ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Trouble in Xinjiang

China's minorities are signalling that they will not put up with policies that favour the Han majority.

China’s inability to offer its (non-Han) minorities an equal and fair stake has been revealed once again in the recent violence in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. If it was Tibet in 2008, it is Xinjiang in 2009. Neither event has shaken Chinese government and party control over the two provinces, but both have surely reminded the government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that they cannot continue to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that there is no disaffection among the minorities. The conditions in Xinjiang were considered serious enough to compel President and CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao to embarrassingly cut short his participation in the G-8 meetings in Italy earlier this month.

Ethnic violence leading to the deaths of more than 190 people rocked Urumqi on 5 July, when rioters belonging to the predominantly Sunni Islamic Uyghur denomination attacked members of the Han Chinese in the city. The immediate trigger for the incidents in Urumqi was the violent targeting of Uyghur migrants by Han workers in a factory in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on 26 June. Upset by what some Uyghurs felt as Chinese government inaction in bringing the guilty Han workers to justice, protests were staged in Urumqi. The public anger was transformed into a bloody ethnic riot with Uyghurs attacking the migrant Han Chinese population.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top