Friday, April 11, 2008

Would you (vested within a legal capacity) kill Uighur terrorists?

Google ID is needed to participate in this poll. Participate by posting a comment.
The purpose of this poll is to query moral boundaries, complexity of those boundaries (such as absolute non-violence versus conditional law and order) , accepted norms of statecraft (e.g. supporting a State's right to defensive posture versus a borderless world ethos), mystical/religious culture versus secular/scientific/industrial culture, and many more levels.
Question 1
Would you (vested within a legal capacity) kill Uighur terrorists?
Question 2
Do you believe China has a prerogative to kill Uighur terrorists?
Question 3
Do you consider the migration of Chinese Han people into Central Asia as a positive or negative trend?
Links to news articles and snippets on the Uighur issue are below.
Note that as a generalization, Han Chinese represent the more industrial and Marxist group, and Uighur represent a Sunni Islamic group.
China says 35 arrested in Olympics bomb plot

Chinese Population According to the 1990 census:

Nationality Population Percentage
Uighurs 7,200,000 45%
Han 6,885,000 43%
Tajiks 33,000 .2%
Salar 3,000 .02%
Kazakhs 1,100,000 6.8%
Uzbeks 15,000 .09%
Russians 3,000 .02%
Hui 600,000 3.8%
Yellow Uighurs 11,000 .07%
Boan 300 .001%
Kyrgyz 150,000 .1%
Tibetans 5,000 .03%
Other non-Chinese 9,000 .06%
Ethnic Manchus 90,000 5.6%
Tartars 5,000 .3%
Dongxiang 40,000 .25%
Dawani 5,000 .3%


Ryan Hawkes said...

How about these questions?

1. Do you think China has a moral right to use violence to retain control of areas such as the Xianjiang province and Tibet?

2 Is nonviolence an effective way for people to retain or regain their autonomy in the face of centralized governments such as China?

To answer your questions:
1. No...because I am not a member of the Chinese government who has probably already used some form of violence against the people of the Xianjian province.
2. Prerogative...sure in a legal sense they are trying to retain control of a large landbase and diverse groups of people. Violence is an effective means of doing this. Prerogative from my perspective...I'd rather China decentralized allowing true autonomy throughout it's borders then kill those whose recourse is to use violence as a last resort (if this plan was a real plan...or an excuse to round up dissidents)
3. No idea.

I really don't know much about this situation...but I tried to answer giving my own personal contexts for each question. I mean, China is not really known for it's human rights.

The Serpent Lord said...

To Lance's questions:

1. Not if I had the option of keeping them on display like caged animals until a politically expedient time to release them. On the other hand if I was trained to do the job and the only practical alternative was to let them follow through on their plans, I suppose I would want to "give it a shot", and feel justified in doing so.

2. Yes. If the state can't kill it's own citizens to secure their loyalty, it has no authority. I'd like to see this authority more centralized, accountable, and used as little as possible (i.e. no one should be authorized to carry out executions, sabotage or combat operations without a warrant from the UN) but I'm not going to condemn the PRC for securing the loyalty of half it's population with a brutal method that my country uses on a much larger scale to keep a tenth of our population in it's place.

3. This is hard for me to decide. My own culture is guilty of the same thing. Tragic violence is a likely result, but there is a case for development and cultural diversity vs. permanent ghettos breeding fundamentalist insurrection. I would ask my Han Chinese sister-in-law for her take on the subject except she would probably start on a lecture that would last 6 months and end with blaming George W. Bush.

To Ryan's questions:

1. Yes. This can be justified both in terms of the greater good and China's duty as a nation and a member of the world community of nations. (Note that in most cases retaining control is easier to justify than an initial occupation, otherwise there would be stronger support for the liberation of Texas and California.)

2. Depends on how you define people. If you see regional and ethnic identity groups as people, then violence may be necessary to (A) maintain a tree-like ("hierarchical") defensive network (B) keep members of the identity group from defecting and (C) harass
outsiders to maintain the territorial integrity of collective property and ethnic ghettos. This structure can be used as part of an ongoing insurrection against the PRC or a campaign to cooperate with the PRC to preserve the group identity while conforming to the PRCs demands for economic integration and cooperation on security issues.

But personally, I don't really buy appeals to the autonomy of "peoples" which often work contrary to the autonomy of "persons". My own ancestors were victims of repeated annexation, and while this had tragic and violent consequences for them, I have no desire to use violence and create tragedy to restore primitive conditions which would not necessarily be in my best interest anyway. So I see nonviolence - especially sharing and voluntary cooperation - as a very attractive way to achieve and promote the autonomy of persons, but I believe this requires a defensive network which is tree-like and backed by bullets.

For example these blog comments are expressions of autonomy, but if someone tries to bomb the centralized servers providing the blog's physical infrastructure, they will be prosecuted, even if it means someone has to point a gun at them, or even pull the trigger.

Negotiate Reality said...

Causally, only those at the heart of the conflict are qualified to negotiate the higher and better options.

As a vested interest, what are your such options? Contacting your local representation to facilitate diplomatic means?

In causally ethical terms, this is the obvious behavior. Projecting removed solutions only adds breach in facilitation, lacking consequentially causal behavior as noted via diplomatic means.

LanceMiller said...

Q. From Ryan (see first comment)

1. Do you think China has a moral right to use violence to retain control of areas such as the Xianjiang province and Tibet?

My answer:

Yes. See President Hu's reasonings here:

Chinese hegemony extending into Central Asia is a positive on several grounds:

1. Small break away republics based on ethnic or religious homogeny intrinsically suck because they are second class nations (and then by extension create second class humans) in world forums such as the UN or G8.

2. Amongst the officially stated goals of Islamic revolutionaries is to gain territory that China currently controls. In the war between revolutionary Islam and big secular states, I will always support the opponent of revolutionary Islam.