China demolishes Urumqi flashpoint area

Discussion in 'China' started by LETHALFORCE, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,553
    Likes Received:
    6,565
    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/China_demolishes_Urumqi_flashpoint_area_999.html

    China demolishes Urumqi flashpoint area

    Chinese authorities are demolishing an area in the northwestern
    city of Urumqi, home to migrants they blame for disrupting social order, state media said Sunday, a year after deadly ethnic riots.

    The Heijiashan area of the city in Xinjiang province, which was formerly home to 200,000 people, will be replaced by a new residential development, the official Xinhua news agency said, describing the area as a "hotbed of poverty and crime".

    Heijiashan was one of the flashpoints for the violence that erupted on July 5, 2009 in Urumqi between mainly Muslim Uighurs and the majority Han Chinese, leaving nearly 200 dead and 1,700 injured.

    "Due to the poor management of the area, the migrants were easily incited by rioters," the head of the demolition operation was quoted as saying.

    "(The) floating population here often disrupted social order," he said.

    Pan Zhiping, head of the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences' Central Asia Research Institute, has recommended emulating a model established by Singapore that ensures "each community has residents from different ethnic groups".

    "The transformation of shanty towns is a top priority for safeguarding social stability," he said, according to Xinhua.

    Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people, allege decades of Chinese oppression and unwanted Han immigration, and while standards of living have improved, Uighurs complain most of the gains go to the Han Chinese.

    Heijiashan attracts large numbers of migrant workers from areas outside Urumqi with large Uighur populations such as Kashgar, Hotan, and Yili, according to previous state media reports.

    More than 900 families were told to leave the area between September and November as part of a crackdown aimed at "screening out and striking hard" against "itinerant society", earlier reports said.

    The government
    has offered new houses or compensation to residents whose homes are being demolished but some are contesting the offers which they see as inadequate, Xinhua said.

    Residents whose homes were "unlicensed due to historical reasons" would receive compensation for 70 percent of the costof their homes, the report said.
     
  2.  
  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    "each community has residents from different ethnic groups".

    Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people, allege decades of Chinese oppression and unwanted Han immigration, and while standards of living have improved, Uighurs complain most of the gains go to the Han Chinese.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Singapore is a role model for China in 'ethnic harmony' where Chinese, Malay, and Indians are coexisting prosperously

    the clashes btwn Uigur and Hans+ have to be seen through the prism of 'economic and cultural disparity' -- Uigurs are mostly in the South of Xinjiang engaged in agriculture. poverty stricken they flooded to cities in the north (Urumqi) for opportunities but speak little Mandarin and generally not well educated.

    now China has made Kashgar (Kashi, the centre of the south) a special economic zone, and started to invest more in education rather than leaving them for Mullahs. A good step to address the root cause of the riot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Singapore, if observed perfunctorily, does appear alluring to be a role model.

    However, it cannot be compared with any other country since history plays an important part in shaping the psyche of the Singaporean populace.

    Singapore historically from the 1800s has been multiethnic country which had many languages, cultures, traditions and even the Chinese, who are the majority, have mutually unintelligent Chinese languages. In Mainland China, they have now simplified Chinese and have attempted to have a common language (simplified Chinese). There are between seven and thirteen main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million) and Min (70 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility. Therefore, Singaporean Chinese cannot be clubbed in the same basket.

    Because of colonialism Singapore was compartmentalised into cultural and ethnic segments, but there was no dominant group as such and since there was no single language of the populace as the official language (English being the common language), the urge of any group to be the dominant one was not there. This fact has assisted in building a “Singaporean identity”, which is but an engineered identity.

    Interestingly, I had the idea that the Singporeans were of Chinese, Malay and Indian subcontinental (including those of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) ethnicity. My stay in Singapore opened my eyes. There are also those from Indonesia mostly from Sumatra, the Riau Islands south of Singapore, Jawa and Sulawesi with distinct ethnicity as Acehnese, Minangkabau, Buginese, Javanese, or Sundanese.

    Interestingly, I learnt that Mahayana Buddhism is the first religion in Singapore though not representing a majority, with significant numbers following Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism or no religion at all.

    Therefore, comparing Singapore with any part of the world can be a trifle misleading, if I maybe bold to suggest.

    As Karl Marx stated, religion is the opium of the masses. Indeed, if one see the strife in the world it is the masses who are the backbone of all ‘uprising’ and terrorism since religion is used as a cohesive and emotive weapon to fulfil the agenda who are seeking power. That is why the Han Chinese government has gone assiduously in making religion impotent through draconian laws not permitting children from studying or participating in religion (be it praying or studying it), State control and ensuring that those who preach it do so only within the officially sanctioned parameters. The State also has to approve those who are ‘licensed’ to preach.

