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12-07-09, 21:54
http://news.aol.com/article/ethnic-riots-in-china-injuries/556835

Unregistered
12-07-09, 23:10
Injury Toll in China Ethnic Clashes Soars
By GILLIAN WONG
,
AP
posted: 14 HOURS 9 MINUTES AGO

URUMQI, China (July 12) - China on Sunday raised the injured toll from ethnic clashes a week ago to 1,680 — one more bit in the trickle of information the government has released on the unrest in the far west, though much remains unknown.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the number of people wounded during the ethnic violence that broke out July 5 in the regional capital of Urumqi has increased by nearly 600, according to Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri during a televised speech. He said that more than 900 of the injured remained hospitalized, and 74 "are on the verge of death."
The protest last Sunday by minority Uighurs escalated into deadly attacks on members of the Han Chinese majority. In subsequent days, large groups of Han Chinese armed themselves and roamed the streets looking for revenge. It remains unclear how many people may have been injured.

State media reported earlier in the week that the worst ethnic unrest to hit China in decades left 184 people dead, including 137 Han and 46 Uighur victims. One victim was part of the minority Hui Muslim group. Uighurs have disputed those numbers, saying they believe many more of their group died in the ensuing government crackdown.
Officials have yet to make public key details about the riots and what happened next, including how much force police used to re-impose order. Officials and Xinhua have not said whether all the victims were killed Sunday or in later days, when vigilante mobs ran through the city with bricks, clubs and cleavers.

Thousands of Chinese troops have flooded into Urumqi (pronounced uh-ROOM-chee) to separate the feuding ethnic groups, and a senior Communist Party official vowed to execute those guilty of murder in the rioting.

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Communist Party's nine-man ruling Politburo, warned of further problems caused by overseas groups.

"They are attempting to stage more sabotage," Xinhua quoted him as saying during a tour of Xinjiang.

On Sunday, Urumqi remained tense as armed paramilitary police patrolled People's Square, the site of the July 5 protest, but there were no clashes.

The city's public security bureau had issued a notice late Saturday banning illegal assembly, marches and demonstrations in the western city. The notice said the situation was "basically under control" but that there was "still sporadic illegal assemblies and demonstrations in some places," Xinhua reported.

Some roads to the main market were still closed Sunday, and the market remained guarded by armed military police. An officer was teaching them simple greetings in the Uighur language.

In one of the worst-hit Uighur districts, Wang Yong was installing metal shutters at his small convenience store on Sunday. He said rioters shattered his windows and set the shop on fire, causing 30,000 to 40,000 yuan ($4,400 to $5,900) in damages.

"It is for safety that I'm installing these shutters," said Wang, who is Han Chinese. "They give me a sense of security."

A Uighur businessman who gave his name as Akbar expressed cautious optimism that the tensions will eventually subside.

"They have been afraid of Uighurs," Akbar said of the Han. "And the Uighurs are afraid of the Han people. But I'm not too worried. I think it should get better slowly." One Uighur, 68-year-old retiree Korban Yakob, said the city now feels safe. "I don't think anything will happen now that Friday prayers have passed," he said. The violence broke out following a protest against the June 26 deaths of Uighur factory workers in a brawl in southern China.

China has accused Rebiya Kadeer, a 62-year-old Uighur businesswoman who lives in exile in the U.S., of instigating the riots, without providing evidence. She has denied it.
The government believes the Uighurs should be grateful for Xinjiang's rapid economic development, which has brought new schools, highways, airports, railways, natural gas fields and oil wells in the sprawling, rugged Central Asian region, three times the size of Texas.

But many of the Turkic-speaking Uighurs, with a population of 9 million in Xinjiang, accuse the dominant Han ethnic group of discriminating against them and saving all the best jobs for themselves. Many say the Communist Party is repressive and tries to snuff out their Islamic faith, language and culture.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
2009-07-12 08:29:12

Unregistered
12-07-09, 23:17
http://news.aol.com/article/chinas-ethnic-groups-struggle-forward/567678?icid=sphere_newsaol_inpage

