After September 11, Russia, India, and China joined the United States' anti-terrorism coalition. Some political analysts suggest that a major motive was to gain international acceptance for these countries' own policies toward minorities such as the Chechens, Kashmiris, Tibetans, and Uighurs. Of these groups, the least well known are the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people of northwestern China.
Since the People's Republic of China was founded, the Uighurs have resisted Beijing's attempts to control their religious and political activities. In the past few years, Uighur separatist groups have been blamed for attacks in northwest China as well as the capital. Chinese officials have warned that Beijing will not tolerate separatism or social disturbances under the guise of religion.
Judith Latham explores the condition of the "Uighurs of China" in this edition of Dateline.