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    Many dead in Western China clashes

    by Rumbold on 6th July, 2009 at 7:33 pm    

    At least 140 people have been killed in Western China after police and protestors clashed. It is still unclear who caused what, as the province has a history of turmoil, as some locals believe that the Chinese are simply an occupying power:

    “The Xinjiang government blamed separatist Uighurs based abroad for orchestrating attacks on ethnic Han Chinese.

    But Uighur groups insisted their protest was peaceful and had fallen victim to state violence, with police firing indiscriminately on protesters in Urumqi.”

    (Hat-Tip: Halima)

      |   Trackback link   |   Add to   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs

    9 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Imran Khan — on 6th July, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

      “It is still unclear who caused what, as the province has a history of turmoil, as some locals believe that the Chinese are simply an occupying power:”

      China is an occupying power and of that there is no doubt. The region was autonomous until the Chinese Revolution and China then invaded and the people were forced to accept Mao’s terms.

      Its a shame this region doesn’t enjoy the same sympathy as Tibet.

    2. Vikrant — on 6th July, 2009 at 11:22 pm  

      Daily Mail’s spin on this makes me puke…

    3. anon — on 7th July, 2009 at 3:26 am  

      Dear Rumbold

      Thanks for posting this.

      The unrest continues today (UK night time) as we speak - and the only images beamed out from China are the ones from state television - so you can only imagine what is left unbeamed. 156 have been killed and more than 1400 detained.

      The movement for autonomy in western China is actually a more serious internal threat than Tibet. This is the most tightly controlled and security sensitive region in China - and has been so over the years. Despite this, the protests are the most serious challenge to China’s authority since Tianemmen Square 20 years ago. Journalists and China hands are saying they’ve not seen anything like this since Tianemmen.

      The protests have spread to a second city with people screaming and shouting for freedom and wanting their men back ( several thousands have been arrested). The ethnic Uighurs are indeed different from the Han Chinese, and some say that whereas China can make a reasonable clim on Tibet, it’s claim to western China is comparatively weaker - the Uighurs have a seperate belief system, have more allegiance to central Asia and the stans.

      I don’t know if people realise how brave it is to protest in China - it’s not allowed and usually ends up in arrests. This is a place where people do not speak out - and get into trouble speaking to foreigners and especially foreign journalists.

      Makes you appreciate the freedoms people have in Iran.

    4. anon — on 7th July, 2009 at 3:27 am  

      Thi is history in the making.

    5. Random Guy — on 7th July, 2009 at 4:09 am  

      Vikrant @ 4: The comments under thay Daily Mail article are even worse…

    6. Raja Sahib — on 7th July, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

      Where’s Peter tatchell when you need him …

    7. halima — on 7th July, 2009 at 4:01 pm  

      Really and seriously guys. It’s like all wordpress, Youtube and now my Facebook is blocked. This isn’t surprising - it’s routine in China but i think the screws have tightened this week.

      I think when we talk about freedom of expression anywhere in the world this week we should be watching BBC news and footage of the bloody protests in western China.

    8. Amrit — on 7th July, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

      Mods, can we please have Celtlord’s and RG’s posts deleted or modified for their use of ablist language? Thank you.

    9. halima — on 8th July, 2009 at 3:11 pm  


      Please can you moderate these offensive messages.

      As we speak there are people running about the city in Xinjiang with machetes and knives hacking away at anyone they come across in the streets - Uighurs and Hans alike. Though the situation might calm down - it really is a tragedy beyond words.

      These images are being censored but nevertheless this is the reality of what is happening now - and as usual the rest of the world will dissect these events a few months later when urgent attention is needed now.

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