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24-04-08, 23:28
Cultural Rights and Uyghur Nationalism

Robert Guang Tian, Ph. D*


Nation, nationalism, nation-state, and nationalist movement are most complicated concepts to be clarified by the scholars who have established the post-modernism theory. Various approaches, such as political rights, economical rights, ethnical identity power, etc. have been created to understand nationalism and nationalist movement. Cultural rights are viewed as most important foundation for nationalism in the post-modern time. It is suggested that Uyghur nationalist movement should realize that their objectives need to be adjusted given the current international situation and their limited resources. To fight for their cultural rights at this time is more reasonable and attainable for the Uyghur nationalist movement than to claim the independence immediately. It is also suggested that the Chinese central government should be more tolerable and flexible in terms of Uyghur nationalist movement towards its cultural rights. As long as the both sides are willing to deal with the nationalism through the approach of cultural rights a win-win situation is for sure to be realized.

Key Words: Cultural Rights, Nationalism, Nation-state, Nationalist Movement, Uyghur Nationalism,


My research interests on the Uyghur nation and the up-growing Uyghur nationalist movement comes from my personal experience and academic backgrounds. I noticed the social and economic development of Northwest China, particularly, the nationalist issue even when I was teenager in West China where the Chinese Muslim are concentrated. I worked for some time in Xinjiang (my Uyghur friend would rather refer it as East Turkistan ) in 1980s, during that period I got some direct impression from my interactions with various folks. Escaping China in 1989 I noticed the heating Uyghur nationalist movement outside China after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and its puppets. The nationalist issues in the movement are worthy of comprehensive study not only for me as personal academic interesting in general but also for the Uyghur nationalists who are firmly pro-independence in particular.

According to my observation, the virtual aim for Uyghur nationalist movement (UDM) is independence, e.g. independent from China whether in names of East Turkistan or Uyghurstan. My Uyghur friends perceive that separating from China is the only way to dismantle the oppression of Han nation toward them. The underlined principal theory is National Self-determination through peaceful methods or violent ones. So far various factions of the movements are unanimous on the virtual aim of national independence; however they differs on approaches to get it and what the new independent Uyghur state should be like. At the same time the movement came across some extremely serous frustration in recent years when the Chinese government publicly and mercilessly depressed the Uyghur national movement under the name of anti-terrorism after September 11th, 2001. It is imperative to gain international understanding, sympathy and support for the Uyghur nationalist movement in terms of the current and future international situations.

Based on the studying the nationalist movement histories of the world and the main theories of nationalism, I conclude that the essence of nationalism is the ideology that reflects the values and identity difference among nations, which in turn reflects the political, social, economical and cultural differences among all the nations in the world. Among these differences cultural difference plays an extremely important role for various reasons as it is more easily to be identified and felt. How can nations’ independent cultural characteristics serve their political and economical objectives? An inventory of the literature suggested that the previous studies mainly focus on the identity of national interest and national movement but few, if any, on the importance of cultural rights in national movement. On the basis of former studies on cultural rights and global marketing I would like to focus on the discussion of national cultural rights1 by taking the Uyghur nationalist movement in Xinjiang , China as a case to further explore it. My assumption here is that the territorial border (or boundaries) is no longer the unique standard to determine nationalism. It is imperative to the national interests to grasp the marginal environments politically or non-politically. I would study the contents and manifest of cultural rights in nationalist movement intensively through detailing the impact of current cultural rights theory on traditional political nationalism based on self-determination. For practical reasons I would like to discuss several critical issues in the Uyghur nationalist movement in light of cultural right theory to further explore the impact of cultural rights theory toward nationalist movement.

1. Cultural Nationalities and Political Nationalism

1.1 cultural nationalities

The definition of nation remains ambiguous and extremely arguable. The different schools can be listed as, a) community composed of the people who share the common cultural heritage; b) because of the history discontinuity, and nation is regarded as something of pure construction2. Nation is regarded as the result of history, an inevitable result of different states competing for resources and spaces and, the expansion of rationality. This explanation takes the emergence of nations in line with western modernity and thus is a typical western definition3; c) recognizing that nation resulting from modernity, this school stresses the cultural connections with the ancient communities. Without the appeal of such cultural connection and historical identity there would be no cohesion of nation, or even the nation itself4.

Most researchers would like to articulate the nation in terms of a vast human background and emphasize the concept of “cultural nation”, which is regarded as the key to the birth, evolution and mobilization of given nations. The primary national community is tribal nation; its core is kinship. The common geography and kinships are essentials to the nation unit. The primitive form of tribal nation is clan which is rarely seen presently except for some places in Africa that described by Morgan5. What attributes nations in the modern world is culture, including: a) shared history, e.g. the identical or close history procession, destiny and connections on the basis of long inter-exchange; b) shared culture, e.g. the common language, religion, value, psychology and customs; c) shared names and national identity.

Therefore, the concept of nation originated from the differences of human being in order to tell “selves” and “others”. Although there are large quantities of differences among human beings such as race, kinship, tract, class and profession, the essence of difference is rather cultural. Nations pursue their rights for development in the same way as they do for their political or religious rights; however none of them are the essence of nation. The boundary of nation might be defined by natural geography, political systems (modern state), kinship, religion, even language; it is national cultures that immediately distinguish one nation from the others. A. D. Smith upholds the argument that a typical nation should have such features: common name as a social community; the common long lived tract; the common heritage, legend and popular culture; common economy and pervasive rights and duties prescribed by law and applied to all6.

1.2 political nationalism—national self-determination

Apparently, with the essence of cultural community, the concept nation is distinguished from the political concept of state. However, empirically the concept of nation is labeled with political ideas and activities. It is mixed up with the ideology of various sorts of nationalism or nationalist movements aiming to struggle for national independence and national state that are highly politicalized.

Thus nationalism contains following basics:

a. The world is divided by nations. Individuals have special passions and duties to their own nation. Their loyalties and loves to their own nation are beyond to other nations

b. On the basis of judging the history and present situations between nations, it demands dealing the relationships between nations in the interests of its won national interests. When dealing the relationships between nations the national interests is the unique principle and standard. The national interests not only consist of economic and political interests that are visible but also those invisible interests such as cultural interests.

c. The highest target of nationalism is the survival and powerfulness of the nation rather than an independent national state only. The founding of an independent state is just a stage or means in the process of pursing its highest target. However because of present world system in which the sovereign state is the most active and powerful factor, the people tends to think that building an independent state is the shortcut or inevitable way to assure its survival and greater development. This belief developed wildly in 20th century to some kind of blind worship to “sovereign state” in the international politics. Even some scholars take national independence as the highest target of nationalism.

Therefore we can sum up in this way: Nationalism is a kind of ideology and activity conducted by a nation unit aiming to build an independent state.

Anyway almost all the scholars stress the ideology, social movement and political appeal of the term of nationalism, based on some national elements such as national compassion, national consciousness and the national identity. The core of nationalism is a political process aiming to reach homogeneity among certain groups of people in the way of appealing to the national right to attain the “state identity” in the name of nation. There are different stages: national identification, consciousness of right, national goal, national mobilization and realization of their rights. The priority is to found an independent national state. We here call this kind of nationalism “self-determination nationalism” whose essence is the founding a national state through the self-determination right.

The “self-determination nationalism” recognizes and promotes the self-determination right of every nation. It pursues national independence. It consolidates the national proper pride and self-confidence and helps mobilize the mass to fight and sacrifice in realizing its political aims. It also preserves the unique national cultural tradition and enriches the resources and lives of a nation. It supplies some legitimacy for its political reign by stressing and respecting its national identity and tradition. Thus we should say it supplies some legitimate basis for political governance.

However this political nationalism is dangerous at the same time. This unreasonable nationalism counts for value relativeness that opposes cultural varieties or universal civilization. With the intolerance in cultures and ethics it paves the way toward political autarchy and dictatorship. Some nationalist goes so far that they claim the absolute sovereignty of nation state and exclude the individual autonomy. This would extremely possible suppress or even deprive of the individual rights and eventually bring up the absolutism with no check or balance. To the nationalists who worship the self-determination the critical survival unit is nation or race. All other things esp. the individual survival is of no importance in context of the national interests. It proclaims the concentration of power and resources and promotes the relativeness that against universal value. It does not necessarily induce despotism but it is easily used by despotism.

1.3 Practice of nationalism

In the 18th French enlightenment the modern nationalist theory formed. The critical characteristic is: to replace kingship with human rights; to replace the legitimacy of kingship with Reason state; to combine the nationalist compassion with individual self-determination or civilian’s choice of government. Thus the human rights were re-emphasized and the nation state must be a democratic one in which the equal basic rights of every individual would be protected. In North America not only a constitutional state—the United States of America-- was created in which people enjoyed ever more freedom, but also a totally new nation was “created” on the basis of common beliefs of the enlightenment ideology instead of common kinship.

There are obvious differences between the 18th nationalism and the one in early Great Britain period. In 18th century the human rights rather than the individual rights was emphasized. What are human rights? It contains two aspects that serve as the basis of preliminary “national self-determination”: 1) social individual rights; 2) group rights, e.g. national or state rights. The later one originates two dilemmas: the request to recover territory; ethnic separation movement in a state. Deeply believing in individual freedom, the born equality and liberty, Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought the freedom based on individual rights is by no means integrity. A new authority of national regime based on public will should be established to restore social justice and order. Putting collectivism and nationalism at the top priority in veil of praising the individualist rights, this, is the new contents he plugged in nationalism.

This new nationalism is somewhat ambiguous in its contents in comparison with the former West European ancestor whose contents are very definite. This new one emphasizes on the significance of nationalism itself instead of concrete goals such as individual freedom. The typical contributor to it is Germany . Germans replaced the concept of civilian which based on democracy and reason with another new ambiguous concept, “countryman”, which instigates the unreasonable emotions in practice. After the reshaping the new concept of nationalism abandoned in a large degree—if not totally—the Western European nationalism that cherishes universalism and individualism. This new one embraces the greatest national interests.

Thus the nationalism is developed. It germinated in Reconnaissance, grew up in religion reform movement, matured in French Revolution which spread it to the whole world. However the teachings derived from Napoleon and his army outside West Europe is no longer the respect to individualism, but a cult to collectivism. The national freedom is far higher beyond the individual freedom. It is a belief, and also a responsibility. Lord Acton signaled the earliest warning in 1882 in a paper which exposed the fundamental conflict between individual freedom and nationalism. Nationalism transferred the nation as the final goal of state instead of individual freedom, which means diversity in a society. Just as Acton said, whenever a single aim is set up as the state top aim this state will become absolutism. Freedom requires restraint on pubic authority7.

1.4 Dual ways of nationalism

For nationalists, it is imperative to make clear what they really want, the target. Externally the nationalism is for national self-determination to achieve political independence. It is justified to pursue for political sovereignty, because only in sovereign state that a nation can enjoy freedom. In fact, nation-state is both the end and the means for nationalists. Both national interests and individual interests should be pursued in the movement. The participants in nationalist movement fight for the whole nationalist interests and, for their own personal interests too. As a matter of fact, nationalism in history originated in Enlightenment Movement in which the individualism was the critical dynamics. Yael Tamir regards that liberalism and nationalism are in harmony. Nationalism shall not separate itself with individual freedom and rights.

In modern nationalism one sees the philosophy for the weak nation against the powerful one in 18th century. Nationalism was born with the core and dynamics of individual rights. Because of the individualism the nationalism was justified to fight against external oppression and, for national cohesion. It is the individualism that determines the governance of nation-state in which the state must safeguard the individual rights. Hence the nationalism should identify, in a large sense, with liberalism. Studying the pioneering nationalists as Herder and Mazzini, Gross concludes that nationalism started from two critical principles, the worldlism and individualism. Fundamentally nationalism is democratic and liberal. We should rather call liberal nationalism. Enlightenment theories and the French Revolution not only accelerated the birth of nationalism but also the various democracies. In turn the nation-state shows tolerance. However, ironically, two opposite nationalism were developed because of different surroundings: the liberal one and none-liberal one.

While the liberal nationalism supports for nationals self-determination, it strongly emphasizes on rule of law, democracy, human rights and citizenship. It argues for equal rights among all nationalities and it carries the heritage of the philosophy of Enlightenment Movement. The none-liberal one, on the contrary, tends to support for racial despotism. Only on national self-determination the two nationalisms share common proposition. While the liberal one takes individualism as its priority, the none-liberal one takes nation-state. Externally the liberal nationalism takes the individual rights beyond the state rights and argues for people’s control over government, while the none-liberal one argues for individual’s submission to nation-state. In such institutions individual and groups serve only as means inferior to some supernatural state, the civil society makes no sense in the context of powerful state.

Benjamin Constant remarked that the pursuit for freedom might encourage violation of freedom, and some vicious cult toward collective authority beyond individual. The victory of peoples’ sovereignty might go to the disaster of people. The key here is to line up the boundary of political power. The people sovereignty should not justify the unlimited government founded even through legal procedures. Where is the boundary of power? It is argued that individual rights and individual independence. Majority approval shall not legalize any behavior; some behavior shall never be legalized8.

