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Sep 05

Xinjiang officials fired following further unrest – is it enough?

Written by Raj on Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
Filed under:General | Tags:, , ,
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Following the earlier riots in Xinjiang in July, there has been more unrest in the province – at least five people have died, with more injured. The BBC has picked up on a Xinhua report that says the top official for Urumqi and a Police chief have been fired.

Xinhua first announced that Urumqi Communist Party chief Li Zhi was to be replaced by Zhu Hailun, the head of Xinjiang region’s law-and-order committee. A later statement added that Liu Yaohua, director of the Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Public Security Department, had also been dismissed.

Correspondents say that protesters who have marched in their thousands through Urumqi in recent days have demanded Mr Li’s dismissal for failing to provide public safety. The BBC’s Michael Bristow in Urumqi says the sacking is unusual as it shows the Chinese authorities believe they may have made mistakes in the handling of the unrest.

Security in Urumqi has been tight this week, after thousands of Han Chinese demonstrated over the alleged hypodermic syringe stabbings. In fresh unrest on Saturday, angry Han Chinese rushed to the city’s main square following reports that three Uighur men had attacked a child with needles. Video of the incident showed police driving the boy away and the crowd being dispersed.

But is firing two officials, even senior ones, sufficient? Did they personally make mistakes or are they useful sacrificial lambs to try to calm Han Chinese down? What if they don’t calm down – would Wang Lequan (Xinjiang CCP boss) be next, or is he too powerful to go? Should he be held responsible for this new round of violence so soon after the first?

Clearly the authorities want to do something to reassure the public, but re-organising leadership by itself will not be a solution unless it introduces new ideas and policy. There is a climate of fear and anger in Xinjiang that won’t disappear by itself. Do the firings of the two officials herald a change in policy or indicate an exhaustion of ideas as to how to not just contain the situation but find a solution to wider problems that cause unrest?

What we need is a serious look at what is going on in Xinjiang, much like the report produced by Gongmeng. Of course the fact the Chinese NGO was broken up by the Chinese authorities means that even other NGOs will be reluctant to produce such analysis. Just when China needs answers into ethnic conflict, it looks like there might not be anyone willing to objectively look into this problem.

Clearly it’s time to stop the harassment of NGOs like Gongmeng. Sure, they may cause irritations for the CCP from time-to-time – it’s arguable that actions taken against them and others can be considered an effort to make things more “harmonious” ahead of the upcoming 60 year party, though of course that’s no justification. But such organisations also provide an invaluable service for the country, such as by providing a non-Party, yet well-considered Chinese view on some of the problems the country is facing. If the views are foreigners are anathema to the CCP, it’s time to encourage fresh, Chinese thinking outside of the Party. Let the NGOs do that.


There are currently 1 comments highlighted: 47933.

164 Responses to “Xinjiang officials fired following further unrest – is it enough?”

  1. Jason Says:

    We shall see.

    Stop defending tax evaders, Raj. Chinese government didn’t harass Gongmeng. Gongmeng did this to themselves for collecting so much cash that resulted in 1.4 million Yuan tax from the US university which I’m forgetting their name.

    If Gongmeng told the US university to divide the donated money per year to avoid the big tax, we wouldn’t even talk about this situation and Xu and Gongmeng will do their thing and Chinese government would do theirs.

  2. Uln Says:

    @ Jason – 1.4M was the fine, not the tax due. Even if he is really guilty of evading taxes (not sure) we still need to understand why someone is abducted for weeks for a first-time minor tax offense. There are many cases of people failing to pay minor taxes (in the order of a few thousand $) and not being kidnapped by the State. The tanguan in the CPC are counting their loot in the billions RMB, not in k$. But of course, Xu had an aggravating factor: he was working to help the victims of injustice against the powerful.

    @Raj – Very strange. It is never easy to read the tea leaves in the party cup, but this time I admit I am baffled. Only a few weeks ago they looked so happy about the whole affair, they even promoted the chief of the armed police! See here.

    Also, the news about the syringes is bizarre. More than 9 ethnic groups reporting stabbings out of 15 total stabbings: it defies all laws of statistics in an area where 2 ethnicities constitute the majority of the population. And the initial Xinhua reports were self-censored afterwards for some reason. It’s weekend now and I haven’t had the time to look into it seriously, I hope someone brings up info to clarify a bit the situation.

  3. Jason Says:

    @Uln

    It is the tax due. $200K=1.4 million yuan.

    Xu wasn’t kidnapped. Xu couldn’t made the bail so he was brought to Beijing detention facility. So a Chinese college that Xu worked as a professor bailed him out hence his release.

  4. S.K. Cheung Says:

    And the unrest continues. Now there are Han protests about the lack of government protection from rioters. At the same time, people in Urumqi are getting stabbed with needles…containing who-knows-what.

    Sacking one or two officials may be tacit admission by the government that things aren’t working. But we knew that already. Those guys are no more than sacrificial lambs, as Raj says. It’s the shuffling of deck chairs…here’s hoping that at the very least, they aren’t on the Titanic.

  5. pug_ster Says:

    SK Cheung, you might be right. This case of people attacking with needles seem to be something that the Uyghurs are doing to frighten the Hans to move out from the region. The Chinese government probably are not dealing this problem using force and bring more cops into the street. These attacks seem to be highly organized and the Chinese should treat this as a case of domestic terrorism. They will probably need undercover people set up sting operations and use intelligence to break up this kind of terrorism instead of putting more cops in the street.

  6. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    if the motivation for those needle jobs is as you say, then that area is on its way to becoming Israel…with the mode of attack being something a little more personal than a car bomb, and requiring a little less martyrdom than a trenchcoat full of C4. There aren’t enough troops in the world for you to put on the ground to effectively deter guerilla acts like that. It would not bode well. Worse yet, a relatively benign poke on your pinky could render you dead man walking. Sure hope you’re wrong about that.

  7. Uln Says:

    @SKC – No, it doesn’t make any sense. If you want to attack someone seriously you stab him or shoot him or slit his throat. Why would you go through the trouble of:

    1- Finding an infected syringe which can be backtracked
    2- Carrying it around with the risk of infecting yourself and offering a perfect proof to police.
    3- Worst of all: leaving your victim perfectly alive to defend himself and identify you.

    No, it is not effective as a new tactic. It might have been the personal attack of a HIV infected person gone crazy, and perhaps it even had some political motivation. But to imagine this is the new secret weapon of the Uyghurs is simply absurd. And what with all the 9 ethnicities that reported attacks, the HIV guy went berserk in an ethnical folklore convention? Weird.

  8. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To ULN,
    well, there’s only so far we can go wrt speculating on the motives and methods of what some people in Urumqi may or may not be doing, and why. Certainly goes without saying that there are better ways to inflict damage to an individual than with a needle (at least at the time you’re doing it). But if Pugster is right, and this is some form of terrorism, then I guess it becomes a question of what strikes fear in more people: knife wielding slashers on the loose, or needle wielding jabbers. To me, it’d be the latter, but others may well think otherwise.

