April 4, 2008


As Uighurs grow restive, China takes a tough line on Tibet (Howard W. French, April 4, 2008, NY Times)

The events in Lhasa quickly brought a wave of sympathy protests in parts of several neighboring provinces where Tibetans live in large numbers, in the biggest outbreak of unrest in the region in more than 50 years. In recent days, details have begun to emerge of protests and rumored plotting by Muslim separatists in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and of police crackdowns in several areas of the province.

Like Tibetans, Uighurs, who are the predominant ethnic group in Xinjiang, harbor memories of political independence and deep resentment of Chinese control, particularly over the practice of their Islamic faith.

Residents of townships and villages near Gulja, a city in northwestern Xinjiang, said that about 25 Uighurs were arrested Friday on a tip that people in the area were making bombs. Residents said the police search had turned up three bombs in a cowshed, but the authorities were still looking for more devices that they believed were hidden in the area.

A resident of Yengiyer township who was interviewed by telephone said that the police tip had come from the recent arrest of a Uighur in the provincial capital, Urumqi, who confessed to the bombing plot.

"Their goal is pretty simple: They want to overthrow the rule of the Communist Party," said Hong Xiuhua, a 50-year-old retired local party official who said her husband had been briefed on the arrests by the local party secretary.

Amen, brothers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2008 8:09 AM
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