    From the political point of view and for control of the masses, the line adopted by the Han Chinese govt is perfect.

    In the past, the Hans have been able to destroy religion, culture, identities etc of the non Han and then assimilating them as Han clones has been able to give a common identity.

    However, these are modern times, where browbeating and forcible conversion to an idea is not that easy, more so, with the international community watching! Therefore, those who are being converted assert their singularity. The Uighurs are doing the same as are the Tibetans.

    Whether these peoples are correct or not to demand that their singularity is maintained is a moot point, depending on which side of the divide one is!
     
  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    your comprehensive knowledge about Singaporean history, ethnicity, linguistics and religion is awesome (I happen to share one of origins and we have a Singaporean Consulate in my city)

    Turks (Uigur as one of its tributaries) once were ruling a large part of Northern China at its heyday prior to Tang Dynasty, before the empire fell apart and Turks migrated westward.

    my observation angle for Xinjiang is slightly from yours- 'religious or cultural singularity, or identity' . in my opinion it's fundamentally an economic problem and many other problems derive from that. On one hand Xinjiang is developing fast bridging Central Asia and China proper with rich resources. On the other hand many Uigurs feel alienated from the growth.

    unlike what u perceive - instead of making religion impotent or 'forcible convertion' previously (back in Cultural Revolution),in fact there has been a revival of ALL religions since the 'Reform and Opening up'. many many Mosques have mushroomed in Xinjiang or other Muslim areas. It's not that the ruling CCP changes its ideas abt religion but that it concludes that religion is what it has to get along or 'reconcile' with 'harmoniously'

    in my opinion, it's not true of 'destroy religion, culture, identities etc of the non Han' (u shall see for yourself in China otherwise u won't be convinced). instead CCP somehow has left Uigur in limbo without investing enough in their well being. For example in almost every big city (like mine) there're lots of Uigur peddlers who hardly speak Mandarin from Xinjiang selling dried fruits. regrettably some got notorious as thieves. this shows in one way how govt hasn't done adequately to enable Uigurs with education and training so that they can have access to better job opportunitie and better mingle with other groups. when young people feel left out from 'growth' or 'development' , easily driven by extremism they get bitter, angry and vent their frustration toward their neighbors who seem to be far better off. consequently the clash takses a form of ethnic or religious feud.

    In history rulers (not only Han, but also Mongolian and Manchu) used religion as a tool. Like Yuan Dynasty (Mongolian) propped up Dalai Lama and Pancheng Lama against other factions in Tibet. And Qing Dynasty even ousted the 6th Dalai Lama (declaring Tsangyang Gyatso a fake DL in power struggle). But all that was bygones. as u said it is now 'modern times' - no more 'old wine' in new bottle.

    u need to review status quo of China's religions in a 'modern' and evolving context. 2 sides of a coin - on one hand ample freedom so long as it doesn't 'meddle with politics', on the other hand continued 'containing' of religion especially those 'unorthodox'. in fact there's a drasitc increase in the number of religious followers. like in coastal areas Christianity is gaining a strong foothold (in my hometown we have http://www.chinaculture.org/library/2008-02/04/content_25594.htm )

    Lastly let's have a FULL passage of Karl Marx's statement on religion
     
    Ray likes this.
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    O Himalaya,

    First of all, let me thank you for your insight. For me, contrary views are a great education lest one becomes a frog in the well (English meaning and not the Chinese meaning, which I believe is insulting).

    I don’t claim to have much knowledge on any subject. I am only observant and inquisitive in a positive way and so when I visit a place, I don’t merely go there for tourist attraction, but try to interact with the common man so that one understand the people. It helps dispel incorrect views that are sometimes propagated as the ‘Gospel Truth’. And, I will hasten to add that what I learn from such interaction may be equally clouded. Therefore, it is an unending search for the truth.

    Economics is a factor of unrest and dissension. Of that there is no doubt. However, if one observes the happening of the world, religion and sub-nationalism is raising the ugly side of its head. Middle East by a long chalk can hardly be taken to be impoverished and yet religious evangelism in the form of ‘Born Again’ Islamists is on the trot. So is the case of sub-nationalism. Tamils of Sri Lanka, Tibetan and Uighurs of PRC, Shiv Sena, Telengana and many others of India, Scot, Welsh, Cornish people of the UK and so on and so forth. Therefore, it is evident that it is beyond economic issues and instead a feeling of alienation.

    Xinjiang is developing fast since it is in China’s interest to tap the oil and gas reserves and the minerals. It is not because of any philanthropic zeal of the Hans. Here lies the underlining problem. It is leading to the Han immigration and the Hans are taking the plum jobs with the Uighurs and others doing the blue collar and menial activities. That causes the heartburn since the resources are of Xinjiang, inhabited by the Uighurs. The demographic change thus alarms the locals since they have the feeling of being ‘swamped’.