  9. Shane9219 Says:

    These two officials are replaced mostly due to their failure of handling recent situation.

    1) They did not communicate and update recent needle attack to city residents promptly

    2) They did not handle 9-3 event properly, which caused several deaths. The protests werer mostly peaceful with a reasonable context, though without any government approval

    Today, there are more clear and concrete information coming out from authority about 4 criminal cases and 20+ victim cases.

    The handling of 9-3 event showed some key officials had not yet learned what worked during the handling of 7-3 riot situation.

    1. quick response to a crisis situation earlier with overwhelming forces

    2. transparency, transparency and transparency

    Youtube Video (5th July, Urumqi)

  10. Uln Says:

    Admin, it looks like you are blocked in China. It just happened now, was fine 30 min ago. Now every request on gets immediate RC on all pages. I had to come back in through proxy. Hope its just a false alarm!

    @ Shane #9 – Transparency was not so complete during the 5th July riots. But it was certainly a good step forward compared to previous events, and I am glad for once we can agree on one point.

    @Jason – 1.4MRMB Btax would apply to a total received sum of 28MRMB or 4.5M$. I doubt very much a University gives that kind of money for NGO projects.

  11. Raj Says:

    Uln

    Server tests suggest that the website is currently blocked. Will be interesting to see how long that lasts.

    I have also wondered about these reports of syringe attacks. It’s an exceptionally strange thing to do, especially when the violence so far has been obvious. Could it be a case of people not reporting being attacked but complaining after hearing about attacks? Rumours so often seem to fan the fires there.

    Either way, something’s not right.

    Shane

    Could you please use the edit post function? It’s not good to have three small posts following each other in such a short space of time. I have merged your comments accordingly.

    Also if you’re going to link to a video, next time please explain what point you’re trying to make from it. We’ve all seen lots of media over the violence in the area.

  12. FOARP Says:

    I had written a snarky little comment about the karma of Fool’s Mountain getting blocked given the forthright support for the GFW coming from some quarters on this website, but honestly it’s a shame.

  13. Shane9219 Says:

    BBC: Syringe Attacks Could Face a Death Penalty

    “China has warned anyone found guilty of syringe attacks that led to protests in the western city of Urumqi could face the death penalty, state media reports.

    Harsh punishment would be meted out to those who carried out stabbings with hypodermic needles, the Xinhua news agency said. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8240651.stm

    Xinhua: 依法严厉打击针刺伤害群众等犯罪活动

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/2009-09/07/content_12006494.htm

    ++++

    @Raj

    Well, what I could say to you here. You kind of overacted to my earlier posts one more time. The original three posts meant, well, for three different conversations. But properly I should thank you for not removing them as you did in some other times.

    Recent syringe attacks on hundreds of innocent people are coward (speak COWARD three times here!!!) actions of Ulghur separatists. It’s a continuous of 7-5 violence.

    So why do you think 7-5 violence video is not related to this thread!

  14. Raj Says:

    Shane, I cannot see three conversations, but in any case you don’t need to make three separate posts in the space of a few minutes to raise different ideas. Note how I talked to Uln and you in the same message. It makes it easier for people to read everyone’s comments if you separate things in just one post.

    I did not say the video was unrelated. I asked that in the future you try to make a point or explain why you’re posting it. It’s for your own benefit so people can understand you better, unless you really think there are people visiting the blog that doubt any Han person was attacked in July.

    Now please get back on topic, which is the recent unrest, reaction from the authorities, ideas about what they could do now, etc.

    FOARP

    I’m sad to say that those who praise the GFW are probably those that can still access the blog because they’re not in China. The people who are losing out are those who want to learn new things, not just hear what they want to.

  15. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    I don’t agree with the needle attacks (if they have in fact occurred and are happening at anything approaching the scale that some have suggested, but we are talking NW China, so who really knows for sure). But what is the basis of “harsh sentences” and “death penalty”? SOunds like China is making up laws as she goes (again). If you shot or stabbed someone, that’s one thing, as ULN suggested; but you get the book thrown at you for poking someone in the pinky with a needle? Really? Is that how things work in China? I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    And what constitutes a “cowardly” act? It’s wrong, no question. But is stabbing or shooting more manly? Bombing? Not sure how a person showing moxy while committing a crime would be any more or less laudable than a person who didn’t.

    To Raj,
    been away for a while. Didn’t realize people around here had taken to praising the GFW. You get all kinds, I suppose.

  16. Raj Says:

    SKC and Shane, I’ve deleted your off-topic comments (i.e. personal) and “reset” the discussion. Shane, this time try and respond in a more polite manner – or don’t say anything.

    SKC, glad to have you back. That first post was a good one – please keep them like that. ;)

  17. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Hey Raj,

    read elsewhere that in the latest round of violence, there were 5 dead, and 21 “detained” on “suspicion” of needle attacks. But that’s from a western source, so who knows, right? And in China, who knows what “detained” and “suspicion” really mean either. Nonetheless, it seems to call into question exactly how pervasive this needle business has been. On the other hand, if the degree of concern and fear is orders of magnitude higher than can be reasonably justified based on what has actually occurred, then that seems to be the objective of terrorism (if in fact this is what’s happening).

    As you suggested in your blogpost, seems like Wang Lequan is untouchable. Nice to have friends in high places, especially when you live in China and your buddy’s name is Hu Jintao.

    I’m happy to keep it civil, but as you know, I’m not one to suffer fools, or smack talk.

  18. Shane9219 Says:

    @admin

    Raj should not be given such extensive permission to delete and change posts as he wanted.

    @Raj

    In fact, people here should give you an restraining order so that you do not change and delete posts, because it has been your habit to do so often. For example, you already changed my posts 2 times and deleted some related posts on this thread. There content is merely critical in nature but nothing offending.

    You need count your days here if you keep doing that ! How come you just can’t tolerant any post that do not please you.

  19. Shane9219 Says:

    Right now is muslin Ramadan. So it is really despicable
    for a few Ulghur separatists to attack innocent people during period of muslin fasting.

    Public trials of 7-5 riots are, in fact, put on hold due to such special time.

  20. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC #17

    Your argument showed again you can’t distinguish right and wrong, black and white.

    1) Recent hundreds of syringe attacks by Ulghur separatists meant to terrorize Han population, specially by targeting children and women. The scale and severity is not something you saw of childish plays in your kids’ class rooms.

    1) those laws are already there. They are just made known to warn those Ulghur separatists who intend to harm and terrorize public. If things happen in US or Canada in such scale, those people will face the same treatment.

  21. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane #19 and 20:
    I don’t get your logic sometimes…okay, most of the time…okay, almost all of the time.

    So “attacks” during Ramadan are “really despicable”. Does that mean the identical attacks before or after Ramadan are somewhat less despicable, like maybe just “sorta despicable”?

    Now, in #19, it’s a “few separatists”. In #20, it mushrooms into “hundreds of syringe attacks”. Have there really been “hundreds of syringe attacks” by a “few separatists”? Perhaps before you concern yourself with what I can and cannot distinguish, you should first consider the apparent facts upon which your apparent distinctions are based. I’m still waiting to see more of the facts; perhaps in your position as the self-proclaimed omnipresent one, you’ve seen them already. I, as a mere mortal, am still waiting like everybody else.

