‘Virtual water’

ShanxiProvinceGreatwallRuins5

An interview I did for china dialogue on China’s water scarcity and agriculture is now online.

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external exile

autonomous region

Al Jazeera has a very well made documentary called “The Uighurs: External exile,” which follows “the story of exiled Uighur Muslims of Central Asia, many of whom fled Chinese control of their land in 1949.” Stories of exile are intertwined with emotions about ongoing politics and cultural ties to the homeland. It’s about 45 minutes. Here’s the page of the documentary on Al Jazeera’s website.

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The Story of the Production and Construction Corps

the art of life in chinese central asia

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A rifle and sword tied together with a red flag over a meter of Gobi sand welcomes visitors to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Museum in the city of Shihezi – 136 kilometers northwest of Ürümchi.  This museum, filled with patched and dented artifacts and hundreds of large scale historical photos, is the premiere monument to the Han experience of the recent past in Xinjiang. It shows us the narrative of experience necessary to understand the history of the people who self-identify as “constructors” (jianshezhe) of Xinjiang.

The Bingtuan, as the Corps is referred to by locals, is a state-sponsored farm system that is spread across the territory of Xinjiang – an area as large as California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico combined. Hundreds of regiments are still in operation 60 years after their founding. Out of this population of around 3 million military farmers…

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