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Zero Tolerance
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: November 2022
  • Print publication year: 2022
  • Online ISBN: 9781009115247
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Book description

China's mistreatment of its Uyghur minority has drawn international condemnation and sanctions. The repression gripping Xinjiang is also hugely costly to China in Renminbi, personnel, and stifled economic productivity. Despite this, the Chinese Communist Party persists in its policies. Why? Drawing on extensive original data, Potter and Wang demonstrate insecurities about the stability of the regime and its claim to legitimacy motivate Chinese policies. These perceived threats to core interests drive the ferocity of the official response to Uyghur nationalism. The result is harsh repression, sophisticated media control, and selective international military cooperation. China's growing economic and military power means that the country's policies in Xinjiang and Central Asia have global implications. Zero Tolerance sheds light on this problem, informing policymakers, scholars, and students about an emerging global hotspot destined to play a central role in international politics in years to come.


‘Potter and Wang's important new book taps a broader literature about domestic political violence and authoritarianism to enrich our understanding of China's policies for dealing with resentment and unrest among the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Although they detail and explain variation in Beijing's policies since 1949, ultimately they emphasize the clear trend in recent years toward ever harsher repression and tighter social controls. Their book also highlights new international dangers that China faces as its vast array of Belt and Road projects in Central Asia and beyond creates opportunities for political violence against Chinese targets motivated by anger about Beijing's policies towards Xinjiang's Muslims.'

Avery Goldstein - David M. Knott Professor of Global Politics and International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

‘In Zero Tolerance, Potter and Wang provide a sophisticated but accessible analysis of China's security policy regarding its Uyghur minority.  Using rich historical analysis, discussion of past and current Chinese government policy trends and analysis of unique data, the authors paint a chilling portrait of repression and violent backlash as China expands its engagement internationally.  In the book, Potter and Wang convincingly argue that as China expands its relations with other countries, it will become increasingly vulnerable to domestic extremist threats. This will reinforce China's trend of repression against Uyghurs and dissidents. Presenting a chilling vision of the future, Zero Tolerance is a must read for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Chinese international relations and domestic security policy.'

James A. Piazza - Liberal Arts Professor of Political Science, The Pennsylvania State University


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