Wednesday Headlines

Growing Instability In China
In comparison to the unrest in Turkey, Syria and Egypt, the violence occurring in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (aka East Turkistan) may not seem significant. The Chinese, however, have not taken lightly to several acts of violence committed by members of the Muslim minority.

“However, the heavy-handed state response to this recent violence suggests that it is much more significant than is readily apparent. It has triggered a mass mobilization of military and security forces in the region and a variety of new restrictions on ethnic Uyghurs.

Part of the significance of these recent acts of violence is that they reflect a continuation and potential expansion of ongoing ethnic tension in the region that China has struggled to mitigate,” says Dr. Sean R. Roberts, an associate professor at The George Washington University.

Much like the situation in Egypt, the root causes of the unrest are not to religious or ethnic in nature, but economic. According to Roberts, the division is an almost natural consequence of China’s development efforts in the region and that poses a unique challenge to authorities.

“In this regard, the violence reflects a substantial and volatile local challenge to the almost unstoppable plans of the Chinese state to project its power westward. While these plans are already quickly transforming the geopolitical map of Central and South Asia, the recent street violence in Xinjiang and China’s strong response to it may hint at the nature of these changes and whether they are more likely to bring stability or conflict to the region,” the professor contends.

Technology Can Strengthen Disaster Response And Public Safety Efforts
Technology has transformed the way many people conduct themselves in business and even when performing the most mundane of daily activities. Mobile devices have changed the way people communicate and their is evidence that they also hold the potential to change how governments conduct disaster relief and public safety efforts.

new paper by Darrell West and Elizabeth Valentini of the Brookings Institution examine how mobile technology possesses the ability to increase the effectiveness of disaster response by improving emergency coordination and public communications in times of crisis.

How The Chinese View American History
David Caragliano takes a look at a new book which documents the experiences of Amy Verbel, who traveled to China to teach history to the next generation of Chinese students – and how she gained a new perspective on American history in the process.






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