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Updates on China’s Security and Militancy in Asia
Turkistan Islamic Party
• A few days ago, the predominantly Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) held a meeting comprised of ranking figures from their military wing in Syria.
• The TIP also released an instructional weapons video from Syria.
• In recent days, pro-Islamic State media networks and supporters have continued posting anti-China propaganda — particularly photos from the late October meeting between the Taliban and Chinese diplomatic delegations in Doha.
• One channel shared an infographic criticizing the Taliban for “Befriending the kuffar (e.g. USA, Russia, China) and murtadin (e.g. Qatar, Pakistan, Iran) and taking them as allies.”
• The pro-IS media group Al-Mursalat continues to post edits of Taliban members meeting with Chinese officials.
• In a new Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) book released through Al-Azaim foundation, an official ISKP outlet, on November 16, the author accuses the Taliban of being hypocritical by pursuing relations with China — a country that is brutally repressing Uyghur Muslims — and for abandoning their coreligionists for money. (Riccardo Valle brought the book and its subject matter to my attention - Follow him on Twitter: @Valle_Riccardo_)
• Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Khalid Batarfi was recently interviewed in a two-part series released through the branch’s official Al-Malahem media outlet. In it, he references China and the Uyghurs, which is somewhat notable as he also mentioned “Turkistan” in the 9/11 anniversary video published by Al-Qaeda’s chief propaganda outlet As-Sahab. (Hat tip to Daniele Garofalo - Follow him too: @G88Daniele)
From September 11, 2021:
Institute for Strategic Dialogue Report
• The Institute for Strategic Dialogue published a very good multi-part series focusing on trends in Islamist Internet spheres. From “Understanding the Salafi Online Ecosystem: A Digital Snapshot” by Jakob Guhl and Milo Comerford:
“The Uighur internment camps in Xinjiang, China, contributed to a spike in toxic English messages in December 2019 after the German footballer Mesut Özil publicly tweeted about human rights violations against the Uighurs.31 Other themes during this spike were a Netflix series called ‘Messiah’ (resulting in posts saying ‘Netflix is kufr/Christian propaganda/brainwashing people into believing Dajjal [a false messiah] is not bad’) and Christmas (‘Christmas is shirk/pagan’).”
• One of the memes included in “Islamogram: Salafism and Alt-Right Online Subcultures,” a very interesting and thorough study by Moustafa Ayad (Twitter: @MoustafaAyad), was eye-catching:
• Throughout the month, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)/New People’s Army (NPA) has continued to criticize Beijing. Marco Valbuena, the Chief Information Officer of the CPP, said the Philippines must respond to “the attack of a Chinese Coast Guard ship against a Filipino vessel delivering supplies to Ayungin in the South China Sea. Duterte govt must go beyond diplomatic protests that are routinely ignored by China. PH and neighbours must unite and act to resist the giant.”
• The CPP Information Bureau published an article on their website titled: “Wage revolution to avert climate disaster!” They say, “like previous climate change conferences, the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland was dominated by the imperialist countries and monopoly bourgeois big industries.” And, “as a result, it refused to put to task the biggest producers of greenhouse gases which include the leading capitalist countries such as the United States, China, Russia, Germany, India, United Kingdom, Japan and France.”
• A more recent editorial asserts that the “current generation of Filipino youth carries the same crucial role of resuming the unfinished revolution led by Gat Andres Bonifacio and fighting for Philippine sovereignty against the imperialism of US and China.”
Democratic Republic of Congo
• On Sunday, November 21, gunmen killed a policeman, wounding another, and kidnapped five Chinese mineworkers in DR Congo. Fizi civil society head Lusambya Wanumbe said “the company had difficulties starting its activities because of protests by the population which accused it of not respecting the rules.” Voice of America (VOA) reported that “in August, South Kivu authorities suspended the work of half a dozen Chinese-financed companies after residents accused them of mining for gold without permission and wrecking the environment.” The Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) said “the presumed perpetrators are former M23 members gathered on the Rwandan and Ugandan borders, who are seeking to establish bases on the territory of the Virunga National Park.”
UK Protests Against Chinese Policies in Xinjiang
• A few days back, demonstrations were held outside of the Chinese embassy in London and the Chinese consulate in Manchester to protest Beijing’s policies against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. It appears the protestors themselves were law-abiding, however, Islamist Telegram channels shared photos from the event with accompanying messages criticizing China.
Rumoured Chinese Port Project in the United Arab Emirates
• China’s expanding influence in the Islamic world is increasingly criticized in jihadi propaganda. Signs of China’s ascent and growing international footprint are everywhere. Earlier this week, for instance, it was reported that “US intelligence agencies found evidence this year of construction work on what they believed was a secret Chinese military facility in the United Arab Emirates, which was stopped after Washington’s intervention.” However, the UAE denied the reports and said the country “never had an agreement plan, talks or intention to host a Chinese military base or outpost of any kind.”