China Likely to Use Georgia War to Justify Crackdowns

Beijing sees conflict as new lesson to keep minorities in line
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2008 2:10 AM CDT
A local on a donkey cart past by the border patrol camp near the scene of an attack that killed 16 police in Kashgar, western China's Xinjiang province, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008.    (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – The Chinese government will likely seize upon the Georgia conflict to justify crackdowns on its own separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang, according to a Bloomberg analysis. Chinese officials view the Georgia conflict "as the result of Russia's inability to control the country," and they don't want to make the same mistake, said one analyst.

The resurgence of Russian power will worry China, but the country stands to gain from less restive regions as well as a reduction of American influence in Central Asia. "In the big game, if there is resistance against the US and their allies, it's good news for China," said another observer. "That means more maneuvering room in their role with the US."