Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Big trouble in China

Students in last year's Islamic Civilization course may remember a short discussion of the Uighurs in China. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs are not culturally Chinese, and in recent decades they have felt overwhelmed by Han Chinese inmigration. It's not much of a contest numbers-wise, since there are a few million Tibetans and Uighurs and about a billion Han.The tensions nonetheless are severe in the Uighur home province of Xinjiang (formerly called East Turkestan) and as in Tibet last year, there has now been serious streetfighting.

If you want to know how serious this trouble is, see the picture below, showing paramilitary police assembled in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi. It's one thing to hear "20,000 police" on CBC Radio and another to see this:

More at the Big Picture.

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