It is clear that the critical difference between these two nationalism lies on the pursuit for “individual freedom” and “national freedom”. Hayek said that the “national freedom” comes from the application of original freedom, e.g. individual freedom, on nation. However, a free people do not necessarily mean a people of free men. Collective freedom is not necessarily the precondition for individual freedom9. When a nation struggles for freedom to control its destiny, the term of “national freedom” emerges. In this case the concept of freedom is applied to the group instead of individual. The pro-individualist would usually support nationalist freedom enthusiastically; however it shall not necessarily lead to individual freedom. If nationalism is pursued within the context of the submission of individual freedom, it will take individual rights as threaten or betray to national freedom. The national independence and freedom, the none-interference principles to a sovereign state would serve as a grandiose excuse to oppress internal freedom. Without respect to individual rights and freedom, the sovereignty is false; the sovereignty and freedom based on state rather than individualism are doomed to be bankrupt.

2. National Cultural Rights and Culture-nationalism

2.1 Cultural rights — a new highlight

Culture in the term of national culture means general culture that includes beliefs, norms, system, traditional institutions and social languages. Arts, literature and music are part of culture. They are culture in narrow sense and take less important parts in the general culture10. There are features for cultures. First, culture is immaterial. It includes the whole living styles, beliefs, attitudes, preferences and philosophies etc. It is reflected in various ways in politics, economy and society. Secondly, culture stresses the common identity of groups. There are regional and global cultures. However the critical one is national culture. Third, culture is of both nationality and universality.

As the peculiar living style national culture is the basis of national identity. Cultural intuition toward collective personalities and various behaviors creates “we-group” that distinguishes itself from other nations. National identity includes the recognition to national common belief, which is critically important to national identity. Personal identity depends on group identity, which means the continuing consciousness passed from generations to generations in some groups. They share the memory of legacies and personnel. Individuals attend cultural activities of social groups to gain personal experience. He should learn group heritage such as cultural symbols, history legacy and traditions outside his personal experience. Group identity endows group sense and feeling to satisfy the requirement of being belonged. The identity of individual to group or national culture requires mastery of the core value in a given culture, including language, religion, social and family tradition, and national history.. In this sense the culture core value is the identity of the nation.

In Herald and Berlin ’s opinion individual belongs to certain groups among which the most practical one is nation11. There is no abstract individual at all. Group identity and national identity, e.g. belonging to a community, are the basic need for human being just like his need for food, sex and communication. No belonging to a nation or regional community, no creativity12. Yael Tamir even argues that communal affiliation is one of the essential humanity13.

The requirement for belonging determines the value of national spirits (volksgeist), which is the core of national spirits. National spirits in turn determine the national culture. National equality and national autonomy depend on the identification and enjoyment of national culture. The key here lies on national cultural self-determination. All cultures are equal in value and enjoy equal respect. Communities grow spontaneously. They are different but equal. Each is irreplaceable to the whole human society14.

Belonging is one of our choices but not the only one. What makes it possible for us to choose is freedom. While pursuing affiliation we should balance it with individual freedom carefully in order to avoid affecting individual freedom. Though we acknowledge the shared features such as common region, religion, tradition, norms, customs and language, these common features can not replace individual’s personality. When not applied to individuals the term identity is outlined and inhuman. It is an ideological abstract of collectivism that enforced by some born creativity and all other none-inheritable factors, geological or social pressure. It abrogates individual’s precious freedom of what and how to choose if the cultural identity is enforced to individuals. Hence the free right of choice should be another aspect of national cultural rights.

National cultural rights negate cultural protectionism or cultural relativeness in veil of romanticism, which adheres to the superiority of local cultural institutions and opposes to reason. It denies the universality of formal reason and formal justice and relies on local culture to realize innovation. The academic arguments lie on the uniqueness of national cultural community supported by ethnics, cultural anthropology and national mythology. It claims that every society has its national features that can not and should not demolish. In the view of cultural protectionism there exist no universal human norms.

No culture remains unchangeable. None lasts forever especially those modern and vivid one. The national cultural right is by no means against the cultural development in line with the modernity, or it will be blocked and dying. In modern society while there is less and less specialty or locality and some traditional institution is disappearing, there are more chances than before for further development. The extremist protectionism reveals a kind of slack and unhistorical understanding toward culture. Only those who care for the destiny of national civilization and holds confidence in it can be a peaceful nation. The confidence comes from two parallel cultural processes. One is the abundant absorption of all creative elements from all other civilizations, the other one is to study comprehensively and innovate creatively its own national civilization. Serious self-criticism and self-enrichment are necessary. To a given nation these processes mean the raise of national reasonability to control its destiny and meet the challenges. To the whole world it means interactions that are critical to its further development. To sum up, national cultural rights underline the national cultural development rights.

Therefore, national cultural rights ague for not only the combination of uniqueness and universality, but also the unification of group value and individual freedom. It is a combination of individual rights and national collective rights. It embraces the self-determination right and independency under certain conditions. It focuses more on what base it relies, and on what kind of independence and self-determination it cherishes.

2.2 Culture-right-nationalism

National culture connects closely with nationalism. Elements of nationalism, such as national identity, national mobilization, national interests and political pursuit, are all based on national culture. C. J. Hayes wrote that “nationalism is a cultural phenomenon” 15. Nationalism itself is not necessarily the threat to democracy. As a matter of fact the national identity in cultural sense is the necessary precondition to democracy (though not sufficient condition). Modern democracy requires some mass identity that the cultural nation can afford. Appealing to emotional loyalty, cultural nation is the most special and smallest community that covers all ages, sexes and classes. When he holds that nation is culture, Tamir also concludes that nationalism is cultural rights16.

It is worthwhile that nationalism in sense of cultural rights is not the cultural nationalism as understand. H. Kohn regards the “cultural nationalism” as a reactionary ideology and movement to Western nationalism in “The Idea of Nationalism”. Western nationalism is rational and political while the Eastern nationalism is cultural and mysterious. The copying reaction to Western rational culture is the weapon of backward society to compensate its psychological inferiority and humility when facing the more technologically advanced Western civilization17. E. Gellner further argued that the cultural nationalism is the creation by intellectuals in backward society. It blocks the advancing and modernity of nations. A. D. Smith said that cultural nationalism airs obdurate society. It is the most conservative and anti-freedom kind of nationalism18.

On the contrary, cultural-right-nationalism holds the disconnection between nationalism and traditional national self-determination. Just as Feliks Gross separates ethnicity from politics, the liberal way to resolve this knot is to separate nation-state from nation-culture. This is totally a new road toward liberalism19. He cites the Branislav Malinovski “cultural autonomous rights must be endowed to all nations, races and minority groups. Political rights shall by no means be connected with ethnicity, which will bring about the explosion of nationalist danger.” After all, nationalist fights for nation, instead of state; for all group interests that might be realized through state machine. Indeed the state is the protective shell for nation but it is not the exclusive way. More accurately the eventual aim of nationalism is to gain a cultural independence and cultural development though often through national self-determination and nation state. Hence the culture-right-nationalism acknowledges in one respect that the nationalist issue will not be resolved automatically with the growth of globalization, in another respect it tries to afford liberalist guidance in pursuing nationalist interests. It is mainly cultural, open and liberal nationalism.

