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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

Q&A: China and the Uighurs

What lies behind the unrest involving Muslim Uighurs in China?

Where did the unrest take place?


The Xinjiang autonomous region lies in China's north-west, bordering central Asia. Covering one-sixth of the country's total territory, it is a vast but sparsely populated area with about 19 million inhabitants. Some 8 million are Turkic-speaking Uighur Muslims, concentrated in the south of the region around cities such as Kashgar, known to the Chinese as Kashi, which lies 2,500 miles from Beijing. The Uighurs (pronounced Wee-gurs) make up about 45% of Xingiang's population.

Why is there tension in the region?


Increasing controls on religious and cultural activity, large-scale Han Chinese migration and economic marginalisation have all played a part. The proportion of Han Chinese inhabitants rose from 6% in 1949 to about 40% by 2000 and migrants had begun to spread from cities into rural areas, where they found themselves in competition with Uighur communities for water and land. Many Uighurs complain that they have not benefited from the region's economic development and have found it harder to access government grants and bank loans.

Has the region ever been independent?


In 1933 Turkic rebels declared independence and created the short-lived Islamic Republic of East Turkestan. It was reabsorbed into China the following year. In 1944 the Second East Turkistan Republic was created, but it became a Chinese territory again in 1949. Some Uighurs are nostalgic for these phases of independence.

Has the area seen recent acts of violence?


Xinjiang has experienced sporadic outbursts of separatist activity and general anti-government protests. Days before the Olympic games last year, 16 Chinese policemen were killed in a raid on a paramilitary border police headquarters in Xinjiang. No group claimed responsibility. Violence peaked in 1997, with fatal bus bombings and riots after a peaceful protest was suppressed. Experts believe the ensuing security crackdown halted the violence but exacerbated underlying tensions.
Amnesty International alleges that as many as 200 Uighurs were executed between 1997-99, and claims the crackdown has continued. This year it accused the Chinese government of mounting an aggressive campaign that led to the arrest and arbitrary detention of thousands of Uighurs on charges of "terrorism, separatism and religious extremism".

Are separatist terrorist groups behind the unrest?


Chinese state media often blames the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for stirring violence and planning attacks. But there are several groups that tend to be labelled as ETIM. Experts claim that China is exaggerating the threat posed by the group, which has been deemed a terrorist group by the UN and the US. While there is evidence of links between ETIM and al-Qaida, most analysts believe those connections are historic and several believe they were exaggerated.
More than 20 Uighurs were imprisoned in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp after being captured by the US in Afghanistan. Albania accepted five of them in 2006, Bermuda accepted four last month and the Pacific island of Palau will take the others.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

A new wave of violence hit the capital of the Chinese region of Xinjiang today as thousands of angry Han Chinese rampaged through Urumqi, many smashing up Uighur stores and seeking vengeance for Han deaths at the weekend.

