Tag Archives: Xinjiang

China’s Xinjiang launches cargo train service to Moscow

URUMQI, June 10 (Xinhua) — Railway authorities in China’s far western Xinjiang region on Wednesday launched a cargo train service linking its regional capital of Urumqi with Moscow.

The one more cargo train service westward can help boost the development of the northwestern autonomous region, a “core area” of the Silk Road economic belt, said Liu Jianxin, vice governor of Xinjiang, at the launch ceremony.

Since March 2014, Xinjiang has opened cargo train service to Kazakhstan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey and also Chelyabinsk of Russia.

The first train, loaded with 1,300 tonnes of PVC, left Urumqi at 6:15 p.m. and is scheduled to reach Moscow more than 4,000 km away in about ten days. It will return with wood pulp from Russia.

Wang Hongxin, chairman of Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co., Ltd., said the cargo service can help drive the company’s annual sales of PVC by 10 percent.

By the second half of the year, more than three cargo trains will run between Xinjiang and the destinations in Russia and also central and western Asia per week.

The trains can then transport 50 billion yuan (8.1 billion U.S. dollars) of cargo a year, Liu said.

Editor: yan

News courtesy: Xinhuanet
Read more » http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-06/10/c_134315616.htm

A Strategic Seaport – Is Pakistan Key to China’s Energy Supremacy?

By Syed Fazl-e-Haider

A seaport in southwest Pakistan may hold the key to China’s energy supremacy. At least, that’s what China hopes. The Gwadar port, which China has built and will operate in the province of Balochistan, is situated near the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil-shipping lane that can serve as an energy corridor from western China through Pakistan to the Persian Gulf.

Beijing’s pivot to Pakistan is a substantial one. The story goes back to 2008, when Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf proposed a railroad and an oil pipeline to link Gwadar to the Kashi port in Xinjiang—allowing China to take advantage of the shortest possible route to the Middle East. In exchange, Pakistan would get an influx of Chinese investment. Indeed, in 2014, the Chinese government committed to spending $45.6 billion over the next six years to build the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will include the construction of highways, railways, and natural gas and oil pipelines connecting China to the Middle East. China’s stake in Gwadar will also allow it to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean, a vital route for oil transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Another advantage to China is that it will be able to bypass the Strait of Malacca. As of now, 60 percent of China’s imported oil comes from the Middle East, and 80 percent of that is transported to China through this strait, the dangerous, piracy-rife maritime route through the South China, East China, and Yellow Seas.

The United States fears that China will come out of its dealings with Pakistan with more power. But it need not be worried: China’s involvement in Balochistan, a restive area prone to insurgencies, will not end well. Many believe Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, is hiding wanted leaders from the Afghan Taliban. Meanwhile, small towns in Balochistan are the breeding grounds for a decades-old separatist movement targeting federal agencies. Increasingly, China has been caught up in the violence. In 2004, three Chinese engineers were killed and nine wounded when separatists attacked their van in Gwadar. In 2009, China shelved its $12 billion plans to build an oil refinery and an oil city in Gwadar due to security concerns.

China’s involvement in the region’s politics can only be bad news. In 2012, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced a resolution that asked the United States to support Baloch separatists as freedom fighters. The resolution was tabled, but if the United States ever does decide to involve itself in the conflict, China’s strategic interests will be at risk.

Read more » Foreign Affairs
See more » http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/143227/syed-fazl-e-haider/a-strategic-seaport

40 rioters dead in Luntai county violence in Xinjiang

Baku-APA. Forty rioters died in a series of explosions in Luntai County of northwest China’s Xinjiang on Sunday, and six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen were killed, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Another two rioters were captured by the police, according to the official Tianshan website.

The blasts hit a shop, an open fair and two police stations around 5 p.m. Sunday, the website said.

Xinjiang police said it was an “organized and serious” terrorist attack.

Courtesy: apa
http://en.apa.az/news/216880

China tables railway project linking to Pakistan

By Dawn.com

A research study regarding an international railway project linking Pakistan with China’s Xinjiang province through Azad Jammu and Kashmir has been commissioned by China, according to a Times of India and China Daily report.