Further this culture-right-nationalism takes the national culture as ends rather than means. Accordingly it takes the political pursuit as means to national culture. Now that nation is primarily a cultural phenomenon, the care for national destiny focuses on developing its culture peacefully, independently and prosperously. All political and economical pursuit shall serve this ultimate end. It is irrational and aimless if nationalist movement deviates from this ultimate end. A just world shall protect all cultures. Although some regional cultures are still subject to traditional religion, for example the Islam and Buddhism, their political choice must be changed. Culture-right-nationalism shall transcend the concern toward national destiny to some secular culture and modern political institutions, and eventually to a modern social ethnic system and “religion substitute”20.

Culture-right-nationalism affirms the necessity and significance of group value by emphasizing particularly on that they are necessary to the individual identity. National identity in culture-right-nationalism stresses that individualism rooted in groups. The most influential to individual is national culture. The critical point here is, now that the national culture is an important part to individual identity it deserves to be respected. A national culture deserves more respect when it promotes the individual freedom in free will, free choice and independent criticism. It deserves more respect when it cultivates a social system in which individual rights well protected. Individual determination is the most precious. National self-determination is precious only if it promotes the individual self-determination.

Essentially culture-right-nationalism stresses the independent rationality, consciousness and criticism spirits of individuals in a nation. While it cultivates national ideology it does not ignore other human values. it emphasizes the harmony between national collectivism and individualism. It links the national self-determination with individual self-determination, the external self-determination and internal self-determination. Thus culture-right-nationalism supports national self-determination under certain preconditions. Firstly, any national self-determination must be based on individual self-determination. Secondly, one must use legal, peaceful and rational methods to realize national self-determination. Under these two preconditions culture-right-nationalism makes liberalism and nationalism coexists. While it upholds the idea of preserving the uniqueness of nations it can also avoid the dangers of both the extremist political nationalism that over-emphasizes the national self-determination, and cultural nationalism that advocates cultural relativeness.

2.3 Political structure of culture-right-nationalism

The political idealism of culture-right-nationalism is a society composed of free and equal individuals. For majority this society is right their nation-state. The precious freedom and equality shall be realized in their own national culture. The tragedy is, for many nation-states, the freedom and belonging can not be combined together because of the rigidity of their political institutions. The founding of nation-state does not of itself bring about individual freedom and rights. And, whether they agree or not, many nations have to coexist with other nations within one political community for a long time esp. in context of the accelerating globalization. Hence the culture-right-nationalism shall not take nation-state as its exclusive way to realize national self-determination. It is in vain to take national self-determination as a unique and almighty pattern to achieve their idealism.

However the culturally homogeneous nation is closely connected with independency. This serves as the theoretical base for national self-determination. Whether the political institution is in accordance with the cultural rights or not, it depends on if and how the political institutions ensure the cultural independence and rights. This is critically important for the minority nationality. Presently the influential multi-cultural ideology based on liberalism might give more answers to this question. Is the federalism a possible solution to the coexistence of nationalities21? The culture-right-nationalism pursues such a state: state is a union of individuals; rights and duties lie on individuals rather than collectives; the cultural variety and diversity are conditional. It is separated in the process of founding a state; it pursues the uniqueness within the context of universal rights; while it emphasizes the protection of national culture it pushes harder on cultural innovation; it is a synchronization of cultural reshape and political development.

Cultural rights are associated with the national political room based on struggling for universal rights. On one hand it demands for a liberal democracy to make vast identification and state devotion. On the other hand, it demands some mechanism to protect cultural diversity, political freedom and coexistence between ethnic groups. Two values are crucial: individual freedom and equality, and national belonging. Furthermore, this political institution demands more than those universal, basic and core values. It demands the shared procedures and game rules. It is not enforced; it is by the agreement of the majority citizens.

One of the influential ideas to protect the national cultural right is cultural autonomy suggested by earlier social democrats Otto Bauer and Karl Renner. Cultural autonomy is not a narrow concept limited by geography or language; it requires protection for freedom and, for individual and collective ethnic cultural rights. An authorized national cultural committee should be set up on the basis of individual choice in order to administer coordinate cultural affairs. Beside of that, an ethnic culture congress should also be set up to protect their ethnic and cultural institutions. “The Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life” was proclaimed in September 1999 by OSCE in Sweden . The suggestive principles focus on the balance between the effective state administration and minority identification.

On the multi-nationality state, Felix Gross put forward his citizen-state theory built on de-pliticalization of nation and civil society. The ethnic identity and ethnic belonging consciousness constitute the basic cultural sphere, which is the core of society cohesion. They shall be protected internally and externally. In this case the regional or local self-governance shall be adopted in terms of fully respecting the diversity and variety. While protecting the whole national cultural rights it also balances the unity and variety. Here it requires another identity that closely connected with the common state, the citizenship. All members of the ethnic groups are members of the state whose power is limited and checked by law. A consolidated citizenship is the reflection of the whole political culture, the reflection of the universal beliefs and values resulting from the norms and customs in handling the ethnic affairs. The state power stops at the religion and ethnic identity of citizens, as they are regarded as the personal privacy that can not be violated. This citizen-state is responsible to international organization and international law. At the same time the self-determination right shall be limited, because the unlimited and irresponsible appeal for national self-determination would surely disintegrate the political community. Further, Gross said, the citizenship is a basic institution for modern democracy, a fundamental political institution for multi-nationality state. The citizen state creates a new identity, a political identity separated from ethnic belonging consciousness and ethnicity. It is a shell for cultural diversities. It is a new kind of political relation, much more vast than ethnic relationship or regional relationship. The idea of citizen-state supplies a new way to separate ethnic identity from political identity, a new way to transfer kinship identity to political-regional identity22.

3. Cultural Rights and Uyghur Nationalism movement

3.1 Xinjiang issue and Uyghur national movement

Xinjiang, or Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, founded in 1955, has 1.6 million square kilometers with majority population of Uyghur Muslims. According to Chinese census among the whole population in Xinjiang there are 8.34 million Uyghurs, 43.3% of the whole23. Almost all of them are Sunnis. There are other Muslims as Kazaks, Kyrgyz, Tatars, and Uzbeks, who are turkeys like the Uyghurs. Tajik are white Muslims. There are Chinese Hui Muslim too. None-Muslims are the growing Hans and some Mongolians and Tibetans.