    Facile application towards ‘revival of ALL religions’ is no path for religious recognition. Religion is taken to be whole only when the adherents can practice it without fetters. If the selection of the priest and how religion is to be conducted is legislated by the Government, that too, by what they feel is alien to their culture, religion and tradition, then that is no religious freedom that all crave for. Hence, the disconnect and no mushrooming of symbols of religion, be they the mosques or churches, will bring succour to the devout. Reconciliation and harmony became but only buzz words and propaganda to the devout.

    Yes, I am aware of the Uighurs who eke a living through crimes and I have no reasons to doubt what you say. It reminds me of the Arabs in the market streets. However, why should they have to speak in Mandarin to be accepted as ‘socially acceptable’? It is also a truism that they don’t want to learn Mandarin and instead wish to keep to all icons of their individuality and singularity.


    Religion has always been used as a weapon, not only in the historical times, but also even now. One has to look a religion pragmatically. There is nothing like religion not meddling in politics. Take any religion and its historical progress and consolidation. The spiritual has merged into the temporal. When one gets the heady feeling of power over the minds of the masses, then one assume temporal ambitions! That is a truism that one cannot escape from.

    Even Tibetan Buddhism has four main traditions:
    • Nyingma(pa)
    • Kagyu(pa)
    • Sakya(pa)
    • Gelug(pa)
    Therefore, it is not monolithically so in Tibet, even though His Holiness The Dalai Lama is taken to be the figurehead. There will be the difference and there will be subtle jockeying for supremacy. Right now they have one common enemy – the Communists in China. Hence, there is the façade of unity!

    In your town there maybe a growing Christian population, but then that is a façade since the priest is selected by the State and his sermons are pre censored. That is merely cosmetic religion to flaunt statistics for acceptablity of the Chinese regime as ‘tolerant’!

    Karl Marx is right that religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

    However, the real distress finds expression through religious exhibition because of the spiritual leaders assuming temporal responsibilities. If the religious leaders are perverted or agenda driven, then that opium becomes heady and addictive!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
    amoy and Soham like this.
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    thanks. it will take a long time for me to digest your insight (esp. that religion part). offhand just sum up some of my thoughts

    * agree sub-nationalism is beyond economic issues and instead a feeling of alienation.

    * observation through eco. perspective leads to a point economy is a key part of Xinjiang problem - the minority (Uigur) are entitled to benefit from the eco. growth too. otherwise it's another 'alienation'. that might be something more imperative and more visible resulting in many more profound problems. The govt has to be held liable upfront with this fundamental task.

    * Personally have no ill feelings towards religion, echoing your point that religion plays a positive role. Actually my middle school was founded by Methodist Church in 1860's. We had hospitals and schools and colleges funded by Churches. The FULL quotation of Karl Marx is to show it isn't derogatory about religion (not a Marxist but it's one of many sources of wisdom)

    ++++++++++++++++
    As for below I have great reservations about your points including -

    * why must minority (Uigur) learn Mandarin to be 'socially acceptable' ?
    <<<<<< it's about 'communciation' and 'survival' rather than 'being accepted'. how about the US? practically does one have to master English to make a living?
    * maintenance of icons of 'singularity and individuality'
    <<<<<<???
    * 'true' religious freedom
    <<<<<<back to our context of a developing country China
    * religion as a weapon; religion and politics
    <<<<<<???
    * consequences of Han immigration
    <<<<<<within a country people are entitled to migrate freely for better opportunities. Hans have contributed to Xinjiang too. It shall not be a zero-sum game.
    <<<<< Uigur is not indigenous in XJ. Hans and other groups (Uzbek/Mongols) domiciled there far earlier.

    ++++++++
    As said, above all I need to chew your comments firstly despite the divergence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    1. In the US, English was common language when immigration commenced in an organised manner and so those who wish to emigrate to the US had to know the language or learn it after coming to the US. That is not so the case in East Turkmenistan.

    2. East Turkmenistan was the abode of the Uighurs and it is their culture, tradition, religion and language that was in vogue. The Hans came in afterwards and more so when the potential of the East Turkmenistan was realised. Earlier, there was no mass movement of Hans into East Turkmenistan and hence there was no fear of being swamped.

    3. East Turkmenistan was a part of the Khanates. Hans came later. The Hans were not in great numbers as it is now. If it were so, then they would have Hanised the area long before as they did South of the Yellow River.
     
