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04.23.15

A New Era for China and Pakistan?

Andrew Small, Paul J. Smith & more
<p>This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Islamabad and showered Pakistan with attention and promises of $46 billion in development support. What does this intensified Sino-Pakistani engagement mean for Asia and the rest of the world...

Sinica Podcast

04.20.15

China’s Ideological Spectrum

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser
<p>Last week, Harvard doctoral student Jennifer Pan and MIT graduate student Yiqing Xu co-released a paper, “<a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2593377">China’s Ideological Spectrum</a>,” that has...

China: What the Uighurs See

Ian Johnson
<p class="dropcap">Xinjiang is one of those remote places whose frequent mention in the international press stymies true understanding. Home to China’s Uighur minority, this vast region of western China is mostly known for being in a...

Caixin Media

02.17.15

Prosperity, International Cooperation, Civil Rights Key to Defeating Terror

<p>The global fight against terrorism has entered a new stage with the emergence of the Islamic State (IS), and the battle lines have never been so clearly drawn all over the world.</p><p>On February 18, Washington will host the...

Conversation

02.05.15

What’s the Case for Heads of State Meeting the Dalai Lama?

Francesco Sisci, Robert Barnett & more
<p>On Thursday in Washington, the Dalai Lama <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/05/obama-national-prayer-breakfast-dalai-lama/22914569/" target="_blank">attended</a> the annual National...

Viewpoint

02.04.15

Why China Is Banning Islamic Veils

Timothy Grose & James Leibold
<p>This week, regional authorities outlawed Islamic veils from all public spaces in the regional capital of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The <a href=http://politics.people.com.cn/n/2015/0117/c1001-26403482.html target=...

Features

02.04.15

The City of Urumqi Prohibition on Wearing Items That Mask the Face or Robe the Body

<h3><a href="http://www.urumqi.gov.cn/znsx/jdxw/notice/cytg/218477.htm" target="_blank">A Proclamation from the Standing Committee of the Urumqi People’s Congress</a></h3><p>The “Regulation banning...

Sinica Podcast

01.19.15

China and Charlie

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn
<p>First there were the terrorist attacks in Paris. And then there was the global reaction to the attacks, with its spate of frenzied free-speech cartooning. And then there was the counter-reaction to the initial reaction, which played out...

Conversation

01.16.15

Why Did The West Weep for Paris But Not for Kunming?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Taisu Zhang & more
<p>In the days since the attacks that killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical newspaper <em>Charlie Hebdo</em> in Paris, Chinese netizens have watched the outpouring of solidarity. As our colleagues at <em>Foreign...

Religion Among African Immigrants in China

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
<p>Nestled in apartments and offices throughout the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are dozens of improvised churches that cater to the region’s Pentacostal Africans, largely from Nigeria. These churches not only serve the community’s...

Other

12.30.14

A Look Back at 2014

The Editors
<p class="dropcap">It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in...

Pope Francis’ China Problem

Jonathan Mirsky
<p>China-watchers, friends of Tibet, and admirers of Pope Francis were amazed and disappointed last week when the Pope announced he would not be meeting the Dalai Lama during the Tibetan leader’s visit to Rome. The Dalai Lama was there with...

China in 2014 Through the Eyes of a Human Rights Advocate

Yaxue Cao
<p>This time last year, volunteers and I were busy writing and translating articles to prepare for the New Citizens Movement trials. Many Chinese voices were speaking out forcefully against these trials: law professors, rights lawyers, liberal...

Books

11.12.14

The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History

Rian Thum
For 250 years, the Turkic Muslims of Altishahr—the vast desert region to the northwest of Tibet—have led an uneasy existence under Chinese rule. Today they call themselves Uyghurs, and they have cultivated a sense of history and identity that challenges Beijing’s official national narrative. Rian Thum argues that the roots of this history run deeper than recent conflicts, to a time when manuscripts and pilgrimage dominated understandings of the past. Beyond broadening our knowledge of tensions between the Uyghurs and the Chinese government, this meditation on the very concept of history probes the limits of human interaction with the past.Uyghur historical practice emerged from the circulation of books and people during the Qing Dynasty, when crowds of pilgrims listened to history readings at the tombs of Islamic saints. Over time, amid long journeys and moving rituals, at oasis markets and desert shrines, ordinary readers adapted community-authored manuscripts to their own needs. In the process they created a window into a forgotten Islam, shaped by the veneration of local saints.Partly insulated from the rest of the Islamic world, the Uyghurs constructed a local history that is at once unique and assimilates elements of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions—the cultural imports of Silk Road travelers. Through both ethnographic and historical analysis, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History offers a new understanding of Uyghur historical practices, detailing the remarkable means by which this people reckons with its past and confronts its nationalist aspirations in the present day. —Harvard University Press {chop}

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