The rail link funded primarily by China would connect Xinjiang’s western city Kashgar to the Gwadar deep sea port of Pakistan, said state-run China Daily while quoting the director of Xinjiang’s regional development and reform commission, Zhang Chunlin on the subject.

“The 1,800-km China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad and Karachi,” Zhang had said at the two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt being held in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital.

Due to geo-strategic implications the project would be hard to proceed with, as it would be a requisite for the rail project to run through the Pamir Plateau and Karakoram Mountains. Although once completed it would emerge as one of the most strategically beneficial transportation infrastructures on the China-Pakistan economic corridor, opined Zhang.

“Although the cost of constructing the railway is expected to be high due to the hostile environment and complicated geographic conditions, the study of the project has already been started,” he added.

President Xi Jinping had also spoken in favour of rejuvenating conventional trade routes connecting China, Central Asia and Europe.

A multi-billion deal has already been signed to initiate work on an Economic Corridor linking Kashgar with the port city of Gwadar through AJK. It also implied revamping the already in place Karakoram road link despite the cynicism expressed by political analysts in China.

The project exhibits tremendous potential as it would enable China to run a port alongside Gulf of Oman which is deemed to be a hub for activities relating to oil tankers.

India however has objected to the project citing concerns that the said route would involve a disputed territory. Pakistan had given the operational key of the port city of Gwadar to Beijing back in 2013, a move deeply detested by India as it alleged it could provide a chance to China to monitor its port activities.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1116104/china-tables-railway-project-linking-to-pakistan

Simple arithmetic — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The establishment and its intellectuals’ priority has never been the rights of the Baloch and Sindhis

The envisaged Gwadar-Khunjrab-Kashgar railway and oil pipeline, for which a feasibility report was completed by Chinese engineers before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2010 visit to Pakistan, bodes evil for the Baloch people’s rights. This is but a part of the larger strategy aimed at ensuring that Balochistan becomes the Tibet and Xinjiang of Pakistan. Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, had then stated, “We support China’s policy on Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights.” China-Pakistan relations are based on mutual support for human rights violations.

This is amply proved by the fact that during the 23rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate in Geneva on June 7, 2013, when Balochistan’s representative to the UN Mehran Marri spoke about Pakistan’s continuing human rights abuses and recent farcical elections in Balochistan, the Pakistani delegate objected, and was supported by the Chinese and Cuban delegates. However, much to their chagrin, the US and UK representatives taking strong exception to their objections, supported Marri and called on the session chair to allow him to complete his statement and be allowed on record. Ironically, the Cuban representative said it was unacceptable for an NGO, conveniently forgetting that they too were once an NGO (pun intended), to attack the territorial integrity and independence of a sovereign state.

The continuing Afghan influx has already changed the demographic balance in parts of Balochistan. This proposed railway will help Pakistan usher in engineered demographic changes to turn the Baloch into a minority in their own land. The recently installed extremely pliable government in Quetta — whose titular chief minister cannot even name a cabinet without Nawaz Sharif’s consent — fully supports these sham mega-projects to bring about required demographic changes. The systematic engineered demographic changes combined with the brutal killings of Baloch activists and ordinary people suspected of sympathies with the Sarmachars (insurgents) are the two-pronged attacks that the Pakistani establishment has unleashed on the Baloch people. The demography issue is a life and death issue as the Baloch people’s destiny hinges on it and the resistance they can muster.

The Pashtuns too are suffering because of the harebrained dreams of strategic depth, which the deep state refuses to abandon in the hope of becoming the arbiter of Afghanistan’s fate and the hope to keep India on the back foot with its non-state actors. This ludicrous policy also sustains sectarian terror.

Sindhis have had the worst of both worlds and are rapidly turning into a minority in Sindh. Once again demands for shifting Biharis there are being made. This does not mean that they have not been coming in slowly, steadily and surreptitiously; where even mechanics can get blue passports at a price, getting an NIC is not a big deal. Thousands of Afghans refugees are bona fide citizens of Sindh; an Afghan colony is slowly taking shape near Bhit Shah and may well become a Sohrab Goth.

