Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More unrest in China: Uyghur edition

Yesterday I predicted that the Tibet protests would not be the last. Today, articles have been appearing across the internet about protests in Xinjiang province, which has a large Uyghur population. The Uyghurs are a Turkic people who adhere to Islam, and who live in the westernmost province of China. Like the Tibetans and most other non-Han minorities in China, the Uyghurs have long been resentful of Beijing's Han-centric style of control. In fact, a few years ago the Chinese capitalized on the post-9/11 terrorism fad, and accused the Uyghurs of Islamic terrorism, despite the fact that their concern is not fundamentalist theocracy, but rather increased autonomy from an oppressive government in Beijing. In a rare PR coup for the CCP, the Americans bought it, and even shipped a few of 'em off to Guantánamo, despite the Uyghurs' generally positive view of the United States.

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