Posts tagged ‘Ürümqi’

31/01/2015

5 Things to Know About Turkey and the Chinese Uighurs – WSJ

1 TURKISH NATIONALISTS CONSIDER UIGHURS KIN.

Many Turkish nationalists regard the Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language, as part of a broad family of ethnic Turks spread across Eurasia. They have lobbied successive Turkish governments to offer refuge to those fleeing Chinese rule and to allow Uighurs to campaign against Beijing’s policies from Turkish soil.

2 TURKEY HAS SHELTERED UIGHUR LEADERS SINCE AT LEAST THE 1950S.

Turkey offered shelter in the 1950s to Isa Yusuf Alptekin, a Uighur nationalist who was a leader of the East Turkestan Republic established in southern Xinjiang from 1933 to 1934. A small park named after him can be found in Istanbul, near the Blue Mosque in the city’s historic center.

3 TURKISH AUTHORITIES HELPED ESTABLISH UIGHUR COMMUNITIES IN TURKEY IN 1965.

In 1965, Turkey offered sanctuary to a group of some 200 Chinese Uighurs who had escaped on foot to Afghanistan. Turkish authorities airlifted them out of Kabul and settled them mostly in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, where many still live today.

4 UIGHURS FLEEING CHINA OFTEN HEAD FOR ISTANBUL.

The Turkish government doesn’t provide official statistics for the number of Uighurs in Turkey. Uighur groups say there are about 20,000, many of whom have never been to China. About 1,500 are in Kayseri, while most others live in Istanbul, especially in the Zeytinburnu neighborhood near old town. There are also hundreds of thousands of Uighurs living in former Soviet Central Asia

5 THE UIGHUR ISSUE MAKES TURKEY-CHINA RELATIONS A DELICATE BALANCE.

After inter-ethnic rioting in 2009 left at least 156 dead in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, Turkey’s then Prime Minister — now President — Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the violence as “genocide,” prompting an angry response from Beijing. In 2012, with relations improving, Mr. Erdogan made his first stop in Xinjiang during an official visit to China.

via 5 Things to Know About Turkey and the Chinese Uighurs – WSJ.

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16/01/2015

Ethnic minorities: Don’t make yourself at home | The Economist

CHINA is urbanising at a rapid pace. In 2000 nearly two-thirds of its residents lived in the countryside. Today fewer than half do. But two ethnic groups, whose members often chafe at Chinese rule, are bucking this trend. Uighurs and Tibetans are staying on the farm, often because discrimination against them makes it difficult to find work in cities. As ethnic discontent grows, so too does the discrimination, creating a vicious circle.

Breaking this circle is crucial to China’s efforts to defuse unrest in Xinjiang, Tibet and Tibetan-inhabited areas of other provinces, which collectively account for nearly one-third of China’s land area. In Xinjiang, Uighur grievances have triggered numerous outbreaks of violence. On January 12th, in what appeared to be the latest such example, six people were shot dead after allegedly attacking police in Shule, a town near China’s border with Central Asia. Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim, minority who number about 10m in Xinjiang. In 2000, 80% of them were farmers; ten years later 83% of them were.

There has been far less violence in Tibet, but separatism in the region is no less a headache for China’s leaders. There are more than 6m Tibetans in Tibet and four neighbouring provinces. The proportion of farmers fell only slightly between 2000 and 2010, from 87% to 83%. Some prefer to stay in the fields. But many others feel excluded from the benefits enjoyed by the ethnic Han Chinese, who make up more than 90% of China’s population. Neither Uighurs nor Tibetans enjoy ready access to the job market that has drawn tens of millions of Han to cities in recent years. They are unwelcome, and they know it.

In 2010 about 1% of Tibetans had settled outside the provinces that encompass their homeland, and less than 1% of Uighurs had migrated from Xinjiang, according to census data compiled by Ma Rong of Peking University. Many of the migrants are either officials or in government-sponsored education programmes. The rate of voluntary exodus from Xinjiang and Tibetan areas is slowing considerably.

Part of the problem is linguistic. Uighurs and Tibetans brought up in the countryside often have a very poor grasp of Mandarin, the official language. The government has tried to promote Mandarin in schools, but has encountered resistance in some places where it is seen as an attempt to suppress native culture. In southern Xinjiang, where most Uighurs live, many schools do not teach it.

But discrimination is a big factor, too. Even some of the best-educated Uighur and Tibetan migrants struggle to find work. Reza Hasmath of Oxford University found that minority candidates in Beijing, for example, were better educated on average than their Han counterparts, but got worse-paying jobs. A separate study found that CVs of Uighurs and Tibetans, whose ethnicities are clearly identifiable from their names (most Uighurs also look physically very different from Han Chinese), generated far fewer calls for interviews.

Government programmes help some Uighurs, Tibetans and other minorities get a better education; affirmative-action policies can boost their chances of going to university. One scheme, known as the Xinjiang Class, sends thousands of Uighurs as well as Han Chinese from Xinjiang every year to other parts of China to complete their schooling. But it also encourages them to return to Xinjiang to work among Uighurs. Official figures suggest that 50% end up going back to Xinjiang. Timothy Grose of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana found that most he interviewed would have preferred not to.

via Ethnic minorities: Don’t make yourself at home | The Economist.

