Conflict Management in China: The Case of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province
Keywords:Xinjiang, Uyghurs, China's Ethnic Policy, Conflict Management
This research aims to examine the role of the Chinese government in managing conflicts in the case of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang since 1949. A qualitative method has been used to reveal the causes of conflicts, China’s ethnic policies and conflict resolutions in the view of the Chinese government, ethnic people and the West. The findings indicate that ethnic minority policy is the main factor that has intensified conflict. China’s conflict management methods are forcing or competing to win over minorities, compromising in order to lessen conflict and collaborating to find a solution. China’s ethnic policies depend on the internal and external situation and leaders. In the early years of the PRC, Mao Zedong’s policy was cultural assimilation and Sinicization by eradicating religion and the Muslim Uyghur identity. During the reform period in the 1980s-1990s, cultural reconciliation and economic development were conducted to establish harmony between the ethnic minorities in China. In the 2000s -2010s, anti-government groups in Xinjiang were supported by radical and external Islamic groups and the government’s ethnic minority policy was to balance between the forces and collaboration through economic development and cultural support.
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