In 1759 the Qianlong emperor of Qing dynasty conquered the whole Xinjiang area and set up military reign. In 1863 the turkeys in Xinjiang and Middle Asia overthrew the Qing reign in this area and founded an independent Islamic state. In 1876 General Zuo Zongtang re-conquered Xinjiang with his brave army and forced Xinjiang to become a Chinese province in 1884. In the early 20th century Xinjiang became the core of Chinese Russian conspiracy. With the Japanese invasion the Uyghurs in Xinjiang claimed an independent “East Turkistan” in 1944 under the full support of Soviet Union . In 1950 the Chinese Communists smashed the independence with the approval of Russians and Xinjiang again became part of China .

From early 1960s Beijing has long been encouraging Han immigrants to settle down in Xinjiang to ensure its reign. The Han population grows from 290,000 in 1949 to 8.28 million today, e.g. from less than 7% of the whole population to 43%24. Since 1950s despite of the Chinese government brutal oppression Uyghur national resistant movements, peacefully or violently, never ceased. With the collapse of Soviet Union and the emergence of newly independent turkey national states near Xinjiang, the Uyghur national awareness awoke again. The Uyghur national movement or East Turkistan movement, mobilized by fierce separatism, has been developing fast and attracting more and more international cares.
The appeals of Uyghur nationalist can be sorted roughly into two parts. One demands true political autonomy and cultural protection through true democracy. The other one is separatistism. With the encouragement and help of oversea Uyghur nationalists, they hold the same aim with the autonomists but insist on total political separation with China . Some separatists are stick to peaceful separation while others believe in violence. Some are none-religious separatists pursuing independence; some are religious who follow Islamic fundamentalism25.

To Uyghur nationalists, the practical up-growing Uyghur separatist forces come from the following two sources:

First, there are huge national cultural differences. Among all the populous minorities the Uyghur is one of the most different. Historically the Uyghur identity has nothing to do with Chinese dynasties. China lost its control over this area during the critical period of 8th to 18th centuries when the Uyghur nation was formed. In contrast with the Mongolians and Manchurians, the Uyghur has never ruled China and thus less involved in Chinese culture. They are Muslims and speak turkey. The oases in Xinjiang are regarded as the extension of Turkey . Among all the turkey-Islamic nations in Middle Asia, the Uyghur nation is a typical unique nation. The Uyghur takes Xinjiang as their motherland and Chinese are intruders. They can not identify themselves as a member of the Chinese family, nor endure Chinese rule in their motherland. Nor can they identify themselves as part of unified Chinese nation. A typical example comes from religion. According to an unexposed report conducted by Xinjiang Social Science Academy, over 95% Uyghurs identified themselves as Muslims and they attended religious activities eagerly, no matter in urban or rural areas, including some communist members. In some areas in Xinjiang, the shrike is more powerful than that of the communist officials. Some of them can even control local election and administration. Religiously Uyghurs rejected both the de-religiousness of Han culture and the communist unreligiousness. The so called cultural mixture is hardly the truth. Even more, with the actual religious oppression policy conducted by Chinese governments, the national barrier is growing and the gap is broadening.

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Second, Chinese rulers ( Manchuria , KMT, communist) has long been taking Xinjiang as a buffer area occupied by some alien nations to block Western enemies. China ’s attitudes toward Xinjiang swings between marginalization and Hanization, e.g. isolation and assimilation. Both reflect the growing discredit and extreme fear toward the minorities. The principal policy here is to maintain control over this area. Economic development and national mixture are nothing but tools to serve this policy. From mid 18th to the end of 19th century the Manchurian tried to isolate Xinjiang from Chinese inland. When isolation malfunctioned and deduced separation, it swung to assimilation in order to eliminate or at least control the explosion of separatist movement. In one respect, assimilation means to reduce the Uyghur national features. In another respect, it means regional assimilation through immigration from inland China to mix and isolate the nations. Chinese government is highly involved in immigration in order to change the population structure and maintain stability in this area. Ironically nationality segregation and conflicts grow even serious in Xinjiang. The Han immigrants gather comparatively in certain areas in cities while in rural areas there is little nationality interchange except for some markets. The Production and Construction Militia are totally Han independent units. The immigration brings environment problems. With the explosion of immigrants, the population per kilometer in oases grows to 260, which causes the weak environment even worse: forests are fading; grasslands become deserts; lakes are shrinking; deserts are expanding. Immigrants compete for fortunes and resources with the local Uyghurs and cause more nationality problems.

Thirdly, with the ambiguous definition of terrorism, the Chinese government takes advantages to violate human rights in name of striking “violent terrorism” , without distinguishing the differences between peaceful demonstration and violent terrorism, nor between the organized terrorism and the accidental violence that resulted from religious, social or cultural issues.

There are following features of Uyghur nationalist movement: a) that, the pro-separation forces grows so fast that the worring Beijing adopts more brutal oppression. The conflicts might develop into a vicious cycle in future; b) religious force has a growing influence in Uyghur national movement. Religion is easily used to support Uyghur national movement especially for minority Muslims in a none-Muslim majority. It makes the situation far more complex and explosive; c) the geopolitics and international politics influence more and more over the Uyghur national movement. The Uyghur has long been connected and influenced by world powers in history. With the interaction of great powers and the change of political map in Mid Asia, the Xinjiang issue would easily transcend into an international clash; d) that, the destiny of Uyghur national movement is of high uncertainty influenced by Chinese development. China has been growing fast and changing comprehensively. The uncertain future of China holds the key to the destiny of Uyghur nation.

3.2 The national separation

The Chinese, the Uyghur nationalists and the world community should be aware that, if the impending threatens to Uyghur cultural survival does not move away, the Xinjiang issue will continue exist. The coexistence of political community and cultural nation depends on the accurate contents of national cultural autonomy regulated by Chinese political institutions. It depends also on what political resources the Uyghur has to ensure its cultural autonomy and cultural independence.

For the Uyghur nationalists, one of the choices is to break away from the current regime and found a culturally homogeneous political unit. This would push the separatist movement higher to split this multi-nationality China .

However, it seems that this choice is impractical and too costly to bear. First, the creation of a new nation-state is a disavowal to former regime and, unavoidably involved with violence and conflicts. China would by no means accept it to destroy its sovereignty and national interests. It is impossible to separate from China peacefully. Unless there is immense changes happened in world structure and inside China concurrently, e.g. the total disintegration of Chinese regime, the extreme separatism will surely lead to violence and war. This is also a disaster to Uyghur nationalism. “If the war creates nation, it destroys nation too”26. For international community, it can not supply any definite support to Uyghur separatism in the foreseeable future. While the international community acknowledges and supports self-determination, too it will maintain the international order and stability de facto to avoid international conflicts resulted from pro-separation nationalist movement. Second, the sovereignty principle is universally recognized. When facing the dilemma, the majority would prefer to sustain the sovereignty de facto rather than the self-determination unless the weak minority endures unbearable injustice and can not be resolved through peaceful means, or not heavily costly. Last, the subject of self-determination is nation instead of the whole people. The Uyghur separatism must take into consideration of other nations’ interests in multi-nationality Xinjiang where other populous nations exist. It is too complicated and too difficult to resolve.

