Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Hand-To-Hand Combat In Chinese City
The above news report comes from CCTV, which I am guessing is an English version of State-run TV in China.
For those who don't know, ethnic trouble in China is at a recent all-time high. While the broadcast above appears to blame the ethnic minority Muslim Uighurs for instigating the violence, This BBC report provides contrary information:
Groups of ethnic Han Chinese have marched through the city of Urumqi carrying clubs and machetes, as tension grows between ethnic groups and police.
Security forces imposed a curfew and fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, who said they were angry at violence carried out by ethnic Muslim Uighurs.
Earlier, Uighur women had rallied against the arrest of more than 1,400 people over deadly clashes on Sunday.
The two sides blame each other for the outbreak of violence.
AT THE SCENE
Quentin Sommerville, Urumqi
There are many armed military police standing around, also a few remnants of those Han Chinese demonstrators, still people wandering around the city carrying poles and batons and some carrying knives.
There's a great air of trepidation here as to how this night will play out.
I wouldn't have thought today that I would have seen Uighur men and women acting so defiantly in the face of Han Chinese authority, but they did.
I wouldn't have thought that thousands of Han Chinese would be able to walk freely through a Chinese city and march and shout slogans.
Xinjiang is one of the most tightly-controlled parts of the country. Those controls seem to have slipped quite considerably.
Officials say 156 people - mostly ethnic Han Chinese - died in Sunday's violence. Uighur groups say many more have died, claiming 90% of the dead were Uighurs.
The unrest erupted when Uighur protesters attacked vehicles before turning on local Han Chinese and battling security forces in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province.
****(D.R.)- The Chinese government has had trouble dealing with the Muslim Uighurs, and would surely like to put most of the blame on them. The Uighurs, however, are very much a minority that is dealing with a monolithic oppressive State machine.
This is a very dangerous situation...