Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Uyghur Death Toll Rising

It's just over 20 days from the deadliest day of China's attempts to put down public protest in Tiannemen Square but on Sunday in Urumqi the capital of China's only Muslim majority region there is a death toll of 156 and rising. I've commented before on the unrest that is ongoing in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (AKA East Turkestan, Uyghuristan, and Uyghurstan ) it is one of the remotest regions of China where the standard Beijing time of the whole country is a nonsense as it should really be two hours behind.
The protest sparked this time after unrest last month between factory workers from the predominant Chinese Han and Uighur workers over the alleged rape of a Han girl by two Uighurs. A crowd gathered to protest at the government's handling of that incident.
The Han are now the majority people in Urumqi but the government has once again their is racial unrest brought about by the long standing Chinese resettlement programme of placing Han into the major cities of the provinces and given roles of responsibility in overseeing the local populations. No more so is this the case that in the Western provinces such as Uyghur that looks to its shared ancestry more with the former Soviet Central Asian republics than the Pacific plains Chinese.
Tension is mounting an today violence has broken out in a second city in the region.

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