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Liberty and Safety in Xinjiang – A Zero-Sum?

Liberty and Safety in Xinjiang – A Zero-Sum?

A panel discussion with Dr Chi Zhang, Professor James Millward and Dr Pablo Rodriguez-Merino, moderated by Martin Purbrick, 16 February 2022, 17.00 GMT

In recent years China’s policy towards the Uyghur people in Xinjiang has caused deep concern in western countries, has led to new political and trade frictions, and is currently casting a shadow over the Beijing Winter Olympics. In this remote and culturally distinct region, two and a half thousand miles from Beijing, the Chinese government perceives a threat to its security to which it has responded with measures that have shocked many people around the world.

This panel will seek to illuminate better China’s reasons for reacting as it has and discuss what has happened and why. The panel will discuss the nature of the crackdown on what seems to be most of Uyghur society and how this relates to Chinese Communist Party strategies for governing.

Chi Zhang is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of St Andrews. Her research and publications fall broadly within security studies, constructivism and Chinese political philosophy. She holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, and a Master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

James A Millward is Professor of Inter-Societal History at Georgetown University.  He specializes in historical and contemporary Xinjiang, the Qing empire; the silk road, Eurasian lutes and music in history. He follows and comments on current issues regarding Xinjiang, the Uyghurs and other Xinjiang indigenous peoples, and PRC ethnicity policy.

Dr Rodriguez-Merino is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has previously taught at Birkbeck University and the University of Warwick where he earned his PhD. He has written a number of articles on China’s security policy in Xinjiang

Martin Purbrick is a regular contributor to the RSAA journal Asian Affairs. He was until recently the Director of the Asia-Scotland Institute. Prior to that he worked in security and integrity risk management for over 32 years with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, McKinsey, Intel and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.


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