Continued from page 1
The Central Asian states, predominantly run by near despots who came up from ranks of old Soviet regimes, see wealth of opportunity of being viewed as supportive of Beijing. Trade deals, millions of dollars in potential investment and one plus billion potential consumers can do a lot to turn a fellows head. Being less than vocal in supporting Uygur is a small investment indeed for expected returns.
The "Great Game" of 19th and early 20th centuries that was played out between Russia and Britain over Central Asia and north western China is back on and being joined by likes of United States, China, India and some European countries including Turkey. Each is trying for an economic and/or military presence. The Central Asians are falling over themselves in accommodation, hedging bets each way and that all for sake of almighty dollar, yuan or ruble.
One of articles I mention ( “Uyghurs offended at newspaper slur” Institute of War and Peace Reporting 23/1/04) cite, among other things, reports how a Kazakhstan newspaper essentially branded 50,000 - 200,000 plus Uygurs (depending on whose figures you believe) living in Kazakhstan as terrorists and trouble makers. This is not a new story though it has not been as publicly stated before. In Uzbekistan for example there have been rumblings against Uygur residents there for some time. The publication of this article, however, does mark a watershed for Uygur.
Whilst Kazakhstan Interior Minister distances his government from opinions expressed in news article one can not help thinking back to early rumblings against another ethnic group. Not that one expects a "final solution" to Uygur question but outcome could be less than pleasant for Uygur in Xinjiang and of Cental Asia generally if they continue to remain friendless in world.
The Uygur truly are in an unenviable position. Alone in world, championed by no one and now sold out by their brothers for 12 pieces of silver. It is hoped that they are happy with money and do not want to take a part in execution.
Amateur "uygurologist" author and webmaster og the "uygurWORLD" group of websites