  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    my 2 cents Singapore has vibrant democracy and responsible government caring to introduce development in every spheres of Singapore. China has government which has been determined to develop china but how much caring it is i do not know(by the way same can be said about Indian government)
     
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Economy as the foundation>>>>>

    DEVELOPMENT UNLIKELY TO DROWN OUT DISHARMONYBy Kathrin Hille


    If the investors materialise, Mehmet Yusup will be prepared. The 45-year-old has spent Rmb15m ($2.2m) building the largest restaurant in China's westernmost city, a four-storey palace adorned with traditional carpentry and chambers laden with the region's colourful carpets.

    He and many others hope that the Chinese government's plans to make Kashgar a special economic zone will trigger a flood of investment from other Chinese provinces.

    After ethnic riots in Xinjiang a year ago killed almost 200 people and shattered the illusion of peaceful integration of this restive region dominated by the Turkic Uighur people, the Communist party pondered a policy response for months. Finally, last month it said it would pursue “leapfrog development” for the region. The government pledged to double investment in the oil and gas-rich region over the coming five years.

    Per capita gross domestic product is to be raised to the national average by 2015 and local tax revenues from oil and gas exploration are to be increased.

    But the euphoria with which state-owned media greeted the announcement is absent on the ground. “A delegation from Shenzhen was here, 20 or 30 people,” says Mehmet Yusup. “But they just ate.”

    Experts caution that as Xinjiang is suffering from internal disparities, it requires drastically different development strategies for different parts of the region.

    The oil-rich but sparsely populated north has become relatively wealthy while the south, where the Uighur population is concentrated, is reliant on subsistence agriculture.

    A possible model for the Kashgar development is Shenzhen, a former fishing village bordering Hong Kong, which transformed into China's most dynamic manufacturing base after Beijing made it a test bed for capitalist reforms.

    “Being close to an international financial centre and to a big port, Shenzhen had everything it takes to open up to the world. But Kashgar lacks a local market as well as a regional one,” says Wu Fuhuan, director of the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences in Urumqi. “It is quite unlikely that we would open up our western borders to create a regional market in central Asia as we opened up our coastal areas because there are significant political risks in the countries bordering China in the west.”


    The prospects for the government's plans are similarly dim elsewhere in southern Xinjiang.

    Residents of Yarkant, an oasis town nearthe Afghan border, say they have little hope that government-ordered investments from other provinces will solve any of their problems.

    Already, Yarkant and neighbouring counties have a sprinkling of big concrete buildings built with state money from wealthy coastal provinces such as Zhejiang or Shandong, but they are all empty.

    The mood is little better in Karakax, Xinjiang's poorest county with an annual per capita GDP of just Rmb2,474. The bulk of Uighur residents of the racetrack area in Urumqi which saw the worst violence last year came from this county.

    “We don't have any oil here, so why would anyone want to come?” says one young man selling watermelons in the town's dirty main street.

    “It may seem to you like things are back to normal now, but all the problems are still there,” says Ahmatjan, a student in Urumqi who comes from Karakax. “Our young people can't find jobs.”
    The party leadership has been looking towards wealthy northern Xinjiang for solutions.

    In Karamay, the region's richest city and one of the richest in all of China with per capita GDP of Rmb96,006 ($14,179), the government's dream of drowning out disharmony by creating wealth for everyone seems realised.

    At night, workers in red overalls, the uniform of the state-owned oil company, stroll the city's orderly streets and parks. “Here, everyone has a job, and Han [China's dominant ethnic group] and Uighurs are working side by side,” Tursunjay, a Uighur worker, says. “So we have no ethnic tension here.”

    Yet Karamay cannot be replicated in southern Xinjiang. When the development of the oil industry began, Han Chinese migrants faced no resistance since the Uighur population was only small. “How can you use the same model in places with hundreds of thousands of Uighur residents?” says Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economist at Minzu University in Beijing.

    Independent observers say that to solve its problems in Xinjiang, Beijing needs to address social and political inequality and change its mindset in dealing with the Uighur population.

    Mr Tohti warns Beijing's new policies risk alienating Uighurs even further as they could trigger a wave of Han migration. “The government still looks at Xinjiang with the eyes of a colonist,” he says.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  11. SilentScope

    SilentScope New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know nothing about Singapore, Singapore is a dictatorship in fact China copied their governmental system straight from Singapore.

    There is no rule that ONLY democracies can be financially successful, in fact most of the GDP gain made by Russia was under Stalin and most of the german recovery after WW1 was by Adolf.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Singapore

    The Economist Intelligence Unit classes Singapore as a "hybrid" country, with authoritarian and democratic elements. Freedom House does not consider Singapore an "electoral democracy" and ranks the country as "partly free". Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 140th out of 167 countries in its 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index.[2]
     

Share This Page