More importantly, national separation might not be the best choice for Uyghur nation itself. There is born defects in the self-determination theory. When the separation through self-determination becomes the unique end of nationalists, they must make all the members believe that the only way to end up the sorrows and injustice, which derived form the oppressions by major nationality in a state, is to fight for a new nation-state. Here, the nationalists must afford guidance to its utopia, that is, a nation-state without oppression or torture through separation. As we argued before, the cultural nation and political state can not be identified each other. The former stresses culture while the later emphasizes politics and law. If we identify nation to state, the nationalist would certainly require all members of a state to bear the same language, culture, religion and even the same ethnic, beside of the same political-legal characteristics. This ideology will surely induce extremist nationalism and even racial cleansing.

For Uyghur nationalists, the internal self-determination should be assured the same time the external self-determination achieved. However, separation from China will not assure automatically the liberal democracy protecting the uniqueness of national culture and individual rights. And, when the cultural differences involve into political game, emotional and irrational elements would surely function. When separation becomes the unique target, there would be no room for compromise and fierce political and military conflicts would be inevitable. Under such occasion the nationalists would mobilize its people with weapons such as emotion, beliefs and slogans instead of prudent rationality. This is a cultural, mysterious trap that Hans Kohn described. Here, nationalism justified itself by ancient legacy and future utopia. It creates a utopian state closely connected with past instead of present reality. It strives to realize it some time in future 27. Such kind of nationalism is surely an authoritarian regime, closed and backward. It fights against universality with uniqueness. During this process individual rights and value would be ignored or abandoned because it does not fit for the holy course. At the same time the development of nation would be looked down upon in pursuing a nation-state.

3.3 The prospect of Uyghur nationalism—an answer of culture-right-nationalism

Hence the Xinjiang issue, with the core of Uyghur nationalism, should be resolved peacefully with the cooperation between China and Uyghur nation. This depends on the effective protection for Uyghur and other national minorities in Xinjiang. It also depends on a political structure to realize the minority cultural rights. In turn a liberal democracy based on universal values such as limited state power, individual freedom and rights, civil society, instead of cultural national identities, should be established. China must push forward political reform to fit for the new situation. On the other hand, the Uyghur should give up “one nation, one state” ideology and violence. While seeking to protect and develop its national rights, it should bear in mind the difference between national identity and political identity and, try to realize its national interests through cultural rights. It should seek for international surveillance on Chinese government to protect the national culture, the minority autonomy and human rights effectively while acknowledging the Chinese sovereignty.


China should be aware that the separatism is in fact the crisis of state identity resulted from the illegitimacy of the current regime. The legitimacy of a given political system is related with the perception and beliefs among its members. The members think it to be proper. They believe the structure and institution of the system. They acknowledge the political regime in a certain limited area. The state should adjust itself in line with the social value and norms to maintain its legitimacy, because the society instead of the state has the final say. It is the same to nations. If a nation regards the state unfit for its national interests and values, the state legitimacy perishes.

Easton divides the political system into three levels: political community, political institutions and the authority28. Political legitimacy can be analyzed by these three levels. The support to political community is often called state identity. State identity crisis is the top legitimacy crisis. The political institution crisis and the authority crisis are less dangerous. Separatism belongs to the first level. It holds that the group or national interests could not be realized or maintained unless an independent state community be founded to safeguard its interests.

The essence of diversified democracy is to put the state identity on the basis of universal cultural and political identity that transcend beyond nation or group identity. There exist problems in current Chinese political arrangement to win the general state identity. It is not only reflected in the conflicts between nationalities but also in areas where the Han nationality composes the majority, e.g. Taiwan and Hong Kong . To realize political independency Taiwan tries exhaustedly and in some sense ridiculously to form its own cultural specifics from the common culture matrix in the veil of “de-Chinesization”. This reveals that the essence of China identity lies not on the external ethnic identity crisis but on the internal political system. Ironically it is in Hong Kong and Taiwan where peoples pursue political independence and autonomy, that Chinese traditional culture is better preserved than that in communist mainland. Therefore, the state identity crisis reflected in separatism shall not be resolved through compulsory assimilation.

China should be aware of the immense nationalist powers. Without hope to achieve nationalist interests peacefully, the nationalist separatism will not be ceased under merciless pressure; instead it will become the absolute value shared by most of a given minority, encouraging them to sacrifice for the holy course. Hence force and oppression is absolutely not a proper policy to resolve the Xinjiang issue in a long term. It is also dangerous to encourage Han immigrants in order to control Xinjiang forever. History proves that this policy brought only more segregation and conflicts. The Uyghurs will certainly resist it for fear of being marginalized. Another “West Bank” or a new “ Palestine ” bloody tragedy might appear in Xinjiang if this essential policy is not revised.

Also, the sovereignty is not the safe shell for China to resist external pressure on Chinese nationality issue. There are some essential values such as individual rights, constitutionality, limited government and human rights that are shared by international society. China can not escape from these duties that regulated by various international agreements that a sovereign state should obey. If China continues to explore advantage from the political dominance of the major nationality to enforce the minorities to accept the core value of the majority culture, the minority shall have the right to launch political movement to resist the threats. Even if China grows more powerful, even if China relies on the majority nationalism to oppress the minorities, it can not find a long and stable basis for its political legitimacy. The only long lasting legitimacy comes from freedom, equality, human rights and rule of law.

The problem can not be resolved if these institutions exist only literally. The measurement of progress lies not on the compulsory political explanations rather, it lies on the individual destiny. The relationship between state and individual is the touchstone for political systems. If literally protecting the rights of language, customs of minorities, at the same time denouncing free speech, free association, free publishing and free express, there would not be true state identity form groups or nationalities. Individual rights is an integrated whole including freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of language and freedom of religion, etc. No freedom of speech or express, there would be no ground for using mother language; it is impossible to endure minority folks and arts without endurance to thought and religion29.

It is truly difficult for China to resolve these problems but it is by no means at end of its wits to figure out a policy.

First, adjust the state behavior to fit the requirements from various nationalities and cultural groups. This is called by Easton “peculiar support”, e.g. export directly from given political system to win support from given groups or nations. “One country, two systems” is a typical example to give “peculiar support” to the former colonies of Taiwan and Hong Kong . The state should make some system arrangement to ensure the minority rights including the effective political participation in state and local levels: 1) to ensure the minority groups enjoy the right to express their interests in the central government level; 2) to ensure the minority right of election without discrimination; 3) to ensure the transparency and participation of minorities in regional and local political structure and decision-making process; 4) to set up consultant and negotiation institutions to maintain a fluent channel between the government and the minority groups. The Uyghurs should be granted some special rights in education, natural resources, rigid immigration and non-controlled birth. These measures will ensure the cultural rights of minorities in political structure and will lead to some mechanism and procedures to resolve the conflicts peacefully.

