A Turkish-Chinese spat as a result of Turkish criticism of China’s crackdown on Turkic Muslims in its strategic but troubled north-western province of Xinjiang complicates efforts by Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states to at best deal quietly behind closed doors with the plight of their citizens and ethnic kin in the People’s Republic.
A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr Heightened tension in Kashmir and evidence of a Chinese military presence on the Tajik and Afghan side of their border with China’s troubled north-western province of Xinjiang are putting on display contradictions between the lofty principles of the People’s Republic’s foreign and defense policies and realities on the ground.
China has dramatically reduced its trade with Iran in line with US sanctions, raising questions whether Iran will remain committed to an international agreement that puts severe limits on its nuclear endeavours.
A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned.
The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have gotten more than they bargained for. The killing has sparked multiple battles that are likely in coming months to shape relationships ranging from that between the United States and Saudi Arabia to those between US President Donald J, Trump, his Republican party, the US Congress, and the country’s intelligence community.
In mid-October 2018 rumours about Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan were flying around the Israeli media. On the 22nd one TV channel reported a conversation between Donald Trump and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, during which Trump had apparently said that he was prepared to “get tough” if necessary with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bans on “abnormal” beards and even the name “Muhammad” CHINESE officials describe the far western province of Xinjiang as a “core area” in the vast swathe of territory covered by the country’s grandiose “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost economic ties with Central Asia and regions beyond. They hope that wealth generated by the scheme will help to make Xinjiang more stable—for years it has been plagued by separatist violence which China says is being fed by global jihadism. But the authorities are not waiting. In recent months they have intensified their efforts to stifle the Islamic identity of Xinjiang’s…
A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr. Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Etihad, and battles over reconstruction of Syria.
French extremism researcher Olivier Roy talks to Eren Guvercin about the Catch 22 situation of European Muslims expected to speak for Islam, the irrelevance of ‘liberal’ reforms, the false premise of current de-radicalisation programmes and the nature of modern terrorism.
The failure of Western allies to rally around Canada in its dispute with Saudi Arabia risks luring the kingdom into a false belief that economic sanctions will shield it from, if not reverse mounting criticism of its human rights record and conduct of the war in Yemen. It also risks convincing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that acting with impunity will not impinge on his efforts to attract badly needed foreign investment.