45-1:30pm Lunch

Session 3: Uyghur Social Cohesion, Identity, and Resistance
Chair and Discussant: Dru Gladney (Pomona College)
Michael Dillon (Independent scholar, formerly Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Durham)
Religion, repression and traditional Uyghur culture in southern Xinjiang: Kashghar and Khotan (2010-14)
Nathan Light (Professor, ​Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University)
Uyghur Social Networking and Chinese Censorship: Before and After 2009
Rachel Harris (SOAS, University of London)
Intangible Cultural Heritage and Illegal Gatherings: Reflections on the Uyghur Meshrep
Sean R. Roberts (George Washington University)
‘Uyghurstan is Where the Home is’. “Self-Governmentality” and the Maintenance of Uyghur National Identity without a State
Mamtimin Ala (Vice President of the World Uyghur Congress)
Between Utopia and Dystopia: Uyghur Intellectuals from 1949 to 2000

3:00-3:30pm Coffee break

Session 4: Xinjiang under Chinese Influence
Chair and discussant: Michael Dillon (Independent Scholar)
Gardner Bovington (Indiana University)
Taking a Mulligan: New Minzu Policies in Search of Appropriate Problems
Joanne Smith (Newcastle University, UK)
The Redistribution of Wealth or Consolidation of Majority Han Power? The ‘National Partner Assistance Programme’
Stanley Toops (Department of Geography, Miami University, Ohio)
The Demography of the Uyghur: Spatial Results of the 2010 Census of Xinjiang
Remi Castets (Assistant Professor, Michel de Montaigne University, Bordeaux)
Uyghur Islam and State Control Policies in Xinjiang 
Kara Abramson (Independent scholar, USA)
Understanding and Promoting Human Rights in Xinjiang: Challenges and Opportunities

7:00pm Dinner for Participants

Friday, September 26, 2014, State Room, 7th floor

Session 5: The Transformation of Uyghur Language and Landscapes
Chair and Discussant: Sean R. Roberts (The George Washington University)
Arienne Dwyer (University of Kansas)
The Emergence of Diasporic Uyghur Language
Giulia Cabras (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales-INALCO, France)
Uyghur-Chinese Code Switching in Xinjiang’s Urban Areas: Interactional and Sociocultural Aspects
Erkin Emet (Ankara University, Turkey)
The Effect of Chinese language on Uyghur language
Jean-Paul Loubes (Ecole d’Architecture Paris-La Villette, France; Laboratory Architecture of Paris-La Villette)
The Transformation of the Oasis Cities in Xinjiang: the Case of Kashgar

10:30-11:00am Coffee break

Session 6: The Forgotten Diaspora? Uyghurs in Post-Soviet Central Asia
Chair and Discussant: Remi Castets (Science PO-CERI, Paris)
Ivan Safranchuk (Moscow State Institute of International Relations)
Great Game? Politics, Business, and Security in Central Asia
Ilkhamzhan Musaev (Independent scholar, Bishkek)
Formation and Development of the Uyghur Ethno-Cultural Identity in Kyrgyzstan
Ablet Kamalov (Institute for Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences, Almaty)
Diaspora and Identity: Discourse of Homeland (Watan) in the Uyghur communities of post-Soviet Central Asian Countries
Guzel Maitdinova (Center for geopolitical Studies, Russian-Tajik University, Dushanbe)
The Uyghur Diaspora in Tajikistan. History, Culture and Current Situation

12:30-1:30pm Lunch

Session 7: Uyghurs in Multinational Empires
Chair and Discussant: Nabijan Tursun (Independent Scholar, DC)
Yuliy Drobyshev (Institute for Oriental Studies, Academy of Science, Moscow)
Some Features of Interrelations Between the Uighur Khanate and China
Aleksandr Kadyrbaev (Institute for Oriental Studies, Academy of Science, Moscow)
Uyghurs in the Mongol empires, 13-14th centuries
Liudmila Chvyr (Institute of Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences, Moscow)
The Uyghur model of Ethnocultural Interactions in the 19th century
Dinara Dubrovskaia (Institute for Oriental Studies, Academy of Science, Moscow)
Qing Dynasty and Uyghurs. Controversy over the Question of Reconquering Xinjiang