12/12/2014

China’s Development of Xinjiang Spurs Resentment from Uighurs – Businessweek

Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang in China, is a cold and forbidding place to visit in late November. The red and blue flashing lights of police vehicles are everywhere. Soldiers wearing black masks and carrying automatic weapons are spread across the city, often standing next to squat black and white armored vehicles. Every commercial building, hotel, and government office has a metal detector manned by a police officer at its entrance. Fliers scattered around the city explain why women should not wear veils.

Xinjiang’s first high-speed railway, which will be 1,776 kilometers long

Perched on the edge of Central Asia, the region of Xinjiang (“new frontier” in Mandarin) has long presented a dilemma for China’s leaders. It’s home to some of the country’s largest oil, gas, and coal reserves. But its ethnically Turkic, Uighur Muslim inhabitants have long chafed under Chinese rule: Many pro-independence fighters over the decades have attacked Chinese targets, and the violence—what some credit to a shadowy group called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement—continues to this day. Beijing labels the ETIM’s members as terrorists.

This year growing anger with Uighurs over what they say is economic discrimination and religious oppression sparked attacks, usually against Chinese residents, that have killed 200 people and undermined Beijing’s control over the region. On Dec. 8, authorities sentenced eight Uighurs to death for their role in two attacks killing 42 at a train station and an Urumqi market in the spring.

via China’s Development of Xinjiang Spurs Resentment from Uighurs – Businessweek.

29/07/2014

Police shoot dead dozens of attackers during mob violence in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post

Police in Xinjiang shot dead dozens of knife-wielding attackers on Monday morning after they staged assaults on two towns in the westerly Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local police.

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Describing the incident as a “premeditated terror attack,” the official Xinhua news agency said a gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku, a township in Kashgar prefecture, and then some of them moved on to nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed.

Dozens of civilians were killed or injured in the attack before police responded by shooting dead dozens of attackers, official media reported.

Citing local police, Xinhua said dozens of civilians of both Uygur and Han ethnicities were killed or injured, while police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.

Over 30 cars were vandalised, some of which were set on fire, the report said.

Earlier this month, the regional capital Urumqi marked the fifth anniversary of the 2009 riot that left 197 people dead and about 17,000 others injured, mostly Han Chinese.

The turbulent region has since seen a series of violent incidents that have left many people dead or injured, including last May’s bombing of a market in Urumqi that left dozens dead and prompted a clampdown by authorities.

In the immediate wake of that bombing, which came just weeks after a blast at an Urumqi rail station left three dead, China launched one-year “anti-terror” campaign in Xinjiang in which hundreds of suspects have been arrested and large amounts of explosives and explosive devices have been seized, according to local media.

On June 17, authorities executed 13 people and sentencing three others to death for their role in terror attacks and related crimes in Xinjiang, including an attack on government facilities and police stations in the oasis city of Turpan on June 26 last year that left 24 police officers and civilians dead.

China’s heavy-handed approach has drawn concerns that many of the region’s Uygurs, including vocal critics and people linked to the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, have been arrested and indefinitely detained without trial, while others have disappeared without trace.

Uygurs in Xinjiang and those in self-exile abroad have long complained that discrimination and restrictions on religion, such as a ban on taking children to mosques, are fuelling anger at the Han Chinese majority.

via Police shoot dead dozens of attackers during mob violence in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post.

23/05/2014

Terrorist attack kills dozens in China’s tense Xinjiang region – CNN.com

A series of explosions tore through an open-air market in the capital of the volatile western Chinese region of Xinjiang on Thursday, killing dozens of people and wounding many more, state media reported.

Watch this video

China‘s Ministry of Public Security said the attack in the heavily policed city of Urumqi was “a serious violent terrorist incident” and vowed to crack down on its perpetrators. President Xi Jinping called for the terrorists behind it to be “severely” punished.

Two SUVs slammed into shoppers gathered at the market in Urumqi at 7:50 a.m. Thursday, and explosives were flung out of the vehicles, China’s official news agency Xinhua said.

The vehicles then exploded, according to Xinhua, which said at least 31 people were killed and more than 90 wounded.

Some of the photos circulating on social media suggested a hellish scene, with bodies strewn on the ground amid burning wreckage. Others showed flames and smoke billowing out of the end of a tree-lined street guarded by police officers.

via Terrorist attack kills dozens in China’s tense Xinjiang region – CNN.com.

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16/05/2014

Islamic leaders join efforts against extremism – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

China’s top Islamic leaders urged the nation’s Muslims to resist religious extremism and oppose to terrorism after a number of violent attacks in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in March and April.

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomo...

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png The orange area is Aksai Chin, a part of Xinjiang which is claimed by India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around 80 religious leaders and scholars discussed Islamic doctrine by quoting the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday and Thursday in Urumqi, the region’s capital. On Thursday, Islamic leaders in China passed a proposal calling on all Muslims in the country to regulate their behavior, resist religious extremism and improve their moral outlook.