China protests: 'It's a huge wave of violence' Link to this audio
The authorities swiftly imposed a curfew on the restive city in an attempt to quell what the government has already described as the worst riots since the foundation of the People's Republic 60 years ago. Police attempted to disperse today's mob with teargas as they headed towards a predominantly Uighur area, but many were still on the streets armed with whatever came to hand: wooden staves, iron bars, metal chains, nunchuks, shovels and axes.
Rioters smashed Uighur restaurants, threw rocks at a mosque and threatened residents of Uighur areas, although moderates in the crowd attempted to restrain them.
"They attacked us. Now it's our turn to attack them," one protester told Reuters. Another said: "We're here to demand security for ourselves. They killed children in cold blood."
"It's your time to suffer," they shouted at some of the five- and six-storey apartment blocks lining Xinfu Road.
At least 156 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured since ethnic clashes broke out at the weekend.
Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called for "great restraint" on all sides "so as not to spark further violence and loss of life". "This is a major tragedy," she said.
There is no official breakdown yet of fatalities and casualties from Sunday's violence, when an Uighur protest at mistreatment turned into full-scale ethnic clashes.
But witnesses described vicious and apparently indiscriminate attacks on Han Chinese people, although substantial numbers of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities were also injured.
Crowd members today told the Guardian that they believed Uighurs were coming back to attack them.
A respectable-looking middle-class woman carried a plank with a nail sticking out of it; a young woman in a colourful, patterned top and white diamante mules clutched a piece of metal pipe. A father held his young son in one hand and a length of wood in the other.
"We just want to defend our stuff," said one man.
Few people seemed to know where rumours of further attacks had come from, but witnesses told Reuters that earlier in the day groups of around 10 Uighur men armed with bricks and knives had attacked Han Chinese passersby and shop owners until police arrived.
"They were using everything for weapons, like bricks, sticks and cleavers," said Ma, an employee at a nearby fastfood restaurant. "Whenever the rioters saw someone on the street, they would ask 'are you a Uighur?' If they kept silent or couldn't answer in the Uighur language, they would get beaten or killed."
It was not clear if anyone died in those reported attacks.
Authorities were initially slow to react as large numbers of Han Chinese gathered on the streets around the People's Square in the centre of the city from around 2pm.
But the city's Communist party chief, Li Zhi, later took to the streets, using a bullhorn from the top of a police four-wheel drive to beg protesters to calm down and go home.
Police stopped the crowd entering an Uighur neighbourhood, but even teargas could not disperse them.
Journalists who tried to follow the crowd were bundled away from the scene "for their own safety", as protesters turned angrily on some cameramen, shoving and shouting at them.
Elsewhere in the capital, officers pleaded with gangs to go home. One told protesters holding wooden and metal bars: "Please stand away. We are a nation united."
A man replied: "Our brothers and sisters have been bloodied."
Another officer told the mob: "We need to protect the law. Please retreat. Please trust us."
Banks closed their doors and staff crouched inside, some holding staves, while hotel staff taped up windows.
Earlier in the day Chinese armed police and Uighurs clashed as residents erupted into protests during an official media tour of the riot zone, in the face of hundreds of officers.
Women in the marketplace burst into wailing and chanting as foreign reporters arrived, complaining that police had taken away Uighur men.
Authorities have arrested 1,434 people in connection with Sunday's unrest.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

Q&A: China and the Uighurs

What lies behind the unrest involving Muslim Uighurs in China?

Where did the unrest take place?


The Xinjiang autonomous region lies in China's north-west, bordering central Asia. Covering one-sixth of the country's total territory, it is a vast but sparsely populated area with about 19 million inhabitants. Some 8 million are Turkic-speaking Uighur Muslims, concentrated in the south of the region around cities such as Kashgar, known to the Chinese as Kashi, which lies 2,500 miles from Beijing. The Uighurs (pronounced Wee-gurs) make up about 45% of Xingiang's population.

Why is there tension in the region?


Increasing controls on religious and cultural activity, large-scale Han Chinese migration and economic marginalisation have all played a part. The proportion of Han Chinese inhabitants rose from 6% in 1949 to about 40% by 2000 and migrants had begun to spread from cities into rural areas, where they found themselves in competition with Uighur communities for water and land. Many Uighurs complain that they have not benefited from the region's economic development and have found it harder to access government grants and bank loans.

Has the region ever been independent?


In 1933 Turkic rebels declared independence and created the short-lived Islamic Republic of East Turkestan. It was reabsorbed into China the following year. In 1944 the Second East Turkistan Republic was created, but it became a Chinese territory again in 1949. Some Uighurs are nostalgic for these phases of independence.

Has the area seen recent acts of violence?


