EDITORIAL: Chinese President's Policy regarding Minority Ethnic Groups Coming Apart

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), May 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

EDITORIAL: Chinese President's Policy regarding Minority Ethnic Groups Coming Apart


A bombing attack occurred recently that seemed to be aimed at President Xi Jinping's inspection tour in a far western region of China. The incident, it may be said, highlighted the Chinese Communist Party's difficulty in governing regions dominated by minority ethnic groups.

The incident happened at a railway station in Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday afternoon. More than 80 people were killed or wounded. The Chinese authorities immediately deemed the fatal attack to be "an act of terrorism by mobsters."

Earlier in the day, Xi inspected the Xinjiang region for the first time since becoming general secretary of the Communist Party in November 2012. He visited a mosque near the site of bombing in the morning. The bombing is strongly believed to be a premeditated attack made in tandem with Xi's inspection schedule.

In the Xinjiang region, where nearly half the population are Uygur--a Muslim minority ethnic group--clashes have occurred between armed groups and police.

Elsewhere in China, a car with Uygur people inside crashed and burst into flames in front of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in October last year, and an incident of indiscriminate killings alleged to have been committed by Uygur people took place in Yunnan Province in March.

The Xi administration has been tightening its control on the Uygur minority group, as it determined the series of attacks to be acts of "separatists."

Through the inspection tour of the Uygur region, Xi most likely aimed to show his determination to maintain public safety as head of the newly established State Security Committee.

Xi loses face

During his inspection tour, Xi ordered the bolstering of antiterrorism measures, saying, "The stability of Xinjiang is key to ensuring state security and a great resurgence of the Chinese race. …

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