3:00-3:30pm Coffee break

Session 8: Russian and Soviet Influences on Uyghurs’ Destiny
Chair and Discussant: James Millard (Georgetown University)
Aleksandr Vasiliev (Institute for Oriental Studies, Academy of Science, Moscow)
Documents from Russian and Ottoman Archives on the Destiny of Bek-Kuli Beg, Son of Jakub-beg
Valerii Barmin (Professor, Head of Chair, Altai State Pedagogical Academy)
Sabine Trebinjac (Professor, Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociologie (LESC), CNRS and Nanterre University, France)
Anthropological Survey in the Komintern Archives: The Announced Bankruptcy of the Soviet Annexation of Chinese Turkestan
Vladimir Boyko (Professor of Asian Studies at Altai State Pedagogical Academy; Research Associate at Altai State University, Barnaul)
Ethnicity, Conflict and Development of Xinjiang 1910s-2010s in Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Scholarship and Analysis
Anna Bondarenko (Independent Scholar, formerly research fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Academy of Science, Moscow)
State of the Research on Xinjiang in Russia in the 2000s
Nabijan Tursun (Independent Scholar)
Uyghur Ethnic-Political Orientation and the Soviet Union

7:00pm Dinner for Participants 

Saturday, September 27, 2014, Lindner Commons. 6th floor

Session 9: New Discoveries of Uyghur Ancient History and Culture
Chair and Discussant: Victor Mair (Pennsylvania University)
Dmitri Vasiliev (Oriental History Department, Institute of Oriental Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences)
Uyghur Fortress in Tuva and new Discoveries of Turkic Runic Inscriptions
Sergey Dmitriev (Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Institute of Asian and African States, Moscow State University)
Bilingual ‘Stela of Merits of Generations’ of Iduq-quts, Kings of Gaochang as an example of Uyghur historiography
Risalat Karimova (Institute of Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences, Almaty)
Uyghur Religious Places in the 14-19th centuries. The Birth a new Architectural Style
Ablet Semet (Department of Turcology and Centralasien Studies, Georg-August-University Goettingen)
New Studies and Results Concerning the Old Uyghur ‘Maitrisimit nom bitig’

11:00-11:30am Coffee break

Session 10: Uyghur Oral and Written Traditions Through the Ages
Chair and Discussant: Dolkun Kamberi (Radio Free Asia, Washington DC)
Tatiana Anikeeva (Institute of Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences, Moscow)
On Some Mythological Plots in the Ancient Uyghur Literature
Almican Inayet (Professor of the Turkish World Research Institute, Ege University)
The Role of Uygur Folk Literature On the Construction of Uyghur’s National Identity
Metin Ekici (Professor, Director of the Turkish World Research Institute, Ege University)
An Overall Assessment About the Studies On the Epics of Turkish World
Rian Thum (Assistant Professor, Department of History, Loyola University New Orleans)
Text and Practice in Uyghur Islam
1:00-2:00pm Lunch and Wrap-Up

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ISIS and China


China File - 09.05.14

With the recent capture of a Chinese ISIS soldier triggering speculation about the involvement of Chinese citizens in the Iraqi civil war, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined in our studio by Edward Wong from The New York Times and Prashant Rao of AFP, both of whom have spent considerable time reporting from Iraq. Their discussion starts off with an expose on the nature and identity of IS before moving on to China, talking about the ways in which the rise of the militant Islamic movement has affected Iraqi perceptions of China, and then a look into how these events relate to the broader crisis in the Middle East and U.S.-China relations.


