Troops Swarm Urumqi; China Vows Executions for Rioters Behind Killings

As Hu Jintao flew home from Italy where he planned to attend the G8 summit, security forces swarmed Urumqi in an effort to keep the peace. From The Times: Thousands of Chinese troops poured into the restive city of Urumqi early today in a massive show of force, as President Hu Jintao cut short a visit to Italy for the G8 summit to deal with the outbreak of ethnic violence. Along one road ringing the capital of the western region of Xianjiang where 156 people died in riots on Sunday, The Times counted more than 30 paramilitary trucks, each followed by about two dozen men, many in black body armour, and most carrying riot shields, batons and fire arms. The convoys included several white armoured personnel carriers accompanied by tear gas vans, all with paramilitaries standing ready to open fire. They were preceded by land cruisers, their sirens wailing as they moved almost at a walking pace through the town. On the sides of the trucks were banners reading: “See the people as our father and mother.” Watch a BBC report:

And a report from the Telegraph:

A day after thousands of Uighurs took to the streets to protest the detention of their husbands, sons and brothers, authorities vowed to severely punish anyone responsible for Sunday’s violence. The Party Secretary of Xinjiang announced that the government will seek the death penalty for those found guilty of causing any of the 156 deaths in the Urumqi riots. AP reports: Li Zhi told a news conference Wednesday that Urumqi was stable after several days of ethnic violence. He said security forces had control of the streets. He said many people accused of murder had already been detained and that most of them were students. The violence has already caused President Hu Jintao ...
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10 Responses to Troops Swarm Urumqi; China Vows Executions for Rioters Behind Killings

  1. Shane says:

    “”Unintentional scream” triggered Xinjiang riot”

    This is a new story filed by Xinhua News about how this deadly incident got started.

    The “Han girl,” a 19-year-old trainee who had worked at the factory less than two months, said she only found out hours later that she was the cause of the violence.

    “I was lost and entered the wrong dormitory and screamed when I saw those Uygur young men in the room,” said Huang Cuilian, originally from rural Guangdong.

    Huang said she had no idea why exactly she was scared. “I just felt they were unfriendly so I turned and ran.”

    She remembered one of them stood up and stamped his feet as if he would chase her. “I later realized that he was just making fun of me.”

    However, when you dive deeper, you find the deep distrust between the racial groups and large income gap of remote rural regions with coastal regions that fuels so much discontent.

    I’m ready to stay here for at least a year. After all, my folks back home need to work hard for a whole year to earn what I make in a month,” Atigul said through an interpreter. Her monthly wage averages 1,400 yuan, almost equal the annual income she earned in her hometown.

  2. tenchen says:

    “”Unintentional scream” triggered Xinjiang riot”

    I don’t beleif it. this may have spark but the larger doscontentment lies beneath. we heard uygurs speaking to the reporter earlier about the descriminiation they face every day from local Han officials. until and unless the government policy and attitute to the minorities didn’t change there will be never a compromise and how long can the show of force with tanks and thousands of armies can do to bring harmony. I hope the chinese communist regime has a wisdom and little compassionate. otherwise this cycle will continue for ever.

  3. Shane says:

    Among large minority groups, Huis, Mongols and Manchuas did not have the kind of tension with Han similar to that between Han and Tibetan and Uighur, while Huis, Mongols and Manchuas also maintain a distinctive identity and large presence of around cities in China.

    The deep-rooted mistrust is related to royalty towards China especially during times of hardship. I have to emphasis that Chinese culture are very forgiving and mostly peaceful and inclusive. But once a population group made attempts to break away during time of hardship, their actions are usually not forgiving for a long time. This historical background has been to addressed head-on between Tibetans and Uighurs with Han openly someday, the sooner the better.

    On the other hand, people knew how Huis, Mongols and Manchuas struck together at times of foreign invasion, civil wars and hardships, even though there were kinks among them too.

