News / Asia

    China Censors Web Posts Following Xinjiang Unrest Rumors

    Screen grab of freeweibo.com web site, July 29, 2013.Screen grab of freeweibo.com web site, July 29, 2013.
    x
    Screen grab of freeweibo.com web site, July 29, 2013.
    Screen grab of freeweibo.com web site, July 29, 2013.

    China's Internet minders are scrubbing social networks for references about a heavily populated county in the south of the country's volatile and remote region of Xinjiang, following reports of a major outbreak of unrest.
    Some of the scrubbed postings from China's social media that can be seen on the website Freeweibo.com say Shache County in Xinjiang's southern Kashgar Prefecture has been hit by up to at least "four violent terrorist attacks."

    While the reports of unrest have yet to be confirmed, sources tell VOA that the county has been locked down and that no one is being allowed to enter.

    Some postings say telephone and Internet communications have also been cut, but calls to Shache, or Yarkant as it is also called, did go through.

    The BBC quotes a regional official as saying 13 people have been killed, but the official did not give any other details.  The victims, the report said, were all Han Chinese.

    VOA was unable to reach officials for comment and one local police station in Shache promptly hung up when told that a reporter was inquiring about the situation there.

    A woman at a business in Shache said she had heard about what had happened, but had no way of knowing what was true.  She did not get into specifics, noting that phone lines are tapped in the region and that individuals are quickly detained for spreading rumors.

    The woman added the tense climate in the restive region is having a big impact on business during what is a typically brisk season.  Tuesday marks the end of Ramadan, a major holiday in the region where many ethnic Muslim Uighurs live.

    State media mum

    There has been no mention of what has happened in state media.  But Xinhua posted photos Tuesday of rows of Muslims in prayer outside Id Kah Mosque, China's largest.  The mosque is in Kasghar City, several hundred kilometers from where the unrest was reported to have taken place.

    What the photos did not show were the scores of security officers also on hand near the mosque.

    Violence linked to Xinjiang has been growing in the restive region and spreading to other parts of the country.  Authorities blame Uighur separatists for the attacks and have warned religious extremists from the region are receiving training from overseas.

    Critics say it is the government's heavy-handed control in the region, and religious and cultural restrictions that are fueling discontent among Xinjiang's Uighurs.

    Religious Freedom report

    In its annual report on religious freedom released Monday, the United States raised its concerns about China's policies in the remote region.
    "Broadly targeting an entire religious or ethnic community in response to the actions of a few only increases the potential for violent extremism," said Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

    Nearly 200 people have been killed in ongoing violence in Xinjiang and other parts of the country during the past year or so.  In response to the problem, the government has launched a year-long security campaign, boosting the presence of troops and police throughout the region.

    Earlier this year, the government released a blue paper on terrorismand also published a list of 10 terrorist attacks that occurred in 2013.  Seven of the attacks listed occurred in Xinjiang's southern Kashgar Prefecture, including an attack on a police station in Shache late last December.

    Previously, the government has been quick to publicize information about attacks, including one on a market in the capital of Urumqi that killed at least 31 people in May.  Why it is silent now, remains unclear.

    In one posting that was taken down, a Weibo user by the name of Glass City asked why the government would be removing posts if such a horrible attack had occurred and individuals could just be trying to tell others what is going on.  "What is the point of such an information blockade?" the user asked.

    Chinese authorities could be clamping down to help stem the spread of more unrest.

    In 2009, online discussion played a key role in the outbreak of massive riots between Han Chinese and Uighurs that hit the capital of Urumqi. 

    Authorities say about 200 people were killed in the violence, many of them Han Chinese.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bhomas Trown from: Zaltimore
    July 29, 2014 11:33 AM
    Is the world getting tired of muslim violence? Yes.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora