China Confirms Deadly Xinjiang Attack, Shows Graphic Footage of October Violence

Globe and Mail
Chinese authorities have confirmed an attack on security personal at a checkpoint in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, which a U.S.-backed radio service said left five dead.

32 Terrorist Groups Smashed in Xinjiang, China Says

Edward Wong and Chris Buckley
New York Times
Officials in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang said an antiterrorism crackdown that began in late May had resulted in the smashing of 32 terrorist groups and the sentencing of 315 people to prison. 

13 ‘Thugs’ Die in Attack on China Police Station

Calum MacLeod
USA Today
Chinese police shot dead 13 people who attacked a police station in the restive northwest region of Xinjiang Saturday morning, according to a report on the local government website and the state-run Xinhua news agency.

China’s Two Problems with the Uyghurs

Lisa Ross
Los Angeles Review of Books
Beijing has two problems with the Uyghurs, the Turkic-speaking, Central Asian people from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. One problem is terrorism; the other problem is civil rights.

China Sentences 55 in Xinjiang Mass Trial

Michael Martina and Li Hui
Reuters
The public sentencing, reminiscent of China's revolutionary era rallies, attracted a crowd of 7,000 at a sports stadium in Yining city in the northern prefecture of Yili...

Residents Try to Move On After Terrorist Attack in China

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
By the time the vehicles exploded at opposite ends of the block, 43 people were dead and more than 90 people were wounded, according to an updated casualty list.

Media

05.23.14

“What’s Been Done to My Beautiful Homeland?”

Nigel Maiti, an ethnically Uighur host for Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, is a well-known and popular entertainer with more than 1 million followers on the social media site Sina Weibo. After 31 were killed by a coordinated bomb and truck attack at...

31 Dead, 90 Injured in China Marketplace Bombing

Didi Tang
Associated Press
Assailants in two SUVs plowed through shoppers while setting off explosives at a busy street market in China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang, killing 31 people and injuring more than 90, local officials said...

Media

05.19.14

One Uighur Man’s Journey in Two Cultures

Over the past two months, the relationship between China’s estimated 10 million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people, most of whom follow some form of Sunni Islam, and the majority Han population has deteriorated after a series of violent incidents...

I Sold Out to China

Leslie Anne Jones
Aeon Magazine
You know that censorship has won its war on truth-telling when journalists happily police themselves.

Media

04.23.14

Welcome to Uighur Web—Now Watch What You Say

China’s Internet is vast, with millions of sites and more than 618 million users. But nested within that universe is a tiny virtual community comprising just a few thousand websites where China’s Uighur, the country’s fifth-largest ethnic minority...

After 3/1: The Dangers of China’s Ethnic Divide

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The pressure posed by ethnic unrest is the biggest story on the Chinese horizon, and that struggle—the pressure from below, and the response it will bring—just moved into the foreground.

After Train Station Massacre Labeled ‘China's 9/11,’ a Wide Search for Culprits

Christina Larson
Businessweek
Although no details about the identities of the assailants have been released, state-run newswire Xinhua attributed the Kunming railway station massacre to “terrorists from Xinjiang.”

China Charges Prominent Uighur Professor with Separatism

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The government’s case against Ilham Tohti is the latest sign of its hardening stance on dissent in Xinjiang, where unrest in the past year has killed more than 100, including several police, according to state media.

Caixin Media

03.03.14

Kunming Attack Is ‘China’s 9/11,’ State Media Says

In the days after a major terror attack in Kunming, state media outlets are calling for a united front to combat terror and warning against excusing the attackers or criticizing the government’s policies on minorities.On the evening of March 1, a...

How Wrong is Your Time Zone?

Joshua Keating
Slate
All of China’s clocks are set to Beijing time. In defiance of the government, many members of the region’s Uighur minority observe their own time.

Conversation

02.13.14

Are Ethnic Tensions on the Rise in China?

Enze Han, James Palmer & more
On December 31, President Xi Jinping appeared on CCTV and extended his “New Year’s wishes to Chinese of all ethnic groups.” On January 15, Beijing officials detained Ilham Tohti, a leading Uighur economist and subsequently accused him of “separtist...

