China’s plan to “move the Great Wall” to Uyghur land
Two Chinese scholars—Zhou Wen of Fudan University and Mi Jun of Sichuan University—developed the idea of building a second capital in East Turkestan(Xijiang to China), arguing that it was necessary to establish an economic balance between regions of the country. Given that their recommendation is based on a four-year government-funded study, it is a more wishful plan than a scientific notion.
As it is known, the main goal of China’s Uyghur policy is eternal stability. To achieve this, China is struggling on military, political, economic and ideological field for decades.
In the ideological field, especially in defending the thesis that East Turkestan has been part of China since ancient times, China has encountered several obstacles. One such obstacle is the location of the Great Wall of China: East Turkestan is outside the Great Wall.
According to China the Uyghur "separatists”, who have caught this weak point of China, are proud to argue that "the Chinese have not ruled us since history, on the contrary, they have lived by being protected from us"; some "hostile forces” use venomous sentences such as "Urumqi is closer to Tashkent than Beijing"; Some even provocatively describe the Uyghurs as "the restless people in the westernmost part of China". Thus it keep hurting roots of the claims of China's historical unity.
How can China overcome these obstacles? It is not possible to carry East Turkestan inside the Great Wall of China or to carry the Great Wall outside East Turkestan; Should China as before, continue to market a pair of hai (Chinese traditional shoes made of cloth), a Chinese-written paper, or a Chinese-like corpse found in East Turkistan as historical facts, or is there another solution?
This official (state) headache was answered by Zhou Wen and Mi Jun with the concept of "second capital". They stated, “This plan is good for stability, relations of nationalities, and the integrity of the country.” It is clear, they believe that if this vision is realized, the Uyghurs will become the people living in the hearth of China, not in the westernmost. Urumqi or Kashgar would approach Beijing directly, avoiding Tashkent and Baghdad.
However, the Great Wall is not the only problem in China’s theory of territorial integrity regarding Uyghur land. History aside, there are five facts that place China in a difficult position:
1. Uyghurs dominate the population of the region.
2. The Turkish–Islamic cultural identity of Uyghurs is fundamentally different from Chinese culture.
3. Uyghurs have never relinquished their will for independence, and the resistance movement has endured for centuries in the region.
4. Uyghurs have Eurasian facial characteristics.
5. The name “Xinjiang” means “new border” and reflects the colonial meaning of the region.
These facts reveal the historical position of East Turkestan without the need for explanation, interpretation, or research.
Over the past 20 years, China has taken concrete and drastic measures to remove and weaken the top three hurdles. For example, it tackled population dominance through immigration and family planning, cultural differences through the campaign against religious extremism, and the will for independence by targeting the anti-terrorism campaign.
Regarding the name “Xinjiang,” China insists that it is a tough new frontier for the Qing Dynasty but not a new frontier for the Han Dynasty. In response, Uyghur separatists put China in a passive position, arguing that “in the last 2,000-year history of Sino–Uyghur relations, the ‘big family’ has not exceeded 200 years and constitutes 95% of the basic flow of neighborly and hostile relations.” In recent years, interethnic marriages have been “encouraged” to eliminate facial differences due to race, but this move has not achieved the expected results, as marriages are unlikely to be conducted without consent
Today, they wanted to take another step: to build China’s second capital in “Xinjiang). Undouble, the goal of the second capital plan is more politic than economic. If the goal were to restore economic balance, it might have been achieved by giving little more the natural resources of the region to locals, stopping the influx of Chinese immigrants into the region, and allowing traditionally skilled locals to trade freely with neighboring countries. Additionally, three million Uyghurs would not have been imprisoned and deprived of a normal life.
Zhou Wen and Mi Jun explained the additional roles of the “second capital plan” as follows: “If the second capital is built, not only the funds but also the population will be transferred to the region. This increase will affect the demographics of the region, the culture, the thoughts and feelings of local people, and ultimately increase the sense of patriotism.”
What else can be said? In the narrative of state plans, there can be no damage to the national image, and no state secrets can be revealed.
Therefore, the idea of a second capital is nothing more than a plan to relocate the Great Wall of China, which would, of course, be in spirit and not a physical move.
One thing is also worth noting:
In line with its strategy, by taking advantage of the historical opportunity, China has mobilized all its internal and external forces to realize the Uyghur Genocide as a final solution for the last 6 years. Even in the sixth year of the genocide, if he is still unsure of stability and considering a second capital plan, then the Chinese authorities may have realized something important: in the 21st century, the genocide cannot get them to their final destination as quickly as they had hoped; Although China destroyed 3 million Uyghurs in the camps, 15 million Uyghurs with a heart full of vengeance will continue to exist in the earth, and this will be a scourge for China in the future.
Therefore, considering all possibilities, China should want to pass on the final solution of the Uyghur problem to future generations with this plan. They want to inherit undeniably strong evidence that China's second capital was founded on Uyghur lands. As much as the famous traveler Zhang Qian's business trip to the West and Lin Zeshu's deportation to Gulja(Yili) supported the theory that East Turkestan was a part of ancient China, the placement of China's capital in East Turkestan would be a hundred times more useful. East Turkestan will no longer be the homeland of the Uyghurs. Thus, China wants to expand the Great Wall beyond East Turkestan as part of the ideological battle against “Uyghur separatism”.