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Uighur Problems in Xinjiang (1)

18 September 2009

The following is English translation of the main points in an online post by 大白菜 titled Conflict in Xinjiang (新疆民族矛盾的基本状况):

I lived in Xinjiang for 18 years, and still have many relatives and friends living there, with some working at military forces and Production and Construction Corps. From time to time, I would take a business trip to my old hometown. I believe I know Xinjiang well enough to understand its current problems.

  • The Strategic Position of Xinjiang

Xinjiang is vital to all players in the region and beyond, which is why Taliban and other fundamental Jihad forces provide military training to Uighur separatists, and the United States works so hard to keep green light for Rebiya Kadder and her men (It is only after 9.11 that its open support for Uighur terrorists transformed to covert backing). So as we can see, the problems between Uighurs and other ethnic groups, including Han, are more than ethnic conflict. It is a battle between China and hostile external forces.

  • Population Composition in Xinjiang

Xinjiang population is consisted of 45% of Uighurs, 40% of Hans and over 15% of other ethnic groups, mainly Kazacs and Huis.

Geographically the province is divided by Mt Tian (天山) into two parts: in the south the dominant ethnic group is Uighur, counting for more than 70% of the population; while on the northern side of the mountain, most people have a Han background. Urumqi, a city built by Han Chinese is situated in the North Xinjiang with most residents being ethnic Han.

  • Uighur People in Xinjiang

From my understanding of the Uighur situation, I think they can be roughly categorised into four groups:

The Red Group, counting for 10 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people who have close contact or ties with mainstream Chinese society, received high education, are working or having family members working at state-run organizations or enterprises. They are the firm supporters of the Chinese unity.

The Yellow Group, counting for 40 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people mainly living in urban areas or quite urbanized villages, and having been benefited from China's rapid economic development. They by and large hold a positive attitude towards the current economic and social policies and oppose the separatist movement.

The Green Group, counting for 40 percent of the total Uighur population - these are the people living in underdeveloped and conservative rural areas with little formal education. On the whole they are not hostile towards Han and other ethnic groups, but easy to be influenced by external forces.

The Grey Group, counting for 10 percent of the total Uighur population - these are mainly jobless or semi-unemployed youth. Uighurs traditionally do not pay much attention to children's education, and would just allow their kids wandering the streets without attending school. The problems of alcohol abuse, drug use and gambling addiction are particularly serious among Uighurs, which result widespread domestic conflict and violence, and have produced a large number of broken families, leaving many Uighur kids grown up without the opportunity to learn basic ethics and job skills, and become virtually unemployable. The jobless young Uighurs would then join gangs to rob, extort, steal, engage in gang fights and become alcoholics and substance abusers. Few Han youth in Xinjiang can claim that they have never been victimised by the Uighur gangs. I personally clashed with them dozens of times during my school years.

  • Uighur Thieves outside Xinjiang

The notorious Uighur thieves who are active in all parts of China is one of the main reasons for this ethnic group to be looked down by other Chinese. Every year in Xinjiang there are thousands of kids kidnapped by Uighur criminal gangs, and trained to be professional thieves, taken advantage of current laws and regulations in China that are severely biased towards the people from a minority ethnic background.

Excerpt of the post in original Chinese text:

  • 新疆的地理位置和环境


  • 新疆民族和维族人口比例


  • 新疆维族人群体的基础






  • 全国各地的维族小偷


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