* China’s Xinjiang hit by deadly clashes

BBC: “Clashes in China’s restive Xinjiang region have left 21 people dead, including 15 police officers and officials, authorities say.

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The violence occurred on Tuesday afternoon in Bachu county, Kashgar prefecture.

The foreign ministry said it had been a planned attack by a “violent terrorist group”, but ethnic groups questioned this.

There have been sporadic clashes in Xinjiang in recent years.

The incidents come amid rumbling ethnic tensions between the Muslim Uighur and Han Chinese communities. In 2009 almost 200 people – mostly Han Chinese – were killed after deadly rioting erupted.

Nothing is stopping foreign journalists from booking flights to Xinjiang after hearing reports of violence there. However, simply travelling to the region doesn’t guarantee the ability to dig out the truth behind this story.

In 2009, dozens of foreign reporters were permitted to join an official tour of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, after clashes between minority ethnic Uighur residents and majority Chinese Hans killed 197 people.

Their experiences were mixed. Some reporters were able to speak to a variety of people on the ground, while others faced harassment and intimidation.

The situation remains the same today. Reporters who travel to the area are closely followed by government minders. Locals often hesitate to answer questions, fearing reprisals from government authorities.

Uighur exile groups often provide accounts that differ from the official Chinese government reports. Reconciling the two can be tricky.

The situation isn’t any easier for Chinese journalists. China’s propaganda departments have warned domestic news outlets against conducting their own independent reporting on sensitive Xinjiang stories, ordering them to reprint official stories from China’s major state news agencies.

It is very difficult to verify reports from Xinjiang, reports the BBC’s Celia Hatton.

Foreign journalists are allowed to travel to the region but frequently face intimidation and harassment when attempting to verify news of ethnic rioting or organised violence against government authorities.”

via BBC News – China’s Xinjiang hit by deadly clashes.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/prognosis/chinese-challenges/

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