China Accuses Uighur Intellectual of Separatism for His Advocacy Work

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
The news comes at a time of intensifying bloodshed in Xinjiang despite a growing security presence by Chinese personnel. 

Ilham Tohti’s Arrest Demonstrates China’s Renewed Hard Line on Xinjiang

Michael Clarke
Lowy Institute Interpreter
Economist Tohti was reportedly arrested after 30 police raided his apartment, confiscating documents, books and hard drives. He is most likely to be charged with ‘endangering state security,’ which carries heavy penalties including life imprisonment.

China’s Detention of Uighur Professor Ilham Tohti Worries U.S.

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The U.S. government and human rights activists are voicing concern about the detention of a professor who has been an outspoken advocate for China’s Uighur minority group.  

China on World’s ‘Biggest Push’ for Wind Power

David Shukman
BBC
A project planning to double the number of wind turbines in the next six years prompts analysists to question the actual influence of wind power in the region.  

Guardian Website Blocked in China

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
The newspaper said that it may be due to a recently run article about ethnic tensions in the western region of Xinjiang.

U.S. Frees Last of the Chinese Uighur Detainees From Guantánamo Bay

Charlie Savage
New York Times
In what the Pentagon called a “significant milestone” in the effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military announced that the United States had transferred three Chinese detainees to Slovakia.

Riot in China’s Xinjiang Kills 16, ‘Terror Gang’ Blamed

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Chinese police shot and killed 14 people during a riot near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar in which two policemen were also killed, the latest unrest in a region that has a substantial Muslim population. 

Chinese Police Shoot Dead Seven Uighurs in Kashgar

Qiao Long and Luisetta Mudie
Radio Free Asia
Four died after police in Yarkand county, which is administered by the Silk Road city of Kashgar, opened fire on a group of Uighurs in a private residence on October 3 after suspecting them of “illegal assembly,” the Munich-based World Uyghur...

Uighurs in China Say Bias Is Growing

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Discrimination in employment, common across western Xinjian, is one of the many indignities China’s 10 million Uighurs face in a society that increasingly casts them as untrustworthy and prone to religious extremism.  

Uighurs at Xinjiang Mosque Have to Face China Flag When Praying

Massoud Hayoun
Al Jazeera
Prominent Uighur rights advocate Ilham Tohti called the local government’s move an effort to “dilute the religious environment” in the area, where minority Uighurs often complain of ethnic and religious repression. 

Media

09.25.13

The Silk Road of Pop

Nick Holdstock
Most coverage of Xinjiang focuses on the tensions between Han and Uighur in the region, especially since the 2009 Urumqi riots. The Silk Road of Pop, a new documentary about Uighur music directed by Sameer Farooq, is a timely portrait of the rich...

Postcard

09.25.13

The Strangers

James Palmer
In the winter of 2009, I was spending my weekends in the northeast Chinese city of Tangshan, and eating most of my food from the far-western province of Xinjiang. Like many minorities, the Uighur, the native people of Xinjiang, have made their chief...

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Cultural Appropriation And The Singer Luo Lin, a.k.a. “Dao Lang”

Beige Wind
Beijing Cream
Luo Lin has in effect claimed ownership over a whole group of people, a sacred landscape and spiritual practice.

“We’re Uyghurs. We’re Not Terrorists.” A Plea From Xinjiang

Offbeat China
A plea from a Xinjiang native stirred up discussions of how to make peace with people from different ethnic backgrounds on Weibo. “We’re from Xinjiang. We’re Uyghurs. We’re not terrorists. There are good people and bad people in...

Unrest In Xinjiang Incites Military Crackdown

Natalie Ornell
China Digital Times
State-run media reported that more than 100 people riding motorcycles, some wielding knives, attacked a police station in remote Hotan on Friday. It follows Wednesday’s clashes elsewhere in Xinjiang which killed 35. At a meeting...

Ministry of Truth: Xinjiang Violence

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
27 people are dead after crowds attacked a police station and other government offices yesterday. The police opened fire, killing at least 10. The motive for the riot is still unclear, but ethnic tension is high in the...

27 Die in Rioting in Ethnically Divided Western China

Chris Buckley
New York Times
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.

