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6:24AM

Urumqi is not Tiananmen, and Xinjiang is not Tibet

For those in the West eager to uncover another Tiananmen-like crackdown by Chinese authorities last week in the Xinjiang provincial capital of Urumqi, the true story disappoints, even as it points to a potentially far-more-destabilizing social phenomenon: the emergence of race riots inside allegedly homogenous China. Note that President Hu Jintao's embarrassingly rushed departure from the G-8 meeting in Italy was not provoked by Sunday's riots by angry Uighurs, but rather by Tuesday's even uglier revenge riots by even angrier -- and better-armed -- Han Chinese.

Continue reading this week's WPR column.

Reader Comments (2)

Saw video of the aftermath sent out over the internet. Many, many bodies in the streets. Most apparently beaten to death. Looks like the local authorities were overwhelmed (or complacent) but large numbers of troops and police were sent in to regain control. I spent 27 years in law enforcement and I can tell you that it is not "easy" to beat a human being to death. All those bodies meant that a whole lot of folks were enraged past the point of reason. Civilization is a very thin veneer. The L.A.P.D. is being criticzed for having so many police on hand for the Michael Jackson memorial. The Monday morning quarterbacks are complaining it cost too much. L.A.P.D. has a lot of experience with large numbers of people getting out of hand. They did a great job at the Jackson event They learned at the Rodney King riots that once a mob gets formed it tends to grow and get stronger. I am amazed that we know so much about what is happening in China. What would Mao think?
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor
Tom this is an excellent, well written concise summary of this situation in China. You continue to amaze me as to how you are able to obtain this much timely insight with all the other things you have going. Keep it coming!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElmer Humes

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