The second one is to reform state system to synchronize various cultures and promote the interests channels to assure identity. This is what Easton called “universal support”. The key to prohibit separatism is to strengthen the state community identity from all nationalities. This means the state value system is in harmony with nationality one so that the national interests could be well protected. For a multi-nationality state this means a value system shared by all nationalities. To achieve this target we must form a comprehensive culture that accepted by all nationalities. It is based on reason and universal humanity in order to build up an open, diversified and advancing society to enhance the general freedom and individual rights. It promotes the diversities of different cultures and leaves large political room for the further development of cultures. These rights shall not be violated: individuals to choose their way of life; individuals or groups enjoy the rights of free thought; to stick to their own chosen culture, religion and philosophy; to assemble freely; to hold their own value system and behavior standards. These rights are particularly imperative in China when protecting the groups and national cultures. Unless igniting crimes or hurt others, speech shall be free, or unconditional free.


For Uyghur nationalists, it is important to be aware that national independence is, if not absolutely impossible presently, too expensive to cost and harmful to the fundamental interests of their nation. And, they also should be aware of the potential danger. As a matter of fact the founding of a nation-state is not necessarily a shortcut to ensure their rights and prosperity.

Compromise sounds unsatisfactory to many of the Uyghur nationalists to reach their idealized expectation. However compromise is an important method to push democracy and peace. Usually compromise is a rational result of forces and careful consideration that could be accepted by both. Culture-right-nationalism requires that national self-determination be based on the individual self-determination by legal, peaceful and rational measures at its best. Thus it could be served as the basis for Uyghur nation to get a deal with China . The Uyghur nationalist should support and cooperate with the pro-democracy movement, even if it can not get support for its separatism in return. At the same time the Uyghur nationalist should use every opportunity to appeal for its cultural rights peacefully, to demand for true national autonomy, and, to share the benefit of Chinese modernity. In this way the culture-nationalism will surely win international sympathy and support if the Uyghur nationalists struggle peacefully, for the core value of culture-nationalism stands in line with the universal norms such as protecting diversities and individualism.

In turn, on the basis of cultural rights the Uyghur nation should promote “cultural development” and “political development” in order to realize a new nationality identity and state identity.

Culture-right-nationalism is consisted of special national rights and national cultural developing rights in terms of national identity. This demands that the nationalism must take individual rights as its core value, take individual liberation as its end. The collective rights shall not displace individual rights. Hence the Uyghur nationalists meet not only the task of protecting their traditional culture but also to develop it, which is much more crucial. The specialty of Uyghur national culture should not only be dug out and preserved, but also be promoted to a higher level of cultural identity and refreshment.

Development itself leads a standard to measure the progress and this standard can only grow from universal rights. In Europe and North America , nationalism goes together with the changing social, economical and political reality. It takes rationality and general humanism as its theoretical base, relates itself closely with democracy, liberalism and constitutionality, aims to individual liberation. However in Eastern countries, nationalism emphasizes on its cultural specialty and opposes openness. The protection to culture characteristics, including religion, language and living norms, should go in accordance with cultural innovation such as pursuing universal cultural rights to realize its political, economical and cultural self-determination. Culture protection is not identified with cultural conservatism or cultural relativeness. The culture-nationalism takes individualism as its root to achieve new association of new individuals. Its core is to refresh the national common idea. The common dominant ideal determines, in a large sense, the features of the given nationalism. The rational, liberal nationalism argues for free constitutionality and against authoritarianism or pluradlism. Rational nation is the result of rational mass, and rational mass come from education. Education by no means identifies to infusing. Instead, it leads to independent criticism and judgment among various contradictory arguments.

Language and letter is the important carrier of culture. It reflects the cultural contents of a given nation and it is also the symbol of history continuity and cultural independence. Language is not the culture itself however it can be used to convey values and thoughts. It should be noted that over-emphasis on national education specialty would damage the modern education30. The Uyghur nationalists should work to expand Uyghur culture by absorbing the modern civilization in order to educate modern Uyghur elites. The modern history proves that the colonial education incited the awakening of nationalism and intellectuals who had modern education are the pioneers and nucleus of nationalist movement.

On the issue of state identity, the Uyghur nation faces a transition from tradition to modernity. Modernity refers to cultural phenomenon connected with modernization. It resembles the new appearance of the former authoritarian structure and the birth of modern state. In pre-modern countries religion assumes the function of morality, economy, politics and education. The mysterious legitimacy supported the social morality and political beliefs. Modern countries are totally different from the pre-modern countries in social, cultural and legal terms. It destroys the legitimacy of power and authority in traditional society and creates diversities in religion, values, political parties and interests groups. Self-government to limit the conflicts between social members displaced the former absolutism. Rationality displaced the mythology; self-restraints replace the supernatural constraints; history relativeness displaced the absolute theology. The legitimacy of state comes from the permit of the people instead of the gods. Individualism, natural rights, equality before the law, power distribution between central and local governments under the direction of federalism…

The Uyghur nationalism should be aware that individual rights are more basic, absolute and none-volatile in comparison with state power. The pursuit for independent state should promote rather than violate individualism. In any case, there should be no illusion on omnipotent state during their struggling for national independence. It is dangerous to think that an independent state can resolve every problem. It is imperative to keep an eye on the state power, not only to prevent it from doing harm but also doing good as well31.

For the Uyghur nationalists, another important and practical task is to cultivate an independent, diversified, vivid and powerful civil society. If the misery comes only from external oppression the extremist political might work. However, internal elements such as cultural tradition, social structure and life style hamper the development too.

To sum up, the culture-nationalism pursues such a state that it does not take the common ancestors or origins as its base, nor take the national cultural tradition and inner resources as its legitimacy. It discriminates the state identity from national identity. It upholds a new identity, a new devotion to a integer that unifies various races and cultures, a devotion to a integer that identified and loved by all or majority, a devotion beyond races and ethnics. This common identity will exceed the narrow racial identity or religious identity. It is independent from the ethnic belongings, religion, culture and race. It is a concept, a sort of systems in connection with every individual rights and freedom. This higher identity is based on the universal and essential values shared by all nations. It is these basic and essential values that consolidate the foundation of liberal democratic states.

