Xinjiang

A paramilitary police officer stands guard on the Tiananmen Square, in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 8 March 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Ethnic minority leaders for the Central Committee: Countdown to CCP's 20th Party Congress

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, analyses ethnic minority representation in the CCP leadership past and present and picks out the ones to watch in the lead-up to the 20th Party Congress.
Members of the honour guard prepare for a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 25 October 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

The PLA’s political role: The party still, and must always control the gun

While the Chinese government has paid more attention to the navy and air force contingents of the People’s Liberation Army in recent times, it is still the land forces that have the most political influence. The party is well aware that it is the latter’s might they would need in the event of internal uprisings and it is this constituent’s loyalty and strength they must ensure.
Uzbekistan, Central Asia, early 20th century. A Mongolian yurt stands amid the wide grasslands, as people gather in front of the yurt. A fire for cooking has gone out, and guests are getting on their horses to leave as the host family comes out to see them off. The men on horseback are wearing long robes with slits on the side, with black sheepskin hats. Nomadic men like wearing clothes that are convenient for riding and keeping warm.

[Picture story] China’s western frontier and beyond

Taiwanese historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao considers China's historical engagements with its western frontier and the lands beyond it, and takes note of what the Chinese have documented and popularised in their version of the history of cultural exchanges with civilisations across Asia and Europe. With photos and drawings by young artist Brian Hsu, he brings us through history for a peek at those times.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gesticulates during a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister following talks at the Chancellery on 9 February 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Michele Tantussi/Pool/AFP)

Will Germany's new government be tougher on China?

After 16 years in office, Angela Merkel handed over the German chancellery to Olaf Scholz in December. How should we evaluate her legacy regarding China and, with the new German government almost two months in, what can be said about the future of Germany’s China policy?
Students gather as schools transition to in-classroom teaching amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Jakarta on 3 January 2022. (Adek Berry/AFP)

China’s Islamic diplomacy in Indonesia is seeing results

China’s efforts at Islamic diplomacy — including providing scholarships for Indonesian students and inviting leaders of Islamic organisations to visit China — seem to be paying off, at least in producing young academics like Novi Basuki, who has been defending China’s actions in Xinjiang. NTU academic Leo Suryadinata tells us more.
People watch a screen with live footage of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, on 4 February 2022. (AFP)

Will political bickering overshadow sports events at the Beijing Winter Olympics?

Yu Zeyuan takes stock of the barbs that have been traded by mainstream Western media and Chinese state media at the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics. It seems that references to political issues such as Xinjiang and Taiwan have been thrown in by both sides. After this snowball fight and the warm glow of the opening ceremony, is it time to get down to the sports?
Police officers patrol the square in front of Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, 3 May 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Why Indonesia's Muslim organisations are not critical of China's Xinjiang policy

China's faith diplomacy towards Muslim organisations in Indonesia appears to have silenced critics of its policy towards the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Among its efforts, Beijing has portrayed itself as an ally of moderate Muslims against extremism, and invited Indonesian clerics several times to Xinjiang to give them a firsthand look into conditions there. In return, major religious figures in Indonesia have called on Indonesians not to criticise China over the Uighur issue. This is likely to continue as long as the Indonesian government sees benefits in its links with China.
People walk on the pedestrian bridge at the Bluewaters Island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8 December 2021. (Satish Kumar/Reuters)

US-China competition in the UAE: A tussle in the desert

Unlike the Soviet Union, China has an arsenal of economic tools at its disposal in wooing US allies. This is plainly seen in the UAE-China relationship, in which bilateral trade in 2021 was more than double that of UAE-US trade for the same period. Security and defence ties are also strengthening. As dictated by the laws of the free market, the one who offers the best deal wins. As such, the US will have to do better than just rely on coercive tactics.
A view shows a burning police car during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 5 January 2022. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)

US, Russia and China using Kazakhstan unrest as a proxy

China and Russia have been quick to point to external hands, namely the US’s, in stoking recent unrest in Kazakhstan. But the main issue is not so much what precipitated the unrest, but how it has been expedient for major players US, Russia and China to capitalise on it for geopolitical gain. Zhang Chi analyses the situation.