In a first, Uighurs claim alliance with the Islamic state. The images broadcast on the same day Beijing deploys 10 thousand police in Urumqi in a showdown. Among the 10 million Uighur, only a small minority part of violent groups. The "terrorist" threats motivates China's repressive policies in Xinjiang.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - For the first time, militants of the Islamic State have threatened acts of terrorism in China. Posted online in a video two days ago, some Uighur militants promise to return to their country - Xinjiang, the western region of China - and that "rivers of blood will flow".
For many years China has denounced the possible relationship with jihadi fringes of separatist Uighur groups responsible for attacks, also thanks to easy lines of communication between Xinjiang, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The possible terrorist threats in China have justified the harsh military policies that Beijing has pursued in the region for decades, where the Uighurs are in fact discriminated against in the economy and in politics.
In the video - analyzed by the organization SITE - a militant Uighur threatens China just before killing a man accused of being a spy.
"Oh, you Chinese who do not understand what people say! We are the soldiers of the Caliphate, and we will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed”, says the militant.
According to experts, this is the first direct threat against China by the IS and is the first time that Uighur militants have proclaimed an alliance with the IS.
The video was broadcast on the same day the Chinese government organized a mass rally of 10 thousand police in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, in a show of force against "separatism" and "terrorism" (see. photos 2 and 3). Control over mosques, markets, schools, universities have been stepped up over the past few months and a spy program launched in each district.
Among the 10 million Uighurs present in Xinjiang there are fringes fighting for independence, but the majority of the group only seeks greater recognition and autonomy. Exploiting the justification that they are "fighting Islamic terrorism" Beijing has been colonizing the region by facilitating the migration of ethnic Han Chinese and increasing the military presence.
In addition, emergency laws oppress the population and its religiosity. Uighur imam must submit the text of their sermons to the government every Friday. There is a ban on the religious education of young people up to 18 years. Islamic schools and mosques were destroyed (in favor of "economic development"). Teachers in schools and universities force young people to break the fast of Ramadan. Many experts have often warned China against this attempt to solve problems through control and repression: this is likely to urge young people to armed militancy.
In the video there are pictures of kids who take up arms, and of Chinese police officers in riot gear while checking mosques and markets, while Uighurs are arrested. Another image shows the Chinese flag on fire.