Distant Thunder: Separatism Stirs On China’s Forgotten Frontier

From Financial Times:

First Tibet, now . China’s Olympics year has showcased its economic achievements and the resilience of its one-party state, but it has also exposed festering resentments in the country’s far west.

Over the past fortnight, more than 30 people have died in three separate attacks on police or government buildings in Xinjiang that represent the biggest outbreak of political violence in the region for more than a decade. Government officials have been careful not to draw strong conclusions and there is only limited information available. However, the succession of attacks suggests possible co-ordination between the different groups.

In the incident at Kuqa eight days ago, more than a dozen bombs exploded before dawn. Moreover, analysts have been surprised by reports that three young women were involved. “This could indicate that there is a new generation of militants in Xinjiang,” says Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong based researcher with Human Rights Watch, the monitoring group.

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