News / Asia

China Offers Large Rewards Following Deadly Week in Xinjiang

FILE - A Uighur man looks on as a truck carrying paramilitary policemen travel along a street during an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
FILE - A Uighur man looks on as a truck carrying paramilitary policemen travel along a street during an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
William Ide

Chinese state media say the country’s remote and restive region of Xinjiang has set aside nearly $50 million in rewards for those who help provide authorities with leads in their crackdown on violent extremists.

The announcement of the massive reward scheme comes just days after Xinjiang saw its most violent week of unrest since 2009. Last week, nearly 100 people were killed in violence the government says was carried out by a gang of violent ethnic Uighur terrorists.

The Chinese government did not disclose the deaths for days, prompting overseas Uighur groups to question the government’s version of the events and call for an independent investigation.

State media say the unrest in southern Xinjiang began early Monday morning on July 28 in Yarkand County, a district outside the city of Kashgar. It was not until nearly a week later, however, that Chinese authorities released a more detailed account of what had happened.

Police stations, governments buildings attacked

According to state media, masked men carrying knives and axes attacked police stations and government offices in the township of Elixku before turning their attention to civilians, smashing and torching dozens of vehicles.

According to a report Sunday on Tianshan, an online news site run by the Xinjiang regional government, 37 civilians were killed during the attacks, including two Uighur officials. Police shot dead 59 alleged terrorists and 215 others were taken into custody.

Like much of China’s reporting on terrorist attacks, it was not possible to independently confirm many details of the violent unrest. Chinese state media say a man police named as Nuramat Sawut was the instigator of the attack. Sawut reportedly had prepared groups to participate in the attack by meeting with them during the holy month of Ramadan.

'Holy war'

State media reports say those who participated were carrying flags declaring a “holy war” and that Sawut was working together with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The attack in Yarkand came just days after what state media says was a massive manhunt south of the area just outside the city of Hotan. According to official accounts some 30,000 people helped authorities encircle a group of 10 terrorists, nine of whom were killed at the scene.

Footage of the manhunt on state media showed individuals marching through cornfields and lining streets with clubs. On Saturday, the Xinjiang Daily said officials handed out nearly $600,000 in rewards to those who aided authorities in the effort.

In addition to the violence in Yarkand or Shache, as it called in Mandarin, the 74-year old imam of the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar was killed last week in what appeared to be a targeted attack.

Cracking down on terrorism

Chinese analysts say last week’s violence highlights the growing intensity of the government’s campaign to crack down on terrorism and that they are watching to see if the attack will mark a turning point.

Over the weekend, the party secretary in Xinjiang, Zhang Chunxian, pledged to “unswervingly” press forward with the campaign, to strike extremists hard and with accuracy, to remove as he put it "the weeds of separatism" by digging deep to their roots.

The overall prevalence of deep religious extremism in Xinjiang remains a matter of debate in China. Most people in the remote region practice a more moderate form of Sunni Islam. But some Chinese analysts warn that the government’s tough tactics could backfire by radicalizing more moderate Muslims.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress says the government is living under an illusion if it thinks that cracking down hard in Xinjiang or offering rewards will win it the support of the Uighur people.

“The main sticking point here is changing the government’s current policies. If it doesn’t do that, these types of conflicts could arise at any moment,” he says.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office last year in March, the death toll from ethnic violence in Xinjiang and other parts of the country has risen to nearly 300. Hundreds of ethnic Uighurs have been taken into custody and more than a dozen have already been executed for “violent terrorism” crimes.
 

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 04, 2014 2:14 PM
China is losing control over the minorities whether in Tibet or Xinjiang. Offering money to combat terrorism is quite a departure from China's customary practice.

by: chow loh from: Asean
August 04, 2014 10:20 AM

I salute President Xi Jinping campaign against corruption and hope all Chinese people will support him. I was in Xinjiang with my daughter for holiday about 15 years ago and it was so peaceful then. I hope peace and good life will be enjoyed by all people of Xinjiang, irrespective of ethnicity. So, the Central Government/ Provincial Government should adopt an inclusive strategy, at least for a few years before implementing harsh measures. All should be treated as Chinese citizens and accorded their rights and help from the State where appropriate.

by: william li from: canada
August 04, 2014 9:45 AM
did America change policies after 911? then why should China? China will show no mercy to terrorists. there is only one way to deal with them that's kill them all.and Chinese government got support from 1.3 billion Chinese majority! that support is enough to press the terrorism down.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More