From China to Jihad? By Richard Bernstein

The New York Review of Books - September 8, 2014

It’s a very long way from China’s arid Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the country’s far northwest to its semi-tropical borders with Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in the south, and then it’s another precarious distance from there, down rivers and across fortified borders, all the way to the seaside Thai town of Songkhla, about forty miles from the Malaysian border. And it’s longer still from Songkhla to the battlefields of Syria, thousands of miles away. But this town is where more than two hundred members of the Uighur minority from Xinjiang—many of them women and children—were arrested by Thai authorities in March this year. They have been accused, apparently, of planning to wage jihad in Syria.
Among the many recent stories concerning foreigners setting out to fight in Syria, the allegations about the Uighurs arrested in Songkhla stand out. In fact, these people, along with another couple hundred recent Uighur escapees from China, most of them seized near the Thai-Cambodia border, signal something new in the movement of refugees around the world. China’s Uighurs, who now number some ten million and are concentrated in western China, are a mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking people that has been increasingly restive under Chinese rule, The signs are that more and more of them, escorted by well-paid people smugglers, are making the long, arduous journey south, escaping what they say is harsh Chinese repression in Xinjiang. They are like other refugees in this sense, but with one major difference. The Uighurs arriving in southeast Asia have triggered a tense, mostly behind-the-scenes tug of war between China, which is pressuring Thailand to send the Uighurs back, and the West, including the United States, which has entreated the Thais to reject China’s demand, arguing that giving in to it would subject the Uighurs to savage mistreatment.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, Islamic State and China’s Pivot West

The downfall of its oil and security tsar gives China a chance to salvage relations with its Muslim minority.

By Yo-Jung Chen

The Diplomat - September 09, 2014

After years of living under the threat of the likes of Al Qaida, Taliban and other Islamic extremists, the world is discovering a new and much more fearsome brand of terror in the fast-spreading Islamic State, or IS, in the Middle East.  Few people in East Asia would feel directly concerned by the gruesome accounts of the battles and atrocities involving IS in the remote Middle East. But is the threat really all that distant?  In an August 11 article in Foreign Policy, Alexa Olesen observed how China (or at least segments of the Chinese media) is taking seriously a July 4 speech by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which called for a jihad against countries that “seized Muslim rights.” China tops the list of the dozen such countries for the way it is accused of treating the minority Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang. The IS chief even seemed to have threatened to occupy part of Xinjiang.  Even though the threat of occupying a chunk of Chinese territory seems far removed from reality, the Chinese do have a legitimate reason to brace themselves against what amounted to a declaration of war from what is now the most feared Islamic extremist organization in the world. Apart from foreseeable terrorist acts against Chinese citizens and interests both at home (especially in Xinjiang) and abroad, Chinese strategists must also worry about the future of their cherished westward pivot through Central Asia.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Turkey Distancing Itself From Chinese Air Defense System


Defense News - Sep. 6, 2014

Senior government officials and procurement authorities here have distanced themselves in recent days from a disputed air defense deal with a Chinese company under US sanctions.  A senior official from the prime minister’s office said that as technical negotiations with China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) have been dragged into several problematic areas, “this option now looks much less attractive than it did last year.  “We are weighing the merits and demerits of other options,” the official said. “There remain scores of unanswered points about the Chinese solution.”  In September 2013, Turkey announced CPMIEC would construct the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system for US $3.44 billion.  The Chinese contender defeated a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, offering the Patriot air defense system; Russia’s Rosoboronexport, marketing the S-300; and Italian-French consortium Eurosam, maker of the Aster 30.  Turkish officials said if contract negotiations with CPMIEC fail, talks would be opened with the second-place finisher, Eurosam. Next in line would be the US bidder. The Russian option has been eliminated.


Friday, September 5, 2014

How Israel is winning the social media war in China

 Peter Cai    

China Spectator - 2 Sep, 2014

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has captivated and polarised international opinion. While Israeli fighter jets were pulverising buildings with "precision weapons" and Hamas was firing rockets at Israel, they were also waging another all out information war on social media.  Pro-Palestinian left-wing journalists and American evangelical Christians are exchanging verbal slingshots with hash tags such as #israelunderfire or #prayforgaza. Gilad Lotan, the chief scientist at Betaworks, created a fascinating coloured network graph of Twitter traffic after the Israeli bombing of a UN school in Beit Hanoun.  The graph shows “pro-Palestinian” tweets clustering around the BBC and former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald. On the other end, blue lines representing “pro-Israeli” social media posts crowd together around pro-Israeli media as well as American Tea Party supporters.  Though there has been considerable discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian social media war in English-language dominated social media, there has been little discussion of another information war being waged on Chinese social media.