CHINA> Regional
Editorial: Say no to riots
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-07 07:25

On Sunday night, people saw bloodstains on the market streets of Xinjiang, the part of China adjacent to Central Asia with a high proportion of Muslim people. There were riots, called for by overseas-based, small groups campaigning for independence.

Editorial: Say no to riots

The government of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has earned the nation's support by taking prompt action to quell the violence. There is no question that peace and order will be restored, and more importantly, Xinjiang will never be separated from the People's Republic of China on either racial or religious ground.

The bloodshed is unfortunate. Even more unfortunate is that the event used by separatists to fan violence was a fight between factory workers in distant South China - in a toy factory with Hong Kong investment based in Shaoguan, Guangdong province. The fracas was reportedly caused by an Internet message - posted by a rejected job applicant - alleging rape by some Uygur workers in the factory.

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The overnight melee left two Uygur workers dead. With no evidence to support the allegation of rape, the local police have already taken into custody the person believed responsible for making up the rumor. The Chinese press has given full coverage to the incident.

While extending our condolences to the victims, and expressing the hope that the innocent Uygur workers would be treated decently and protected by the factory management and the Shaoguan government, we forthrightly condemn the overseas-based instigators of violence in Xinjiang, in the name of revenge.

The domestic proxies, who led the politically motivated riots in Xinjiang should not be allowed to escape blame for ransacking the cities belonging collectively to the Uygurs, Hans (the Chinese majority), Kazaks, Huis and nine other nationalities, and their flourishing businesses.

Now it is all too evident how their irresponsible actions have harmed all people of Xinjiang.

The small groups of separatists and their sympathizers abroad should be frustrated in their attempts to sow the seeds of racial and religious hatred in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang does not belong to any single nationality; in fact, it never has in the history of the ancient Silk Roads. Their politicizing of the Shaoguan incident, or any isolated street-level or workplace strife, is as dastardly and despicable as the desperate move by a rumor-mongering individual.

It is easy to see the slender thread by which hung the separatists' genuine hope of succeeding in their grand but nefarious scheme. All that they can do now is to stir up violence and grab some media attention - by using the quick-tempered youth in their hometowns as cheap sacrifices. Their destruction and killings are soon to be laid bare as evidence of how these elements pursue their hideous cause.

All nationalities in Xinjiang will appreciate the necessity for greater vigilance and stronger security to protect their peaceful lives.

At the same time, more explanation and education may be in order for people in Xinjiang and across the country about the painful lessons of any attempt, deliberate or otherwise, to jeopardize the unity of all member nationalities of China.