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Escalations: Spying and Totalitarianism in Western China and Beyond

  • Lars Højer
Chapter

Abstract

Having just interviewed a controversial figure in the local Uyghur minority community, my interpreter and I were sitting in a taxi, on our way back to the city center of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Our controversial interviewee had often faced accusations of being a Chinese spy from other local Uyghurs, and we were now contemplating that possibility. Could he indeed be one? How come he had chosen to establish a non -political cultural Uyghur organization when other Uyghurs in Bishkek seemed vehemently political and passionately anti-Chinese? How come he—the son of an exiled Uyghur—was arguing for dialogue with China and was still able to conduct business within China? I was not convinced of his guilt, though, and during the interview, he himself had informed us that he was sometimes accused of being a spy by other Uyghurs. Why would he bring this up if indeed he was one? And how come “a spy” knew some of the most prominent members of the Uyghur diaspora in person? My interpreter playfully responded that he could just have said that to convince me of his innocence. Maybe he is a spy, she said. Silence took over, and we were left wondering.1

Keywords

Personal Attack Chinese State Minority Culture Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Spatial Metaphor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Jens Dahl and Esther Fihl 2013

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  • Lars Højer

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