A DECADE AFTER URUMQI RIOTS

Nonchalant Ambassador indulges in Grandiloquent Utterances

When Yao Jing, Ambassador of China to Pakistan ruminated on 5th July 2019 using the sobriquet

Sweet and peaceful homeland for people of all ethnics group

for Xinjiang. One could not help but smile in dismay and at the same time reel in anguish reminiscing about July 2009 riots of Urumqi.  One just can’t avoid taking note of the predicament of native Uyghurs in Chinese Internment Camps. 

An unabashed Yao Jing further elaborates:

It amuses one how insensitive the diplomat could be, noting that the very same day, ten years ago was witness to riots, rather pogroms of Uyghurs, a series of organized measures to marginalize the natives.   These measures are continuing till date.

That Catastrophic Day of 2009

On 5th  July 2009, a series of violent riots broke out in Ürümqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), the north-western part of People’s Republic of China (PRC).  The first day’s rioting saw the participation of at least 1,000 Uyghurs

It began as a peaceful protest but did also witness a dimension of violence once Uyghurs observed that nobody was ready to address their issues.  Further authorities deployed China’s People’s Armed Police

On 7th June 2009 hundreds of Han people clashed with both police and Uyghurs. According to PRC officials,  a total of 197 people died,  with 1,721 others injured and many vehicles and buildings destroyed. Many Uyghurs disappeared during wide-scale police sweeps in the days following the riots.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented 43 cases and said figures for real disappearances were likely to be much higher.

Genesis of Unrest

Rioting began when the police confronted a peaceful march demanding a thorough investigation into the Shaoguan incident a skirmish in southern China several days earlier in which two Uyghurs had been killed. 

An unfortunate incident took place in Shaoguan, Guangdong, where many migrant workers are employed to obviate shortages of labor.  A disgruntled former worker mischievously disseminated rumors in late June that two Han women had been raped by six Uyghur men.  Although official sources later denied the charges as they found no evidence to support the rape allegation.

On 25th –26th  June, tensions at the Guangdong factory led to a full-blown ethnic brawl between Uyghurs and Hans, during which two Uyghur co-workers were killed.  Exiled Uyghur leaders were of the opinion that the death toll was much higher.  Officials asserted that the person responsible for spreading the rumors had been arrested. Uyghurs alleged that the authorities had failed to protect the Uyghur workers or to arrest any of the Han people involved in the killings. They organized a street protest in  Ürümqi on 5th July 2009 to vent their anguish and to exhort the government to carry out a thorough investigation.

Further Developments

There is a dichotomy between versions of observers on the raison d’être of protests becoming violent. The PRC central government alleged that the riots themselves were planned from abroad by the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and its leader Rebiya Kadeer, while Kadeer denies fomenting the violence in her fight for Uyghur “Self-determination”.  Uyghur exile groups claim that the actual reason for the escalation was the use of brute force by police. 

The relevance of Rebiya Kadeer

Rebiya Kadeer is an ethnic Uyghur, businesswoman and political activist.  She was born on 15thNovember 1946 in the city of Altay of China.  Kadeer was an astute businesswoman.  She dabbled in real estate and through her hard work, perseverance and effective business strategies became a millionaire in the 1980s.  Kadeer rose to acquire various important positions in China’s parliament and other political institutions.  She was apprehended in 1999 on the allegation of divulging confidential reports to her husband Sidik Rozi.  Rozi worked in the United States as a pro-East Turkistan independence broadcaster.  In 2005 Kadeer had to flee to the United States to save herself from the wrath of Chinese authorities after obtaining her compassionate release.   Rebiya’s heart reached out to Uyghurs’cause as she herself had experienced malfeasance of Chinese authorities.  She agreed to be the figurehead in overseas Uyghur organizations such as the World Uyghur Congress.

Before this tryst with destiny, Rebiya Kadeer was indeed in good books of the Chinese government.  She was once appointed as a delegate to the eighth session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference under the aegis of the National People’s Congress.  She was also was a representative to the UN Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing in 1995.   Kadeer has also held important positions such as Vice Chairperson of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Federation of Industry and Commerce.  She was also Vice Chairwoman of the Xinjiang Association of Women Entrepreneurs.

Over the years Rebiya Kadeer has been able to remain relevant and keep bringing up the despicable plight and atrocities on Uyghurs to the attention of world media.  As the Group of 20 summits formally kicked off in Osaka on 28th June 2019, Rebiya Kadeer, requested Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring  Beijing’s alleged persecution of the majority-Muslim group in the country’s far west in the limelight, denouncing Japan’s inadequate handling of what is shaping up to be one of the top global human rights issues.