Settlers in Xinjiang: Circling the Wagons

Economist
A network of immigrant settlements dominated by Han Chinese are adding to ethnic tensions by excluding ethnic Uighurs from commercial opportunities. 

China Criticizes U.S. For Questioning Xinjiang Clash

Associated Press
In the wake of Tuesday’s violence, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell called for a thorough and transparent investigation and expressed concern over discrimination against Uighurs and the practice of Islam.  

China’s Xinjiang Hit By Deadly Clashes

BBC
Clashes in China’s restive Xinjiang region have left 21 people dead, including 15 police officers and officials, authorities say. It is very difficult to verify reports from Xinjiang, reports the BBC’s Celia Hatton.  &...

China’s Sufis: The Shrines Behind the Dunes

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Lisa Ross’s luminous photographs are not our usual images of Xinjiang. One of China’s most turbulent areas, the huge autonomous region in the country’s northwest was brought under permanent Chinese control only in the mid-twentieth century...

China Convicts And Sentences 20 Accused Of Militant Separatism In Restive Region

Chris Buckley
New York Times
“It’s not clear what is being alleged against these people beyond being members of a clandestine organization,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher based in Hong Kong for Human Rights Watch. 

The Hotan Project

Liu Xiaodong
ArtForum
Last May, Liu Xiaodong and a team of assistants traveled to Hotan, a town in the Xinjiang region of China, where he painted monumental portraits of local Uyghur jade miners while a documentarian filmed the entire process. The project is on view at...

Sinica Podcast

05.25.12

The Indiana Jones of China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
After his controversial involvement with the Tarim mummy excavations in Western Xinjiang, Victor Mair might just be the closest thing Sinology has to Indiana Jones, assuming the fictional Spielberg character was a renowned linguist, translator, and...

Books

04.25.12

The Tree That Bleeds

Nick Holdstock
In 1997 a small town in a remote part of China was shaken by violent protests that led to the imposition of martial law. Some said it was a peaceful demonstration that was brutally suppressed by the government; others that it was an act of terrorism. When Nick Holdstock arrived in 2001, the town was still bitterly divided. The main resentment was between the Uighurs (an ethnic minority in the region) and the Han (the ethnic majority in China). While living in Xinjiang, Holdstock was confronted with the political, economic and religious sources of conflict between these different communities, which would later result in the terrible violence of July 2009, when hundreds died in further riots in the region. The Tree that Bleeds is a book about what happens when people stop believing their government will listen. —Luath Press Limited

Reports

03.11.11

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: Urumqi District Heating Project

World Bank
The city of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in westernmost China, is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, which poses challenges to Urumqi Municipal Government in providing adequate and efficient public...

Reports

07.01.10

“Justice, Justice”: The July 2009 Protests in Xinjiang, China

Amnesty International
On July 5, 2009, thousands of Chinese of Uighur ethnicity demonstrated in Urumqi, the regional capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). In the aftermath of the Urumqi protests, the authorities detained more than 1,400 people. In this...

Reports

01.06.10

U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States faced a challenge in enlisting the full support of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the counterterrorism fight against Al Qaeda. This effort raised short-term policy issues...

Reports

10.01.09

“We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them”: Enforced Disappearances in the Wake of Xinjiang’s Protests

Human Rights Watch
In the aftermath of the July 2009 protests in Xinjiang province, which according to the Chinese government killed at least 197 people, Chinese security forces detained hundreds of people on suspicion of participating in the unrest. Dozens of these...

China’s Area of Darkness

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
The very first anonymous star on the CIA’s wall of honor at Langley, Virginia (the agency rarely identifies its dead heroes), refers to Douglas MacKiernan, the agency’s man in Urumqi, the capital of what is now called the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous...

Reports

02.01.07

China: Minority Exclusion, Marginalization and Rising Tensions

Human Rights in China
This report documents the serious impediments to the fulfillment of China's human rights obligations, in the areas of ethnic minority political participation, development, and preservation of cultural identity. Given the destabilizing levels of...

Reports

12.17.01

China’s Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism

Dewardric L. McNeal
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Over a number of years, the United States has been actively engaged in efforts to improve human rights conditions in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, some analysts suggest that the events of September 11, 2001, may make it more...