"Zhang Weiyi grew up in Urumqi, the capital of China's Xinjiang region, a second-generation Han Chinese resident living alongside the ethnic Uighurs native to Urumqi. ... Among the dead is his father, a man who had embraced the city's ethnic diversity. 'We never thought something like this could happen,' the 24-year-old Mr. Zhang says, sobbing. 'We buy vegetables together, we eat the same food,' he says, referring to his Uighur neighbors. 'They were my classmates.' ... Whether people like Mr. Zhang and his Uighur neighbors can find a way to reconcile will be a key factor in determining whether peace can hold in the region. ... Han, who make up more than 90% of China's 1.3 billion people, have been migrating to Xinjiang in ever larger numbers since China's Communist Party took control of the region in 1949. ... Today, Hans account for at least 40% of Xinjiang's roughly 20 million people. Many Uighurs resent the Han influx, which they see as an effort to dilute their culture and usurp economic opportunities", my emphasis, Shai Oster and Jason Dean at the WSJ, 10 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124713641544717543.html.
"The myth of a monolithic China was shattered this past week. Running barely beneath the surface of what the government has sought to portray as a 'harmonious' society, the fracture created by the Urumqi and Lhasa riots threatens to shake the country. ... China is also concerned about the 'Kosovo effect,' accusing its Muslim and other ethnic minorities of seeking outside international (read Western) support for separatist goals. But ethnic problems in President Hu Jintao's China go far deeper than the 'official' minorities, Sichuanese, Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Hunamese are avidly advocating increased cultural nationalism and resistance to Beijing central control ... Officially, China is made up of 56 nationalities: one majority nationalisty, the Han, and 55 minority groups. ... The supposedly homogenous Han speak eight mutually unintelligible languages. ... By the mid-1980s, it had become clear that those minority groups identified as official minorities were beginning to receive real benefis from the implementation of several affirmative action programs. The most significant privileges included permission to have more children (except in urban areas, minorities are generally not bound by the one-child policy), pay fewer taxes, obtain better (albeit Mandarin Chinese) education for their children, have greater access to public office, speak and learn their native languages, worship and practice their religion (often including practices such as shamanism that are still banned among the Han) and express their cultural differences through the arts and popular culture", Dru Gladney at the WSJ, 11 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203547904574279952210843672.html.
"The question of why this happened and what went wrong between the Han Chinese and Uighurs who have been living together so closely in this neighbourhood for so long meets with a confused and helpess silence. ... Most eyewitness accounts say that the violence started on the night of July 5 with attacks by Uighur men on Han people and property, an account that has been repeated by the government. ... In the wake of foreign media accounts of Han retaliation last Tuesday, which was not reported in China's state media, and analysis and comment on the failure of Beijing's minorities policies, some sections of the Chinese media have accused foreign journalists of a bias in favour of the Uighurs. ... Many Chinese internet users also expressed their disgust at what they called subjective reporting, distortion of facts and demonizing of China. ... First, it sent military and paramilitary troops there with the double task of securing the territory on the fringes and developing its economy by building roads and starte farms", Kathrin Hile at the FT, 13 July 2009.
"Just as the Russians fear Chinese influence over Siberia, so the Chinese fear that Muslim Xinjiang could drift off into Central Asia. ... As things stand, the break up of China looks very unlikely. Over the long term, a steady inflow of Han immigrants into Xinjiang and Tibet should weaken separatist tendencies", my emphasis, Gideon Rachman (GR) at the FT, 14 July 2009.
"These were premeditated and organized crimes of violence, directed and instigated by separatists abroad and organized and carried out by separatists inside the country. ... Some people with ulterior motives inside China acted in collusion with the [Wolrd Uighur Congress] WUC. ... Hundreds of people gathered at the dictated time and areas, and started beating, smashing and looting at 8:18 p.m. The rioters began their barbaric sabotage of arson and killing, wreaking havoc in streets, alleys and the area connecting the city and the countryside. They tried to kill any Han person within sight, and smashed and set fire to stores and vehicles. ... We are unequivolcally against ethnic separatism, terrorism, extremism and violence, committed in whatever name. Unity among all ethnic groupos, social harmony and stability represent the highest interests of the Chinese nation, the 21 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang included. ... Their trick is to try to clear themselves of their evil acts, mislead the international community, and win its sympathy and support by playing the 'victim card,' and disguising mobsters are the 'underprivileged' and 'peaceful protestors'," Wang Baodong (WB) letter to the WSJ, 15 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124762185860842743.html.