    So you’re telling me that there are laws on the books that assault with a syringe is punishable by death? Are you for real? Are you further trying to tell me that assault with a syringe merits capital punishment in the US or Canada? Gosh, you’re funnier than I thought.

    I also find it somewhat humorous, and the inherent irony fairly delicious, that some people who object to censorship when it directly affects them are much less perturbed when China applies it on a much wider scale on her own people. I guess, as the Cantonese saying goes, and particularly relevant to this thread, if the needle isn’t poking into your own flesh you really don’t know the pain.

  22. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC #21

    We have had gone through this exercises several times before. You just need people to help you on every step of your … LoL, when you can really learn to grow up.

    1) Educate yourself more about muslin Ramadan. Ramadan calls on Muslins to restrain from seeing, talking and acting bad things, beside fasting

    “It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured;”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan

    2) The latest confirmed syringe attack victims is 173 (with clear sign of needle attack), more 500 reported though. Most attacks were carried out by organized groups of gangsters (usually with 2 or 3 people), roaming around city, specially targeting children and women. In fact, the protest in 9-3 was triggered by a group of 4 gangsters attacking a woman at a shopping center. … Now, hope you have learned a little more fact.

    BTW: about capital punishment. LoL. Each country has its own law, why you still foolishly compare an orange with an apple. US still has capital punishment among many states. And you can’t even compare US with Canada. Canadian may abolish capital punishment since their ancesters properly had killed enough aboriginal there. LoL.

  23. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane,
    why is it that folks like you have trouble providing answers on point? The point is not Ramadan. The question is: are any such acts despicable on its face, or does their occurrence during Ramadan in any way affect their inherent “despicable-ness”? As I’ve suggested, these acts are despicable whether they occurred during Ramadan, Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Diwali. If you feel otherwise, that’s your problem.

    What you so readily and happily accept as facts, I take as reports. I’ll wait to see how the numbers shake out after some corroboration. It’s okay that you’re so willing to accept the initial reports. Oddly endearing. We need more folks like you….maybe.

    Your last paragraph is again entirely unresponsive. Yes, the US has capital punishment…thanks for the news flash. The point, in case you’re wondering, is where do you see that applied for “needle attacks”, and how anyone can justify what China seems to be threatening, as you suggested in #13.

    Your comment about Canada, capital punishment, and aboriginals aptly shows that you are a dude without a clue. Capital punishment wasn’t abolished in Canada until 1976.

    Oh, I added a paragraph at the end of #21. You should check it out…definitely written with folks like you in mind.

  24. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC

    The problem is that you need people put baby attention on you to help your understand a subject. That has exhausted several people on this forum before … LoL.

    The muslin month of Ramadan is not like enjoyable holidays like, what you mentioned above, Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, blah blah … Muslins are subject to various strict fasting rule (not eating food during the day etc …) and rules on holding other activities. …

  25. Wukailong Says:

    Well, Ramadan is sort of schizophrenic – it’s all work and no play before the sun sets, but after that it seems to be like a big party, at least from what I’ve seen. Arguably, I’ve mostly seen moderate muslims doing this so fundamentalists might be more serious, but I’m not sure.

    Actually Easter used to be a very serious thing too, even being preceded by a period of fasting before the festivities began.

  26. FOARP Says:

    To be quite honest, I simply don’t believe the syringe attacks story. It sounds just too improbable, too nonsensical, and too stupid. I stab you with a syringe, you then shout “ow” and turn round and beat my ass – you don’t just die. The range of people reporting having been stabbed looks weird as well – if this is Uighur-on-Han violence, why all the minorities reporting having been stabbed – including Uighur? And why would you even need three men to do something like this?

    So maybe I can just about believe a lone weirdo going around trying to infect people, although something like HIV is actually unlikely to be spread this way – when people talk about junkies sharing needles, they forget to mention that what actually causes the spread is not usually the drop of blood at the end of the needle, but the blood inside the syringe used to wash out narcotics remaining inside the syringe after the initial injection. Can I believe a gang of three men doing such a whacked-out thing? No.

    What seems more likely is that this is an urban legend which got blown out of all proportion, and the government is now pandering to it in an effort to prevent further protest. I mean, they actually announced the ‘arrests’ at the demonstration. The fact that the death penalty, something which will prevent embarrassing revelations from the accused in the future, has been preferred against these men, supports this.

  27. Wukailong Says:

    @Uln: Unfortunately it’s not a false alarm. “They cut the hard line” – it’s as blocked as it can be. I can access it through work because of good ol’ Lee Kuan Yew, but at home it’s stone dead.

  28. Shane9219 Says:

    @FOARP #26

    As bizarre [ noticed most western media used this word in their reports ] as they sound, those incidents are not urban legend.

    There are reports that most attackers are out-of-town young people (without a job) got paid by 300 RMB a day to do those dirty work. They mostly pick children and women, people who dare not to counter those attackers.

    There is one case under persecution involving a young Ulghur woman (19 years old) stubbing a Han woman’s buttock with a pin while she was buying fruits. That Ulghur woman was later located and arrested a few hours later.

    On 9-4, BBC showed a video of an incident involving 3 Ulghur young men got caught while pushing down a child attacking him a syringe. Those 3 ulghurs were handed over to police and got arrested.

    No doubt, some Ulghurs got beaten up because of their bad acts.

    Unfortunately, a typical reaction from some western people is to denied the merely existence of those attacks even in front of video and hard evidence — confirmed needle marks on over 170 people.

  29. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane #24:
    I mentioned that the point is not Ramadan, and yet you’re still going on about Ramadan. BTW, it’s MusliM’s, not MusliN’s. And since I work with several people who observe Ramadan, I am somewhat familiar with the nature of such observance…all of which still has nothing to do with what I was talking about. The acts as described are despicable (if true), whether they occur during Ramadan or not. How many times does a guy have to explain something like that to a genius like you?

    To FOARP #26:
    agreed. Which is why, though a few of these random needle stabbing acts do appear to have occurred based on what’s been corroborated, it seems more likely that they’re the acts of a few random deranged people, rather than any concerted and organized “terrorist” strategy. That being said, it’s sure got people’s attention, and may well spark copycat acts in the future.

  30. admin Says:

    @Uln and WKL,

    Thanks for informing us about the block. Could you please tell if it’s a DNS block or an IP block?

    @Shane,

    This blog strives for providing a platform for civil discussion. Your contribution is always appreciated but please refrain from leaving condescending and disparaging remarks against others. Generally, I recommend our moderators to collapse such comments instead of outright deletion. With that said, this is Raj’s thread and an author is given more leeway in moderating a thread. If you think his moderation is unfair, please send me an email and we can discuss this offline.

    @SKC,

    Welcome back. Sometimes an online spat could be fun, but it neither persuade your opponent nor boost your own credit. You have been on this blog since its inception, and I know you are more than capable of holding a civil dialog.

  31. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Admin,
    thanks for the welcome back. I certainly have no need to stroke my ego (least of all anonymously before a bunch of strangers), nor am I here to persuade anybody of anything. I’ve certainly seen enough in the last year and a half to know that the folks who come here and leave comments are not easily persuaded, in either direction.

    As you’ve observed, I have great affinity for civil dialog; but as I’ve also shown, I have no aversion to taking it to a different level if provoked. You and Raj and others have gone to great lengths to craft a code, and if I run afoul of it on a thread, I’m fully aware of the consequences. I always remember that I’m here at your pleasure, and am grateful for the opportunity. Unfortunately, IRL and online, some people sometimes just rub me the wrong way. And as you suggest, it can be fun to share that sentiment with them.

  32. eswn Says:

    @admin

    Using the tool:http://www.websitepulse.com/help/testtools.china-test.html
    which tests access of any website from Beijing, Shanghai or Guanghzou
    compared to access from other locations (such as Hong Kong, Seattle WA, etc).

    the Fool’s Mountain Blog URL resolves to IP address 74.53.67.8 correctly
    but then the network data were not received.
    So I think that it is an IP block at 74.53.67.8.

  33. Bridge Says:

    @SKC #21
    ‘So you’re telling me that there are laws on the books that assault with a syringe is punishable by death? Are you for real? Are you further trying to tell me that assault with a syringe merits capital punishment in the US or Canada? Gosh, you’re funnier than I thought.’

    I don’t think Shane or the Chinese government or anyone was saying that if you attack people with a syringe, you are punishable by death. The article that Shane linked to actually says that, the punishment for attacking people with a needle can be a 3+ year jail sentence, lift time imprisonment or death penalty. Apparently, whether you get a 3+ year jail sentence or a death penalty depends on the severity of your crime. So, no – the law did not say that assault with a syringe is punishable by death and neither did Shane.

  34. real name Says:

    28. paid … 300 RMB a day
    it’s quite much
    could it mean this was behind firing?

  35. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Bridge,
    In the linked article, a municipal court notice apparently informs people that a needle attack is punishable by anywhere from 3 years to death. So it is true that no one is saying you ARE punishable by death; but by definition, for such a crime, you COULD BE punishable by death. In #20, Shane said “those laws are already there”. You can be the judge of what Shane did or didn’t say.

    That notwithstanding, what Shane says or doesn’t say matters little. I’m simply curious that China would have a law stipulating that a needle attack potentially justifies the death penalty. Now, if the point is that the punishment will fit the crime, and if you kill someone with a needle, you could get up to the death penalty, well, that’s fine, but would that require a court notice? Don’t people in China already know that murder is punishable by death? And what’s the needle attack got to do with it. If you popped someone with a feather, you’d be looking at the same thing. I’m further curious that, of all the weapons in all the world, China has a law already in place that specifically addresses assault with a needle. For a country whose concept of law and order is, by most assessments, still evolving, they would have had to have undergone an evolutionary leap when it comes to needles. These are the sorts of things for which I have sought clarification from Shane, since he posted the initial link.

  36. FOARP Says:

    @SKC – The death penalty applies to so many crimes in China, that, if the authorities want to, they can define most criminal acts as being punishable with the death penalty. ‘Splittism’ itself is punishable by death, and I’m sure a ‘confession’ will be obtained to this and other crimes in good time.

  37. admin Says:

    @eswn,

    Thanks for the link. I did some some tests using the tool and it turned out the block only applies at subdomain level, specifically, any string that contains “blog.foolsmountain.com”. It will block xyz-blog.foolsmountain.com but not blog-xyz.foolsmountain.com.

  38. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To FOARP:
    agreed. WHich is why I’d like to see justification for that court notice, but my suspicion, as I had suggested in #15, is that it “SOunds like China is making up laws as she goes (again).” Or, at the very least, if they’re not making up laws as they go, they may well be coming up with timely new definitions of previous ones.

  39. Wahaha Says:

    Shane,

    Why do you waste times on the people who consider themselves on morally high ground, who have never looked at mirror and who hate everything about the chinese government ? (it is really funny that a person never check his own wrongdong while considering himself on morally high ground.)

    欲加之罪,何患无词.

    On this world, nothing is perfect, ONLY IDIOTS DONT KNOW THAT. The typical dirty trick they use is that you localize the problems, pick out what chinese government did wrong and ignore the big picture. Like police violence agaisnt Tibetan, and ignore the police violence in inland China, and in this way they have successfully made naive and brainwashed westerners believe what they want them to believe.

    Remember that woman claimed that over 10,000 people disappeared after 7.5, lot of western medai with self-appointed integrity reported that, did any one here ridiculed that claim? but one of them with great self -appointed integrity claimed “To be quite honest, I simply don’t believe the syringe attacks story.” On what base ? well, he doesnt like chinese government.

    so what is the point to argue with these people ? they china-lize any problems in China, maybe you should ask them to explain what happend to the 100 million pounds of money missing in the account of preparing Olympic,

  40. Jason Says:

    Okay the long-term jail sentence and death penalty is being blow out of proportion on this thread.

    This was a severe warning that is posted on walls after police detained the 25 Uighurs.

    As far as I’m concerned that death penalty won’t be applied to the 25 Uighurs since there’s no report of contaminated and dangerous substance in the needles.

    Also there will be punishment of rumor-mongering especially bloggers if they falsify needle attacks.

  41. Shane9219 Says:

    WorldJournal: No More Tolerance Towards Crimes Carried out by Ethnic Minorities

    Translated using Google tools with minor modififcation

    “Beijing scholar, the Chinese authorities will not tolerate crime of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Professor of law at Beijing’s Central University for Nationalities, Xiong Zhao, told Wen Wei Po reporter. Xiong Zhao pointed out that the former autonomous region of Xinjiang Party Committee Standing Committee, Politics and Law Committee secretary Zhu Hailun took over the Urumqi Municipal Party Committee Secretary, The regional chief of Public Security Bureau has also replaced by Chang-Jie Zhu. Those actions showed government to purse and enforce the rule of law more seriously.

    Xiong Zhao believes that the old policy on treatment of crimes by ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, had been “less arrest and death sentence, more general leniency”. Now, everyone should be equal in front of the law .

    He said the signs a of recent events in Xinjiang showed extremely complex background. For criminals, the central government has now made it clear, regardless what ethnicity and sex, they will be severely punished according to law, and no more special treatment to anyone”

    http://www.worldjournal.com/printer_friendly/3538851

    “北京學者透露,中國當局不再姑息新疆少數民族的犯罪問題。北京中央民族大學法學教授熊文釗在接受文匯報訪問時指出,新疆原自治區黨委常委、政法委書記朱海侖接任烏魯木齊市委書記,公安廳長也換成朱昌杰上馬。顯現中共中央對維護新疆社會法制的重視。

    熊文釗認為,中共中央對待新疆地區少數民族犯罪問題,已從此前「少捕少殺,一般從寬」,轉變為法律面前人人平等。

    他表示,種種跡象都表明,新疆扎針事件的背景極其複雜。對於犯罪分子,北京中央已明確無論哪個民族都會依法嚴懲、決不寬貸。”

  42. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha:
    nice to hear from you. I see that you’re being eloquent as always.

