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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: July 13, 2009 NO. 28 JULY 16, 2009
Doomed to Failure

The most appalling event befalling China recently was the violent riot in Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on the night of July 5. This disruptive unrest shocked the whole nation.

Alarming scenes have been recorded of the violence. Newspaper photos and TV footage have shown that shops were looted, residential buildings were demolished, vehicles were turned over and set ablaze, and hundreds of innocent civilians were beaten up mercilessly by the vicious mob. Worse still, official figures revealed considerable casualties deriving from the violence, with 156 people dead, including women and children, and 1,103 injured as of July 10.

The turmoil completely ruined the normal life of local citizens, disrupted the social order in Urumqi, and drew strong condemnations from both inside and outside Xinjiang, including the vast Muslim communities across the country. Within two days after the unrest, a Beijing-based website, Huanqiu.com, polled more than 40,000 netizens, over 95 percent of whom demanded strong punishments for people found guilty of committing violent acts.

Preliminary evidence indicates that the riot in Urumqi was masterminded, instigated and directed by anti-China elements both in and outside the country, known as the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism, which are typically represented by the World Uygur Congress, an overseas organization that has been agitating for Xinjiang’s “independence.” Under the pretext of avenging two Uygurs who died in a brawl with fellow workers from the Han ethnic group at a toy factory in southern Guangdong Province on June 26, these forces had since then waged a propaganda campaign via the Internet and other channels, spreading rumors, sowing dissent among local peoples and fomenting trouble in the region. Their goal, some Chinese political analysts say, was to sabotage social stability, disrupt the state of unity and harmony, and solicit international support for the “independence” of Xinjiang.

Such violent behavior for a political end shows complete disregard for even the most basic human rights and is doomed to failure, as no Chinese citizens will ever sympathize or take sides with anti-China elements that commit crimes and threaten human lives in broad daylight. Neither will they allow their country to become split, for this is the fundamental principle as well as the common wish of any government and people of a sovereign state.

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