News / Asia

China Vows to Remain 'Vigilant' in Restive Xinjiang

Uighurs living in Turkey hold a poster of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabo with a banner that reads
Uighurs living in Turkey hold a poster of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabo with a banner that reads " the premier of the country of blood" as they march to the Chinese embassy in Ankara, Turkey, July 5, 2011
Peter Simpson

The Chinese government is dismissing reports claiming human rights abuses continue in China’s far-west mainly Muslim province, Xinjiang, two years after deadly race riots claimed scores of lives.

A new report from Amnesty International says Chinese authorities continue to silence members of the indigenous Uighur community following the July 2009 unrest.

Xinjiang officials have focused extensively on boosting internal security since the ethnic violence that killed some 197 people.

Chinese state media reported the region doubled its internal security budget in 2010 to more than $400 million. The extra funds helped purchase some 40,000 surveillance cameras now installed throughout the region.

Amnesty International says authorities are still silencing Uighurs and government critics who complain about heavy handed tactics and rights abuses.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei brushed aside the Amnesty report on Tuesday.

Hong says Beijing has to remain vigilant and security forces will continue to crack down on separatists. But he says the autonomous province is now peaceful and stable and Beijing is intent on keeping it that way.

He says Beijing’s rapid development and investment drive into the region is benefiting all the people who live there.

Hong says authorities will continue to “severely punish” those who engage in separatist action, much of which, he says, is orchestrated by Uighur activists living in exile.

Ethnic rioting broke out in July 2009 after Uighurs accused the Chinese government of inaction in the death of a migrant Uighur factory worker in southern China.

Violence spilled out onto the streets of the Xinjiang capital Urumqi with scores of innocent Han Chinese settlers attacked by mobs of Uighurs, who in turn were beaten back by rapidly deployed paramilitary riot police.

Police rounded up hundreds of Uighurs. About two dozen have been sentenced to death or executed and others were given long jail terms.  

Rights groups claim many other Uighurs remain unaccounted for and are believed to be in detention.

Amnesty International claims the government is still arresting those who protest human rights abuses that took place during and after the protests.

It says Uighur journalists and managers of websites discussing the unrest and subsequent crack down have been jailed.

Uighur groups say the violence was a reaction against years of unwanted Chinese rule and attempts by Beijing to commit what they call cultural genocide by flooding the region with Han settlers.

Hong says Xinjiang is no different from the rest China and that the main social problems are linked to the ever-increasing cultural and material demands of the people and the increasing disparity in a developing society.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs