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Hidoshi
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2009, 03:31:19 AM »

In the government's position? Firstly, address what the whole minority issue is. Ask key individuals for information and consider talks. It's something the government is rather poor on doing where China is concerned. No better than the Bush administration regarding Iran, and in many ways worse about communication. It's a matter of transparency and dialogue, something the PRC is not used to dealing with, but really needs to get on.

Secondly, identify the root cause of the problem. Rather than treating it as a "Han v. Uighur" problem and assigning themselves as part of the Han party, be an actual government to the Uighurs and show them some sign that you'll uphold the law on their behalf. The only way a minority feels safe with a government is if and when that government fights for them, not against them. Offer something in the way of pacification, and then act as a mediator, not just a police force.

Is riot control necessary? Yes. Yes it is. I'm not opposed to them closing the Mosque, that isn't what I was implying by "fun". My actual reaction is more along the lines of upset that it's come to this. Any time schools, churches, etc need to be closed due to violence, it's a pretty awful thing. I'm not blaming the government there at all, it's a sensible precaution, just one I hoped wouldn't be necessary.

What I do take issue with is this idea that Rebiya Kadeer has been behind riots at all. Certainly she's no fan of the government and I have no doubt she's an activist in general. But the kind of accusations levelled at her are the same the PRC throws out at just about any perceived political threat, from the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, to Dharma Master Hsing Yun. It's the same kind of nonsense that right-wing Americans tend to toss out about Muslims, Jews, Gays, etc... Anyone with a supposed "agenda" is clearly trying to blow you the hell up.

The fact is that McCarthyism is something no country needs, yet China has plenty of. This political anxiety about state security is exactly the kind of thing most American government critics get their panties in a bunch about. Keep in mind, not being American I don't particularly subscribe to their government's paranoia. I for one prefer a more open border and less cavity checks at the airports. :P

As to Hathen's haranguing of Taiwan... While I agree that Chen Shui-bian was embroiled in political scandals and very much not a desirable leader, I can't see where you get this idea that Taiwan's government has become corrupt in the last 20 years. Firstly, Lee Teng-hui was a pretty upstanding leader, and did a lot to make Taiwan self-sufficient. Chuyu Soong was a long-standing critic of Lee, but that doesn't really matter considering they were rivals and Soong himself was exposed as corrupt. The PRC has put out enormous volumes of propaganda against Lee, but little of it has ever held water. The main reason being that the PRC has a very good reason to dislike Lee: He was for independence.

That's a funny thing too: My family on the Chinese side is from Fujian and Taiwan. There's a split in political outlook. Most of us, even in the Fujian-based family, aren't fans of the PRC. But my grandmother and two aunts are PRC-friendly. Oddly enough, they're also the ones who're the biggest critics of Taiwanese politicians, not to mention Tibetans, Uighurs, and anyone else who doesn't like the PRC that day.

As to Ma Ying-jeou... It's all very strange that you, Hathen, compliment him and then say "well he leaves a lot to be desired". What about Hu Jintao, or Jiang Zemin? If I'm to believe most forms of international media, Hu Jintao is a high-handed media authoritarian, restricting access with an iron fist. But at the same time, Hu's been doing quite a bit for the PRC's morality and public ethics. Jiang is accused even in his own country of being too capitalist, and he's responsible somewhat directly for a lot of the problems in Chinese industry (lack of pollution controls, shoddy goods, etc) because of the unbridled push he had towards an open market. Does that make Jiang corrupt or evil? Depends on who you ask.

The fact of the matter is that the PRC has a lot of problems. The central issue here, however, is minority problems. I'm ashamed of my own country's treatment of native issues in the past, and I'm glad that the Chretien administration at least did something to alleviate that. When a people become the natives to an area is up for debate, since we've all spread out from one place or another over time. That really isn't the issue here. The fact is that a minority feels oppressed or margnalised, and they're dealing with a government whose track record on dealing with said issues is... spotty at best.

Do I agree that the Uighurs should commit violence? No. Do I agree that riot police and shutting the Mosques is a good idea? Yes. Do I think the Chinese government will handle this well? No. But again: What should be done? What's the procedure you would take, if I may ask the question of you, Ash and Hathen?
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Ashton
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2009, 03:49:29 AM »

Is riot control necessary? Yes. Yes it is. I'm not opposed to them closing the Mosque, that isn't what I was implying by "fun". My actual reaction is more along the lines of upset that it's come to this. Any time schools, churches, etc need to be closed due to violence, it's a pretty awful thing. I'm not blaming the government there at all, it's a sensible precaution, just one I hoped wouldn't be necessary.

Ah, I see. That's my position as well, and it's regrettable things had to go this far.

What I do take issue with is this idea that Rebiya Kadeer has been behind riots at all. Certainly she's no fan of the government and I have no doubt she's an activist in general. But the kind of accusations levelled at her are the same the PRC throws out at just about any perceived political threat, from the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, to Dharma Master Hsing Yun. It's the same kind of nonsense that right-wing Americans tend to toss out about Muslims, Jews, Gays, etc... Anyone with a supposed "agenda" is clearly trying to blow you the hell up.

You know, I don't buy that she was the sole reason... but I also don't buy that she wasn't involved in any way, shape, or form. Like I said, the truth is often more moderate than we believe. She was talking about how Uighurs were being oppressed by the country and stuff right after this incident, so I don't doubt for a second that she has some sort of stake in all this.

The fact is that McCarthyism is something no country needs, yet China has plenty of. This political anxiety about state security is exactly the kind of thing most American government critics get their panties in a bunch about. Keep in mind, not being American I don't particularly subscribe to their government's paranoia. I for one prefer a more open border and less cavity checks at the airports. :P

I agree. Extremism is never a good thing, in my view.

As to Hathen's haranguing of Taiwan... While I agree that Chen Shui-bian was embroiled in political scandals and very much not a desirable leader, I can't see where you get this idea that Taiwan's government has become corrupt in the last 20 years. Firstly, Lee Teng-hui was a pretty upstanding leader, and did a lot to make Taiwan self-sufficient. Chuyu Soong was a long-standing critic of Lee, but that doesn't really matter considering they were rivals and Soong himself was exposed as corrupt. The PRC has put out enormous volumes of propaganda against Lee, but little of it has ever held water. The main reason being that the PRC has a very good reason to dislike Lee: He was for independence.

Hathen said that Ma Ying Jiou carries himself with dignity, but doesn't do anything substantial with his position.

And believe me, you haven't seen how messed up Taiwan can be. I've already touched on it earlier, and it's not only about the whole independence issue. Frankly, I'd be willing to bet you'd take a lot of the same issues up with Taiwan as you have with the PRC right now. I'm not kidding, the racism, the corruption, everything - it really is that bad.

As to Ma Ying-jeou... It's all very strange that you, Hathen, compliment him and then say "well he leaves a lot to be desired". What about Hu Jintao, or Jiang Zemin? If I'm to believe most forms of international media, Hu Jintao is a high-handed media authoritarian, restricting access with an iron fist. But at the same time, Hu's been doing quite a bit for the PRC's morality and public ethics. Jiang is accused even in his own country of being too capitalist, and he's responsible somewhat directly for a lot of the problems in Chinese industry (lack of pollution controls, shoddy goods, etc) because of the unbridled push he had towards an open market. Does that make Jiang corrupt or evil? Depends on who you ask.

I think a lot of the current problems we have now in China is the strange form of evolution from traditional Communism into a bizarre Capitalism. China's trying to catch up as a developed country but neglecting many responsibilities it has in order to do so, which in my view is a serious mistake. Progression is important, but so is commiting to the responsibilities of the people.

Do I agree that the Uighurs should commit violence? No. Do I agree that riot police and shutting the Mosques is a good idea? Yes. Do I think the Chinese government will handle this well? No. But again: What should be done? What's the procedure you would take, if I may ask the question of you, Ash and Hathen?

It's not a one sided thing. Yes, it's important that the government try to communicate with the people, but it's also important that the people communicate back. You're speaking like the government is the only one who has to be open, but what about the Uighur? They've firmly painted themselves as the bad guys in the country (regardless of if they are or not) and dragged down all the innocent Uighur with them, and they didn't even get anything out. It's just "THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT US!" In what way? What do they want? What needs to be changed? They've said nothing, but done a hell of a lot. You can't really expect the government to acquiesce if there're no demands at all, because that's the issue here - what IS the problem? The people responsible for the Uighur killings were arrested.

This is the worst case scenario for everyone. The west gets a juicy piece of news which they can spin any way they want to make China look evil ("They don't care about us" is a great buzz line), China's reputation gets another blow for what essentially amounted to a private dispute, and the Uighurs get nothing out of it other than increased hatred and friction between them and the Han. What's the point?

If I were to meet with someone who thought I was treating them unfairly, and I asked "What do you want?" and he just kept screaming about how he's being mistreated but refusing to say how, all the while beating the shit out of my friends, I'd chuck diplomacy out the window and kick him in the groin. Diplomacy is a two-way street.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 03:53:07 AM by Leyviur » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 06:15:04 AM »

Quote
Firstly, address what the whole minority issue is.

From what I can gather, it feels like the issue seems to be mainly the lack of job opportunities for the Uighur, or at least it seems to be the biggest thing, which, well, I'm really not sure what can be done to fix it. They already use a quota system of sorts there, if you expanded on that, there'd be even more to be going gaga over.

Quote
What I do take issue with is this idea that Rebiya Kadeer has been behind riots at all. Certainly she's no fan of the government and I have no doubt she's an activist in general. But the kind of accusations levelled at her are the same the PRC throws out at just about any perceived political threat, from the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, to Dharma Master Hsing Yun.

The reason I don't rule that out completely right away is mainly because of her track record, because she has been apprehended in the past for causing similar troubles many years ago, and then she apologized for it and was released to the custody of the United States, where she almost immediately began her activism. How someone can stand so firmly on both sides of the fence is pretty amazing.

But like I said, PRC says they have evidence, and if they don't produce any, it's completely an empty accusation, of course.

There's a pretty big world of difference in accusing someone like Rabiya Kadeer with such things than accusing someone who is considered through most of the world as one of the biggest advocates of peace. =P

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While I agree that Chen Shui-bian was embroiled in political scandals and very much not a desirable leader, I can't see where you get this idea that Taiwan's government has become corrupt in the last 20 years.

It's more of that I feel that the past 20 years has really what contributed to the situation that Taiwan has found itself in today, not that it has been actually corrupt for 20 years. Lee Teng-Hui baton passed onto CSB, and now there's a government with pan-green filling a good majority of the higher-up positions, which wouldn't be a problem if huge shifts occurred often in the government, or can easily occur if work is unsatisfactory.

For the record, I really don't care much for the pan-green and pan-blue arguments, despite my parents being pretty vehemently against "independence" for Taiwan, which I find incredibly silly because the ROC and the PRC were never really one country anyway, it was a completely unresolved war. The only reason I'd be against the "independence" is because of what would happen as a result of it (more unnecessary conflict, and a really large scale one), I'm not against the actual idea of the ROC being independent, because as far as I know, they've been independent for decades. I've always found it pretty funny that the PRC doesn't seem to have a problem with the pan-blue since either way, they're still the same ROC and a completely separate government. :P

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Hathen said that Ma Ying Jiou carries himself with dignity, but doesn't do anything substantial with his position.

And believe me, you haven't seen how messed up Taiwan can be. I've already touched on it earlier, and it's not only about the whole independence issue. Frankly, I'd be willing to bet you'd take a lot of the same issues up with Taiwan as you have with the PRC right now. I'm not kidding, the racism, the corruption, everything - it really is that bad.

The other thing is that a lot of people I've met there don't seem to really take the government too seriously anymore, at least not nearly as much as we do over here (The younger generation I mean, the older generation are all jaded and ranting types), and I can't really blame them because of how the politicians there generally conduct themselves- it's a pretty big damning when you have people that are truly not taking it all that seriously. Obviously people take overall policies and the big things seriously, but a lot of the politicians themselves are really hard to take seriously when they speak the way they do- and I'm really not joking because I'm actually chuckling to myself right now just thinking about it. Imagine if the people in US Congress started throwing paper planes at each other half the time instead of discussing, I'd actually say it's very nearly as absurd as that. They're always really caught up on one-upping each other verbally on camera (and to the entertainment of the masses watching the news there are cases where the politicians begin physical fights), instead of actually seriously discussing things.

Quote
Do I agree that the Uighurs should commit violence? No. Do I agree that riot police and shutting the Mosques is a good idea? Yes. Do I think the Chinese government will handle this well? No. But again: What should be done? What's the procedure you would take, if I may ask the question of you, Ash and Hathen?

One of the big troubles is that the Uighur comprise roughly the same amount of the population as the Han in Xin Jiang (~47% each I believe), so speaking simply within the context of Xin Jiang, they're no minority. Now, I of course am not to familiar with how things work in Xin Jiang politically, but if the main problem here seems to be the "unfair treatment" as far as jobs and school opportunities go (before cultural melting is something that is a completely different issue from these), then it seems to be that the best thing to do would be to construct some sort of NAACP-like organization there, having an official channel through which you can review individual cases. The question that is raised with this, of course, is who would run it? I guess the smart idea would be to have a board that's half Han and half Uighur?

But see, that leads me back to the whole issue I have with what information has come of this riot- none. Because of the fact that Xin Jiang already has a quota system for "minorities" (Kinda raises an eyebrow that you would need to introduce a quota system for a race that occupies nearly 50% of the population in that area), does that mean just having another organization isn't going to help?
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2009, 01:46:46 AM »

There is no justification in killing innocents, ever. You can't just 'set it aside' because you sympathize with the perpetrators.

