Trends and Triggers in the Uyghur Resistance
US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
Pagination or Media Count:
The Uyghurs of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region XUAR have been subjugated by the PRC since 1949. Efforts to control the population and reform the newly established PRC ultimately strengthened the Uyghur identity and undermined the national interest Mao sought. As a result, a primarily separatist resistance movement formed within Xinjiang. Despite success in controlling the population, the PRC has not addressed the underlying concerns of ethnic minorities due to internal considerations. Consequently, dissatisfaction continues and elements of Uyghur society have turned to more violent measures to bring about change. In response, the PRC has employed increasingly sophisticated and integrated approaches to maintain control in the strategically significant area of Xinjiang. The Uyghur insurgency nearly ascended into the open insurgency phase, however, infighting resulted in the insurgency receding back into the incipient conflict stage. Analysis of trends indicates Uyghurs have failed to unite as a people, organize as a resistance, and have not exploited opportunities. There are two groups of triggers, traditional state conflict and neighboring state instability, which would change the momentum within the Uyghur insurgency in favor of the Uyghurs.
- Unconventional Warfare