    From your potpourri of awesome thoughts, I’ve gleaned a couple of notable winners.
    1. if one can’t complain about police brutality in Tibet without criticizing police brutality throughout China, then let’s do that. Oddly, I haven’t recalled you complaining much about either.
    2. there’s an entire thread on the questionable nature of Kadeer’s claims.
    3. how does one “china-lize ,,, problems in China”? WOuld you prefer people to “American-lize” them instead? Gosh, if anything, I thought the previous complaints were about people looking at problems through a “western” lens, and not enough of a China-centric one. Some people seem extremely difficult to please.

    To Jason:
    it still boggles me why such a warning is even necessary. And further that such a warning should come from a court (where hopefully there’s a presumption of innocence and any talk of sentencing is premature prior to a conviction) and not from the police.
    Nonetheless, we seem to agree that a non-fatal jab with a needle doesn’t warrant any talk of capital punishment. But what would happen in China if one of the syringes did contain HIV? It’s not guaranteed that the victim would contract the disease. And either way, the victim would not be dead…yet. Do you know if CHinese law is explicit in such situations? In the US and Canada, there’ve been cases of HIV-infected men and women knowingly spreading the infection through unprotected sex, and even when victims have tested HIV positive, the offenders are not convicted with murder.

  43. Jason Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    Fear works. That’s the only way I can think of to restore order and stop these attacks from happening again.

    Anyone has any recollection of Hong Kong’s acid attacks. It kept happening and last week it happened again.

    Also you have to keep in mind that the needle attacks were retribution towards Han ethnicity and this situation cannot compare to situations that HIV-victims spreading to non-HIV individuals.

  44. Raj Says:

    Jason

    I’d say that fear sometimes works. The problem is, what do you do if it doesn’t? One’s sort of painted into a corner then where you can only give up or get violent.

    What is unfortunate is that people need to be warned not to spread rumours that may incite violence. You’d thought it was a given not to do that.

  45. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Jason:
    Fear can work. But by the court making such a statement now, you would have to postulate that either the people did not know they had something to fear, and needed a reminder (which would seem hard to believe), or the court just came up with something “new” to fear (which is what I’ve been questioning in #15, 21, 35, and 38). If it’s the latter, that would seem to be a questionable development.

    As for the Han/Muslim dynamic, do you know if there are hate crime statutes in China/Xinjiang? Around here, any given crime gets added punishment if it was found to be motivated by “hate”.

  46. Jason Says:

    @44 Raj: What is unfortunate is that people need to be warned not to spread rumours that may incite violence.

    The Xinjiang government has warned people of spreading rumors.

    A notice from law-and-order authorities late on Sunday warned residents they faced possible jail terms for rumor-mongering.

    “Those who deliberately concoct and spread false information about innocent members of the public being stabbed with needles” could be tried and sentenced to up to five years in jail, Xinhua news agency quoted the notice as saying.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090907/wl_nm/us_china_xinjiang

    But the needle attack was not a rumor, it’s the exaggeration of what’s in the needle and the number of people being stabbed was shady at best.

    @ SKC

    The only hate crime between Uighur and Han in Xinjiang that I’m aware of is that timesonline article about daughter being butchered at the height of the Uighur protest.

  47. admin Says:

    @readers in China

    Could someone try to access http://blog4china.org/ without a proxy and see if it works? Thank you very much.

  48. Bridge Says:

    @SKC #35
    “I’m simply curious that China would have a law stipulating that a needle attack potentially justifies the death penalty.”
    Sorry, but where did you get the impression that China would have a law stipulating that a needle attack potentially justifies the death penalty? Is it something Shane said?

    The link to xinhuanet provided by Shane briefly explained how to categorize different kinds of needle attacks and what the possible punishments are. I think it does an OK job in clarifying things. This is not changing law, this is explaining law. I mean, people know that if you murder someone with a needle, you can get death penalty, but what if you only hurt someone with a needle? See, this is when we need experts to tell us what the possible outcomes are. We think we know the law, but we really don’t.

    @SKC #42 & #45
    “it still boggles me why such a warning is even necessary.”
    Hummm? Warning is to prevent further criminal activities (whether it works or not is not the point here). What did you think the warning was for? Were you thinking that since everybody knows the law, there’s no need to restate it? And if people disregard the law in the first place, there’s no need to warn them anyway?

    “And further that such a warning should come from a court (where hopefully there’s a presumption of innocence and any talk of sentencing is premature prior to a conviction) and not from the police.”
    Why not? Warning people is not part of the police job?

    “But by the court making such a statement now, you would have to postulate that either the people did not know they had something to fear, and needed a reminder (which would seem hard to believe), or the court just came up with something “new” to fear (which is what I’ve been questioning in #15, 21, 35, and 38). If it’s the latter, that would seem to be a questionable development.”
    No, this is not something new to fear. It’s a human rights issue, you know. It’s like a ‘DROP YOUR WEAPON’ warning to an armed robber, it does not only try to prevent further crimes, but also serves as a last chance for the robber to surrender before the police pull the gun trigger. Now, are you saying that there is no need to give that warning, because the robber has no fear anyway?

  49. neutrino2 Says:

    @ FORAP 26: To be quite honest, I simply don’t believe the syringe attacks story …

    ______________________________________________________________________

    I’m surprised that you find it so hard to believe. An obvious motivation is to create fear in the population, which obviously was achieved. If the goal was to make the Han population to become so angry that the local leaders would be sacked, then I’d say the tactic worked brilliantly.
    On the other hand, the fact that the attack was conducted by different people in a short period of time, would indicate that it’s not an individual act, and the time period was too short to generate many copycats, so it would point to some sort of organization, which could have many origins. If the ultimate goal is to destabilize the region, and the fact that many ethnic groups were reported to have been attacked would suggest this could be a possible goal, (besides, many minorities are not necessarily easily distinguishable from the Han people), we have to wait and see.

    Ultimately, I hope this will lead more, lasting transparency on the Chinese government side. I’m glad that no one died from the attacks and hope it stays that way.

  50. FOARP Says:

    @Neutrino – Yes, but syringes are such an unlikely, dubious, and potentially ridiculous way of doing it. We first heard about the ‘attacks’ from the protesters, and the ‘plot’ was only ‘uncovered’ during the demonstration – which was also where its discovery was first announced (but only after other efforts to placate the crowd failed). Why no report of the attacks before the demonstration? Why, if this was an Uighur plot, were people of all ethnic groups targeted? And why, for god’s sake, would anyone think of using such a nutty device as a syringe, and do so hundreds of times without getting caught at the scene of the crime?

    I remember some years ago a mob in Southampton burning down a paediatrician’s because they thought it was something to do with paedophilia – it is quite possible for people to become afraid of threats which do not exist, so afraid that they take to the streets in protest, and even become violent.

