Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, July 2009
Urumqi Goes Back to Normal Life, Donations for Victims, Reconciliation Efforts Between the Uygur and the Han
Senior leader calls to build "steel wall" in Xinjiang for stability
·Senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang called to build "steel wall" in Xinjiang for stability. ·Zhou said the current situation in the region was "heading in a good direction." ·He promised that more efforts would be made to improve the living standards of people.
HOTAN, Xinjiang, July 11 (Xinhua) --
Government and Communist Party departments at all levels in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region should rely on the people of all ethnic groups to build a "steel wall" for the region's stability to safeguard the interests of the people, senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang said here Saturday.
Zhou, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks on the third day of his visit to Xinjiang.
He is the first member of the Political Bureau Standing Committee to visit the region after the July 5 riot in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, which caused at least 184 deaths and injured over 1,000 others.
During his visit to Hotan and Kashgar, both in the southern part of Xinjiang, Zhou said the current situation in the region was "heading in a good direction."
But he warned that hostile forces from home and abroad would not give up easily. "They are attempting to stage more sabotage," he said.
Zhou urged government and Party departments, troops on duty in the region and public security authorities to stay on high alert, nip all hidden dangers in the bud and focus on ethnic unity education, to foil all sabotage attempts by the hostile forces.
When talking with Uygur farmers during his visit, Zhou said the CPC Central Committee and the State Council have always attached great importance to the development of southern Xinjiang.
He promised that more efforts would be made to improve the living standards of people in southern Xinjiang and infrastructure in the region.
Xinjiang people donate money, blood for riot victims
URUMQI, July 11 (Xinhua) --
The Xinjiang branch of China Charity Federation said Saturday it had received 2.03 million yuan (297,218 U.S. dollars) in donation from all walks of life for victims in the Urumqi riot.
The single largest donation is 200,000 yuan from the Xinjiang company of China Pacific Life Insurance Co., Ltd., said the federation.
Wu Jie, an employee of the insurance company, said she would like to do something for the dead and injured people. "We need to comfort the families of the dead and help the people who need medical treatment."
Maolaxifu Rishat, a businessman of the Tartar ethnic group who was the first to propose a comfort fund for riot victims, donated 5,200 yuan on behalf of 14 donators from 14 different ethnic groups.
"We pray for national unity in Xinjiang, so that we can have a peaceful and harmonious environment," he said.
Urumqi Public Transport Group, which suffered 37.6 million yuan as hundreds of its buses were torched or smashed, received 3.38 million yuan in donation from enterprises in the city. Five bus drivers of the group were killed by mobs and 57 others injured.
The riot in Xinjiang on July 5, the worst in six decades, caused a severe shortage of blood at local hospitals where more than 1,000 injured people were rushed in.
Shortly after the shortage was reported, many citizens rolled up their sleeves to donate blood.
On Friday, Urumqi's blood center announced the shortage had been eased, but donors continued to pour in.
A total of 1,315 people from 13 ethnic groups had come to the blood collection stations to donate 400,000 milliliters of blood as of 10 p.m. Friday. More than 1,000 other people have made appointments with blood collection centers to donate blood in the coming days.
Editor: Mu Xuequan
After horrible riot, Xinjiang people hope to mend tainted relations of ethnic groups
By Xinhua writers Yuan Ye and Xia Wenhui
AKSU, Xinjiang, July 11 (Xinhua) --
Nearly one week has passed since the deadly violence in far northwestern China's Urumqi City, the shockwave of the riot still can be felt even in a farmhouse 1,000 km away from the capital of Xinjiang.
Standing in his vine-covered yard on the outskirt of Aksu City in the south Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Abudukeyimu Yibulayin said he was still shocked and saddened by what happened on July 5, though none of people he knows got hurt.
"I watched TV news (about the incident). I never thought they (the rioters) could do such cruel things to innocent people. They by no means represent our Uygur people, but I'm afraid it hurts our relations with Han people now," the 51-year-old Uygur farmer told Xinhua Saturday.
The death toll from the riot in Urumqi rose to 184 as of 11 p.m. Friday, according to the information office of the regional government.
Among the dead, 137 were Han people, including 111 men and 26 women. Forty-six were Uygur people, including 45 men and one woman. A man of Hui nationality also died.
The Chinese government said the violence in Urumqi had a "profound" political background, and it was a serious crime masterminded and organized by the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism at home and abroad.
"I agree. We Uygur and Han people have been living together peacefully for many years. The perpetrators must be strongly condemned," Abudukeyimu said.
Aksu is home to some 1.82 million Uygur people, almost 75 percent of the total population. Well-known for its glorious past as a key town along the ancient Silk Road, the city is emerging as a big fruit producer and exporter in Xinjiang.
Business went as usual on Saturday around the city, with almost all shops opening and markets crowded with stands selling meat, fruit and vegetable. However, armed police were seen at several major intersections in the downtown.
"Aksu has a long history of coexistence of various ethnic groups because it's situated on the central part of the Silk Road. The Han and Uygur people have been used to living like neighbors," said Du Meiju, curator of the Aksu Museum and an ethnic Han.
"For example, we invite people to celebrate both Muslim festivals such as Ramadan and the Han Spring Festival," she said.
Abudukeyimu often brings fruit and vegetable from his orchard in Duolang Village to a nearby bazaar to sell.
"Many buyers are Han people. We bargain price and talk jokes a lot. It's so natural and comfortable for us to do so because we've been living as neighbors for decades.
"These days they still come to buy. But I don't know how to face them, though I know the violence has nothing to do with most of Uygur people. I have a feeling I owe something to them," Abudukeyimu said. "This is really a bad experience."
Abulajiang, also living in Duolang Village, worried about negative results in a long run.
"If our society is unstable, investors will be scared away and tourists stop coming. It will do no good to anyone here," said the29-year-old man.
"Our life is getting better and better. Now a small group of people began to do damages. I really don't understand," he said.
Abulajiang planned to open a cotton processing factory this October if he can obtain a low-interest loan of two million yuan (about 293,000 U.S. dollars). He believed the business would have a good prospect because the government provides subsidies to the business.
Ma Changzheng, a Han businessman from Urumqi who is currently in Aksu, said he believed the ethnic relationship will resume, though it would take time.
"I grow up in Xinjiang. I know very well that no ethnic group can live alone without others," he said.
Abudukeyimu also expressed his belief that the difficult situation at present will pass as long as "perpetrators are punished according to law and their attempts to sabotage are clearly known by all the people."
"I hope this process won't take too long," he added.
Editor: Mu Xuequan
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