Thursday, August 11, 2016

China and the Jihadi Threat

By Guy Burton | Assistant Professor - The University of Nottingham -- Malaysia

MEI | Aug 09, 2016

How is China dealing with the challenge of jihadi violence? Depending on whether the threat is perceived as internal or external, different approaches are being used. Governments have a range of options to deal with terrorism and jihadism, but these can be distilled into two primary approaches: conciliation or confrontation. While conciliation seeks resolutions to outstanding grievances, confrontation aims only to prevent these grievances from turning into actions. Across these poles, governments can pursue a range of strategies, from protection, policing, and politics to peace-building and psychology.[1] 
To date, the Chinese approach has used these different strategies but not always at the same time or place. Instead, Chinese strategies have been influenced by whether the terrorist threat is perceived to be domestic or foreign. Internally, the Chinese approach has focused on protection and policing, resulting in confrontation with the Uighur minority in the far western province of Xinjiang. Externally, it has been less confrontational, with a preference for political and peace-building approaches.