  4. sr says:

    @Shane, the deep tension between Tibetans and Han; Uighurs and Han are a relatively recent occurence in the degree it is today because of invasion and colonialistic policies over the past 50 years. I can only speak with regards to Tibet and Tibetans, but I’m sure the sentiment is the same or similar for the Uighurs. I would actually be willing to postulate that the tensions were probably worse between the Han, Hui, Manchus and Mongols in the past. But over a very long period of living together during all the dynasties these people have learned to be corgial. But the Tibetans and Uighurs have lived very separate lives. Before 1950 there were NO Han’s living permanently West of Chengdu. So as relatively new and forced cohabitants, with the addition of colonialistic tactics, its only a matter of time for outbreaks emotion and frustration. Colonialism works in direct opposition to something called harmony.

  5. Shane says:


    I see your point. However, the collective memory of a ethnic group goes backwards from recent to earlier, and also selective too.

    Tibetan as a population attempted a separation after lured by imperialist GB. Uighurs had multiple acts in earlier 20th century too, and even as recent during the years of Soviet-China split.

  6. Doc says:


    “Colonialism works in direct opposition to something called harmony.”

    LOL! Give it 100 years or so and just like in the US of A and Canada etc., colonialism too will bring harmony! Oh sorry you guys and your descendants who live there will then probably be harmonized too by then into the Anglo-Saxon tradition, LOL!

    As for Tibet, sorry your biggest mistake was that Songtsän Gampo decided it was a jolly good idea to piss the Tang dynasty off and unfortunately it’s been down hill ever since then for you guys, non?

    Regarding conquest and “colonialism”, I suggest you look to your own glorious Tibetan history for pots and kettles to find out how the Tibetan “empire”/”kingdom” was formed. What febrile selective reading one’s own history, LOL!

    Hmmm, maybe the Chinese government ought to follow the Yuan and Qing dynasty tradition and elevate some head honcho lamas to the meaningless title of 国师 so that you guys can continue to delude yourself of your own importance.

    See, SR, who consider the destitution of his individual Tibetan brother or sister as unimportant so long as the cause continues, “harmony” can be achieved in many ways. Now, go study your own oh-so-peaceful and non-violent Tibetan history, LOL! What a glorious fool!

    Btw. didn’t you guys, “monks” and lay people, injured and killed quite a few Chinese Muslims during the Lhasa riots too? And now you sympathize and make common cause with the Uighur Muslims? Wow, Bravo! Do you even realize the amount of crocodile tears you’re shedding right now? Or is that just you being a good Tibetan “Buddhist”? Do you even realize what an embarrassment for a Tibetan, nevermind a human being, you are or have you simply no shame? Talk about a waste of karma-phala. So is this what oversea Tibetans have “devolved” into or is that just you? Pathetic.

  7. tenchen says:

    here goes another typical mao’s brainwashed doc! tell me what do you know about Tibet besides reading communist published text books. what do you know about the life, culture, languages and customs about Tibet? there is not even a one similarities. between Han and Tibet. There will be never a harmony till people like you are around. ethnic harmony can only happen when both sides respects each fundamental rights and beliefs. hans are happy being han and Tibetan and Uyguir are happy being Tibetan and Uyguirs nolthing less.

  8. sr says:

    No. Tibet has literally always been functionally independent of any powers from a Han controlled Beijing! Only during a period of around 60 years during the Tang dynasty did Beijing have any presence in Lhasa whatsoever! And even then, it was only a presence of an Amban. So in reality it was NOT GB that “lured” Tibetans to separate. Tibet was already separate! The reality of what happened was the British had selfish interests in Tibet indirectly because of their colonization of India and their fears of Russian expansion in to the central Asian region. The Chinese got word of the British interests in Tibet and, as they have always done, stated a illegitimate claim to Tibet. All the while Tibetans have been living according to their own laws, with their own monetary and postal system.

  9. […] Digital Times has a good collection of sources covering the violence. Rebiya Kadeer, the expat activist whom the CCP is pinning as mastermind, […]

  10. sr says:

    Wow. Your last post here, that I seemed to have missed before, really makes you come off as a ethnocentric chauvanist who has really no idea which direction is up with regards to all things related to Tibet.
    Any Tibetan will tell you the greatest “downhill” portion of Tibetan history has been the recent post-1949 part!