Saturday March 1, 2014’s horrific terror attack at China’s Kunming railroad station left 29 victims dead and over 100 wounded. The terrorist attack was the work of Uyghur separatists hailing from Western China’s Xinjiang province. The US would only condemn the attack as an act of terror after China accused Washington of applying double standards to its coverage and stance on the incident.
However, the US’ failure to initially condemn the attack as terrorism runs deeper than mere superficial double standards applied to a global competitor. The US is in fact driving the separatist movement in Xinjiang, encouraging violence and creating faux-human rights organizations to then condemn the predictable response of Chinese security forces.
Indeed, first and foremost in backing the Xinjiang Uyghur separatists is the United States through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). For China, the Western region referred to as “Xinjiang/East Turkistan” has its own webpage on NED’s site covering the various fronts funded by the US which include:
International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation
To advance the human rights of ethnic Uyghur women and children. The Foundation will maintain an English- and Uyghur-language website and advocate on the human rights situation of Uyghur women and children.
International Uyghur PEN Club
To promote freedom of expression for Uyghurs. The International Uyghur PEN Club will maintain a website providing information about banned writings and the work and status of persecuted poets, historians, journalists, and others. Uyghur PEN will also conduct international advocacy campaigns on behalf of imprisoned writers.
Uyghur American Association
To raise awareness of Uyghur human rights issues. UAA’s Uyghur Human Rights Project will research, document, and bring to international attention, independent and accurate information about human rights violations affecting the Turkic populations of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
World Uyghur Congress
To enhance the ability of Uyghur prodemocracy groups and leaders to implement effective human rights and democracy campaigns. The World Uyghur Congress will organize a conference for pro-democracy Uyghur groups and leaders on interethnic issues and conduct advocacy work on Uyghur human rights.
All of these NED-funded organizations openly advocate separatism from China, not even recognizing China’s authority over the region to begin with – referring to it instead as “Chinese occupation.”
Of the recent terror attack, the US-funded World Uyghur Congress would even attempt to justify it by claiming Chinese authorities have left the separatists with little other choice. The US State Department’s “Radio Free Asia” report titled, “China’s Kunming Train Station Violence Leaves 33 Dead,” reported:
World Uyghur Congress spokesman Dilxat Raxit said in an emailed statement that there was “no justification for attacks on civilians” but added that discriminatory and repressive policies provoked “extreme measures” in response.
Just as the US has done in other nations it is fomenting political chaos and armed violence in such as Syria, it is attempting to steer clear of labeling the Xinjiang separatists as “terrorists” for as long as possible in order to sow the maximum amount of chaos at the cost of Chinese political stability.
All Part of the Plan
The US’ support of the Xinjiang separatists is just one small cog in a much larger machine grinding toward the encirclement and containment of China, while maintaining American hegemony across the Asia Pacific, Central Asia, and beyond. The use of faux-human rights organizations to defend what is essentially a terrorist organization is a trick the US has repeated in Russia’s Caucasus region.
This containment strategy is documented in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral” where it outlines China’s efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in the “international system” as responsible stakeholders (fall in line,) an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation.
This includes funding, arming, and backing terrorists and proxy regimes from Africa, across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and even within China’s territory itself. Documented support of these movements not only include Xinjiang separatists, but also militants and separatists in Baluchistan, Pakistan where the West seeks to disrupt a newly christened Chinese port and pipeline, as well as the machete wielding supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – yet another site the Chinese hope to establish a logistical hub.
US aspirations to contain China through a network of proxies dates back even further than the SSI 2006 report. In US policy scribe Robert Kagan’s 1997 piece in the Weekly Standard titled, “What China Knows That We Don’t: The Case for a New Strategy of Containment, he states (emphasis added):
The Chinese leadership views the world today in much the same way Kaiser Wilhelm II did a century ago: The present world order serves the needs of the United States and its allies, which constructed it. And it is poorly suited to the needs of a Chinese dictatorship trying to maintain power at home and increase its clout abroad. Chinese leaders chafe at the constraints on them and worry that they must change the rules of the international system before the international system changes them.
In truth, the debate over whether we should or should not contain China is a bit silly. We are already containing China — not always consciously and not entirely successfully, but enough to annoy Chinese leaders and be an obstacle to their ambitions.
Kagan would continue (emphasis added):
We should hold the line instead and work for political change in Beijing. That means strengthening our military capabilities in the region, improving our security ties with friends and allies, and making clear that we will respond, with force if necessary, when China uses military intimidation or aggression to achieve its regional ambitions.
It is clear that the writings of Kagan are not just simply his own personal thoughts in 1997, but reflect a policy that has since then been implemented vis-à-vis China. It is also clear that “with force” does not necessarily mean the mobilization of America’s conventional military assets, but also includes covert and proxy forces as seen more recently in Libya and Syria.
The horrific attack in Kunming China is not an isolated incident. It is a tentacle of America’s containment policy manifested as terrorism toward China briefly breaking the surface of murky geopolitical waters. For the rest of the world increasingly influenced and dependent on the sustainable and stable rise of China on the world stage, it is essential to understand the true nature of events playing out within China and along its peripheries. Failing to do so leaves us vulnerable to investing in false causes that will only further destabilize China, Asia, and the world – threatening our best interests while serving the machinations of Wall Street/Washington yet again.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”