China is being faced with multi dimensional problems. The sudden outbreak of the novel corona pandemic, influx of patients over health facilities, global bashing of its political policies and above all the criticism by world community for not taking the into confidence regarding the Wuhan mishap. Some are viewing it as a setback for China at the international stage yet China is pursuing its national interests. China is keeping a vigilant eye on all those who are defying it policies which it terms as anti state elements.
Starting from powerful states like USA, India and Russia down to its own minorities like Uyghur Muslim community of Xinjiang province, China is following a proactive approach. The case of Uyghur Muslims is very unique as thousands of them have fled to the foreign countries claiming to be in fear of persecution by the Chinese government. They have applied for political asylum abroad. It is a cause of great concern for Chinese authorities that such Uyghur people might prove detrimental to the Chinese national interests.
To rigorously monitor their activities and to counter any such anti China move by them, the Chinese government has hired many locals and foreigners for espionage. There are hundreds of Uyghur Muslims based in Thailand and Malaysia who are residing there as refugees or asylum seekers. The very existence of such Uyghur Muslims is threatened by the fact that Myanmar government is lacking resources to check the activities of its expatriates abroad while China has no such scarcity.
Since Malaysia is host to a very significant number of Uyghur people so China is taking special measures to monitor their activities there. These Uyghur people, mostly students, are living on their own and mostly in a peaceful manner but still there is no accurate facts and figures regarding their actual numbers. Another question mark is how many of them are properly registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR. Before corona pandemic, the monitoring of Uyghur Muslims was very easy but corona outbreak it has become a mammoth task for China to hire people for Uyghur espionage.
It is searching for people based in Malaysia to pursue this task. Anybody can be on their payroll regardless of his or her profession. One can be an academic, a doctor, lawyer, engineer, shopkeeper or even a labourer to qualify for this task. Some reliable sources at the Chinese embassy at Kuala Lumpur have confirmed that there is a staff of 60 members in it and out of these numbers, ten officers are directly linked to the Chinese intelligence agencies whose main task is to monitor the activities of Uyghur people.
This author have interviewed many Uyghur people in Malaysia. They love their homeland but they prefer staying in Malaysia due to the religious freedom there. They were of the view that in Malaysia they live a life of their own choice. They can even collect charities for their religious rituals and even collect funds from abroad. Such type of liberties are not available for them on Chinese soil. Another attraction for them is the very easy access to the Internet especially social media.
They can easily express their political, social and religious beliefs without any fear of persecution from Chinese authorities. There is another aspect to this phenomenon. A top security agency officer on the condition of anonymity told this author that after the US-Taliban peace deal, around 3000 Uyghur Muslim families have been shifted to Badakhshan area bordering China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. All this was sanctioned by the Haqqani Network supremo Sirajuddin Haqqani. Another impact of US-Taliban deal is that most of the Uyghur fighters working for Al-Qaeda have now switched their loyalties to Daaish. These Uyghur fighters have been instructed to leave major cities and spread across the rural areas. These Uyghur fighters are being supported by Turkey and Iran.
Turkey is supporting them due their Turkish origin. Similarly many of Uyghur people have migrated to Irani areas and Iran is supporting them as it wants them to be used as a pawn to disrupt the US-Taliban peace talks. All these factors are adding to the problems of the Chinese authorities. After a co. Comprehensive and exhaustive research of 5 years, this author has written a detailed paper for Chinese government elaborating ways and means on how to tackle the Uyghur issue in the most peaceful and formidable manner.
This research is based on surveys, interviews, data analysis and some earth shattering intelligence information received from many credible resources. Hope the Chinese authorities will focus on dealing the Uyghur issue in a very tactful manner.
The writer is a senior Journalist He can be reached at email@example.com