Radical groups in Xinjiang have been a cause of rising concern for the Chinese government shaping a twin approach of using both hard and soft measures to contain the three evils of ‘separatism, terrorism and extremism.’The international reach of these groups, mainly Islamist–inspired ones, has rendered the Muslim communities in Xinjiang vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. In addition, greater propaganda through accessibility to electronic communications or the virtual world, has abetted their aspirations of use of violent extremism as a means to gain leverage against the state.This paper thus seeks to understand the nature of political and religious influences on the indigenous communities, especially the Uyghurs, in light of the much decried ‘political re-education camps’ as well as decipher China’s approach to de-radicalisation of these violent groups. It further attempts toexamine the nature of prevent strategies undertaken by the state to help vulnerable individuals by involving communities and public bodies to build up resilience against the lure of terrorist causes. It also ponders over the question whether these strategies are indeed adequate to de-radicalise or are counter-productive leading to the build-up of a ‘police-state’ in the region.
About the Speaker
Bhavna Singh is Associate Fellow at the Center for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.She previously worked as a Senior Research Officer with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi (2010-2013) and was later associated with the V-Dem project based at Gothenburg University Sweden. Her work focuses on Chinese Nationalism, sub-regionalism and China’s foreign policy. She is particularly interested in separatist and sub-national tendencies in the regions of Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and Inner Mongolia. She is the author of the book ‘China’s Discursive Nationalism: Contending in Softer Realms’ (Pentagon Press; New Delhi, 2012) and Co-editor for ‘India, China and sub-regional connectivities in South Asia’ (SAGE 2015) and has written for several esteemed journals like the Economic and Political Weekly, Mainstream Weekly, Nam-today, World Focus, Epilogue and the China Daily and several web portals like the ISN-ETH Zurich. She was part of the youth exchange delegation between China and India in the year 2008, was nominated to the ‘Taiwan Study Camp for Future leaders of South Asia’ in 2010 and participated in the One Belt One Road Summit organised by the Shaanxi University in 2016.
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