Ethnic Tensions Spark Brawl at China Factory-Report

Wires services are reporting a clash between Han and Uighur factory workers in Guangdong which left two dead and dozens injured. From Reuters: Ethnic clashes between Han Chinese and Uighur workers at a toy factory in China’s southern Guangdong province killed two people and injured 118, a newspaper reported on Saturday. In a massive night brawl at the “Early Light” toy factory in Guangdong’s Shaoguan city, a group of Han Chinese fought with Uighurs from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region who had been recently recruited to the factory, Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper reported. The violence lasted until the early hours of Friday morning and at least 16 were seriously injured, the newspaper reported. About 400 riot police had to be deployed to quell the unrest as the rival workers battled, some with knives and metal pipes. The violence was reportedly sparked by a spate of crimes at the factory following the arrival of around 600 Uighur workers in May this year, the newspaper said. See also reports from Xinhua and AP.
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9 Responses to Ethnic Tensions Spark Brawl at China Factory-Report

  1. john chang says:

    Boxun: “At 22:00 on June 25, I came back from drinking with my colleagues and we found several police vehicles present at the factory. At first, we did not know what was going on. Then we learned that the Uighurs dragged one of my Han sisters into their dormitory and attempted to rape her. This caused our Han compatriots to become outraged. They wanted to go and beat up the perpetrator. But the factory security guards stopped them. Even when the female victim identified the perpetrator, the factory security guards still refused to arrest him. This caused even greater public anger as the people upstairs tossed all garbage downstairs.”

  2. Ma Bole says:

    In 1955, Zhou Enlai said, “China is a nation uniquely without racism.” Boy was he wrong.

  3. Doc says:

    Is this about race or is this about rape?

    I guess to some people there’s no difference. Hmmm, what does that say about the person.

  4. MAC says:

    I’m not saying the rapes didn’t happen, but honestly, how hard would it be to get a bunch of Chinese factory workers to believe that Uyghurs were committing rape even if they weren’t? I’m going to say… not very, given the power of rumor in China combined with the general attitude towards Uyghurs.

  5. tack says:

    >I’m going to say… not very, given the power of rumor in China combined with the general attitude towards Uyghurs.

    Rumors are just that, rumors. If the general public as you claim are so easily swayed by rumors regarding Uyghurs there’d be Uyghur bashing everyday with all those rumors floating around.

  6. Well, there *is* a fair bit of bashing in China—complaints about theft by Uyghurs and Hui Muslims, accusations of affirmative action abuses in school admissions, grumbling about how police are supposedly easy on minorities, etc. Thankfully, not much of the bashing becomes violent.

    Rumors are, as you say, “just that.” But they reflect real problems in the way people see each other.

    I agree, though, that “race” is not always the best lens for viewing these problems. “Race” carries with it the whole history of Western colonialism and therefore arguably more entrenched attitudes.

    I’ve never felt that Chinese thoughts about different ethnic groups really packed the same bunch as, say, the attitudes of racists in other countries. Interests and personal histories aren’t as wrapped up in stereotyping in China.

  7. I’d amend that last paragraph: I meant to say, “… as, say, the attitudes of racists in the U.S.”

    “Other countries” is a tad vague…

  8. MAC says:

    I don’t know, there might not be organized anti-Uyghur groups, but at least on the internet (where of course everything has to be taken with a grain of salt) I see pretty ugly stuff said all the time, all the way up to talk of extermination.