Beijing [China], July 22 (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day visit to Xinjiang, where he was criticised for actions against Uyghur Muslims, signals no change in his Uyghur policy.
"Xi's visit certainly is a symbol that Beijing feels firmly in control of the region," avers Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation said.
The Chinese President's visit signalled a two-fold message to the world, firstly that there is no question of relaxing the iron grip over Xinjiang which serves as a direct link to Central Asian, West Asian and European markets and secondly that his regime does not accept the US-led global criticism, according to The Hong Kong (THK) Post.
Moreover, Xinjiang is at the heart of his flagship programme, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is from here that the BRI showpiece, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) takes off to provide direct access to the Arabian coast.
Notably, Xi last visited the region eight years ago before the present crackdown, seen as genocide, was unleashed on the Uyghur minority.
Xinhua circulated a photo showing Xi surrounded by Uyghurs, wearing ethnic costumes and Muslim prayer caps clapping with smiling faces. According to the publication, the photo was no more than a PR exercise.
It barely hides the fact that Beijing is rattled by the spectre of sanctions and consequent loss of the global market that its practices among the Uyghurs have invited, reported THK Post.
Like Tibet, China is doing the same thing in Xinjiang, trying to bring a massive demographic transformation, while tapping into its vast deposits of coal, gold, tungsten, oil, tin, silver, copper, lead and salt. It is said that uranium also exists in such large quantities to make Xinjiang a prime source of supply of nuclear material.
As a result, the population of Han Chinese in the region reached 40 per cent in 2010 from a meagre 6 per cent in 1945. They have captured the job market with as many as 65 per cent of Han Chinese employed in the secondary and tertiary sectors. The bulk of the locals at 81 per cent of the indigenous population, make a living on agriculture and allied activities.
The demographic changes and increased economic exploitation have given rise to ethnic discord, which the CCP is blaming on separatism, violent extremism and terrorism, according to THK Post.
Uyghur Muslims have especially become the target of the CCP after the commencement of the BRI initiative. Because CCP is worried that massive BRI investment in Xinjiang is susceptible to risk. Hence it has hit upon a "three-evil card of terrorism, separatism, and extremism" as a pretext to suppress the Uyghur Muslims and to ensure that its investment is safe. (ANI)