Friday Reads

#1 - In Myanmar, apartheid tactics against minority Muslims (Reuters)

Reuters has put out a special report on the current crisis in Rakhine State.

"Rakhine State is going through a profound crisis" that "has the potential to undermine the entire reform process," said Tomás Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar.
Life here, he said, resembles junta-era Myanmar, with rampant human-rights abuses and a pervasive security apparatus. "What is happening in Rakhine State is following the pattern of what has happened in Myanmar during the military government," he said in an interview.

#2 - Uzbekistan's View of Regional Security in Central Asia (Carnegie Endowment)

Gulnara Karimova is not not only a potential successor to supreme leadership of Uzbekistan after her father Islam Karimov passes, but she's also the head of Center for Political Studies, among other talents such as being a celebrity.  In light of her recent visit to a conference in Beijing, which was attended by Chinese foreign ministry officials, I thought I'd pull this one back out. Authored by Gulnara Karimova, this provides good context for her view of Sino-Uzbek relations.

#3 - Empire States: On Pankaj Mishra (The Nation)

The way historians speak of the present in terms of “imperialism,” ”anti-imperialism” and “the rise of Asia” makes the burst of decolonization after World War II seem like an interlude in a perpetual age of empire. The temptation to see Western colonials still lording it over hapless subalterns continues to guide our understanding of the relations between the “North” and “South” since the end of formal imperialism in the 1960s. But this perspective passes over the major structural changes in the history of the postwar decades, when the United States reconceived its mission in the world and new nations were no longer willing to support it on the same terms. Without grasping how this new configuration of forces reshaped the world order, we will continue to misidentify ways to change it.

#4 - China's Central Asia Problem (International Crisis Group)

A solid report on Central Asia from a Beijing perspective.

Beijing’s primary concern is the security and development of its Xinjiang Autonomous Region, which shares 2,800km of borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The core of its strategy seems to be creation of close ties between Xinjiang and Central Asia, with the aim of reinforcing both economic development and political stability. This in turn will, it is hoped, insulate Xinjiang and its neighbours from any negative consequences of NATO’s 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan. The problem is that large parts of Central Asia look more insecure and unstable by the year. Corruption is endemic, criminalisation of the political establishment widespread, social services in dramatic decline and security forces weak. The governments with which China cooperates are increasingly viewed as part of the problem, not a solution, as Chinese analysts privately agree. There is a risk that Central Asian jihadis currently fighting beside the Taliban may take their struggle back home after 2014. This would pose major difficulties for both Central Asia and China. Economic intervention alone might not suffice.