Chinese state media is now reporting that police are looking for two suspects from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in connection with the “terrorism related incident” in Tiananmen Square on Monday. Given what little is known about the incident as yet, I don’t want to add to speculation about this specific incident. But, as western media outlets have done a good job of highlighting, tensions between the Uyghur, Han and the Chinese state are long-term and the result of a multitude of different reasons-religious, ethnic, economic, social and political. Xinjiang is, as James Palmer (@BeijingPalmer) vividly demonstrates in this ChinaFile piece, the embodiment of a disharmonious society and I imagine recent events likely mean tighter conditions for the Uyghur in the near term. I don’t research the Uyghur issue per se, but the following are 20 relevant academic resources that I encountered while researching a paper on China’s relations with Central Asia (in which the situation in Xinjiang obviously plays a role).
The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land. Gardner Bovingdon, Columbia University Press, 2010.
The Xinjiang conflict : Uyghur identity, language policy, and political discourse. Arienne Dwyer, East West Center, 2005.
Oasis Identities: Uyghur Nationalism Along China’s Silk Road. Justin Rudelson, Columbia University Press, 1998.
From the Margins to the Centre: The Uyghur Challenge in Beijing. Nimrod Baranovitch, China Quarterly, 2003.
Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities and Other Sub-altern Subjects. Dru Gladney, Chicago University Press, 2004.
Autonomy in Xinjiang : Han nationalist imperatives and Uyghur discontent. Gardner Bovingdon, East West Center, 2004.
Conceptualising Uyghur separatism in Chinese nationalism. Abanti Bhattacharya, Strategic Analysis, 2003.
China, Xinjiang and Central Asia: History, Transition and Crossborder Interaction into the 21st Century. Colin Mackerras, Routledge, 2009.
Migration and Inequality in Xinjiang: A Survey of Han and Uyghur Migrants in Urumqi. Howell & Fan, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2011.
China’s “War on Terror”: September 11 and Uighur Separatism. Chien-peng Chung, Foreign Affairs, 2002.
China, Xinjiang and the internationalisation of the Uyghur issue. Michael Clarke, Global Change, Peace & Security, 2010.
Violent separatism in Xinjiang : a critical assessment. James Milward, East West Center 2004.
China’s security interests in Central Asia. Russell Ong, Central Asian Survey, 2005.
China, Xinjiang and the transnational security of Central Asia. Kerr & Swinton, Critical Asian Studies, 2008.
Xinjiang: China’s Future West Bank? Dru Gladney, Current History, 2002.
Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China. Blaine Kaltman, Ohio University Press, 2007.
Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia . Han et al, Ashgate, 2007.
Islam in China: Accommodation or Separatism? Dru Gladney, China Quarterly, 2003.
Charting the Course of Uyghur Unrest. Justin Hastings, China Quarterly, 2011.
China Turns West: Beijing’s Contemporary Strategy Towards Central Asia. Kevin Sheives, Pacific Affairs, 2006.
Not being an expert on this issue I obviously don’t claim this to be a definitive list of academic sources, so if there is seminal work not present here let me know on Twitter @jonlsullivan or mail.