Managing Ethnic Minority Crises: The Tibetan Areas and Xinjiang
The paper discusses crises in the Tibetan areas and Xinjiang, and the ways the Chinese leadership has managed and responded to them, focusing on the period from 1987 to 2009. It gives some background on precisely what constitutes the Tibetan areas, including some material on their population, and brief historical background of the regions and policy towards ethnic minorities. It will note some Chinese imperatives in the Tibetan areas and Xinjiang. The paper selects four specific crises, two each in the Tibetan areas and Xinjiang, including the riots in the Tibetan areas in 2008 and in Xinjiang in 2009. It will analyse the crises themselves, the ways government authorities have reacted, and their modes of crisis management, using these specific events as examples to draw some general conclusions about crisis management in these areas. The paper argues that, while modes of crisis management are defensible in many respects, policy change has not been great enough overall to control the areas effectively. The focus on suppression of separatism, though legitimate, has become obsessive and does not take enough account of ethnic sensitivities.
China's Crisis Management: Evolving Norms and Learning
Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific