Ethno-diplomacy: The Uyghur Hitch in Sino-Turkish Relations
Beginning in 1949, China responded to so-called Uyghur separatism and the quest for Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) independence as a domestic problem. Since the mid-1990s, however, when it became aware of the international aspects of this problem, Beijing has begun to pressure Turkey to limit its support for Uyghur activism. Aimed not only at cultural preservation but also at Eastern Turkestan independence, Uyghur activism remained unnoticed until the 1990s, despite the establishment in 1971 of Sino-Turkish diplomatic relations. Possibly less concerned about the Uyghur threat than it suggests, Beijing may simply be using the Uyghurs to intimidate and manipulate Turkey and other governments, primarily those in Central Asia.
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