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Washington Quarterly: Al-Qaeda and the Rise of China: Jihadi Geopolitics

Author: Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Research Fellow, New America Foundation, Fellow with the Combating Terrorism Center, West Point
Summer 2011


Brian Fishman explains why Al-Qaeda affiliated jihadi thinkers are concerned with China's rise, as the country becomes increasingly tied to regimes they believe are fundamentally corrupt.

Prognosticating about China's economic, political, and military rise has become a favorite conversation for Western politicians and policy wonks. But Western observers are not the only strategists debating the impact of increased Chinese power. A parallel conversation has been taking place among al-Qaeda affiliated jihadi thinkers for much of the last decade. That discussion ranges from debate about how best to support rebellion among Muslim Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang province to more abstract disagreements over how a transnational militant network such as al-Qaeda should adapt when a traditional state upends the U.S.-led system that has been its primary boogeyman for nearly 15 years.

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