Xinjiang has experienced sporadic outbursts of separatist activity and general anti-government protests. Days before the Olympic games last year, 16 Chinese policemen were killed in a raid on a paramilitary border police headquarters in Xinjiang. No group claimed responsibility. Violence peaked in 1997, with fatal bus bombings and riots after a peaceful protest was suppressed. Experts believe the ensuing security crackdown halted the violence but exacerbated underlying tensions.
Amnesty International alleges that as many as 200 Uighurs were executed between 1997-99, and claims the crackdown has continued. This year it accused the Chinese government of mounting an aggressive campaign that led to the arrest and arbitrary detention of thousands of Uighurs on charges of "terrorism, separatism and religious extremism".

Are separatist terrorist groups behind the unrest?


Chinese state media often blames the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for stirring violence and planning attacks. But there are several groups that tend to be labelled as ETIM. Experts claim that China is exaggerating the threat posed by the group, which has been deemed a terrorist group by the UN and the US. While there is evidence of links between ETIM and al-Qaida, most analysts believe those connections are historic and several believe they were exaggerated.
More than 20 Uighurs were imprisoned in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp after being captured by the US in Afghanistan. Albania accepted five of them in 2006, Bermuda accepted four last month and the Pacific island of Palau will take the others.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

i remember not too long ago that some chinese posters proclaimed that there were no problems among the various chinese ethnic groups. i think this was during the recent outbreak of problems in tibet. they also said westerners were misinformed about china.

i would say that a lot of chinese don't know they are misinformed or just don't care or willfully spread their government's lies.

i think it's a bit unrealistic to expect them to know these things. i'll most of them are han and may not even spend much time thinking about who they are, their history, etc. vis a vis minorities.

people in the majority often take for granted the benefits of being apart of the dominant group - i should know, i'm a black american.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by woosey View Post
i remember not too long ago that some chinese posters proclaimed that there were no problems among the various chinese ethnic groups. i think this was during the recent outbreak of problems in tibet. they also said westerners were misinformed about china.

i would say that a lot of chinese don't know they are misinformed or just don't care or willfully spread their government's lies.

i think it's a bit unrealistic to expect them to know these things. i'll most of them are han and may not even spend much time thinking about who they are, their history, etc. vis a vis minorities.

people in the majority often take for granted the benefits of being apart of the dominant group - i should know, i'm a black american.

You are 100% spot on that! I did told some of the Chinese poster during the tibet protest that this is a racial problem but they never listen to what I say and it seems the same thing is happening to the Ulghurs. I understand that what you feel too because as a British Chinese I feel at time that the White Brits granted on things like identity. Things like we are true Brit and you not and you need to be comform etc etc.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 12:35 AM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

China is going through what Europe was going through in the early 1900's. Each ethnicity wants their own country.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

Hello. Uighur must fix up Kazak first.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by mariahdg View Post
Hello. Uighur must fix up Kazak first.
Care to form a sentence and explain what you mean?
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by mandy7 View Post
Care to form a sentence and explain what you mean?
she means there still has a ethnic group with a relatively huge population called Kazak Actually there are more than 40 ethnic groups in that province
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by mandy7 View Post
Care to form a sentence and explain what you mean?
It means that the line between mandy7 and mango7 is always clear.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

And do the Han Chinese treat all those ethnic groups like they do the Uyghurs?
I sure hope not!
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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she means there still has a ethnic group with a relatively huge population called Kazak Actually there are more than 40 ethnic groups in that province
It's autonomous region
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by mariahdg View Post
It means that the line between mandy7 and mango7 is always clear.
Are you not capable of answering a serious question?
I just asked you what you meant.
Instead of assuming you meant something stupid and attacking you right away, i gave you a chance to explain yourself.
So, why don't you.
Why do you think calling me mango makes you look smart?
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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It's autonomous region
No need to smash me for calling it a province
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Re: Han Chinese launch revenge attacks on Uighur property

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Originally Posted by mandy7 View Post
Are you not capable of answering a serious question?
I just asked you what you meant.
Instead of assuming you meant something stupid and attacking you right away, i gave you a chance to explain yourself.
So, why don't you.
Why do you think calling me mango makes you look smart?
she is smart as hell
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