Kadeer told a news conference in Osaka that coincided with the first day of the G20 gathering of world leaders.  Some experts say up to 1.5 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims could be held in those facilities, often referred to by Chinese authorities as “re-education” centers.

Stark Reality of Re-education Centres

It is reported that around 1 million Uyghur Muslims have been arbitrarily held in what human rights groups call ‘Mass Detention Centres’. Former detainees recall physical and mental torture. They reveal forced consumption of pork and alcohol, the study of communist propaganda and Mandarin.

The detainees are made to sing the Chinese national anthem and communist songs, and show gratitude to Chinese Premier Xi Jinping through chants such as “Long live Xi Jinping!.” These conditions are corroborated by accounts of former detainees. They recount the inhuman conditions that include electrocution and the forcible consumption of an unknown medicine that caused loss of consciousness among other side effects.

Extradition of People in Exile

Amnesty International’s 2018 report states torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary arrests of Uyghurs with no access to legal counsels and imposition of travel restrictions that involve handing over passports to the police and submission of biometric data. Apart from harassing relatives of Uyghurs taking shelter abroad, China has also directly coerced countries such as Egypt to forcibly return Uyghur students and asylum seekers.

Strict mass surveillance is brought to light by a Human Rights Watch report that reveals the use of a certain mobile application (Integrated Joint Operations Platform) by the Chinese police to store data of Uyghurs for the purpose of surveillance. Surveillance through Han Chinese informants appointed by the state is also reported. It can be naturally expected that the Uyghur community will be discriminated against, through the tenets of the Social Credit System that the Chinese government plans to bring in by 2020.

Viewpoint

The Uyghur community has been persecuted en- masse in the pretext of ‘stability’ and ‘national security’. Surprisingly, Turkey is the only Muslim majority country to have publicly called out China on the inhuman treatment meted out to Uyghurs. Mohammed bin Salman, the Prince of Saudi Arabia, has defended China, stating that “China has the right to carry out anti-terrorism and de-extremization work for its national security”. Other Muslim majority countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan have been surprisingly mum on the issue.

The voiceless Uyghur community has received little international support except for condemnation from a few powerful countries, the UN and other human rights groups. However, a systematic violation of human rights such as this needs much stronger opposition.  Would the international community will pay heed and persuade China to refrain from gross violation of human rights?  Only time will tell.

05 Jul 19/Friday                                                          Written by Naphisa

HIGHER THAN MOUNTAINS, DEEPER THAN THE OCEAN: WHITHER PAKISTAN-CHINA FRIENDSHIP?

Exploitation of Pakistani Populace Betrays the Sentiment of the Phrase

“Higher than mountains, deeper than the ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey”that is how Pakistani politicians have been describing the relations between Pakistan and China.  But is the Dragon spewing only benign fire?  Is the cause of China investing its foreign reserves into Pakistan through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a noble one? Does China really want to eradicate Pakistan’s poverty and empower the downtrodden of Pakistan?

A recent news item suggests otherwise, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) got a whiff from their sources, regarding immoral trafficking. FIA promptly acted on the information and arrested Chinese nationals accused of indulging in devilish crime. The FIA busted a racket on 6th May 2019 of Chinese nationals involved in trafficking Pakistani girls to China by contracting marriages.

Deputy Director of FIA Jamil Ahmad Khan Mayo elucidated that the authorities, as part of their drive against foreigners involved in illegal activities in the country, nabbed a total of ten Chinese nationals on the allegations of trafficking young women to China after marrying them.  The suspects were apprehended during a raid, the FIA official said, identifying some of them as Wang Hao, Shui Sheli, Wang Yezho, Chang Shel Roy, Pan Khowajay, Wang Bao, Zoathi and a woman named Ken Dis.

According to the FIA officials, the suspects, with the assistance of Pakistani agents, conducted contracted marriages.   Unsuspecting local girls were then trafficked to China where the victims were forced into prostitution.  The accused include a Chinese woman as well.  The FIA also apprehended four Pakistani accomplices of the arrested Chinese nationals, officials said.

The Pakistani facilitators were identified as Qaiser, Kashif Nawaz, Ismail Yousuf, and Zahid Maseeh.  The suspected leader of the ring is the son of a Punjab Police officer, who had fled when the raid was conducted for his arrest. In order to trace the traffickers, FIA officials had also attended a wedding and collected particulars of the suspected Chinese nationals. They said the suspects would send Rs 50,000 each to families of the girls, who were trafficked.

Modus Operandi:

Pakistani families used to be approached by Chinese nationals and were told that they wanted to acquire Pakistani citizenship for which they needed to marry Pakistani brides so that they could invest into CPEC corridor. Advertisements to attract Pakistanis include posters proclaiming “Poor and Good Families are Required for China Urgently, Chinese Family will Take Care of All the Expenses.  Pak-China Dosti Zindabad”.  They lure a girl’s family by offering them money and then take the girl away from the unsuspecting family to induct her in human trafficking.

Genesis: Pakistan on the Brink of Bankruptcy

According to an estimate, Pakistan owes an astounding $90 billion to China, abating Pakistan’s economic ability to service a huge amount of national debt. Now Pakistan has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for the 13th time for a bailout package. IMF has asked Pakistan to share with them the details of the debt, they owe to China under the provision of CPEC. 

With the appointment of Dr Reza Baqir who is working for IMF in Egypt,  as Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan is expecting a favorable package.  But opposition particularly Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is crying hoarse over the appointment. The adverse feeling was well enunciated in spokespersonMarriyum Aurangzeb’s rhetoric wherein, she equated IMF with East India Company. Under the given circumstances Pakistan appears to have been caught between the devil and the deep sea.

Organ Harvesting

Organ transplantation is a legal medical procedure that is highly regulated. The World Health Organization produced a publication called the Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation to standardize the practice of organ transplantation. For example, Principle 1 requires consent from the donor to organ removal for the purpose of transplantation. Principle 10 requires traceability of organ transplants and Principle 11 – that donation activities be transparent and open to scrutiny.

By contrast, organ harvesting is the illegal practice of removing organs from individuals (whether dead or alive) without their consent. It is common knowledge that Chinese government is in the practice of killing prisoners of conscience (particularly, religious minorities, including Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, and Christians) to supply the organ harvesting industry.  Possibility of utilizing Pakistani girls for organ harvesting cannot be ruled out. 

The Reaction of a Pakistani Common Man

People are still reeling under shock.  They feel that the Pakistani army is not only willing to get into indebted servitude of China but also suggesting that it is okay to buy Pakistanis, exploit them, sex traffic them and authorities will continue to look the other way.  A common Pakistani feels that slowly, gradually but surely Pakistan is turning into a subservient alliance or rather a de-facto colony of China.  Expressing deep anguish over the present state of affairs Pakistanis are dismayed at the helplessness of their country. 

The root cause of things reaching such a nadir perhaps lies in the miserable fiscal state of the country.   China on the pretext of giving financial aid has a plan of acquiring major assets including ports, road, and rail networks.  Large tracts of Pakistani soil will be ceded to China. Pakistanis will eventually be reduced to a helot class in their own country.  When Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan was asked in a recent interview about atrocities inflicted on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang he chose to feign ignorance about the issue.

It is an established fact that concentration camps euphemistically called internment training camps are being held in Xinjiang wherein Uyghur people are brainwashed, forced to eat pork and consume liquor reviving the long forgotten practice of gulag.  A chest-thumping Prime Minister is refusing to acknowledge the existence of these so-called internment camps is really despicable and exhibits his servitude to China.  The threat to Pakistan is actually emanating from China.  Pakistan is on the verge of losing its identity.  Pakistan womenfolk are getting insulted and humiliated by China.  The credulous ladies are duped and taken to China for prostitution.

It amounts to backstabbing by a country which has time and again been hailed by Pakistan administration as an all-weather ally.  This so-called all-weather ally is changing the character and identity of Pakistan. Even the development in the name of CPEC is benefitting China more than Pakistan as maximum orders are going to Chinese companies.  The complete province is being taken over by China.  The country seems to be destined to doom. 

Viewpoint

When we look at the figures,  a mere  50,000/-  or at the most up to 2.5 – 3 Lakh rupees in some cases, is the amount being quoted, which is offered to Pakistani girl’s family.  This is a paltry sum for the modesty, dignity, and life of a human being? Are daughters of Pakistan so pregnable?

Furthermore,  is the motive of crime only to derive physical pleasure exploiting a helpless human being?  Is there a bigger plan that is to change the demographic profile of Pakistan?  China,  they say,  plans for the next 100 years and they follow that plan to the hilt, come what may.  It seems taking a leaf out of Genghis Khan’s book, the Dragon in their quest of realizing Great Chinese Dream of dominating the world has devised a heinous method to conquer its naïve and vulnerable neighbour, who is in no position to resist its economic overtures.  If Dragon succeeds in its sinister designs, within a short span of 2-3 decades complete Pakistan would be infested with faces with Chinese characteristics ie Mongolian features. 

