China Unlikely to Loosen Its Grip in West

The Washington Post looks at the possible repercussions from the continued violent attacks against police in Xinjiang, including one this week in which two police officers were killed:

The attack was the fourth incident this month in the area, bringing the total dead to 33 despite intense paramilitary police patrols since before Beijing’s Summer Olympic Games.

In both Xinjiang and the nearby Tibetan regions, China has deployed thousands of security personnel in recent months to keep the peace and root out troublemakers. Now the government might consider keeping those forces in the regions indefinitely, experts said, because tensions remain high. Required affirmations of political loyalty and surveillance of telephone calls, Internet use and physical movement are also expected to continue.

“Three days ago, I called my mother back in Tibet,” said Tenzin Losel, who fled Tibet for India in 1997 and had not spoken with his parents since this spring’s riot in Lhasa and the ensuing wave of anti-government protests that swept the Tibetan plateau. He said he did not want his call to get them in trouble with police, but he wanted to hear his mother’s voice. “She said hello and that she was okay. Then she asked if I was okay and after I said yes, she just put down the phone. I felt in that moment the tense division in Tibet.”

August 29, 2008 9:18 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society