China's ethnic groups struggle forward after riots
By GILLIAN WONG
,
AP
posted: 4 HOURS AGO
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URUMQI, China -Incense was lit and paper money burned at the funeral Sunday for a Han Chinese family — a man, his wife and his parents, all killed in last week's ethnic riots. Three Uighur neighbors approached, standing tentatively apart.
Then one of the neighbors grasped hands with a mourning sister, walked to the altar with her and wailed in sympathy.
It was a small gesture of shared grief on a day when Han Chinese mourned their dead and Uighurs dealt with mounting security and surveillance in the regional capital of Urumqi.
Han and Uighur alike are struggling to overcome the resentment exposed by the worst ethnic violence in China in decades, clashes on July 5 that left 184 people dead. On Sunday, the regional Xinjiang government raised the toll of injured that day to 1,680.
A week after the initial violence, Urumqi remained tense, and neither side seemed to know when or how the two ethnic groups might come to any sense of mutual trust.
The violence began as Uighurs who were protesting the deaths of Uighur factory workers in a brawl in southern China clashed with police in Urumqi. The crowd scattered throughout the city, attacking Han Chinese and burning cars.
Government officials have yet to make public key details about what happened next, including how much force police used to restore order. In later days, vigilante mobs of Han Chinese ran through the city with bricks, clubs and cleavers seeking revenge.
On Sunday, the Xinjiang government raised the injured toll by more than 600 from the previous figure, the official Xinhua News Agency said. More than 900 of the injured remained hospitalized, with 74 "on the verge of death."
State media reported earlier in the week the fatalities included 137 Han and 46 Uighurs, with one minority Hui Muslim also killed. Uighurs say they believe many more from their ethnic group died in the government crackdown.
A member of the Communist Party's ruling Politburo, Zhou Yongkang, toured Xinjiang and urged ethnic groups to come together and "build together a concrete foundation for ethnic unity," according to Xinhua.
But that will prove far harder after the riots laid bare long-standing tensions between Han and Uighurs.
The Uighurs, who number 9 million in Xinjiang, have complained about an influx of Han Chinese and government restrictions on their Muslim religion. They accuse the Han of discrimination and the Communist Party of trying to erase their language and culture.
Han Chinese, many of whom were encouraged to emigrate here by the government, believe the Uighurs should be grateful for Xinjiang's rapid economic development, which has brought new schools, highways, airports, railways, natural gas fields and oil wells to the sprawling, rugged region.
Since last week, tens of thousands of Chinese troops have poured into Urumqi (pronounced uh-ROOM-chee) and other parts of Xinjiang to impose order. A senior Communist Party official vowed to execute those guilty of murder in the rioting.
On Sunday, Han Chinese began their rites of mourning, which by tradition start seven days after a death, in spite of a ban on public gatherings issued a day earlier.
At the funeral for the Han man, 39-year-old Zhou Yuxiang, and his wife and parents, colorful wreaths of paper flowers lined the short alley where the ceremony was held. Paper money was burned to honor the dead.
Zhou's 42-year-old sister, who declined to give her first name out of fear, said her only wish was for the survival of her 16-year-old nephew, who is hospitalized in a coma.
"We went to the morgue yesterday to identify the bodies but we could barely recognize their faces because they had been beaten so badly," she said. "Now all I want is for their son to survive. But the doctors said that there's not much hope for his survival."
Even in the city of Hotan, two hours south of Urumqi by plane, where there was no unrest, a large troop presence was visible in the main square, where a huge statue of Mao Zedong shaking hands with a Uighur farmer is on display.
Tourist hotels near the square had no rooms left because security forces had booked them all, one hotel receptionist said.
In Urumqi, armed paramilitary police patrolled People's Square, the site of the July 5 protest, but there were no reports of clashes. Some roads to the main market were still closed Sunday, and the market was guarded by armed military police.
By mid-morning, a helicopter buzzed low over the main bazaar where many Uighurs set up shop. Crowds of shoppers and families stopped in their tracks, nervously watching the chopper before it ascended and flew off.
Ali Mohamad, 36, who sells watermelon outside the market, said he fears the divisions between the two sides will deepen.
"I don't know how long it will be before things improve, but the situation is bad because people think it's not safe here. There's nothing I can do," said Ali, who said he was setting up his fruit stand Sunday for the first time since the riots.
In one of the worst-hit Uighur districts, Wang Yong said rioters had shattered the windows of his small convenience store and set the shop on fire, causing what he estimated as $4,400 to $5,900 in damages.
On Sunday, he was putting in metal shutters. "They give me a sense of security," said Wang, who is Han Chinese.
A Uighur businessman who gave his name as Akbar expressed optimism that the tensions might eventually subside, but for now, he said, trust is a problem.
"They have been afraid of Uighurs," Akbar said of the Han. "And the Uighurs are afraid of the Han people."

Associated Press writer William Foreman reported from Hotan, China.