World View: 300 Chinese Citizens Join ISIS in Iraq and Syria

World View: 300 Chinese Citizens Join ISIS in Iraq and Syria

This morning’s key headlines from

  • China: 300 Chinese citizens join ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  • Desperate Russia raises interest rates to 17%, as ruble and oil prices collapse
  • Russia builds a road connecting Dagestan to Georgia

China: 300 Chinese citizens join ISIS in Iraq and Syria

ISIS fighters (AFP)
ISIS fighters (AFP)

As we’ve reported in the past, young men from Asia are flocking toSyria and Iraq to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq andSyria (IS or ISIS or ISIL). ( “6-Oct-14 World View — ISIS influence spreads in Asia, as Pakistan Taliban pledges support”) Young jihadists throughoutAsia, including China, Pakistan, India, Indonesia and Australia, havebeen drawn by the youthful ISIS leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi to Syriato join the jihad.

The horrific terrorist attack in Sydney on Sunday and Monday havereminded Australian authorities that some 60 young men from Australiahave gone to Syria to join ISIS.

China rarely releases similar figures about Chinese citizens, but didso on Monday, when state media reported that some 300 Chinese citizens are fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria. According to thereport, these are Uighurs who have joined the East Turkestan IslamicMovement (ETIM), and traveled through Turkey to Syria, where they jointhe Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). Chinese media blame “ambiguouspolicies” by Turkey’s government that allow easy access to Turkeythrough southeastern Turkey’s Sanliurfa Province, and then to joinISIS:

The fact that these extremists can easily enterTurkey and later travel to Syria and Iraq to join IS is a directconsequence of the Turkish government’s ambiguouspolicies.

Turkey’s embassy in Beijing called the claims “ridiculous,” sayingthat they only issue passports to Turkish citizens. They blamed thegovernments of China and other Asian countries:

The illegal issuance of passports and visas andcustoms loopholes in some Southeast Asian countries have allowedextremists to travel to Turkey and then go on to join thejihadists. If there weren’t so many illegal passports and visasavailable, there would not be so many members of ETIM in Syria andIraq.

Reuters and Global Times (Beijing)

Desperate Russia raises interest rates to 17%, as ruble and oil prices collapse

A desperate Russian central bank raised interest rates to 17% from10.5% early Tuesday morning to halt the collapse of the rublecurrency. On Monday, the ruble fell 10% in one day against thedollar, for a total of 49% fall this year, resulting in rampantinflation.

Prices of West Texas Intermediate oil took another plunge on Monday toless than $56 per barrel. It was just a few months ago that it waspriced at over $100 per barrel.

Russia’s economy appears to be spiraling out of control, in the sameway that Greece’s economy did a couple of years ago. The reasons forRussia’s crisis are:

  • 52% of Russia’s economy depends on oil revenues.
  • Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has been overspending and going into debt for years, assuming that oil prices would remain high.
  • Russia’s invasion, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and it’s invasion and partial occupation of eastern Ukraine, have turned out to be very expensive, and are a continuing expense as they require a great deal of military and humanitarian aid.
  • The western sanctions on Russia have made it almost impossible for Russian banks to manage their debts by borrowing money overseas.

Reuters and Nasdaq

Russia builds a road connecting Dagestan to Georgia

Russia is rushing at breakneck speed to complete a road connectingDagestan, its province in the North Caucasus, across the Caucasusmountain ridge to Georgia. The road construction is raising alarm inGeorgia, as it will allow Russia to invade Georgia rapidly. Russiainvaded Georgia in 2008, and occupied two Georgian provinces, Abkhaziaand South Ossetia. The road would also establish a land corridor withArmenia, Russia’s ally in the South Caucasus, and cut off the Caspianand the Central Asian region, which is rich in energy resources, frominternational markets. The highway is expected to be completed byMarch 2015. Jamestown

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Pakistan, India, Australia,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, Syria, Iraq,East Turkestan Islamic Movement, ETIM, Turkistan Islamic Party, TIP,Turkey, Sanliurfa Province,Russia, ruble, Vladimir Putin, Greece, Dagestan, Georgia
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