Chinese military blog-watching may be a particularly unscientific form of analysis, but I’ll be darned if it ain’t the best place to find colorful, downright nasty things to say about people involved in the recent unrest in Xinjiang. Says one commenter about the East Turkistan Movement (blog article here):
杀… 杀… 杀. [kill... kill... kill.]
Another offers another angle on a similar theme:
必须严杀杀杀杀杀杀 [must severely kill kill kill kill kill kill]
Says another, paraphrased:
If the security forces don’t wipe them out, I’ll get my black society [mob] friends together, travel to Xinjiang and wipe them out on our own.
We can call this Chinese Harmony 2.0: harmony with Xinjiang characteristics.
A recent blog posting on Chinamil.cn — a blog network of the Chinese military community, by the Chinese military community, for the Chinese military community — asks, “What should China do about the East Turkistan problem?” It took a few days for the censor gods to begin permitting discussion of the issue, which was notably not phrased in ethnic language (e.g., it is not a “Uyghur” problem, only an “Xinjiang” problem). But once taken up, the issue has garnered a huge readership and stirred up reams of emotional comments.
There has been far more blog activity on the issue over at Junshi.cn, a similar forum for blogging national security and military topics. An interesting post (available here) covers a recent demonstration by supporters of the World Uyghur Congress in Canada, where some ethnic Chinese staged what appears to have been a calm and thoughtful counter-protest. The images are worth looking at; these are the images China is permitting its citizens to see. They include a young ethnically Chinese man with a homemade sign, pleading for peace in Xinjiang — reads his sign: the unrest was caused by “a minority of people” and is not a true ethnic clash. Also, there appears to be a guy with a Taiwan flag on his arm participating in the counter-protest (in the last picture). Coverage of the Canada counter-protest, which was described in the post as “Chinese abroad voicing their anger,” came with some fun digitally enhanced images. I will leave it to more imaginative minds than mine to interpret this one:
Exactly which contagion is he concerned about?
Worth noting, at least on Junshi.cn, there appears to be more interest in what might be called old-school military issues than in Xinjiang and counterterrorism issues — click here to see a list of recent blog postings on Junshi.cn and reader traffic data. More people continue to read blog postings about Taiwan issues and the American military than Xinjiang. Question going forward: Will terrorism take on a more central position in Chinese military debate, or will Taiwan continue to overwhelmingly define the dialogue?