Beijing Anxiously Views Revolution in Kyrgyzstan

Beijing is watching with some anxiety events in the Central Asian land of Kyrgyzstan, a number of its propaganda mouthpieces have been issuing editorials expressing concern at the national uprising which erupted across Kyrgyzstan this week. Tyrannies always have a touch of nerves when witnessing people taking to the streets to oppose injustice, oppression and human rights violations.


The televised images that the world witnessed in Bishkek (capital of Kyrgyzstan) will have been uneasy viewing for China’s totalitarian regime, memories of Tiananmen Square and the innocent blood washed away under the grim shadow of the so-called Great Hall-of-The-People. The Kyrgyz uprising, though lacking the articulation and student inspired drive of that protest, was much more aggressive and willing to take on police and security forces.


It succeeded in driving into exile, former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, removed what Kyrgyz people have long complained was a corrupt and oppressive regime, and set up a provisional government, lead by previous foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva. This national revolution has given Communist China a number of reasons to be worried, including the strategic consequences of the military presence of the United States, which runs the Manas Air base  (a transit/deployment site for operations to neighbouring Afghanistan) and Russia which has an influential presence in the country.


What attracts most concern for the communist Chinese leadership is the fact that this landlocked state shares a 533-mile (858-km) border with territory occupied by China. Since China’s 1949 invasion of the formerly independent land of East Turkestan, (which communist China re-named as Xinjiang) the Uyghurs of East Turkestan have been subject to decades of repression and violence, and witnessed an assault upon their Muslim culture though increasing Chinese colonization.

There is an active resistance movement to restore independence for East Turkestan, and last year the capital, Urumchi, was the scene of a massacre by Chinese security forces that cracked down on a peaceful protest. The region is an acutely sensitive issue for communist China, and as with Tibet is controlled by a massive military and security presence. Any unrest among neighbouring Kyrgyzstan is therefore an immense concern for China’s blood regime, particular since within East Turkestan, there are over 145, 000 Kyrgyz, who will be looking with some considerable envy at the revolutionary achievements of their brothers across the border.


Beijing too would be alarmed that events there will inspire further resistance to Chinese occupation in East Turkestan among the Uyghurs, who share a common Central Asian and Muslim culture, very different to the imposed and alien Han traditions. There is a sensitivity too about the influence upon domestic Chinese people, themselves increasingly frustrated and angered by communist China’s degree of control, who are witnessing, via the Internet, scenes of open dissent, and discussing events on a number of Chinese social websites.


Beyond these pressing considerations, which are concentrating the thoughts of China’s Foreign Ministry, is a further uncertainty regarding how the overthrow of the Kyrgyz regime will impact, upon what Beijing considers to be a troubling military US and Russian influence in this stragetigcally crucial region. Meanwhile the oppressed peoples of Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria would surely have viewed the overthrow of a corrupt authority and dreamt of days-to-come.

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