  51. Wukailong Says:

    One of the reasons the syringe attacks might be hard to believe is because it’s a common urban legend in many parts in the West, and probably other parts of the world. Here’s a discussion of the legend:

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/pinprick.asp

    This doesn’t mean the recent incidents are false, but it explains some of the reactions to the news.

  52. FOARP Says:

    @Wukailong – Actually, I was thinking of the urban legend I heard several times in China of Uighur pick-pockets (a stereotype which itself is part-urban-legend) concealing small blades about themselves for slitting open pockets and handbags so that the contents could be removed. The stereotype of knife-wielding Uighurs who silently stab their opponents makes this whole ‘syringe attack’ story just too perfect.

    But let’s go beyond this:

    1) Has any terrorist group ever done this before? No – with the possible exception of the assassination of Georgi Markov by Bulgarian intelligence, but this was done using fast-acting poison concealed in an umbrella tip, and the entire point of that attack was for the death to appear to be from unknown or natural causes.

    2) Is it a method which is likely to succeed? No – in fact you are far more likely to get caught doing this than you are whilst planting a time-bomb.

    3) To actually pose a threat to the people targeted, they would have to be injected with a poisonous/infectious substance, and for many such substances not a very small amount of it – are these easy to access? I don’t think so – and there has been no report of any of the ‘targets’ actually being injected, infected, or poisoned.

    4) Which was reported first – the attacks, or the demonstrations? As far as I can see, the demonstrations were reported first, and the cause of their demonstration was the authorities refusal to take the ‘attacks’ seriously.

    5) Has any group issued a claim to the attacks? No – but even Osama Bin Laden claimed the WTC attacks.

    6) When was the ‘uncovering’ of the ‘plot’ announced? At the demonstrations, where demonstrators had up till then refused to disperse, and at about the same time as the city boss was sacrificed.

    It is possible that attacks have taken place, but considering the above is it the most likely explanation? Absolutely not.

  53. neutrino2 Says:

    FOARP @ 52:

    ________________

    YOu missed my points totally. YOu listed the reasons (1,2,3) that this is a dubious method to “threat” people sucessfully physically. My point was that the attack, if true, would not be staged to actually cause severe physical harm, but to stir up fear.

    Besides, you are trying to rationalize something that’s not really rational. When people are angry, they do stupid things, including both the Han and the Uighurs.

    You point 4 was mid-leading. YOu seem to suggest the reports of the attack came only after the reports of the demonstration. Could it be due to that you only read non-Chinese media?

    Point 5 is irrelevant, at least for me. You could easily have a dozen angry guys who sets out to do this. But acts by a few people like this, is enough to generate fear.

    As for point 6, I’ll agree with you to some extent. Until Chinese government presents hard evidence, I’ll treat the particular claim of the “plot” like the usual claims with skepticism. But the claim that it is the continuation of the July riots, could be not that far-fetched.

  54. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Bridge #48:
    “where did you get the impression that China would have a law stipulating that a needle attack potentially justifies the death penalty?”
    –this is straight out of the BBC report from Shane’s link in #13 (“The Xinhua report, citing a notice from the municipal court, said penalties for those who stabbed others with syringes containing poisonous or harmful substances would range from three years in jail to the death sentence.”). If such a law does not exist, then I’d be very curious as to the basis of this municipal court notice.

    “This is not changing law, this is explaining law. I mean, people know that if you murder someone with a needle, you can get death penalty, but what if you only hurt someone with a needle?”
    —again, if the purpose of the notice is to explain the law, then it stands to reason that such a law already exists. And what if you murdered someone with a feather, as I asked earlier? LIke I said, I’m curious that China would have a law pertaining specifically to needle assaults. But I guess they do.

    “And if people disregard the law in the first place, there’s no need to warn them anyway?”
    —I agree that the penalties as spelled out in the law would be the deterrent. But coming from the court, it seems like a threat.

    “It’s like a ‘DROP YOUR WEAPON’ warning to an armed robber, it does not only try to prevent further crimes, but also serves as a last chance for the robber to surrender before the police pull the gun trigger.”
    —again, agreed. BUt even in your example, the warning comes from the police, and not from the court.

    “Warning people is not part of the police job?”
    —on the contrary. It is the police’s job. That’s why I would have found it much less curious if the warning came from the police; I find it bizarre that such a warning should come from the court. I mean, the court’s job is first to establish guilt or innocence, then move onto penalties. If the court feels it necessary to remind people that if they’re guilty, these are the consequences, they might as well remind people of the consequences of innocence too. I also find it peculiar that “death penalty” was included in the range of sentences, when, to my knowledge, no one has died from such attacks and none of the culprits currently in custody would be facing such a sentence. If its inclusion, in your reasoning, is to deter someone from killing somebody with a needle, then I would go back to my initial “is such a warning really necessary?”.

    “Now, are you saying that there is no need to give that warning, because the robber has no fear anyway?”
    —pretty much. On the flip side, if you feel such a specific warning was necessary, then they should come out with similar warnings for the endless list of items with which a person could assault another. And for that matter, does the law specifically stipulate that needle pokes with a poisonous substance gets you 3 years minimum?

  55. Chops Says:

    From Was needle panic in China a fake frenzy?

    Were rumours the spark that sent thousands of angry Han Chinese protesters in Urumqi pouring into the streets last week?

    “I don’t think there’s very much evidence to support the idea that there was any sort of campaign,” says Gerald Groot, a specialist in Chinese studies at the University of Adelaide. “I’ve seen reports suggesting there could have been as many as 500 people who were stabbed. But there’s really been nothing to show for it.”

    “It seems more like mass hysteria than reality to me,” observed Groot.”

    But reports yesterday suggested the Urumqi rumour mill is still running hot. “This is not over,” one newspaper vendor in the city told a British journalist. “They are going round pouring sulphuric acid in people’s faces now.”

  56. FOARP Says:

    “My point was that the attack, if true, would not be staged to actually cause severe physical harm, but to stir up fear.”

    A point I entirely understood, but then you have to ask – would it be reasonable to expect this? Is it feasible? The answer to both is no. Think: I walk up to you on the bus or in a crowded street (the only circumstances in which you could get close enough to stab you) and then shove a hypodermic into you – what happens then? Either you react, in which case I run a strong risk of capture,or you don’t, in which case the attack has failed to achieve its objective. You might be able to argue that the rumour itself was created by terrorists in an effort to create terror, but as a actual method of attack (even simply to cause terror) it is highly dubious, and it is impossible to believe it was actually carried out 100+ times without the assailant(s) being captured. Go read up on the attack on Georgi Markov – and even in that case Markov was not stabbed, but shot from a close distance, and his assailant was identified,if not captured.

    But most damning of all is this: the Chinese authorities themselves did not take this story seriously until the demonstrations, and even then they only came out with these arrests once all other efforts to disperse the protesters without large-scale blood-shed had been exhausted. Nothing I have seen even the local media reported these hypodermic stabbings before the demonstrations.

    @Chops – Unfortunately acid attacks are actually a reality, it would seem, in Hong Kong:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8053645.stm

    One more thing: in absence of solid information rumours spread fast. Remember September the 11th? Stories that came out that day included a car-bomb in Washington, and a fourth jetliner being chased by fighter-jets – neither of which were true. China especially suffers from such rumours – take the widely held belief back in 2003 that SARS was caused by a CIA bio-weapons attack. I find the idea that these ‘attacks’ started as an urban legend that led to hysteria and then rioting when the government didn’t react totally believable. The idea that they were real is just too unlikely to credit.

  57. Shane9219 Says:

    @FOARP/Chops

    People here wonder when you guys could stop fooling yourselves in front of facts.

    乌鲁木齐市检察机关起诉第二批针刺案件犯罪嫌疑人
    Urumqi City: Prosecutors to prosecute the second batch of cases of criminal suspects of syringe attackers

    ” Criminal suspects, Abdulla Abdulla Kedl, Abdurixit All Mange Zach, Abdulla Kiyum A Youfu, Abulimit Mohammad on 9-3 around10:30 AM, at the West Gate underground pedestrian crossing the channel trailing Li (female), when four of them walking side by side with Li, such as the Abdulla Abdulla Kedl in cooperation with the other three holding the syringe prepared in advance stabbing the neck of Li.

    With the assistance of the masses, the four were caught and brought to justice on suspicion of the crime of endangering public safety in a dangerous way by the Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau under criminal detention. The case was investigated by the Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau, transferred to prosecutors on the same day, Procuratorate approved the arrest of four suspects for injecting false dangerous substances crimes. 7 Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau formally arrested the above-mentioned four suspects.

    Urumqi, the prosecution believes that the four suspects to ignore state laws, attacking women in public places, seriously disrupting social order, and brought about serious consequences, criminal acts clear facts and evidence…” (with google translator)

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2009-09/08/content_12017487.htm

  58. Shane9219 Says:

    >> 法律专家:乌鲁木齐”针刺”事件是暴力恐怖犯罪的”翻版”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2009-09/08/content_12017586.htm

    “杜新涛说,“针刺”行为表面上看是对公民个人实施的,但其针对的是不特定的个体。它不是一般的伤害行为,妨害的是整个社会秩序,不仅构成了犯罪,而且是严重危害公共安全和国家安全的犯罪行为。

    新疆资深法律专家、乌鲁木齐市中级人民法院原院长鄢玉星说,“针刺”案件是一种公然践踏法律、人性、人权的严重恶性刑事犯罪,这种犯罪具有流动性大、范围广、现场难以固定、取证难度大等特征,是暴力恐怖犯罪的翻版和手法的变换。

    鄢玉星认为,乌鲁木齐“7·5”打砸抢烧严重暴力事件和“针刺”事件的动机和目的是相同的,都是以制造恐怖气氛的手段来破坏新疆的稳定。

    针刺犯罪具体表现为使用注射器、大头针或其他针状物来扎刺他人,造成群众心理恐慌的犯罪行为。鄢玉星说,无论使用的是何种工具,即无论是使用有毒害性物质的注射器或吸食毒品后废弃的注射器,还是使用无毒害性物质的注射器扎刺、喷射他人的,还是使用其他针状物扎刺无辜群众,制造恐怖气氛的,均是危害公共安全,扰乱社会秩序的严重犯罪,都是需要依法从严从重打击的犯罪行为,都要依照中国刑法的有关规定从重治罪。

    上述法律专家称,“针刺”犯罪情节和后果严重的,根据中国刑法的有关规定,最高的可判处死刑。 ”

    >> Translation by Google

    “Recent happened Urumqi series of needle attacking cases is by no means the individual prank by wandering people, nor is it a simple criminal activities, but rather actions of hostile elements, there is premeditated, organized openly planning to disrupt the social order to create an atmosphere of terror in a major way”

    Du Xin-Tao said, needle-attacking behavior on the surface is the implementation of individual citizens, but its target is not a specific individual. It is not generally harmful actions of prejudice to the entire social order, not only constitutes a crime, but also seriously endangers the public safety and national security crimes.

    Senior legal experts in Xinjiang, Urumqi City Intermediate People’s Court in the former president of Yan Yu Xing said, “acupuncture” case is a flagrant violation of law, humanity, human rights, a serious vicious criminal, this crime has a large turnover of a wide range of the scene is difficult fixed characteristics such evidence is difficult, is a replica of crime, violence and terrorism and methods of transformation.

    Yan Yu Xing view, Urumqi “7.5” riot, needle-attack incident, the motive and purpose are the same, are the means to create an atmosphere of terror to undermine the stability of Xinjiang.

    Concrete manifestation of crime by using syringes needle, needle-shaped pins or other objects to a thorn in others, causing panic among the mass psychology of the criminal acts. Yan Yu Xing said that, regardless of what type of tools, that both the use of toxic substances in syringes or syringe discarded after taking drugs, or the use of non-toxic substances in syringes a thorn in the spray of others, or the use of other needle-like objects a thorn in innocent people, create an atmosphere of terror, and are endangering public security and disrupt social order of the serious crimes, are strictly required by law severely crack down on criminal acts, must in accordance with the relevant provisions of China’s Criminal Law heavier punishment.

    The legal experts said, needle-attacking is criminal offenses, if resulted serious consequences , according to the relevant provisions of China’s Criminal Law, the maximum that can be sentenced to death.”

  59. FOARP Says:

    “People here wonder when you guys could stop fooling yourselves in front of facts.”

    You mean ‘facts’ which the Chinese authorities themselves dismissed – until riots forced them to change their tack?

    “Criminal suspects, Abdulla Abdulla Kedl, Abdurixit All Mange Zach, Abdulla Kiyum A Youfu, Abulimit Mohammad on 9-3 around10:30 AM, at the West Gate underground pedestrian crossing the channel trailing Li (female), when four of them walking side by side with Li, such as the Abdulla Abdulla Kedl in cooperation with the other three holding the syringe prepared in advance stabbing the neck of Li.”

    Four men to stab one woman with a hypodermic? In the neck? Why? How did they know? In what way did ‘the masses’ assist? Who actually did assist? As a source of ‘fact’ this is rubbish.

  60. Shane9219 Says:

    @FOARP

    LoL. Now you look seriously like a fool and blind. I am truly amazed by your ability to deny facts. It like you telling people “See, I am NOT breathing …” by holding close your own month. LoL.

    >> You mean ‘facts’ which the Chinese authorities themselves dismissed – until riots forced them to change their tack?

    LoL. It showed you don’t know a thing about Xinjiang. Protest happened in 9-3 was because 1) some government officials did not take enough tough measure to fight those needle attackers, and people had to take their own actions to punish those attackers, and 2) a delay of persecuting 7-5 rioters (mostly due to a consideration of Muslin Ramadan)

  61. Jason Says:

    @Shane

    I bet FOARP think the 2007 syringe attack in England is also false where 4 teens attacked a 10 year old boy.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-184458881.html

    or he’ll deny that a 2006 syringe attack on a woman as well

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-184222375.html

  62. Bob Says:

    Off-topic comment re-posted by Bob in Open thread

  63. FOARP Says:

    @Jason – You mean a few children or crazies stabbing people with needles? This is the kind of thing we are talking about – not dozens of grown adults working together to carry out what is essentially, although frightening, a childish prank. As for ‘deny’ I am not denying anything, but I am simply saying that this looks about as false as they come.