The international community

Minority political rights and cultural rights are basic human rights that all states are legally obliged to protect. These rights are listed in the United Nations Charter and other important international treaties such as “The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights” and “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. “Preamble of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” adopted by UN Assembly in December 12 1992 is one of the most popular documents currently protecting the minority rights. The Declaration grants to persons belonging to minorities “the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion and to use their own language in private and in public”; “the right to establish and maintain their own associations”. States are to protect and promote the rights of persons belonging to minorities “to exercise their rights, individually as well as in community with other members of their group, without discrimination”. This supplies the legal base for the international community to survey human rights and civil rights issues in a sovereign state. China has signed on these documents and thus has the obligation to be checked by the international community. In turn the international community is responsible to survey China human rights affairs.

The Xinjiang issue is closely connected with the political freedom and civil rights through out the whole country. Chinese government shall not justify its violation on human rights with the excuse of fighting against terrorism, whose definition should be in line with the international norms and standards. As a matter of fact, the Chinese government is now prosecuting minority dissidents mercilessly in the name of anti-terrorism. International community should condemn explicitly the large quantities of penalty on the peaceful dissidents by Beijing . Beijing shall not abridge the rights of express if the separatists demonstrate peacefully.

The international community should also monitor Chinese government to realize the autonomous rights and other freedoms such as religion, culture and languages listed on its constitution. The Chinese government should adopt necessary policies to restrain the immigration in Xinjiang and protect the economic and resource interests of local minorities.

* Dr. Robert Guang Tian is a professor of business administration at Coker College , SC. The author thanks Dr. Dru Gladney, a professor of Asian Studies at University of Hawaii , Dr. S. Frederick Starr, a professor of Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University , and Mr. Enver Can, President of East Turkestan (Uyghuristan) National
Congress (the umbrella body of the Uyghur groups abroad) among many others for their critic reviews and constructive suggestions.
1 Robert Tian, “The Implications of Rights to Culture in Trans-national Marketing: An Anthropological Perspective”, in High Plains Applied Anthropologist, No. 2, Vol. 20, Fall, 2000.

2 Benidict Anderson , Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism?Verso Books, 1991
3 Emest Gellner 1983?Anthony Giddens 1986,1990.
4 Anthony Smith 1986
5 L.H.Morgan, Ancient Society, London . Macmillan and Co. 1977
6 A. D. Smith, National Identity, London, Penguin Books, 1991, p.43; D.Beetham, The Future of the Nation State, in G. Mclennanetal, The Idea of the Modemstate, Milton keyens, open University Press, 1984, p.217
7 Lord Acton, Essays on Freedom and Power, The World Publishing Co., New York, 1955.
8 Biancamaria Fontana , Benjamin Constant: Political Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1988
9 Friedrech A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty , University of Chicago Press, 1960. Chapter 1.
10 M.Speering, National identity and European unity, in Michael Wintle (ed.), Culture and identity in Europe : perceptions of Divergence and unity in past and present, Ashgate, 1996, p.114.
11 Sir I. Berlin , Against the Current, ed. H. Hardy, Oxford University Press, 1981, p. 11.
12 Sir I. Berlin , Vico and Herder, New York : Vintage Books, 1976, p.145.
13 Y. Tamir, Liberal Nationalism, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1993: Chapter 1.
14 Sir I. Berlin , Vico and Herder, p. 175. The Crooked Timber of Humanity, p. 245
15 C. J. Hayes, Essays on Nationalism, New York : The Macmillan Company, 1928, p. 78.
16 Y. Tamir, Liberal Nationalism, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1993
17 Hans Kohn, The Ideas of Nationalism, New York : Macmillan Publishing Company, 1946,pp 18-20, 329-331.
18 L. L. Snyder, The Meaning of Nationalism, Westport : Greenwood Press, 1954, pp. 118-120.
19 Feliks Gross , The Civic and the Tribal State : the State, Ethnicity, and the Multiethnic State. Greenwood Publishing Group; 1998.
20 The relevant issues can be referred to the following works: A. D. Smith, Nations and Nationalism in Global Era, Cambridge , UK : Polity Press, 1995, pp. 147-160. Y. Tamir, Liberal Nationalism , Princeton: Princeton Unversity Press, 1993, pp. 140-167. J. Hutchinson, The Dynamics of Cultural Nationalism, London : Allen and Unwin, 1987, pp. 12-19; 30-36. J.Hutchinson, Modern Nationalism, London : Fontana , 1994, pp. 51-57.
21 Kymlicka, 1995
22 Feliks Gross, The Civic and the Tribal State : the State, Ethnicity, and the Multiethnic State. Greenwood Publishing Group; 1998.
23 Lisheng, Chinese Xinjiang: History and Actuality?Xinjiang Renmin Publishing, 2003, p.5.
24. These data are from Uyghur American Association (UAA) and Lisheng, op.cit. p. 5.
25 Graham E Fuller, S. Frederick Starr, The Xinjiang Problem, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, The Johns Hopkins University , 2003.
26 K.J.Holsti, Peace and War: Armed Conflicts and International Order, 1648-1989, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 324
27 Hans Kohn, The Ideas of Nationalism, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1946,pp 18-20, 329-331.
28 David Easton , A Systems Analysis of Political Life. Wiley, New York , 1965, Chapter 11-13.
29 Feliks Gross , The Civic and the Tribal State : the State, Ethnicity, and the Multiethnic State. Greenwood Publishing Group; 1998.
30 According to Porter, the immense catholic readings and French education harms severely the economic position for the French descendants in North America . N. F. Wiley, “The ethnic mobility trap and stratification theory’, Social Problems, vol. 15, no.2,1967, pp.147-159.?
31 Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia, Blackwell Publishers, 1978.


Vancouver Canada
24-04-08, 23:48
Uyghurlar milletchilik qilmisimu xitay qilidu hem Uyghurlarni milletchilik qilishqa qistaydu. xitaylar Uyghurlarning wetini Sherqiy Turkistan'din yer asti bayliqlirini talan-tarach qilish bilenla cheklinip qalmay, Uyghurlarning mediniyitini, tilini, orp-aditini yoq qilmaqta. unimu hem az dep, nopos kontrolliqi we planliq tughut siyasiti digendin bashqa, Uyghur qizlirini mejburi xitay tewelikige yotkep, Uyghurlarning noposini qisip, Uyghurlarni yer sharidin yoq qilishqa herket qilmaqta.

elwette bu dunyamu xitaydin sorap beqishi kirekki, Uyghurlarning milletchiliki qeyerdin kiliwatidu?

25-04-08, 02:57
Good job!!. congratulations for the author.

Here are several points need to considered:
1)Chinese invaded to east turkistan several time before the 7th century. But it was berief, and never able to fully control the region. The local kingdoms stayed as tributary kingdoms. So can not qualify for "Chinese lost of control" , that sounds like chinese really had control
2)Turkic not Turkey
3)Not separation but regain independence. Uyghurs are not trying to separate from somebody's homeland
4) Islamic fundamentalism almost does not exit among Uyghurs, if ever exists. Uyghurs independence movement is mostly secular nationalism.