The Three Evils (simplified Chinese :三个势力; traditional Chinese :三個勢力; lit. : 'three forces/influences') is a political slogan of the People's Republic of China defined as terrorism, separatism (or "splittism") and religious extremism. The phrase refers to declared counter-terrorism operations undertaken by China, Central Asian republics, and Russia, primarily as related to Xinjiang. The Chinese government views each of the Three Evils as interrelated phenomena driving persistent instability in the westernmost province of Xinjiang, and the slogan has been deployed extensively in support of Xinjiang re-education camps since 2017.
Xinjiang is the westernmost province of China and the historical home of the Uyghur people, who speak a language unrelated to Chinese and predominantly practice Islam. The region has been the site of significant tensions under Chinese rule, and attempted to declare independence first as the short-lived First and Second East Turkestan Republics in 1933 and 1944, respectively, ultimately being occupied by the People's Liberation Army in 1949.
China first seriously faced issues of ethnic violence in Xinjiang beginning in the 1990s, such as with the 1990 Baren Township riot, though such incidents were generally classified as "social unrest" until after the September 11 attacks, when the government began to refer to them more in terms of terrorism.Much of the Uyghur discontent stemmed from economic inequality between Uyghurs and Han Chinese migrants, suppression of Uyghur religious practices, and state preference for Han over Uyghur culture, among other issues. Counterterrorism became a much larger Chinese government priority overall after the ascension of Xi Jinping in 2012; following a lull from 2001-2007, militant and terrorist activity had increased notably.
Human Rights Watch has criticized counter-terrorism cooperation by members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in targeting the three evils, accusing the members' governments of violating international laws regarding human rights.Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said, "For many years SCO governments have been criticized for their poor human rights records. The SCO's policies could worsen human rights conditions and seek to justify abuse. It's therefore imperative that the European Union and the United States place even greater emphasis on human rights issues in the region."
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003. The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996. Since then, the organisation has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The East Turkestan independence movement, also known as the Xinjiang independence movement or the Uyghur independence movement, is a political movement that seeks independence for Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a large and sparsely-populated province-level subdivision of the People's Republic of China (PRC/China) located in the country's northwest, as a homeland for the Uyghur people, who are primarily of Turkic rather than Sinitic ethnic extraction. Within the movement, there is widespread support for the region to be renamed, since "Xinjiang" is seen by independence activists as a colonial name. "East Turkestan" is the most well-known proposed name. "Uyghurstan" is another well-known proposed name.
The East Turkestan Liberation Organization (ETLO) was a secessionist Uyghur organization that advocated for an independent Uyghur state named East Turkestan in the Western Chinese province known as Xinjiang. The organization was established in Turkey in 1990 or 1996 to fight against the Chinese government in Xinjiang, a territory in which no ethnicity forms a majority, but is inhabited in order of most populous to least by Uyghur, Han Chinese, Kazakh and other Turkic communities. ETLO is a designated terrorist organization by the governments of China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
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The January 2007 Xinjiang raid was carried out on January 5, 2007 by the Chinese police against a suspected East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) training camp in Akto County in the Pamir plateau.
Prior to the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) posed the greatest threat to the Karimov administration. In 2002 the IMU was reclassified as terrorist by the United States. Since the invasion, the IMU has been greatly weakened due to US military actions which cut off its supply of resources and killed its leader, Juma Namangani.
Terrorism in China refers to the use or threatened use of violence to affect political or ideological change in the People's Republic of China. The definition of terrorism differs among scholars, between international and national bodies and across time and there is no legally binding definition internationally. In the cultural setting of China, the term is relatively new and ambiguous.
The threat of terrorism in Kazakhstan plays an increasingly important role in relations with the United States which in 2006 were at an all-time high. Kazakhstan has taken Uzbekistan's place as the favored partner in Central Asia for both Russia and the United States. Kazakhstan's counter-terrorism efforts resulted in country's 94th ranking among 130 countries in the 2016 Global Terrorism Index published by the Institute of Economics and Peace. The higher the position on the ranking is, the bigger the impact of terrorism in the country. Kazakhstan's 94th place puts it in a group of countries with the lowest impact of terrorism.
Nur Bekri is a former Chinese politician of Uyghur ethnicity, best known for his term as Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a vast region in Northwestern China, between 2008 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2018, he was Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and Director of the National Energy Administration, with rank equivalent of a minister. Bekri was one of the highest ranked ethnic minority officials in the Chinese government.
China–Turkey relations refers to the international relations between China and Turkey. Current official relations were established in 1934 and Turkey recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) on 5 August 1971.
A meshrep is a traditional male Uyghur gathering that typically includes "poetry, music, dance, and conversation within a structural context". Meshreps typically include music of the Muqam variety and ad-hoc tribunals on moral questions. "Meshrep" may also refer to the Islamic youth groups that became a political force in Ili, Xinjiang in the 1990s. The voluntary societies used extralegal means such as boycotts to enforce what they saw as Islamic mores against gambling, alcohol and drug abuse among young Uyghur men. Amid continuing political campaigns and antigovernment protests launched by these meshrep, the Xinjiang government cracked down on key religious leaders, including meshrep leaders, leading to urban violence in 1997 and the flight of meshrep leaders to Kazakhstan. In November 2010, China successfully petitioned UNESCO to list the traditional meshrep in its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
The July 2009 Ürümqi riots were a series of violent riots over several days that broke out on 5 July 2009 in Ürümqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), in Northwestern China. The first day's rioting, which involved at least 1,000 Uyghurs, began as a protest but escalated into violent attacks that mainly targeted Han people. China's People's Armed Police were deployed and two days later hundreds of Han people clashed with both police and Uyghurs. PRC officials said that a total of 197 people died, most of whom were Hans, with 1,721 others injured and many vehicles and buildings destroyed. Many Uyghurs disappeared during wide-scale police sweeps in the days following the riots; Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented 43 cases and said figures for real disappearances were likely to be much higher.
The World Uyghur Congress is an international organization of exiled Uyghur groups that aspires to "represent the collective interest of the Uyghur people" both inside and outside of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. The World Uyghur Congress describes itself as a nonviolent and peaceful movement that opposes what it considers to be the Chinese occupation of East Turkestan and advocates rejection of totalitarianism, religious intolerance and terrorism as an instrument of policy. The Congress is funded in part by the National Endowment for Democracy or NED of the United States.
Xinjiang, officially Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country close to Central Asia. Being the largest province-level division of China and the 8th-largest country subdivision in the world, Xinjiang spans over 1.6 million km2, and has about 25 million inhabitants.
Uyghurs in Kazakhstan or Uyghur Kazakhstanis, are a Turkic ethnic group who primarily practice Islam. Uyghurs form the country's seventh-largest ethnic group, according to the 1999 census.
The Xinjiang conflict, also known as Uyghur–Chinese conflict, is a conflict in China's far-northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang centred on the Uyghurs, a Turkic minority ethnic group who make up the largest group in the region.
The Xinjiang re-education camps, officially called Vocational Education and Training Centers by the Government of China, are internment camps operated by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government and its CCP committee. Human Rights Watch claims that they have been used to indoctrinate Uyghurs and other Muslims since 2017 as part of a "people's war on terror," a policy announced in 2014.
In May 2014, China launched the "Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism" in the far west province of Xinjiang. It is an aspect of the Xinjiang conflict, the ongoing struggle by the Communist Party and the Chinese government to effectively manage the ethnically diverse and tumultuous province. China has used the global "war on terror" of the 2000s to frame separatist and ethnic unrest as acts of Islamist terrorism to legitimize its counter-insurgency policies in Xinjiang. A notable element of the campaign is the imprisonment of nearly one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang's re-education camps. Chinese officials have maintained that the campaign is essential for national security purposes.
Civil Servant-Family Pair Up is a governmental policy that forces designated families to be matched with civil servants to form a nominal kinship. As a result, the families need to host the civil servants in their home for weeks or even months at a time. Since late 2010s, China has vigorously promoted the pair up policy in Xinjiang. According to pro-Chinese Communist Party tabloid Global Times, by 2018, 1.1 million Chinese civil servants were paired with more than 1.69 million Xinjiang families. As of March 2018, every cadre in Onsu County was required to spend eight days a month at the home of villagers.
Critics of China's treatment of Uyghurs have accused the Chinese government of propagating a policy of sinicization in Xinjiang in the 21st century, calling this policy an ethnocide or a cultural genocide of Uyghurs, with some activists and human rights experts calling it a genocide. In particular, critics have highlighted the concentration of Uyghurs in state-sponsored re-education camps, suppression of Uyghur religious practices and testimonials of alleged human rights abuses including forced sterilization and contraception. Chinese authorities confirmed that birth rates dropped by almost a third in 2018 in Xinjiang, but denied reports of forced sterilization and genocide.