China’s Forgotten People

cfp cover copy

Featured in The New York Times, The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, Open Democracy, and the South China Morning Post.


On 28 October 2013 a jeep ploughed through a busy crowd before exploding in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The Chinese authorities identified the driver as a Uyghur – one of an Islamic ethnic minority, 10 million strong, who live in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang.

Six months later, eight knife-wielding Uyghurs went on a rampage at a train station in Kunming, killing 29 people and wounding more than 140 others. These attacks, described as ‘China’s 9/11’, have shaken the Chinese leadership, which has cracked down hard on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

One of the few Western commentators to have lived in the region, journalist Nick Holdstock travels into the heart of the province and explores the decades of economic hardship and religious discrimination that underlie the recent violence. Offering a much needed alternative perspective to the Chinese government’s narrative of Islamic terrorism and ‘religious extremism’, China’s Forgotten People exposes the one-party state’s demonisation of all forms of dissent and reflects on what this means for the future of China.

Jonathan Mirsky’s review from Literary Review can be read here in 2 parts: LR CFP 1 and LR CFP 2

There’s another review at Asian Review of Books and one by Kerry Brown at Open Democracy

Tom Miller’s review from The Spectator

July 2018 Chinese edition:



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