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Urumqi fighting

The current fighting in northwest China constitutes the biggest civil disturbances in China since Tiananmen in 1989 with at least 156 dead in the current violence – the most dead being Han Chinese. The fighting seems to be developing along ethnic lines with Muslim Uighur fighting the Han Chinese who provide a majority of the population. Urumqi is the largest city in that vast north-western part of China , Xingjiang. The dispute seems to be over claimed issues of lost cultural identity and economic progress.

This is how the China Daily reported it – the video coverage is graphic.

This is how The Times saw it. Information flows are being managed rather than eliminated.

More to come I am certain.

Update: A major concern in China at present is the reaction of the western media to these events.  At least 156 Han Chinese were killed in these events and all of them seem to be total innocents – for the most part poor people seeking to provide a better life for their families in this underdeveloped part of China.  This should not be foregotten. Moreover, when angry Han sought to take violent revenge against the Uighur they were prevented from doing so by the military – this is hardly evidence of ‘ethnic repression’. Minorities in China are given a special priviledged status in many respects – they are exempted from the one-child per family policy for example. Some of the western critics of China seem to be asserting that murder of innocents is acceptible provided they are Han Chinese.

1 comment to Urumqi fighting

  • derrida derider

    The Chinese will always try and repress separatist movements with an iron hand – they are very conscious that the whole history of China has been a fight to hold the Middle Kingdom together against fissiparous forces (it explains, for example, their Taiwan policy). The Han-isation of outlying provinces, like Javanese transmigration within Indonesia, is deliberate policy to try and reduce these forces but like transmigration it stirs up the very fears it is meant to allay.

    But you are right about the Western press’ selective outrage. We saw the selectivity last year in the Russia-Georgia conflict too (as clear a case of aggression being punished as you can get).

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