Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And speaking of executions...

China has executed nine people for their role in the July 5 riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang, what was being called the worst ethnic rioting in decades. Authorities say 197 people were killed, most of them Han Chinese, and 1600 were injured. The BBC also has the story.

It is believed that most or all of the executed people were Uighurs, the once dominant ethnic group of the region before Beijing started encouraging Han Chinese to settle there in a bid to bolster Chinese dominance of the region.

In the comments section, NotDeadYet has a link to an interesting post on his travels to Xinjiang in the aftermath of the riots this summer. Some cool photos as well.


  1. Hi Kushibo,

    I was actually there in Xinjiang just about a week after these riots happened (you can see my posts on the subject here: and I spoke to some people who were actually at the riot and/or knew people who disappeared following it.

    I wonder how effective a deterrent these executions will be. The sense I got was that some of the people there are gaining more bravado in confronting the Chinese authorities by the day. We'll see.

  2. I'm going to include your link in an update (some readers are too lazy to read all the comments^^).

    Xinjiang is someplace I've always been interested in visiting, and your pictures renewed that feeling. I'll have to give a more thorough read of your post when I'm done with a deadline I'm working on.

  3. I'll second a trip to Xinjiang for kushibo or anybody else reading this. It really, truly is the nexus of the world. I was there in August, though what I wrote about it was just a rambling travelogue.

    Even if Xinjiang wasn't stunningly beautiful, with both scorching deserts and glaciers, the people are also stunningly beautiful (maybe it's something about being a Chinese minority, because Tibetans are also very good-looking) and very interesting.

    I agree with notdeadyet. I didn't talk to any Uighurs (or Chinese) about the riots, unlike the Tibetans I met who were more than willing to tell me what they thought. Still, the grim faces, the segregation of Kashgar (when I ended up in the Chinese quarter, it was like a different city) and the complete indifference to China made me think that no show of force will get the Uighurs to change their mind.

    The end result, however, will likely be that the Uighurs get outnumbered and assimilated, and their grievances erased by time.


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