"Turkey has long been a haven for disaffected Uighurs, including Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the pre-eminent leader of Uighur nationalism until his death in 1995. ... In contrast, most Western and Muslim countries have not seen much benefit in riling China over an issue that arouses little international attention compared with human-rights abuses in neighbouring Tibet. ... Mindful of China's proximity, and of the danges of being sucked into further unrest, the 'stans' have taken a dim view of Uighur separatism", my emphasis, Economist, 16 July 2009, link: http://www.economist.com/world/asia/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=14052216.
"But over the years, [Uighur] culture has been threatened by a steady influx of Han Chinese. The result: resentment and unrest. ... Many Uighurs complain that they have become second-class citizens in their own homeland", Simon Elegant at Time, 20 July 2009.
"Earlier this year, a Guangdong toy factory imported 800 Uighur workers as part of a government affirmative-action program. This angered Han workers--memebrs of China's dominant ethnicity--who didn't enjoy the same free room and board. ... Meanwhile, many Han are resentful that Uighurs get preferential treatment from Beijing--including job placement, easier college-entrance-exam requirements, and exemption from the one-child-per-family rule--and see them as ungrateful, especially now that provinces with large minority populations are receiving a generous share of stimulus funds", Melinda Liu at Newsweek, 20 July 2009.
"As Chinese leaders look to prevent another outbreak of ethnic violence, they face a key question: how to spread China's growing wealth to its ethnic minorities when they are losing control over even their traditional industries? ... Although the immediate catalyst for the attacks appears to have been the murder of two Uighurs in a southern Chinese factory, longer-term problems have simmered. Like Tibetans, who rioted last year against Han partly in protest of growing Han control of their region's economic life, many Uighurs feel that Han as taking over Xinjiang's economy. Most galling to some Uighurs, Han seem to be taking over traditonal Uighur industries--from tradtional markets to Muslim foodstuffs. ... Even some large companies making halal foods--those prepared according to Muslim purity laws--are run by Han and not by Uighurs. ... China aims to help its minorities through an array of generous policies, from easier college admission to soft loans and hiring requirements. Some of these have helped create a small class of prosperous Uighurs who sit on government advisory boards and have risen to top levels in the region's government", Ian Johnson at the WSJ, 21 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124811293085765891.html.
China sends Han to Xianjiang to keep it under control. What is Mexico doing to the southwestern US?
The WSJ is sympathetic to the Uighurs' plight in China. I've yet to see it show such sympathy to the plight of non-Hispanics in California. Han migration to Xinjiang followed a war. Did we have a war with Mexico, lose and I am unaware of it? Dilute Uighur "culture", clearly, but not "usurp economic opportunities". Instead make economic opportunities.
What really happened in the Balkans? Affirmative action in the People's Republic? Hmm. More children? Hmm. Like Hispanics in California. "By 2005, accordsing to the World Bank, [Mexico's total fertility rate, TFR] was 2.1--the same as the US rate. ... According to the [Center for Disease Control] data released in 2006, ... Mexican women in the US had a TFR of 2.9. ... So think about it. Women in Mexico have dramatically reduced their fertility rate, right down to US levels. But Mexican women who come to the US have more children than they would have had they stayed in Mexico. ... Why is that? ... As a people, we never directly chose this destiny, nor were we even asked about it. But we're expected to pay fo it, and be happy about it, as our nation is transformed into part of Latin America before our very eyes", Allen Wall at Vdare, 23 March 2009, link: http://www.vdare.com/awall/090323_memo.htm. I think China will transform Xinjiang into whatever it wants, the Uighur's opinion notwithstanding.
China's experience in Xianjiang province sounds like that of Kibbutzniks in pre-1948 Palestine or West Bank "settlers" today. Israel has an opportunity to tell China "we feel your pain. The European press has demonized us for decades. We give Moslems affirmative action programs too. We will send an emissary to cry with you".
I wonder if a "steady [in]flow of [Mexican] immigrants into" the American Southwest "should [heighten] separatist tendencies". Well, GR, what say you?
WB is a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. Next, WB will call the Israelis for suggestions on how to deal with China's "Palestinians". It could happen.
That's intersting. The Moslem world is little interested in the Uighurs plight in China. Why?
I wonder if the Uighurs are "racist". Or, since they are third-worlders, they can't be.
Quoted without comment.
"Look, up in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane". No it's not Superman, but Al Sharpton. China clearly needs him. Al, step up. Your country needs you to set the Chinese right. Charge the Chinese a fortune and balance our payments. If China keeps up its current policies, it will become California. Interestingly, Han Chinese control most industries in Malaysia, which is 60% Moslem. Malaysia has Moslem "set-asides" for Bumiputras, the "sons of the soil". Why? Because they can't compete with the Chinese who are called the "Joos of Asia". Interesting. I see a trend here.