21 February 2017
South-east Asia is witnessing evolving security risks from Chinese Uighurs’ involvement in militant activities in the region. Although this is a relatively new phenomenon, it has transnational security implications for the region.
Since 2013, South-east Asia has emerged as a major transit route for an influx of illegal Uighur immigrants fleeing from China’s restive Xinjiang province in a bid to reach Turkey, which is home to a large Uighur diaspora community. The first phase of the movement of Uighurs into Southeast Asia took place in 2009 — in the aftermath of the inter-ethnic clashes between local Uighur and Han Chinese communities that left 197 dead and 1,700 injured.
The phenomenon of Uighur militancy in South-east Asia can be said to be an outcome of a combination of long-standing inter-ethnic tensions between local Uighur and Han communities in Xinjiang, and the tightening of border controls and security measures in Central Asia, which has forced the Uighurs to seek alternative routes.
… Nodirbek Soliev is a Senior Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. This is adapted from a longer piece in the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis journal published by the centre.
ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 21/02/2017