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Jakarta Post

Separatist movements in Indonesia and China

  • Mario Rustan

Bandung   /   Tue, August 23 2011   /  07:00 am

Despite having different political systems and history, Indonesia and China are both experiencing the same problem: sporadic violence in outlying provinces.

In the past few years, there have been significant attacks on Han — the largest ethnic group in China — residents in Tibet and Xinjiang regions, with hundreds of casualties. In Indonesia, skirmishes between Indonesian soldiers and the Free Papua Organization (OPM) and individual attacks on Indonesian settlers and Western miners are still taking place years after Indonesia made peace with Aceh.

In terms of the intensity of conflicts, scale and scope of the rebellions, fortunately Indonesia and China do not have the problems faced by United Kingdom in Northern Ireland and the Philippines in Mindanao. Separatism in Papua, Tibet, and Xinjiang, however, would keep those regions insecure for this decade.