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Unregistered
02-07-08, 17:04
Bu makaliga 2 ay boptu, shundak bolsimu post kilip koydum(HS Today digandin aldim)
by Matthew J. Durnin
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Page 2 of 3

In the lead-up to the Olympics, Beijing has liberalized a number of policies. However, it has made clear that it will not have its Olympic party spoiled by dissident groups and activists. The same security measures deployed to protect the games will be brought to bear on any disrupters, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) leadership has not been shy about communicating this ultimatum. According to the Chinese embassy’s website, the PLA’s duties will include preventing “disruption by organizations wanting to pressure the government during the games.”

Moreover, China has launched a preemptive strike on dissent before the Olympics. According to the Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights group based in San Francisco, Calif., official Chinese government statistics indicate a surge in the prosecution of politically related criminal charges. In 2006, the number of political cases heard by Chinese courts increased 20 percent from the previous year. This included 344 cases based on “endangering state security,” a charge whose application has incrementally risen since 2005, when there were 299 such cases.

Many sources also report that China is tightening the screws in its western provinces where there is a history of dissent and sentiments of separatism. While the best-known controversy is Tibet, an even tenser situation is present in China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang. The native people, Uyghurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), are primarily Muslims of central Asian descent, making them religiously, physically and culturally distinct from the majority Han Chinese. The Uyghur people have long sought autonomy, and the region briefly achieved independence from 1933 to 1934 and again from 1944 to 1949. Soon after, it was brought back into the fold as the communists took control of the country.

Whether Uyghur groups constitute a serious terrorist threat is a sticky issue. In 1997, roughly 1,000 Uyghurs clashed with military police in the town of Ghulja, resulting in anywhere between 10 and 200 deaths. A Uyghur group is thought to have retaliated by bombing three buses in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi shortly after, killing nine people. Throughout the remainder of the decade, there were rumors of small-scale separatist attacks, but the government denied the existence of any internal strife. This policy of denial suddenly changed following 9/11, when Beijing gauged that the wind was blowing in favor of preemptive action against terrorism. But the net cast was much wider than a few isolated separatist factions.

Rebiya Kadeer, a former Xinjiang business mogul and wife of a Uyghur activist, knows this all too well. She was arrested on her way to meet a researcher from the Congressional Research Service in 1999 and imprisoned for seven years. Kadeer was released a year early, in 2005, ostensibly for medical reasons, but more directly thanks to the lobbying of American non-governmental organizations and government officials. She now resides in Washington, DC, but her two sons remain imprisoned in China, and activists allege that one has been repeatedly tortured.

From her Pennsylvania Avenue office, Kadeer now lobbies for Uyghur rights through the Uyhgur American Association (UAA). She is known for her displomacy, but when her conversation with HSToday shifted to the effect the Olympics have had on her people, she didn’t equivocate: “The Olympics have brought nothing good to the Uyghur people and they have merely become an opportunity for the Chinese government to grossly violate our human rights.”

According to Kadeer and the UAA, China has tried to squelch any potential for Uyhgur dissent by drastically stepping up arrests and detentions, as well as requiring Uyghurs to turn in their passports beginning last spring.

As the Olympic opening ceremonies draw near, tensions between the central government and minority groups are bubbling to the surface. In March, Chinese officials reported an attempted terrorist attack on a flight originating from the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi. Chinese state media agencies reported that a teenage Uyghur girl and an unidentified male accomplice tried to set the plane ablaze with fuel-filled bottles. The would-be attackers were restrained by the crew, and the plane safely made an emergency landing. Chinese newspapers reported that the subsequent internal investigation uncovered serious lapses of security at the airport.

Meanwhile, in Tibet, years of dormant dissent erupted into heated protests this March as Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa to commemorate the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising. Large scale protests have been extremely rare in recent years; however, with the Olympic host under the international community’s magnifying glass, dissident voices have become bolder. While Chinese forces quickly subdued the Lhasa riots, the protest and violence quickly spilled over into neighboring provinces.

Unrest is not exclusive to minority groups, and confrontational incidents between people and the state over the last two decades have increased. According to figures published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, annual incidents of social unrest grew from 8,709 in 1993 to 32,000 in 1999 and then to 87,000 in 2005. In urban areas, this new wave of protests and rioting is primarily in response to government land grabs; in rural areas, heavy tax burdens imposed at both the local and federal level have pushed peasants to riot. As these issues have festered, confrontations between demonstrators and police have become increasingly frequent and violent.

While the Olympic games have perhaps been used as an excuse to crush dissent in the name of security, they also are simultaneously creating an impetus for reform. As a security industry professional with 16 years’ experience in the region, Chuck Dolejs believes that preparations for the games are an important step in increasing China’s accountability. “You have a society that is used to working from the inside,” he said, “but with the Olympics, China is exposed to international scrutiny and it is being forced to operate at a new level of transparency.”

Indeed, Beijing has made several conciliatory moves toward the international community, including a late February announcement that the government would resume an official dialogue with the United States on human rights. The dialogue was suspended in 2004 after the United States introduced a resolution addressing China at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, restrictions placed on foreign journalists have been relaxed.

Unregistered
04-07-08, 16:08
(''While the Olympic games have perhaps been used as an excuse to crush dissent in the name of security, they also are simultaneously creating an impetus for reform. As a security industry professional with 16 years’ experience in the region, Chuck Dolejs believes that preparations for the games are an important step in increasing China’s accountability. “You have a society that is used to working from the inside,” he said, “but with the Olympics, China is exposed to international scrutiny and it is being forced to operate at a new level of transparency.” )
Do they even care about international opinion or scrutny? They got what they wanted. the word of "force" doesn't work for Chinese. It is so sad Olympic is happening in China. We'll see. I might be wrong.