I have not written sooner about the July 5th killing in
I will not ask questions about the
When I lived in the southwest city
Oddly, my only personal encounter with Uyghurs occured during a recent visit to
The pickpocket was a boy no more than 11 or 12 years old. A thirtyish woman stood with him. What the boy took from my bag was the empty plastic case for my eye-glasses (which I was wearing at the time). His fingers must have figured it was a wallet.
Passersby quickly surrounded us and someone said, "They are Uyghurs from Xinjiang! They are all over
Apparently my words were too soft to the
Later I heard again from a few
So, I was quite surprised Monday when I read the following comment originally from Uyghur online (h/t Global Voice):
First, this seems to verify that many Uyghur kids are thieves in the Han Chinese region. However the reason given by it certainly can't explain what I saw in
A Han Chinese couple I know of traveled to
This couple's impression certainly contradicts the opinions I read in recent days attributing the cause of the riot to the government's discrimination against the ethnic Uyghurs. I won't attempt to build a case based on one couple's observation, so if anyone has first hand experiences about this, or a plausible explanation as to why many Uyghur kids lead such wretched lives far from home, I'd like to know. Please note I have no intention of profiling the Uyghurs; rather my hunch is that whatever conditions contribute to the fates of those kids might shed some light on the riots in Xinjiang.
My second question is, since when has ethnic hatred against Han escalated to such an irreconcilable level and what was the primary cause for this? A Taiwan scholar says the hatred has hundreds of years of history, but the entrance of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in the 1950s dramatically changed the demographic structure of the region and intensified the hatred.
On the other hand, a widely circulated web article written by a Han Chinese cyber-named "Hebang" ("mussel"), who grew up in
To "Hebang," the 1980s was a turning point. As such it would be important to find out what exactly happened in
(I just saw a selective translation of the same article on Fool's Mountain, the part that questions the government's minority policy. So I'll refer you to read that part there.)
By the way, about the history of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, author Xinran has a curious chapter in her latest book China Witness (in English), in which she quotes a government website as saying:
In 1954, those army units were transferred to the civilian Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, "to engage in industrial and agricultural production" there.