As the dust settles on the Xinjiang unrest of the past few days, reports are coming out about acts of kindness shown by both Uighurs and Han Chinese, presumably in a PR move to show solidarity between the two ethnicities. The Shanghai Daily printed a story today about a math teacher from Shanghai who was attacked in the riots on Sunday:
“A woman of Uygur ethnicity came up and tried to stop the mob. She helped us to the roadside and told us in Mandarin to run for it,” Zhao said. “Another cluster of rioters ran at us again. Other Uygurs at the roadside patted us on our shoulders and hinted quietly the direction of a safe lane for us to hide.”
After calling one of his students on his mobile phone and getting him to translate, Zhao, his wife and two other Han Chinese women were given shelter by a Uygur couple in their home.
“It was the first time that I have encountered such violence in my life, but I am lucky to have received help,” Zhao said. “There were far more good people than rioters.”
Meanwhile, the China Daily has reported that people are pouring into blood donation centers in Urumqi after the violence of the past few days. While uplifting enough to know that people are willing to donate blood (an occurrence not so common in China), the China Daily makes sure to add heartwarming quotes from Han Chinese, Uighur, and even Kazakhstani donors:
“I couldn’t buy anything for my birthday since most stores are closed so I came here to donate blood,” said Zhao, who turned 22 Wednesday. A member of the Dongxiang ethnic group, Zhao said she believed her birthday donation was an act of benevolence. “Maybe I can help save a life,” she said.
She said Sunday’s riot only served to jeopardize the lives of many residents who were “united as Xinjiang people”.
Wang Jian, waiting for his turn to donate Wednesday, said he despised the “beastly deeds” of the rioters. The 24-year-old migrant worker from Xinjiang’s Alaer city said he did not participate in any riot. “The only thing that I can and will do is to give blood to the injured,” he said. “That’s my response to violence.”
A number of foreigners also joined the queue to donate blood Wednesday. Lyailya, 34, and her sister Telokova, came to the blood center with their colleague Murat. The three Kazak business professionals said they were engaged in border trade with China. “I was very sorry to see innocent people on TV, including little children, being beaten in all the bloodshed,” said Murat. “So I’m here to offer my blood and help.”
And on Xinhua is a story about a 100 million RMB fund being set up in Urumqi to comfort the victims of the riot:
Urumqi Mayor Jierla Yishamuding said Wednesday the municipal government has drawn a plan to comfort people injured and disabled in the riot, and also the families of the dead.
The government will also subsidize enterprises that suffered great losses, aiming to help them resume operation as soon as possible, he added.
But the best (and by best, we mean worst) piece of news we’ve seen all day is this headline stating that trigger of this entire situation was an “unintentional scream”.
The teenager girl- who was rumored to be sexually assaulted in Guangdong – claims when she walked into a dorm room full of Uighur men they gave her a fright, hence the scream. She had no idea her scream of fright triggered a brawl between workers at the factory, catapulting into the events in Xinjiang the past few days. Oof, good luck putting a positive spin on that one.