Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Unpleasant reminder

For all the generalizations about the near absence of national cleavages in China, protests in Tibet and violence in Xinjiang should remind us of the power held by ethnic divisions.

I think that reporter Chris Buckley should have mentioned that the large-scale migration of Han people to Xinjiang is part of a government planned program to incorporate the area into the Chinese mainstream. A similar program has reduced the dominance of the native ethnic groups in Tibet.

27 Die in Rioting in Ethnically Divided Western China
Xinjiang
At least 27 people died in rioting in far western China on Wednesday, when protesters attacked a police station and government offices and the police fired on the crowd, state media said. It was the worst spasm of violence for years in Xinjiang…

Xinhua, reported… “Knife-wielding mobs attacked the township’s police stations, the local government building and a construction site, stabbing at people and setting fire to police cars”… In the initial outburst of bloodshed, seventeen people were killed, including nine police officers and security guards, and the police then fatally shot 10 rioters, it said.

In the past, Uighur residents have often given accounts of unrest sharply at odds with those given by Chinese government officials…

Many members of the Uighur minority, a Turkic-speaking group, resent the growing presence in Xinjiang of Han Chinese people, whom they say get the better jobs and land. Government restrictions on religion have also become a growing source of tensions with Uighurs, who have embraced more conservative currents of Sunni Islam…

Uighurs once formed the vast majority of residents in Xinjiang… In recent decades, the number of Han Chinese residents has grown, aided by migration. Uighurs now make up 46 percent of Xinjiang’s civilian population of 22 million, and Han Chinese account for 40 percent, according to government estimates…

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1 Comments:

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

China resettles two million Tibetans, says Human Rights Watch


More than two million Tibetans have been resettled by the Chinese government over the last seven years, a new report by Human Rights Watch says.


Many, including hundreds of thousands of nomads, were forced into so-called "socialist villages", the group says.


The goal of the relocation is to exert tighter political control over ethnic Tibetans, according to researchers...


In the past four years, at least 117 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest at Chinese government rule, resulting in 90 deaths.


Many Tibetans resent the influx of Han Chinese into Tibet and the Communist Party's restrictions on their religious freedoms.


In response, the Chinese government has tightened surveillance over the entire Tibetan plateau. In cities, the authorities appear to be keeping tabs on potential troublemakers by dividing each neighbourhood along a grid system...

 

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