Photo compiled by China Digital Times
We’ve entered into the fourth day of the Xinjiang incident, and it seems that – at least for now – Chinese officials have finally gotten everything under some semblence of control. Wednesday was marked by sporadic violence as Han mobs continued their Tuesday front, arming themselves with meat cleavers, shovels and other makeshift weapons for – depending what side you’re on – protection or revenge killings. The body count for the last two days has not yet been released.
But thousands of PLA soldiers and riot police streamed into the area, screaming “protect the people” as they enforced curfews and broke up roving gangs of Urumqi residents (Han or Uyghur). Meanwhile, Urumqi mayor Juerla Isamudin also issued a strict warning: anyone found guilty of murder in connection to the unrest would be executed.
As a result, it seems like the worst is over, with reporters finding that life is returning to normal: “people out walking dogs, doing tai chi, offices reopened for first time.”
And so, it’s time for hopefully the last news roundup about the situation before we start dealing with the aftermath:
- A press release from the Uyghur American Association casts doubt on Uyghur separatist claims that the “riots just happened” and lends credence to the CCP’s insistence that there were “outside forces” at work.
- But, as Sean Roberts, director of the International Development Studies Program at George Washington University, points out – those “outside forces” had a lot to work with thanks to the inadequate addressing of the problems Uyghurs have faced in a Han majority country.
- It doesn’t help that nobody really talks about (and therefore addresses) “ethnic tensions,” a taboo topic in this country, which coupled with them just looking different probably lets stereotypes such as “Uyghurs are pick-pockets and violent knife-wielding thieves when they’re not selling kebabs (paraphrased)” continue to fester behind closed doors.
- If you want to know even more about Xinjiang, here’s a thorough yet concise explanation of the background on Chinese policies in the region.
- China Digital Times’ flickr site has compiled a wealth of images of the conflict in Xinjiang. If you want to compare them with more peaceful times, check out this XUAR (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) set. Oh. And here are some Chinese photos for good measure – they may be harmonized, but some of them are still really amazing.
- And for a little lighthearted black humor chaser to the event, did you know some of the riot police were sporting crossbows? Looks like the dude holding one up’s pretty psyched about it too.