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UAA: potrebbero non risolversi le tensioni nel Turkestan orientale

L’Associazione Americana Uiguri (UAA) pensa che se gli ufficiali cinesi non includono gli uiguri nelle loro decisioni, il programma annunciato il 20 maggio dal presidente cinese Hu Jintao potrebbe non risolvere le tensioni etniche nel Turkestan Orientale.

Segue articolo in inglese:

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) believes that unless Chinese officials include Uyghurs in the developmental decision-making process and end repressive state policies, a massive aid program for East Turkestan announced on May 20 by Chinese President Hu Jintao will fail to resolve ethnic tensions in the region. The scale of the aid and the speed with which officials plan to implement heavy-duty investment, in the absence of any dialogue with the Uyghur population, may in fact further alienate an already marginalized and impoverished people. In addition, authorities’ continued reliance on brute force and repressive policies to ensure regional stability, and the failure to examine these policies, will only heighten discontent among Uyghurs, and will preclude the resolution of the region’s most pressing problems.

The economic development plan, announced on May 20 at a meeting of top Communist Party officials in Beijing, sets a goal of ending poverty in East Turkestan within ten years, investing 10 billion yuan in the region, and implementing fuel tax reforms. The meeting marked the opening of the much-anticipated “Xinjiang Work Forum”, aimed at boosting a regional economy that is lagging in the wake of unrest in the regional capital of Urumchi in July 2009. Top Party officials convened a similar work forum on Tibet earlier in the year.

At the meeting, President Hu also stressed the need for “comprehensive education about ethnic unity” and urged efforts “to oppose and strike down all ethnic separatist forces”. The comments echo remarks made by regional governor Nur Bekri in January of this year to crack down on “Uyghur separatists” and the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism as officials nearly doubled the security budget for East Turkestan. Chinese officials have consistently placed the blame for civil unrest on what they term a small minority of troublemakers rather than recognizing widespread discontent. More recently, new regional Party chief Zhang Chunxian pledged a renewed crackdown on “separatist elements” and vowed to “maintain stability above all else.” The May 10 remarks indicate that Zhang will not be a harbinger of change with regard to official Party policy toward Uyghurs.

Without addressing the policy shortcomings at the root of social discontent that lay at the heart of the July 2009 unrest, and including a Uyghur voice in the development process, regional stability will remain an elusive goal, and prosperity will remain beyond the reach of the Uyghur people.

The announcement of the new investment plan for East Turkestan follows a pattern of consistent top-down development carried out in recent years, under the auspices of the Great Western Development Drive (GWDD). Progress made under the auspices of the GWDD has been unequal, disproportionately benefitting Han Chinese settlers over Uyghurs and other “ethnic minorities”. Despite tremendous growth in the energy sector in East Turkestan in recent years, the wealth and benefits from this development, including employment opportunities, have been allocated unequally. Profits have remained in the hands of the Han-dominated energy industry in East Turkestan, and have also been diverted to eastern China, rather than to the indigenous, Uyghur population.

In addition, the development of basic infrastructure facilitates the in-migration of Chinese migrants into East Turkestan while transporting natural resources out of the region, exemplifying the traits of a colonial relationship between East Turkestan and the rest of China.

Chinese officials’ top-down approach to development in East Turkestan is perhaps best highlighted by the demolition of Kashgar’s Old City, which began in February 2009. Residents in the area, home to 220,000 Uyghurs and a vibrant hub of Uyghur culture, were not consulted regarding whether or not they desired to leave their traditional family homes. Official documents indicate widespread discontent with the “resettlement project”.

The autonomous framework for East Turkestan that was established by China’s constitution is frustrated by a lack of autonomy in practice, and exacerbated by the unequal distribution of power and wealth. Moreover, as a non-democratic society, no forum exists for Uyghur or Han citizens to express their disagreement with government policies, and no mechanism exists to promote public participation or consultation in policy decision-making processes.

Fonte: UAA, 23 maggio 2010