Continue reading Simple arithmetic — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Chinese Troops Set Up Post 10km Inside Ladakh – India Times

By IndiaTimes

NEW DELHI: In yet another deep incursion into Indian territory, Chinese troops apparently made inroads into the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector of eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post there this week.

Indian Army officials were, however, not too perturbed about the incursion, holding that it was a common occurrence. “In that area, patrols do have a face-off every now and then due to differing perceptions of where the Line of Actual Control lies. We resolve it through existing consultative border mechanisms,” said a senior officer.

As per reports, a platoon-strength contingent of about 50 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP), which mans that stretch of the border, have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

ITBP has asked for a flag meeting with the Chinese side but there has been no response till now.

The Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that specializes in mountain warfare, has also moved towards the area where the situation was described as tense.

DBO, located in northernmost Ladakh, is an historic camp site and located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. IAF has in recent years activated advanced landing grounds at DBO and two other places in eastern Ladakh as part of the policy to build military infrastructure along the LAC, in a belated move to counter strategic moves by China in the region.

Courtesy: India Times
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/chinese-troops-set-up-post-10km-inside-ladakh-73150.html

China restricts Ramadan fasting for Uighurs in Xinjiang

By: AFP

Authorities in China’s restive northwestern region of Xinjiang have banned Muslim officials and students from fasting during Ramadan, prompting an exiled rights group to warn of new violence.

Guidance posted on numerous government websites called on Communist Party leaders to restrict Muslim religious activities during the holy month, including fasting and visiting mosques.

Xinjiang is home to around nine million Uighurs, a Turkic speaking, largely Muslim ethnic minority, many of whom accuse China’s leaders of religious and political persecution.

The region has been rocked by repeated outbreaks of ethnic violence, but China denies claims of repression and relies on tens of thousands of Uighur officials to help it govern Xinjiang.

Continue reading China restricts Ramadan fasting for Uighurs in Xinjiang

Xinjiang Communist Party chief has called for an “iron fist” to deal with “separatists, extremists and terrorists.”

Party chief calls for ‘iron fist’ against terrorism

By: Xuyang Jingjing

In the wake of a recent plane hijacking attempt, the Party chief of the Xinjiang Ugyhur Autonomous Region urged soldiers to keep vigilant against hostile forces while overseeing a counter-terrorism drill ahead of the third anniversary of the July 5 riot.

Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Xinjiang regional committee of the Communist Party of China, asked the soldiers Wednesday to strike the separatists, extremists, and terrorists with “iron fists.”

“We should leave the terrorists no place to hide,” said Zhang.

During the drill, soldiers demonstrated special skills such as climbing walls with their bare hands and shooting cardboard “terrorists” with a single shot without harming hostages, according to the regional government’s website.

Within seconds, soldiers in dark uniforms and heavily armed broke into rooms on the fifth floor of a building to dispose of explosives and rescue hostages.

They also showcased weapons, communications equipment, devices for security inspection and explosive disposal, as well as safety and transportation equipment.

While commending the police forces for contributing to stability and public security in Xinjiang, Zhang said although the region’s overall situation remains stable and controllable, it still faces severe challenges and the basis of its stability is fragile.

In recent years, terrorist attacks and violence in Xinjiang have been on the rise and most prominently connected with overseas forces, experts said.

“From the timing of these terrorist activities, it seems that overseas separatist groups such as the World Uyghur Congress are closely related to the domestic attacks,” explained Li Wei, director of the Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

The authorities have put great emphasis on building counter-terrorism forces in Xinjiang and they have played an important role, said Li.

The Urumqi-based counter-terrorism forces were formed in the 1990s when separatists and religious extremists engaged in various terrorist activities such as explosions, assassinations and arson in the region.

Li said that compared with the 1990s, there are more suicide terrorist attacks now.

