"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Riots Continue in China & Spread West

The Times reports that after yesterday's uprising by the Uighur Muslim minority in China's vast north-western Xinjiang province, Uighur violence has spread to a second city.

Most of the 156 dead and 800 wounded yesterday and Sunday were Han Chinese, hacked to death with knives by Uighur rioters.

Now, large mobs of ethnic Han are on the rampage in Urumqi, determined to wreak revenge:

Men and women of all ages, girls in high heels and young men in smart white shirts carried wooden staves, billiard cues, iron bars and even machetes as they surged through towards the main city bazaar.

They were determined to wreak damage on the business heart of the Muslim Uighur minority blamed for the carnage in which 156 were killed and more than 800 injured.

The streets were lined with black-clad riot police and thousands of paramilitaries in camouflage and bulletproof vests who barred their way to the central market. Occasional bursts of tear gas failed to deter the angry crowd.

At one point the Urumqi Communist Party secretary, the most senior official in the Xinjiang capital, climbed onto the roof of a Landcruiser to address the mob.

Li Zhi used a megaphone to respond to shouts of "punish the killers". He said: "I have heard what you want and we will do this. We will punish them severely."

The crowd shouted back: "Words are not enough."

Li replied: "But you are behaving in just the same way as they behaved. Please go home. Thank you."

A huge roar erupted from the mob, who turned away, beating their sticks on the road as they made their way down People's Road in search of another entry to the market. One angry Han shouted at a foreign reporter: "Don't speak to foreigners. Foreigners get out."

He then referred to the exiled Uighur leader whom the Government blames for inciting Sunday's unrest. "Rebiya Kadeer is Osama."

Many of those in the crowd complained that the Government had been far too restrained in its response to Sunday's killings, when most of the victims appear to have been Han Chinese cut down by Uighurs armed with knives.

One young man in his twenties carrying a wooden stave said: "The Government is far too soft. They don't dare to go out even though a hundred people have been killed."

He said that his parents run a shop that had not been damaged but many neighbours' properties had been. "We don’t feel safe. We have to protect ourselves."

Several times the crowd were halted by police cordons blocking roads to sensitive government buildings. As they marched they chanted in unison: "Stand up! Stand up!", "Strength comes from unity", "Protect Xinjiang!" and "We Han must unite together".

There are also reports of large groups of Uighur attacking riot police, demanding the release of relatives who have been arrested in the security clampdown.

Perhaps the most interesting and unexpected place the violence spread to was The Hague, de facto seat of government of the Netherlands.

Incidents like this always show up just how unwise Western immigration policies are; Canada and Britain experienced a similar thing when Tamils recently went on the rampage over the Sri Lankan civil war.

Now it seems that the Netherlands has bagged itself a large community of Muslim separatists from central Asia. Large groups of Uighur turned up in the Dutch city to stone the Chinese embassy.

I suppose it is only a matter of time before the demonstrations spread to London.

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