China confronts its Uyghur threat
Elizabeth Van Wie Davis
A suicide bomb attempt on a plane from the
restive western region of Xinjiang in China en route to the home of the 2008
Summer Olympic Games in Beijing highlights a key security dilemma for Beijing:
the Olympics have become a stage to showcase political grievances and a
challenge for the host to combat violent political agendas.
Tibetan riots capture the attention of the Western media, Chinese officials say
Uyghur militants are entering the far western province of Xinjiang -
particularly across the isolated Pamir Mountains in the south that separate
China from Tajikistan and Afghanistan - from training camps in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. The well-funded and well-schooled militants allegedly obtain money and
plans directly from sponsors and from their involvement in smuggling opium and
heroin from Central and Southeast Asia.
Uyghurs are the majority ethnic
group in Xinjiang and also have a