“Unlike remotely detonated bombs or poisoning, terrorists now attack in broad daylight and throw their own lives on the line,” said Li. “Therefore, the situation is more dangerous and more difficult, which requires the special forces to enhance their skills and capabilities, such as rapid response and intelligence collecting.”

On July 5, 2009, Xinjiang saw the worst outbreak of violence in decades when riots incited by overseas groups broke out in Urumqi. Nearly 200 people were killed and about 1,700 injured.

In the southern area of Hotan, 18 people attacked a local police station in July last year, killing three people and injuring two. Earlier last month, local police also cracked down on an illegal Koran teaching site that was holding 59 children.

In the most recent case, six alleged terrorists carrying explosives attempted to hijack a plane from Hotan to Urumqi on June 29. The attempt was foiled by the passengers, several of whom were police officers.

Continue reading Xinjiang Communist Party chief has called for an “iron fist” to deal with “separatists, extremists and terrorists.”

China urges Pakistan to act against East Turkistan Islamic Movement militants: Report

China has urged Pakistan to take effective measures to stop the activities of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM) militants present in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), reported BBC Urdu on Thursday.

According to the report, the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi currently visiting Pakistan said that it was their belief that militants belonging to the TIM are influencing the Chinese province Xinjiang, which has a Muslim majority population.

Xinjiang, which is home to the Uighur Muslims, has faced increased terrorist activities in recent years, inviting a crackdown by Chinese forces. The restive province which shares a border with Pakistan, has been under heavy security since July 2009, when the Uighurs launched attacks on Han people in the regional capital Urumqi.

Sources within the Chinese Foreign Ministry, on condition of anonymity, told BBC that Chinese officials discussed the matter with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari along with other officials during several meetings, where the Pakistani foreign secretary was also summoned.

The BBC Urdu report added that most of those belonging to the TIM have taken refuge in Pakistan’s tribal areas, from where they cross the border into China after receiving training.

Continue reading China urges Pakistan to act against East Turkistan Islamic Movement militants: Report

Video shows terrorists in China got training in Pak bases

by Saibal Dasgupta

BEIJING: A jihadist group has released a video on the recent violence in western Xinjiang province while providing China new evidence that terrorists involved in the bloodbath were trained in Pakistan. The violence in two towns in Xinjiang bordering Pakistan left 40 dead.

But the Chinese foreign ministry refrained from naming Pakistan in its closely calibrated response to a question about the 10-minute video showing Turkestan Islamic Party leader Abdul Shakoor Damla claiming responsibility for the violence.

“I haven’t seen the video you mentioned. Our principled position is that at present, a small handful of terrorist forces..,out of motives of splitting China, are conducting rampant violent terrorist activities within China’s border [to] seriously undermine China’s national unity, and regional peace and stability,” Liu Weimin, the spokesperson, said. ….

Read more → TOI

China blames terror camps in Pak as 20 killed in Xinjiang

Beijing, Aug 1: China today (Aug 1) blamed “extremists” trained in terror camps in Pakistan for orchestrating attacks on civilians in the troubled Xinjiang province, where 20 people, including alleged militants, were killed in violent incidents over two days.

While nine people were killed in a violent attack on Saturday, another 11, including five suspected militants, were killed in another attack last night.

A statement by the Kashgar municipal government said militants trained by the ”East Turkistan Islamic Movement” in Pakistan were responsible for the recent flare up in violence.

“A group of religious extremists led by culprits trained in overseas terrorist camps were behind the weekend attack on civilians in China’s far-western Xinjiang,” state run Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

“Initial probe has shown that the heads of the group had learned skills of making explosives and firearms in overseas camps of the terrorist group East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Pakistan before entering Xinjiang to organise terrorist activities,” it said.

The Xinjiang region witnessed massive riots in 2009, when almost 200 people were killed in its capital Urumqi, following which China launched a major crackdown against Uyghur Muslim separatists.

On July 18 this year, 14 “rioters” were killed when they reportedly attacked a police station and killed four people in the province’s Hotan city. ….

Read more → news.oneindia

More details → BBC urdu