The Chinese Foreign Minister's euphemism was long and unsubtle. “I shall assure you that our Government is fully capable of maintaining social stability and ensuring the security of tourists,” he said yesterday, even though the security of tourists is a minor issue in the anti-Chinese unrest spreading outward from Tibet.
Taking advantage of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Chinese government since 2001 has stepped up its repression of Uyghur dissent both inside and outside China’s borders, justifying its actions by branding Uyghur nationalists as terrorists.
Despite the intensity of the confrontation between the Chinese authorities and Tibetan protestors, Beijing and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, appear to be subtly acknowledging the extent to which they need each other. But you have to read past the pungent rhetoric to see that.
As what the Dalai Lama has called "cultural genocide" goes on in Tibet, it is wholly unacceptable that Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee, refuses to take a stand against the Beijing government's current crackdown on Tibetan protesters. In fact, this is completely at odds with the "spirit of the Olympics."
China is witnessing the worst bout of political turmoil it has seen since the student-led democracy movement of 1989. The recurrence of unrest in Tibet poses major challenges to Beijing and raises serious questions about the political system in China.
The embarrassment caused by the violence in Tibet, spilling over to Tibetan enclaves in mainland China, and global protests against China’s crackdown on protesters could not have come at a more inopportune time for the Chinese authorities.
In the boomtown of Korla, two hours south of Urumqi, groups of Han Chinese immigrants huddle outside the train station ticket office each night, waiting for the morning to return home, or travel elsewhere in Xinjiang looking for work.
A land with an ancient culture that is remarkably different from its current masters. A desolate country, but with a striking beauty unseen anywhere else in this world. A place filled with spirituality, where people still make a living from the land and retain their ancient customs.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi, details widespread human rights violations committed by the People’s Republic of China in the wake of unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.