China quietly confronted a predominantly indigenous insurgency in the country’s far northwest for over two decades by increasing the security forces’ capability to respond to incidents with less brutal methods and simultaneously investing political and financial capital in hardening society to insurgency’s call. Although far from perfect, China’s tactics evolved to meet the insurgency’s new challenges and China nevertheless remained focused on the long-term project of transforming society’s vision of the future, one tied to the Chinese state’s promise of security, rights and opportunity. Under separatist and Islamist banners, and with inspiration and a few direct links to the global jihad, riots, ambushes, bombings and assassinations in trickle and deluge threatened the government’s grip on the massive region of northwest China known as Xinjiang, the ‘new frontier’. Possibly hundreds of China’s Uyghurs, Xinjiang’s once predominant ethnic minority, trained at a camp in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, and probably elsewhere in the region specifically intending to return home and wage a new jihad, a new fight against the Chinese government. China, for its part, prevented the nascent insurgency from gaining momentum by acting early and forcefully, constantly refining its approach down the spectrum of violence and increasingly relying on social methods, thereby limiting the insurgency from escalating into what could have become the country’s Chechnya, Gaza, Afghanistan or Iraq (e.g. Chinese Communist Party, author unknown, 2005; Gladney 2002). After greatly reducing the prevalence of insurgency in mainstream society, Chinese authorities now face problems on both ends of the spectrum of violence: society’s increased demand for civil rights, a demand that if met would increase the state’s longevity, and terrorist plots, a direct challenge to the state’s power that Chinese authorities apparently remain intent on confronting with tactical suppression and strategic integration – with Chinese characteristics. It is unclear if Chinese authorities, seemingly more comfortable fighting terrorists than wrestling with public demands for redress of grievances, have come to grips with the nature of the current political landscape, but judging by the continued calls for investment and education perhaps Chinese leaders sense that the next move is theirs as they press forward transforming society in Xinjiang.