Abulitif Abdureyim, director of the Xinjiang Islamic Association, said governments at all levels in the region are resisiting religious extremism.

“The attackers who carried out the terrorist activities cannot go to heaven because they have violated the sayings in the Quran,” he said.

Wang Yujie, a professor of religious studies at Renmin University of China, said separatist forces are the main source of terrorism in Xinjiang.

In recent years, China has seen a number of violent attacks on police, government organs and civilians. Most of the attacks have taken place in Xinjiang.

A national security blue paper said on May 6 that religious extremism was the major reason for 10 violent terrorist attacks last year.

via Islamic leaders join efforts against extremism – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

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07/05/2014

In China’s Xinjiang, economic divide seen fuelling ethnic unrest | Reuters

Hundreds of migrant workers from distant corners of China pour daily into the Urumqi South railway station, their first waypoint on a journey carrying them to lucrative work in other parts of the far western Xinjiang region.

Uighur women stand next to a street to wait for a bus in downtown Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region May 1, 2014. REUTERS-Petar Kujundzic

Like the columns of police toting rifles and metal riot spears that weave between migrants resting on their luggage, the workers are a fixture at the station, which last week was targeted by a bomb and knife attack the government has blamed on religious extremists.

“We come this far because the wages are good,” Shi Hongjiang, 26, from the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, told Reuters outside the station. “Also, the Uighur population is small. There aren’t enough of them to do the work.”

Shi’s is a common refrain from migrant workers, whose experience finding low-skilled work is very different to that of the Muslim Uighur minority.

Employment discrimination, experts say, along with a demographic shift that many Uighurs feel is diluting their culture, is fuelling resentment that spills over into violent attacks directed at Han Chinese, China’s majority ethnic group.

The apparent suicide attack on the station, which killed one bystander, was the latest violence to hit Xinjiang, despite a pledge from China’s President Xi Jinping to rain “crushing blows against violent terrorist forces”.

via In China’s Xinjiang, economic divide seen fuelling ethnic unrest | Reuters.

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07/05/2014

Six wounded in knife rampage at Guangzhou Railway Station | South China Morning Post

At least six people were wounded in a knife attack at Guangzhou Railway Station yesterday, the third assault on civilians at train stations in two months.

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Witnesses said four assailants began attacking passengers at random at about 11.30am.

Watch unconfirmed video: Suspected attacker caught by police after Guangzhou train station violence

One was subdued by police and a luggage handler after being shot by an officer. But police said later on social media that only one suspect was involved.

Witnesses also said one of the injured was a middle-aged Westerner, but Guangzhou police denied any foreigner was among the victims.

The police didn’t approach [the attacker] until they shot him twice in his chest HU ZHONG, LUGGAGE HANDLER

At least four people were taken to the General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, local police said. Three were in stable condition after surgery.

The attack comes less than a week after an explosion at a railway station in Urumqi – capital of Xinjiang , the vast western region home to ethnic minority Uygurs – left two attackers and a civilian dead and 79 wounded.

It also follows a March attack at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming , in which machete-wielding attackers killed 29 people and wounded 143 in what many in China dubbed the country’s “9/11”.

via Six wounded in knife rampage at Guangzhou Railway Station | South China Morning Post.

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01/05/2014

Two attackers among three killed in China bombing | Reuters

Two of the assailants who carried out a bombing in western China were among the three people killed, state media said on Thursday, in an attack which also wounded 79 and has raised concerns over its apparent sophistication and daring.

Paramilitary policemen stand guard near the exit of the South Railway Station, where three people were killed and 79 wounded in a bomb and knife attack on Wednesday, in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, said on its official microblog that “two mobsters set off bombs on their bodies and died”, though the report did not call it a suicide bombing.

The other person who died was a bystander, the People’s Daily said.

Knives and explosives were used in the assault on a railway station in Urumqi on Wednesday, the first bomb attack in the capital of Xinjiang region in 17 years. The attack was carried out soon after the arrival of a train from a mainly Han Chinese province, state media said.

The bombing was possibly timed to coincide with a visit to the region with a large Muslim minority by President Xi Jinping, when security was likely to have been heavy.

On Thursday, dozens of black police vans were parked around the station, while camouflaged police with assault rifles patrolled its entrance. Despite the security, the station was bustling and appeared to be operating normally.

The government blamed the attack on “terrorists”, a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state – a campaign that has stirred fears that jihadist groups could become active in western China.

State media accounts did not say if any other attackers had been killed or captured. Nor did they say if Xi, who was wrapping up his visit, was anywhere near Urumqi at the time.

Pan Zhiping, a retired expert on Central Asia at Xinjiang’s Academy of Social Science, described the attack as very well organized, saying it was timed to coincide with Xi’s visit.

“It is very clear that they are challenging the Chinese government,” he said.

“There was a time last year when they were targeting the public security bureau, the police stations and the troops. Now it’s indiscriminate – terrorist activities are conducted in places where people gather the most.”

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

via Two attackers among three killed in China bombing | Reuters.

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24/04/2013

* 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.

Map

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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