Sure there is: money.

It just so happens, however, that as soon as you try to justify something, you're admitting it's wrong. Which makes it even worse. Funny how that works out.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2009, 04:09:38 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/11/AR2009071100464.html?hpid=topnews

Nothing historically new here, but that doesn't make the point raised irrelevant: Is the death toll really as one-sided as PRC sources say? Well, not the first time this kind of thing has happened. The Tibetan riots last year were rather one-sided in terms of a death count. Seems somehow, the Han are always the victims, being terrorised and killed. I have to wonder just how slanted the whole issue is though. :\ The PRC's somewhat infamous for its 'party line' reports, in the same way the Bush administration would go on about "success" and "victory". Kind of a "yeah but not really" process there.
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2009, 01:37:36 PM »

Weren't the death tolls released by Western sources? The Chinese government has given free reign to the press from outside countries. Plus, the fact that it's the Uighurs that are making this claim should make it hugely debatable, especially coming from Rebiya Kadeer, who has inflated news reported deaths by a factor of one thousand. Besides, considering her history, she's supposed to be a unbiased information source? I'm sorry, I find that immensely difficult to believe.

And Mark, you have to admit that the Western headlines can be absurdly misleading. Look at the two articles you've linked so far, the first one, which says the government closed mosques in order to ensure safety, basically said "China bans praying" in its headline. The second headline questions the death toll referencing someone who is obviously biased as hell, and then writes about how some people in Xingjiang are actually showing a lot of human decency and respect for each other. Only one or two paragraphs in that article are devoted to the whole death count thing, everything else is written about the impact the riot had on civilians; more appropriate headlines would have been "Government Closes Mosques to Prevent Violence," and "Xingjiang Riots Observed by Citizens," but I guess that isn't sensational enough. While the articles themselves are largely neutral, the headlines (which is the only thing most people will read) are basically misinformation twisting what the article's really saying - you can't deny this. Chinese media has its problems, but denying that Western media is free from bias is now clearly just as absurd.
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2009, 03:04:19 PM »

Never said it wasn't. :P Headlines are always meant to sell though, that's nothing new. No outlet in the world is free of that. At least the body of the articles is neutral however, and that does count for something. But again, despite the reports coming out of Western media, the numbers are those released by the PRC.
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2009, 03:28:31 PM »

The neutral articles do count for a lot, but misleading headlines in a country filled with people who read ONLY headlines is pretty fucking bad. :P

And well, not to sound overly defensive, but I really do think those are the actual tallies. I mean, worst case scenario, the number of Uighur and Han dead are equal, but I really, really don't buy that Uighurs killed are 'in the thousands.'
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2009, 06:34:38 PM »

I don't believe the Uighur numbers of "thousands". Often it's the case where someone pitches a high number because they want the severity of the situation to come into sharp relief, but it's at the expense of actual facts. I do however think the numbers are about equal. The Han people are being no less vicious in this time of crisis.
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« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2009, 10:20:58 AM »

I've been checking out a channel I have here called Current (http://current.com/search.htm?q=uighurs&loc=false&x=0&y=0&s=on&v=on) and they did a piece on the Uighurs. Their big complaints are lack of job opportunities, requirement to learn Mandarin, and the stamping out of their culture due to PRC's desire for unity.

BTW, some pretty interesting journalism being done by this channel. Their gist is they're trying to combine what the internet has going for it (rapid, super-current, user-created content) with TV's ability to deliver a more coherent, higher-budget presentation. For FiOS subscribers, I think it's channel 192 or 191.
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« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2009, 11:18:26 AM »

Job opportunities: THe government already guarantees the Uighur jobs and places in schools. I think this is less 'oppression' and more 'the Uighur want more than they're getting,' which can be fair if they're not getting what they're owed, but...

Language requisite: Are you kidding me? If you live in any country you have to learn their language. In Japan you have to learn Japanese. In France you have to learn French. IIRC, in certain parts of CANADA you have to learn French. In the U.S. you have to learn English AND a second language if you want to go to a decent university. Sorry, but I find this point to be completely absurd. I lived in America all my life, and was forced to learn English. Am I being oppressed? No, I am not.

Culture: Wait, if the government is telling them, "You cannot practice your culture," then I would agree that this is definitely a point of issue. But that isn't the case. The government has set up mosques for them. Nothing's stopping them from practicing their own culture and religion. How would a government 'stamp out' culture?

