News / Asia

China's Military Chief in Xinjiang Dismissed Following Tiananmen Incident

x
VOA News

China's ruling Communist Party has removed the military chief of Xinjiang from the province's governing council following a deadly car crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square blamed on Islamist militants from Xinjiang.

The official Xinjiang Daily reported Sunday that Peng Yong was being replaced after more than two years on the job. The newspaper did not give a reason for the dismissal, but it came after last Monday's incident in Beijing.

On Saturday, Chinese state media released more details about what they called a terrorist attack in Tiananmen Square carried out by militant Uighurs - a mainly Muslim ethnic group in western China.

Reports in Xinjiang told of a crackdown on the minority Uighur community there.

China Central Television said eight Islamist separatists from Xinjiang had been planning the attack for more than a month, and had accumulated thousands of dollars to support their plot.

The state-run broadcaster said three of the suspects drove a vehicle loaded with 400 liters of gasoline into Tiananmen Square Monday. The vehicle crashed and exploded in flames, killing the three men and two tourists, and wounding dozens of other people.

Authorities said the five other suspects left Beijing before the attack and were arrested later in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital.

The World Uyghur Congress said Friday that Chinese police have arrested at least 53 people in Xinjiang since the blast in Beijing. The exile group said "a period of unprecedented repression" appeared imminent, and it appealed for support from the international community.

The World Uyghur Congress, which is based abroad in Munich, said exiles feared that Beijing would use the Tiananmen incident to justify further restrictions on the Uighur community, which they already is considered a target of religious and cultural persecution. It expressed skepticism about Chinese authorities' version of what happened in Beijing, and urged the world to withhold judgment until full details were known.

China's domestic security chief, Meng Jianzhu, said the attack in Beijing on Monday was carried out activists from a Muslim Uighur separatist group based in Xinjiang, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.N., U.S. and others.

The CCTV report, however, said the Tiananmen plotters decided to form a terrorist group only last month.

China said it did not mistreat Uighurs, but was waging a campaign against separatists trying to form a separate nation in what they called East Turkestan. Chinese authorities said Uighurs were guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms.

Clashes in Xinjiang between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority, including members of government security forces, are common. Beijing said over 200 people have been killed in such attacks in recent years, but this was the first time authorities have blamed Uighurs for a major incident in the national capital.
 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid