The People’s Republic of China at Sixty: The Fear of Self-Examination

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October 01, 2009 | Huffpost | By Henryk Szadziewski

October 1, 2009 marks sixty years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing. China’s capital has been readied for a parade of 200,000 people to honor the achievements of six decades of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration. It is a time for Party officials the length and breadth of the country to reflect on sixty years of rule which has brought China to the brink of superpower status.

October 1 also marks the 54th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, an area also known as East Turkestan. The capital of the region, Urumchi, experienced a wave of unrest this summer and has been tense in the build up to October 1. In preparation, an estimated 130,000 additional troops have been deployed to the region to ensure that new unrest does not break out at this sensitive time. Despite the long-standing problems besetting the region, Party officials are unlikely to reflect on why six decades of CCP rule has driven such a profound wedge between the region’s Uyghurs and Han Chinese.