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Uighur Problems in Xinjiang (1)

18 September 2009
 

The following is English translation of the main points in an online post by 大白菜 titled Conflict in Xinjiang (新疆民族矛盾的基本状况):

I lived in Xinjiang for 18 years, and still have many relatives and friends living there, with some working at military forces and Production and Construction Corps. From time to time, I would take a business trip to my old hometown. I believe I know Xinjiang well enough to understand its current problems.

  • The Strategic Position of Xinjiang

Xinjiang is vital to all players in the region and beyond, which is why Taliban and other fundamental Jihad forces provide military training to Uighur separatists, and the United States works so hard to keep green light for Rebiya Kadder and her men (It is only after 9.11 that its open support for Uighur terrorists transformed to covert backing). So as we can see, the problems between Uighurs and other ethnic groups, including Han, are more than ethnic conflict. It is a battle between China and hostile external forces.

  • Population Composition in Xinjiang

Xinjiang population is consisted of 45% of Uighurs, 40% of Hans and over 15% of other ethnic groups, mainly Kazacs and Huis.

Geographically the province is divided by Mt Tian (天山) into two parts: in the south the dominant ethnic group is Uighur, counting for more than 70% of the population; while on the northern side of the mountain, most people have a Han background. Urumqi, a city built by Han Chinese is situated in the North Xinjiang with most residents being ethnic Han.

  • Uighur People in Xinjiang

From my understanding of the Uighur situation, I think they can be roughly categorised into four groups:

The Red Group, counting for 10 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people who have close contact or ties with mainstream Chinese society, received high education, are working or having family members working at state-run organizations or enterprises. They are the firm supporters of the Chinese unity.

The Yellow Group, counting for 40 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people mainly living in urban areas or quite urbanized villages, and having been benefited from China's rapid economic development. They by and large hold a positive attitude towards the current economic and social policies and oppose the separatist movement.

The Green Group, counting for 40 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people living in underdeveloped and conservative rural areas with little formal education. On the whole they are not hostile towards Han and other ethnic groups, but easy to be influenced by external forces.

The Grey Group, counting for 10 percent of the total Uighur population - these are mainly jobless or semi-unemployed youth. Uighurs traditionally do not pay much attention to children's education, and would just allow their kids wandering the streets without attending school. The problems of alcohol abuse, drug use and gambling addiction are particularly serious among Uighurs, which result widespread domestic conflict and violence, and have produced a large number of broken families, leaving many Uighur kids grown up without the opportunity to learn basic ethics and job skills, and become virtually unemployable. The jobless young Uighurs would then join gangs to rob, extort, steal, engage in gang fights and become alcoholics and substance abusers. Few Han youth in Xinjiang can claim that they have never been victimised by the Uighur gangs. I personally clashed with them dozens of times during my school years.

  • Uighur Thieves outside Xinjiang

The notorious Uighur thieves who are active in all parts of China is one of the main reasons for this ethnic group to be looked down by other Chinese. Every year in Xinjiang there are thousands of kids kidnapped by Uighur criminal gangs, and trained to be professional thieves, taken advantage of current laws and regulations in China that are severely biased towards the people from a minority ethnic background.

Excerpt of the post in original Chinese text:

  • 新疆的地理位置和环境

  从地缘政治的角度来说,新疆对中国来说简直太重要了。所以,有通过印中边境源源不断的军火,有通过阿富汗边境源源不断的毒品,米国为了遏止中国在全球的崛起更是不遗余力的为疆毒份子开绿灯(911之后才开始由公开支持转入地下支持)。新疆地广人稀,即使非沙漠地区的人口密度也小的可怜,全中国六分之一的土地只有不到三千万人口,漫长的国境线基本都是雪山,这也给遏止外部势力的渗透造成了很大的阻碍。说这么多是希望大家辨证的看待新疆的民族问题,一定要充分考虑外部势力的因素而不要只把眼睛盯在民族矛盾上,实际上新疆民族矛盾的实质是国际上各个势力斗争的体现。

  • 新疆民族和维族人口比例

  新疆的人口分布在30年前大约的水准是维族45%,汉族40%,其他少数民族15%左右(占主要部分的是哈萨克族、蒙古族、回族)。在南疆(天山以南)维族人口是绝对优势,大约是70%以上。北疆(天山以北)汉族较多,乌鲁木齐属北疆。现在的人口分布水准和30年前基本没什么变化,虽然少数民族的计划生育政策比较宽松,实际上新疆汉族人口的计划生育管理也比较宽松,加之内地汉族还有一定数量的移民,因此新疆人口比例在这30年间没有太大的变化。

  • 新疆维族人群体的基础

  小子不才,斗胆就该问题描述一下个人的分析结果,大家权做参考。我人为的从经济地位和文化思维上把新疆的维族人分为四大群体(这个群体划分当然是一个大致划分,不可能说这个群体里的所有人思维都是一致的)。

  第一类是长期以来与汉族和中央政府有着密切接触的亲汉群体。该群体是政府在新疆维族人中主要的扶持对象,也是整个维族中亲汉倾向的主要代表。该群体对国家完整属于坚决拥护的部分。我以红色群体代指。个人估计在新疆该群体占维族人口的大约10%左右。

  第二类是与城市经济和汉族文化有较多的接触,主要生活在新疆的城镇和较发达农村。该群体对汉族文化的认同程度没有红色群体高,但是由于受益与国家解放以来的经济发展,生活水平和经济状况较好,对国家政策和党的领导是持比较肯定的态度的。(和第一群体一样是属于即得利益群体)这部分人大多数也是反对疆毒份子的。我以黄色群体代指。个人估计在新疆该群体占维族人口的大约40%左右。

  第三类是属于比较落后和偏远的农村地区的人口。由于经济的落后。该群体的特征是受传统习俗和宗教影响比较大,国家对该人群的影响力度也小的多。这部分人群由于整体受教育水平、经济水平很低,极容易受到外界影响。但是民风整体比较单纯,并没有所谓的大面积的反汉思潮。我以绿色群体代指。个人估计在新疆该群体占维族人口大约40%左右。

  第四类是生活在城镇和较发达农村的无业/半失业人口。这个群体人口以10-30岁之间的青壮年为主(男女都有)。维族传统文化中不注重教育,很多小孩小的时候是不上学的,一部分直接去放羊,一部分就直接不管,任其在街头混。而很多维族人喜好赌博、酗酒和毒品,造成家庭不和睦,对小孩的教育也起了很坏的影响。由于缺乏教育和技能,这部分人长大后在现在的经济社会中逐渐失去自己的经济来源。没有了经济来源,又长期缺乏法律和道德观念,逐渐形成了这样一个群体。这个群体主要以小型犯罪为生活经济来源,天天就是三五成群到处晃,抢劫、敲诈、盗窃、打架、酗酒、吸毒。基本是属于比较松散的、组织性不强的半黑社会性质。这个群体人数不少,大约占维族人口的10%左右。在新疆长大的汉族男生可能没有几个没和这些人交过手的。在中学期间大概或多或少的都被这些人侵害或袭击过吧?我个人在整个学生年代,和这个群体的人起码发生过二十多次冲突(我已经是属于比较好孩子类的了),当然,多数时候都是吃亏。我以灰色群体待指这部分人。

  • 全国各地的维族小偷

  这些维族小偷是维族形象在内地汉族中被贬低的一个重要因素。新疆每年被拐走的维族小孩至少几千名。这些贼头转收这种小孩的理由也很简单,一个是年纪小,被抓后不满18岁,一个是他们是少数民族,警察多半听不懂他们的语言,难以交流,第三就是利用国家民族政策的漏洞了。

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