Symbol of Hope in Hotan Yet to Reap Rewards
The Financial Times describes the failure of a Zhejiang-sponsored industrial park in Hotan, part of a government plan to soothe tensions in Xinjiang by promoting economic development:
Hangzhou Boulevard, the main axis through the park, is a road to nowhere. While local officials say all the plots have been sold, not a single person or vehicle can be seen on the streets. The park is instead home to just a handful of factories and the land is mainly occupied by jade speculators ….
Every year when the snow melts on the Kunlun mountains, which separate Xinjiang from Tibet, the Yurungkash River carries the precious stones downstream, leaving them right at the feet of Hotan residents.
The ground in the industrial park, which is situated on a former riverbed, is covered with stones and most of the still empty plots have been dug up in search of jade ….
“This ‘help for Xinjiang’ does not help us at all, they are giving away what belongs to us,” says one Uighur jade trader who asked not to be named because of fears for his safety.
See also: China Says 18 Killed in Xinjiang Attack, on the recent violence in Hotan.