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Cultural Rights and Uyghur Nationalism

Robert Guang Tian

Nation, nationalism, nation-state, and nationalist movements are complicated concepts to be clarified by the scholars who have established postmodernism theories. Various approaches, such as political rights, economic rights, and ethnic identity power, have been created to help understand nationalism and nationalist movements. Cultural rights are viewed as an important foundation for nationalism in postmodern times. The Uyghur nationalists should realize that their objectives need to be adjusted, given their limited resources and the current international situation. To fight for their cultural rights at this time is more reasonable and attainable for Uyghur nationalists than is summarily claiming independence. The Chinese central government should be more tolerable and flexible toward the Uyghur nationalists’ seeking cultural rights. As long as both sides are willing to deal with nationalism through the medium of cultural rights, a win-win situation is certain to be realized.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 2, Vol. 24, Fall, 2004 pp 144 – 157

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