The way I see it, this is just a few Uighur people making a huge fuss out of a private incident, then causing it to snowball among their people. Feel free to point out counter points, but the way I see it, there's nothing arguable here.
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« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2009, 03:42:58 PM »

It's one thing to learn a language, but the fact is that the PRC does not provide for Uighur language schools or courses. All education has to be done in Mandarin, which eventually leads to one language replacing the other (ie: Japanese replacing Okinawan due to the way schooling is done). Combine that with strong ideas of nationalism, particularly Han nationalism, and you have a pretty potent combination. It's pretty much how the Japanese treated the Okinawans. To this day, many Okinawans want their own cultural identity and keep losing it to the ethnic majority.

In Canada, the same thing was looming over the French minority. We unfortunately have not provided the same cultural benefits to the Native peoples, but either way the French-Canadian identity is an example of where integration has worked without eschewing the identity of minority cultures.
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« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2009, 05:55:13 PM »

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I do however think the numbers are about equal. The Han people are being no less vicious in this time of crisis.

Where the hell do you get off saying something like this? The numbers have been produced by both the Eastern and the Western media, and keep in mind that while the Chinese government usually doesn't allow the media to swarm in so fast, this time apparently it caught them off guard enough that they were there fast.

As a note, the Taiwanese media (Which is still Chinese, of course, but usually has surprisingly big discrepancies with PRC) noted that they saw unrest flare up in parts of the town simultaneously. If this was a building riot that just happened, then there wouldn't have been more Han people killed than Uighur since their numbers are about equal.

Of course the Han are being violent- THEY'VE HAD THEIR MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN KILLED. This is compounded by the fact that the Han Chinese are mostly locked under a single-child policy while the Uighur arn't.

This whole argument for the Uighur centers around this loaded word- "freedom". Fight for a cause where everyone has the same belief and arn't willing to go into depth about justifying it and take violent actions against innocent people- this is starting to sound like a terrorist movement, isn't it?
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« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2009, 09:56:20 PM »

Let me just say that these are the complaints coming from the Uighurs. Whether they're justified or not is a totally other issue. For the work issue, they live in shantytowns for the most part, and work for low wages, but that's the same way with a lot of ethnic Han in China, too. The language is more educational than anything else, and that's one place where I say the Uighurs can go F' themselves; you live in a country, you learn the majority's language, simple as that. Not like it won't be spoken at home anyway.

The culture part is the only place I'm iffy, as I don't know the policies in PRC in terms of Social Studies education, so can't comment there.


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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2009, 01:24:36 PM »

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I do however think the numbers are about equal. The Han people are being no less vicious in this time of crisis.

Where the hell do you get off saying something like this? The numbers have been produced by both the Eastern and the Western media, and keep in mind that while the Chinese government usually doesn't allow the media to swarm in so fast, this time apparently it caught them off guard enough that they were there fast.

As a note, the Taiwanese media (Which is still Chinese, of course, but usually has surprisingly big discrepancies with PRC) noted that they saw unrest flare up in parts of the town simultaneously. If this was a building riot that just happened, then there wouldn't have been more Han people killed than Uighur since their numbers are about equal.

Of course the Han are being violent- THEY'VE HAD THEIR MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN KILLED. This is compounded by the fact that the Han Chinese are mostly locked under a single-child policy while the Uighur arn't.

This whole argument for the Uighur centers around this loaded word- "freedom". Fight for a cause where everyone has the same belief and arn't willing to go into depth about justifying it and take violent actions against innocent people- this is starting to sound like a terrorist movement, isn't it?

I get off saying that by the fact that the Chinese government is the only source of Uighur numbers. No independent media source has tabulated Uighur numbers without sourcing the PRC's official line on the matter, save Turkey. Of course, Turkey has as much reason to be biased as the PRC's party line, so I trust neither. In the end, having over a thousand Han Chinese react and go pillaging seems to be a pretty good indicator that the casualties on either side are either currently or will be soon close to one another.

Do you honestly think that Uighur men, women and children haven't been killed? Either side has plenty of reason to be angry. Sure there's a one-child policy for the Han, but they're still the majority of the country, and even in Xinjiang make up 40% of the region's populace. I'm not going to pretend I don't have compassion for families, but the fact is that if you really want to count numbers, the one-child policy for the Hans doesn't mean jack.

Also, you can say what you like about freedom being a loaded word, but so is terrorism. I don't think the Uighurs are any more terrorists than the PRC has been in the past. If you want to start discussing travesties, I'm pretty sure the PRC has a handy collection of skeletons in its closet. :P I don't believe the Uighurs are right in their violence, but the Han aren't innocent here either.
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