Posts tagged ‘Turpan’


China urges respect for ethnic traditions in restive Xinjiang | Reuters

Ethnic traditions in Xinjiang must be respected, the top official in the restive far western region of China said, despite criticism that government policies there unfairly target the Muslim Uighur ethnic community.

Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Zhang Chunxian delivers a speech during a tea forum celebrating the Corban Festival in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, November 5, 2011. REUTERS/China Daily

The government must implement \”ethnic unity education and propaganda\” among all communities, especially among the region\’s youth, the ruling Communist Party\’s Xinjiang chief Zhang Chunxian said in comments carried in state media on Wednesday.

\” must treat issues of local tradition with respect and resolve issues of violence with rule of law and severe measures,\” the official Xinjiang Daily cited Zhang as saying.

China has intensified a sweeping security crackdown in Xinjiang, further repressing Uighur culture, religious tradition and language, rights groups say, despite strong government assertions that it offers Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms.

In November, officials demanded that lawyers in Turpan, an oasis city southeast of the regional capital, Urumqi, commit to guaranteeing that relatives do not wear burqas, veils or participate in illegal religious activities, and that young men do not grow long beards.

Many Uighurs resent local policies imposed by the government and an inflow of Han Chinese migrants, and some Uighur groups are campaigning for an independent homeland for their people.

Experts say China\’s repression of religious practices has pushed some Uighurs to more strongly embrace Islamic traditions.

Zhang\’s pledge follows state media reports in early January that President Xi Jinping was shifting the region\’s focus to maintaining stability over development, after a series of attacks last year fuelled by what the government said was religious extremism.

\” must acknowledge the long-term, acute and complex nature of the anti-separatism and violent terrorism fight,\” Zhang said, adding that there was no contradiction between stability and development.

via China urges respect for ethnic traditions in restive Xinjiang | Reuters.

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Death toll from Xinjiang attacks rises to 35

SCMP: “Beijing yesterday raised the death toll from a series of attacks in Turpan , Xinjiang , on Wednesday from 27 to 35.


Twenty-four were killed by rioters, including two policemen, Xinhua said, adding that 16 of them were Uygurs. Police killed 11 rioters, while 21 police officers and civilians were injured.

Xinhua said an unspecified number of “mobsters” stormed the government office, the police station, the People’s Armed Police base and a construction site in Lukqun township, Shanshan county, at around 5.50am on Wednesday. The authorities did not mention that a PAP base was also among the targets of attacks until yesterday.

It said four suspected rioters who were injured had been detained.

It was the first Chinese-language report on the incident released by Xinhua, which carried an English report roughly seven hours after the attacks.

Neither report mentioned the number of attackers, their ethnicity or what caused the attacks. But yesterday’s report branded the incident a “violent terrorist attack”.

A visitor to Turpan yesterday said he saw a roadblock with armed police officers and about 20 police vehicles.

A resident said a helicopter arrived on the scene along with many police and soldiers.

The Global Times, a tabloid affiliated with the People’s Daily, yesterday quoted an unnamed regional official as saying that “earlier this year local police handled a case in which a store was attacked, which might have triggered that violence”.

The attack came less than two weeks ahead of the fourth anniversary of ethnic clashes between Han Chinese and Uygurs in Urumqi , the regional capital, which left nearly 200 dead. Two months ago, 15 policemen or officials and six assailants were killed in another conflict in Bachu county, Kashgar , which involved attackers armed with knives and axes and the burning of a house.

A Lukqun resident told the South China Morning Post by phone that local officials had told people to stay at home and be vigilant soon after the violence on Wednesday, adding that dozens of militia soldiers from his village were patrolling the streets.

It was the deadliest unrest in the region since the media-savvy Zhang Chunxian became regional party secretary in April 2010, less than a year after the bloody clashes in Urumqi.”

via Death toll from Xinjiang attacks rises to 35 | South China Morning Post.

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Violence in China’s Xinjiang ‘kills 27’

BBC: “Riots have killed 27 people in China’s restive far western region of Xinjiang, Chinese state media report.


The violence broke out in Turpan prefecture early on Wednesday.

Police opened fire after a mob armed with knives attacked police stations and a local government building, Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.

There are sporadic outbreaks of violence in Xinjiang, where there are ethnic tensions between Muslim Uighur and Han Chinese communities.

Confirming reports from the region is difficult because information is tightly controlled.

China’s state media have been quick to issue an official version of events regarding the latest round of violence in Xinjiang, but it will be tough to verify those reports.

Xinjiang lies on China’s remote north-west border and it is difficult for foreign media to travel there. Many people on both sides of the conflict are reluctant to speak to visiting journalists for fear of reprisals if they dispute the government’s stance.

Unfortunately Xinjiang usually hits international headlines when violence flares between the region’s minority ethnic Uighur Muslims and the majority Han Chinese. Many Uighurs contend that their language and religion are being smothered by an influx of Han Chinese migrants.

Xinjiang is a large geographic area rich in oil and gas deposits. Soon it will also become a major supplier of coal to China’s energy-hungry cities. The region’s fertile land also grows produce that is shipped to the rest of the country. The Han Chinese who move to Xinjiang hope to benefit from the region’s untapped resources.

The violence occurred in Turpan‘s remote township of Lukqun, about 200km (120 miles) south-east of the region’s capital, Urumqi.

The Xinhua news agency report, citing local officials, said rioters stabbed people and set police cars alight.

Seventeen people, including nine security personnel and eight civilians, were killed before police shot dead 10 of the rioters, it said.

At least three others were injured and were being treated in hospital, it added.

The Xinhua report did not provide any information on the ethnicity of those involved in the riot or on what sparked it.

But Dilxat Raxit, a spokesperson for the World Uighur Congress, an umbrella organisation of Uighur groups, told the Associated Press news agency the violence had been caused by the Chinese government’s “sustained repression and provocation” of the Uighur community.

In 2009 almost 200 people – mostly Han Chinese – were killed after deadly rioting erupted in Urumqi between the Han Chinese and Uighur communities.

In April an incident in the city of Kashgar left 21 people dead.

Uighurs and Xinjiang

Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims. They make up about 45% of the region’s population; 40% are Han Chinese

China re-established control in 1949 after crushing short-lived state of East Turkestan. Since then, large-scale immigration of Han Chinese. Uighurs fear erosion of traditional culture.

The government said the violence began when “terrorists” were discovered in a building by officials searching for weapons.

But local people told the BBC that the violence involved a local family who had a longstanding dispute with officials who had been pressurising the men to shave off their beards and the women to take off their veils.

Uighurs make up about 45% of Xinjiang’s population, but say an influx of Han Chinese residents has marginalised their traditional culture.”

via BBC News – Violence in China’s Xinjiang ‘kills 27’.

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