Mass Incident in Urumqi Claims Many Lives

A mass incident of seismic proportion broke out in the evening of 5 July 2009 at Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang.   ABC China correspondent Stephen McDonell filed this report from Beijing for the PM program.

ABC – PM | Mon, 06 Jul 2009 18:36:00 +1000

The latest official death toll has risen to 156.  In the meantime, Internet traffic and telephone connections to Urumqi are said to be cut off.  Social networking sites such as Twitter, Youtube and Flickr are blocked in most Chinese cities. 

Just for now.  And I’ll follow up with a bit more detailed discussions tomorrow.

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9 Responses to Mass Incident in Urumqi Claims Many Lives

  1. Ned Kelly says:

    I suggest that the CCP is scapegoating the Uighurs similarly to how Germany’s Nazi Party scapegoated the Jews.

    And in the Koran, as well as in ancient Jewish AND Christian scriptures, God says, “whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the Whole World”.

    And the Prophet Jesus said, that at the Last Judgment, “Some of the greatest shall be last, and some of the last shall be greatest.” All of which turns the fantasy of China’s “economic miracle” upside-down, in light of what the weakest people in China, including China’s minority of Muslims, are experiencing today. At God’s Last Judgment, “economic development” will mean nothing, while compassion will mean everything.

  2. anonymous says:

    So I guess the Muslims of 9/11 killed the whole world 3,000+ times over? And Bush let 3,000 black worlds die in Katrina, too.

  3. C.A. Yeung says:

    Anonymous (Ferin),

    Are you suggesting that the Chinese government’s suppression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang is:

    (1) in retaliation against Muslims for 9/11? and
    (2) inspired by the way GW Bush handled the Katrina disaster?

    Gee, I like you logic.

  4. Ned Kelly says:

    I’ll just take his comment as a confession of moral imbecility, which in the good old days was grounds for involuntary sterilisation.

  5. Weichen (Newcomer) says:

    While CCP certinaly is very stupid blaming all the problems on the Urumqi people, but I am wondering the cause of the riot… Xinhua claimed that it was started by the Urumqi terrorists (WUC), but Xinhua is a pile of shit… (sorry for my swearing) while other western news media claimed that it was a result of a CCP crackdown (I never liked western media). Still, other sources claim that it was a fight between the Han and the Urumqi. So which is it?

  6. C.A. Yeung says:

    Weichen, welcome:

    I believe the recent riot was related to a brawl between Han and Uighur workers at a toy factory in Guangdong. The situation deteriorated when the government started to censor discussions in the media. This allows ridiculous rumour to circulate. As I pointed out before, rumours played a very important role, not only in triggering Uighur riots on Sunday, but also subsequent Han riots on Tuesday.

    The longer term problem in that area is due to a perceived sense of social injustice among different ethnic groups, which ultimately boils down to an ineffective government policy towards national minorities. One can’t achieve ethnic harmony through coercion. It has to be done through dialogue that promote mutual understanding.

    This is just my understanding of ethnic conflict in Xinjiang. I may be wrong.

    There is no such thing as totally unbiased media sources. That’s why it’s important to read different reporting from different sources and, if possible, in different languages. If you are sick and tired of both Chinese and American media propaganda, may I suggest Aljazeera. They did a brilliant job providing an alternative perspective on many issues. I also think that the Guardian has done a really good job reporting the Xinjiang incident. For the news blogs, I recommend China Digital Times and Danwei. If you can read Chinese, the Caijing magazine, the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the South Metropolis Daily and Ming Pao also provides timely and relatively impartial reports on many current issues. For ethnic issues, I recommend Wang Lixiong’s writings.

  7. C.A. Yeung says:

    Two more new reference sources for those who are following the Urumqi mass incident:

    1. A letter from Kashgar from the New Dominion; and

    2. A Youtube clip from the Stanley Foundation:

  8. Weichen (Newcomer) says:

    To C. A. Yeung:

    Wow, thanks for the sources! I will be sure to check all of them out. However, I doubt the validity of Al-Jazeera. I’ve watched a video made by them on YouTube, and although one video shouldn’t be the reason to completely put them down, I certainly felt that their claim, from that video, of all the Uighurs wanting to be free from the PRC to be quite baseless/ I mean, it could very well be true; but what irritates me is that Al-Jazeera reached that conclusion with the opinion of only one person, who certainly can’t be called expert in his field, and without even interviewing the actual people! Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqT8yOt0hBE

    Perhaps my perception of them is wrong, but right now my first impression of them is quite low…

    But thanks for the sources either way!

  9. C.A. Yeung says:

    As I pointed out before, there is no such thing as a totally unbiased report. All reporters and the newspapers they work for have their own political stand. As for AlJazeera, you have to remember that it is a news service that’s sympathetic to the Islamic religion. However, because of that, their analysis of the social problems as well as religious and cultural concerns of the Uighurs in Xinjiang are, to a large extent, authentic. They have a legitimate reason to be care about the welfare of their Muslim brothers and sisters in Xinjiang. So when I am reading them, I’ll bear in mind their position as well as their bias.

    Once again, if the Chinese government allows more press freedom, it would be easier for us to access information about the lives and aspirations of the Uighur people. And the result might just be as you suggested: that most Uighur in Xinjiang might actually want to a part of the people’s republic of china. But as it stands, there is no way to tell. All I know is that the majority of Uighurs who are not happy with some of the changes around them are not terrorists or separatist either, as the PRC government wants the world to believe.

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