On October 23, 2018, the department hosted Mr. Lars E Andersen, Senior Research on International Studies at the Danish Institute of International Studies, Copenhagen. The visiting scholar shared his views on Chinese Counterterrorism in Xinjiang and Cooperation with Pakistan, before an audience comprising faculty and students of DSS department.
Educating the students on the socio cultural dynamics and history of the Uyghur Muslims residing in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, he mentioned that they are of Turkic origin and have unfortunately been looked upon with greater suspicion, since 9/11 and some Uighurs joining extremist militant groups overseas due to their personal inclination. As a result, the Chinese government, which is very critical of extremist or non-conformist sentiment, has been very strict in enforcing authority. Mr. Andersen provided a comprehensive appraisal of the reforms and development agenda of the Chinese government and counter terrorism strategies. He also touched upon Western perceptions and critique of China’s stringent state control and clamping of Western social media sites. He furthermore talked about China’s two pronged approach and experience in Counter Terrorism, one which it applies to domestic environment and the second; it has at the regional and international platform. China endeavours to be a positive and solid partner when it comes to such efforts. With focus on economic and infrastructural development, to address the grievance based root cause of terrorism, Beijing has carried out many efforts at home and abroad to eradicate this problem. This is different and more effective from the Western approach of addressing the symptoms than probing the deep rooted issues. However, an appraisal of counter terrorism efforts worldwide yield a less encouraging picture, as so far there is yet to be a comprehensive and holistic approach towards counter terrorism.
During the extensive Q&A session, he also mentioned that US’ approach has mainly been that of conflict or crisis management than resolution, and that has added to the inertia of problem solving when it comes to crises such as Afghanistan or any other conflict theatre. The discussion ended over refreshments and informal discussion between the visiting scholar and the faculty