This balanced history of Xinjiang and its Uyghur inhabitants traces the development of this ethnic group from imperial China to the present and its fraught relationship with the Chinese state. Morris Rossabi focuses especially on CCP policies, both progressive and repressive, toward the Uyghurs since 1949.
Morris Rossabi is Distinguished Professor of History at City University of New York and adjunct professor at Columbia University. He is the author of several celebrated works on Asian history and has collaborated on exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. His books include A History of China, The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction, The Mongols and Global History, and Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times.
Map of the Silk Roads
1 Setting the Stage: Xinjiang and Imperial and Early
Early History and the Silk Roads
Mongol Era and Xinjiang to 1750s
China Rules Xinjiang
Rebellion in Xinjiang and Aftermath
End of the Qing Dynasty and Consequences
2 China, the USSR, and the Emergence of Uyghurs
USSR Involvement and Chinese and Uyghur Responses
Chinese Communists Emerge Victorious
New Communist Policies
Repeated Changes in Communist Policies
Emergence of Radical Initiatives
3 Moderation and Ensuing Violence, 1976–2000
Era of Reform in Xinjiang
Uyghur Protests Start in 1990
Government Responses to Protests
Increases in Violence and “Strike Hard”
4 “Carrots and Sticks” in the Twenty-First Century
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 9/11 Aftereffects vs. Moderation
Uyghur Dissatisfaction and PRC Responses
Peace through Moderation or Strike Hard Policies?
Xi Jinping and Three New Policies
Xi Reacts to Violence
Training Centers or Camps?
Failures and Successes and the Future
China and the Uyghurs is a go-to book for those who want to read about the Uyghurs and the Chinese state for the first time. In present times, the plight of the Uyghurs is receiving increasing attention, but their situation is still often misunderstood. Furthermore, and due to the study in China and the Uyghurs of a longer time frame than other books on the Uyghurs, those readers who are relatively familiar with the topic will still benefit from the original historical perspective of Rossabi’s work.
As a brief introduction to its topic, this is by far the best and most balanced account I have seen. Rossabi obviously knows his subject through and through. He shows a passion and enthusiasm for China and the Uyghurs that comes from years of engagement and concern. Despite its compactness, the book contains an immense amount of interesting and relevant information. Rossabi remains remarkably objective while covering such a highly controversial subject and succeeds in showing various sides of the argument and why people disagree so strongly. I found the whole book engrossing and strongly recommend it to general and specialist readerships alike.
No one could write with greater authority on the borderland peoples of China and Central Asia than Morris Rossabi whose first breakthrough book on the topic was published in 1975. In his latest work, China and the Uyghurs, he presents an intriguing, uniquely informed history of the Uyghur minority from its murky origins as a distinctive linguistic, religious, tribal group in the ninth century to its ‘national minority’ status in the Soviet period to its contentious, indeterminate place in PRC/Xinjiang politics today. Thoroughly evidence-based, impressively evenhanded, China and the Uyghurs is a timely book, a definite must-read for Americans now assessing ‘what’s next’ in regional power plays and ethnic group tensions following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
8/16/22, The New Arab: The book and author were highlighted in this piece.