07 May 19/Tuesday                                                               Written by Naphisa

CHINESE J-20 REDUCED TO SITTING DUCKS WITH S-400

India RussIa S-400, All you need to know

With the upcoming purchase of S-400 India once again manages to alter the perception of strategic balances in Asia.

The S-400 is a single jack of all trades system that is designed to provide formidable air and missile defense over a wide area. The system uses multiple types of interceptors based on the targets range. The insane 40N6 (~ 400 kms), the very long range 48N6 (250 kms), the long-range 9M96E2 ( ~120 kms) and medium-range 9M96E ( 40kms).

The S-400 includes up to eight anti-aircraft missile systems, each equipped with up to 12 launchers, a system command post, a radar center, a mobile tower for antenna post, anti-aircraft guided missiles, a technical support system and means of providing technical maintenance for the missiles. Its Interception range exceeds the American analog THAAD by 2-3 times.

According to the table above, the S-400 comes across as the most advanced serially produced air defense missile system in the world. Its closest rival is American Patriot with both systems capable of shooting down both aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Why India chose S-400 over PAC System

Here is a comparison of technical parameters:

S-400 can shoot down targets moving at a speed of 17 km/hour. (while Patriot/PAC-3 could only shoot down a target moving at 8 km/hour)

S-400 can engage with 72 targets simultaneously and track 160 targets at the. Same parameters for Patriot are 36 and 125 targets

S-400 locates a target at 600 km distance and can destroy at 400 km range (with the latest 40N6E missile that just has been successfully tested). Patriot can locate a plane at 180 km and an enemy’s missile at 100 km

S-400 is able to down targets flying as low as 10 meters and as high as 30 km while Patriot PAC-3 destroys its lowest target at a height of 50 meters with the highest at 25 km

The deployment time for S-400 and Patriot PAC-3 is 5 minutes and 25 minutes respectively.

Various informed sources have said that to hit an aircraft with a probability not less than 0.99, one will have to launch 1-2 S-400 missiles or 2-3 Patriot missiles. In case of fighting off a ballistic missile attack, the ratio will be 1 / 2 or 3 in favor of S-400.

S-400 can also hit difficult ballistic targets at distances up to 60 km, The ability to shoot down the high-speed targets of S-400 almost equals THAAD (around 17 km/hour),” a defense industry source said.

Cost

Russian S-400 can unite functions of  Patriot and THAAD, therefore, reduced cost.

Field Report

The Patriot system’s usage during actual deployment situations has left room for doubt over its performance. For example, after the 1991 Gulf War it was revealed that only a percentage of Iraqi SCUD missiles were actually shot down by Patriot batteries guarding Saudi Arabia and Israel. In case of the Iraqi missile strike against the American military barracks in Dhahran (Saudi Arabia) in February 1991 the failure of the Patriot intercept left to a tragedy; 27 troops were killed, about 100 wounded.

In 2003, also the overall performance was better; there were also cases of failed intercepts of the outdated ballistic missiles launched by Saddam’s army in the first days of the invasion. The effectiveness of Patriot systems proved to be low despite almost ideal conditions: low-speed targets, solitary launches, absence of ECM environment and false targets.

After 1991 and 2003 significant upgrades are reported to be made but the Saudi experience of countering the Yemeni missiles (November 2017 missile attack against Riyadh) shows almost the same lack of efficiency.

However, the S-400 is yet to be tested in battle so there is no record of it having been fired during actual combat. The system has been deployed in Syria, but didn’t engage any targets yet. There have been reports that the S-400 deployment effectively converted the Russian operating zone over Syria into a ‘No-fly-zone.’

Shortcomings

Combat use of the Patriot systems has also highlighted some shortcomings of the system: high sensitivity to sand ingestion and unstable electric supply. There have also been reports of accidental launches.

At par with Chinese missile systems

It is interesting to note that China which has its own anti-aircraft and anti-missile air deference system, choose to buy the S-400. Increasing US aircraft activity in the South China Sea is believed to have forced China to buy the S-400 from Russia; in the process acknowledging that its own home-grown air defense system was not sufficient to counter sophisticated US aircraft such as the F-35 and F-22.

Technological advancement

An ace up the sleeve of the S-400 is said to be its ability to detect stealth aircraft such as the F-35 and Chinese J-20 which are characterized by a low radar signature. Exact how effective is this stealth objects detection capability is not known. The same would apply to the Chinese J-20 now as S-400 is being purchased by India.

Continuous Technical support

Buying military goods from the US comes with a lot of attached baggage and just too many do’s and don’t’s inclusive of the uncertainty attending on the spares supply, which can be stopped at any time on congressional whim and an administration’s fancy.

Viewpoint

Many factors have motivated India’s quest for tightening its defense system – especially missiles. With COMCASA, S-400, Rafael, T-72 engine upgrade and various ISRO projects like Chandrayaan-2, GSAT-11, GSAT-29, GSAT-7A, RISAT-1A mission, India has strengthened its combat prowess and cut Pakistan to its size, and left big brother China worried.

R&D and innovation are important determinants of defense production capabilities and India as a country has a long way to go to be self-sustainable. The technology change in the information arena, the biological arena, and the nano-technology arena is not only going to have a profound impact on military operations but will also require a much more responsive defense industry, especially in light of the decreasing predictability of future needs.

A vibrant defense industry is a crucial component of effective defense capability, and to achieve national sovereignty and military superiority. Concerted efforts in this direction will prove handy in the long run for India.

04 Oct 2018/Thursday        Written by   Afsana 

CHINESE FEAR LINKED TO CPEC

Chinese Embassy said a member of a banned terrorist group has sneaked into Pakistan to assassinate the envoy. The letter was written by the focal person for the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Ping Ying Fi. Fi asked the interior ministry to "enhance the protection" of the ambassador and other Chinese working in the country.Earlier in Pakistan, three Chinese workers were assassinated in Peshawar in 2007, while Al Qaeda’s regional franchise, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed a Chinese engineer in a 2009 ambush. Four Chinese  engineers were killed during 2016; two in a roadside blast in September and another two Chinese engineers were killed by unidentified assailants in November in Pasni. In March 2012, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for killing of a Chinese woman, saying it was in revenge for China’s killing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.  The Chinese woman was shot in a market in Peshawar, along with a Pakistani national. In June 2013, Pakistani militants dressed in Gilgit Scouts uniforms killed 10 climbers (including two Chinese nationals – Chunfeng Yang and Jianfeng Rao) and a local guide in area of Nanga Parbat. The killings were claimed by TTP

 Viewpoint

China has scaled massive cultural invasion in Pakistan to facilitate the CPEC.The killing of Chinese nationals Lee Zingyang (24) and Meng Lisi (26) in Pakistan post abduction from Quetta, capital of Balochistan, on May 24 was hardly a stray incident. Had the killings not been announced by the Islamic State, Beijing and Islamabad would have suppressed the news. According to Zaidi, Senator Tahir Mashhadi (former Lt Col of Pak army) and presently Chairman of the Standing Committee on Planning and Development, Pakistan, describes the CPEC corridor as the advent of “another East India Company in the offing.” Presently there are some 4,00,000 Chinese nationals pan-Pakistan, including 25,000 in Islamabad alone.In Pakistan, some 8000 children are learning Mandarin with 20,000 Chinese expats expected in Pakistan over the next five years. Providing security to Chinese nationals in such large numbers is not going to be easy, even as China may encourage more and more Chinese girls to marry Pakistanis. Significantly, Chinese nationals have also been arrested for cyber crimes among others, though these reports are suppressed. However, the Chinese public can’t be fooled as in yesteryears despite the media control and propaganda. And, this will become more and more difficult with more Chinese targeted in future which appears inevitable. Given the ethno-religious rivalries in Xinjiang and Pakistan, coupled with booming Wahabism in the Pakistan, how radicalized Pakistan will respond to this cultural invasion may hold surprises for China. Other significant factors are economy, employment and finances. China’s BRI, and its flagship CPEC is nothing but debt instrument that can and will drive Pakistan towards bankruptcy. Publication of China’s CPEC Master Plan in the ‘Dawn’ should have rung alarm bells in not only in Pakistan but also Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Beijing knows there is a serious ethno-religious-radical Islam problem in the region. The ISIS is consolidating in Af-Pak and the Al Qaeda-ETIM have their designs for Xinjiang. Besides, thousands of Uighurs fighting in Syria-Iraq yearn for Han blood when they revert home.China, in conjunction Pakistan, hopes to divert this collusive radicalized mass to Afghanistan and India, which is serious miscalculation. But the gravest error of Xi Jinping is in hoping that China’s BRI-OBOR-CPEC will replace the dollar with the Yuan without any retaliation. Pakistan is riding a tiger it cannot handle. China will learn that lesson soon.