In this paper, FDI associate Samah Ibrahim assesses the possible security implications of the crackdown on the minority Uighur population in north-western China. She finds that it could undermine aspects of the Belt and Road Initiative, especially if regional militants use it as a cause to rally support.
- China’s policies that target the Uighur minority and their Islamic faith continue amid limited international response.
- While Xinjiang’s geographic location is beneficial to China’s Belt Road Initiative, the Uighur repression could trigger militant groups on the adjoining Pakistani and Afghan borders.
- The Islamic State in Khurasan group could utilise the situation to entice other militant groups to overcome their ideological differences and join it in its fight against Chinese repression.
- China’s crackdown on the Uighurs could backfire against its Han population in Xinjiang and possibly elsewhere in China.
The paper can be downloaded HERE.