CECC held a Roundtable on Xinjiang
  • Mon, 05/16/2005 - 12:00

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The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held another in its series of staff-led Issues Roundtables, entitled "China's Changing Strategic Concerns: The Impact on Human Rights in Xinjiang" on Wednesday, November 16, from 10:00 - 11:30 AM in Room 480 of the Ford House Office Building.

Since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and independent states were established in Central Asia, the Chinese government has tightened controls over expressions of ethnic identity, particularly among members of the Uighur ethnic group in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the Chinese government has equated peaceful expressions of Uighur identity with "subversive terrorist plots." The Xinjiang government has increased surveillance and arrests of Uighurs suspected of "harboring separatist sentiments" since popular movements ousted Soviet-era leaders in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. This roundtable addressed how China's security concerns in Central Asia and Western China affect human rights in Xinjiang.

The panelists:

James Millward, Associate Professor of History at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Professor Millward is the author of several books and articles on Xinjiang, including Violent Separatism in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment (2004), A History of Chinese Turkestan (forthcoming), and Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1859-1864 (1998). He holds a B.A from Harvard University, M.A from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a PhD from Stanford University.

Daniel Southerland, Vice-President of Programming/Executive Editor at Radio Free Asia.

Prior to joining RFA in 1996, Mr. Southerland was a foreign correspondent in Asia for 18 years. He served as the Washington Post Bureau Chief in Beijing from 1985-1990. Mr. Southerland was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for distinguished diplomatic reporting in 1995 for a series on the Mao years in China, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1990 for his coverage of Tiananmen. He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, an M.S. in East Asian Studies from Harvard, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

S. Frederick Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

Dr. Starr is the author or editor of over 20 books and 200 articles on Central Asian and Russian affairs, including Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland (2004). He is a trustee of the Eurasia Foundation and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a PhD from Princeton University.

(for Witness Statements please visit Congressional-Executive Commission on China's website).