    @Shane –

    ““See, I am NOT breathing …” by holding close your own month.”

    II suspect your meaning is lost in translation here.

    “Protest happened in 9-3 was because 1) some government officials did not take enough tough measure to fight those needle attackers”

    By ‘tough’ you mean ‘any’? By the way, can anyone find any reference to these attacks from BEFORE the demonstrations? What, no?

    Guys, it seems you haven’t been reading my comments much this past year or so – here’s a tip: ‘proving’ something by posting a few pieces from Xinhua and boilerplate comments from officials ‘proves’ nothing in cases like this. Let me tell you about some of my experiences with the Mainland Chinese media:

    1) My boss in Nanjing tried to kill his secretary with whom he was rumoured to have been having an affair, stabbed her in the back, and then jumped out of the window killing himself, the local papers reported that he had died by accident. We were then instructed by the party cadre at the university not to talk about it.

    2) The vice president at my university in Nanjing was executed for embezzling funds, no media reported it.

    3) There was a massive demonstration outside my university by displaced farmers, no media reported it.

    4) A friend of mine who worked at a Nanjing paper was paid off not to report a fire in a factory dorm.

    5) Two years later a friend of mine who ran a factory in Shenzhen likewise paid the local papers not to report a fire at his factory.

    6) There was a massive strike by disgruntled workers at a local factory near where I lived in Shenzhen. Not reported.

    7) There was a massive gang fight in which two people were killed at a local KTV where I lived in Shenzhen, no media reported it.

    8) In my last week in Shanghai back in 2007, a bus exploded about a block from where I was – you’ve probably seen the recent videos of this happening in other cities, well exactly the same thing happened there. Not reported by any media.

    Having gone through all this, I’m simply not going to take reports of this kind on face value, especially when the timeline makes them look so very dubious, and when you through in the zany nature of the chain of events that is supposed to have unfolded what sane man would take such a story seriously?

  64. pug_ster Says:

    FOARP,

    Boy, and this kind of corruption doesn’t happen in Democratic countries like in the UK and the US. Give me a break.

  65. Bob Says:

    @FOARP # 63, that is a fair post. But you should know “selectiveness” in reporting isn’t unique to PRC’s media, government controlled or not. Have you ever seen, for instance, any mentioning by mainstream western media on Dalai Lama’s violent past, his close association with Nazi SS officer, or convicted Tokyo subway terrorist, whenever the Tibetan exiled leader made headline news?

  66. Jason Says:

    @FOARP

    More syringe attacks’ stories around the globe: http://www.highbeam.com/search.aspx?q=syringe%20attack&tab=lib&ref_id=ency_sch including grown adults stabbing victims

    It looks like your argument of protest first and syringe attack second is false:

    The syringe attacks were first publicly reported Wednesday which was Sept 2nd:
    http://www.thestar.com/article/691158 (as reported in Associated Press)

    Then 2nd the demonstrations: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125196602944382619.html which was reported by WSJ on Sept 4th.

  67. pug_ster Says:

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-09/09/content_8668958.htm

    Looks like China got serious and treat these needle incidents as terrorist activities.

  68. Raj Says:

    Shane, I’ve already asked you not to make personal comments about other people. Repeatedly calling people “fools”, etc, is a personal comment.

    If you don’t like my interpretation of the rules, feel free to talk to the admin. But until I hear from him that you can call people names and be unpleasant, I will assume you don’t have that right.

  69. miaka9383 Says:

    @FOARP
    It is better to be careful than sorry. No matter how improbable that this syringe attack looks to you but you can very easily kill someone with an empty syringe by inserting air bubbles into their blood vessels.
    Whether it is a terrorist Attack? I don’t know. But being that there are repeated cases of this happening, someone out there is deliberately hurting people and he/she or them should be punished for it. I am awaiting to see more evidence that proves that this is a terrorist attack.

  70. S.K. Cheung Says:

    When xinhuanet reports are construed as “proof” of “facts”, it suggests that perhaps some people are not as discerning in establishing their threshold for such things as they could be.

    If 4 people are currently being tried for needle attacks, then not only has their guilt or innocence not yet been established, but even the circumstances of that one case haven’t yet been vetted in court. So while some attacks and some injuries do seem to have occurred, the exact scale of such occurrences doesn’t yet seem clear, and certainly not corroborated or confirmed. So I suppose one’s reaction would depend on whether one is given to a “the sky is falling” mentality or not. And to extrapolate what is known so far to theories of “plots” and “terrorism” seems wildly premature, though perhaps convenient for local authorities.

    I particularly enjoyed paragraph #5 of #58. Now there’s a whole laundry list of weapon-specific crimes. It appears Chinese law does speak with remarkable precision on such offenses…who knew.

  71. miaka9383 Says:

    @S.K
    Your speculation makes sense. However, how would the local authorities calm these protesters?

  72. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Unfortunately, it looks like the local authorities do have some tough slogging ahead. Their reputation is such that it appears the people have little faith in what they do, and little trust in what they say.

    But idle speculation by government authorities that this stabbing or that stabbing might be part of a sinister plot or evidence of domestic terrorism seems extremely premature, and entirely counter-productive. If they want to calm people down, they should first stop firing them up.

  73. FOARP Says:

    @Jason –

    1) AP doesn’t give its source or any details as to reports first coming out on the 2nd, do the reports it is referring to talk about the rumours or about actual incidents?

    2) According to the same report the demonstrations happened on the 3rd (when most of the deaths occurred).

    3) Even this is too close – less than 24 hours between the first report and the riots.

    4) The authorities didn’t do or say anything about these needle incidents until a day after the riots had started and demonstrators had already died.

    @Miaka – Killing someone with an injection of air is, funnily enough, another urban legend created by crime-novel writers:

    “according to Dr. Barry Wolcott MD, FACP, senior vice president of clinical affairs for WebMD Health, “In general, the small amount of air that can be introduced by a typical syringe is not large enough to cause a fatal air embolism (an air embolism is similar to a blood clot).” “

    @SKCheung – It is merely as I said: they have defined these acts as terrorist acts, thus meaning they can enforce the death penalty if the suspects are found guilty – which they inevitably will be.

    @Pugster – Where did I claim that democratic nations do not have this kind of corruption? All I can say is that every news-worthy incident which I have ever witnessed in the UK (including strikes, air crashes, fires etc.) was reported except one:

    The Duke of Edinburgh visited my university and acted like a perfect fool – asking why people who are dyslexic do not use dictionaries, only bothering to shake the hands of half of the reception committee (although, admittedly, it was a large committee), asking what ‘USSU’ stood for when there was a great big sign saying “USSU: University of Sussex Student’s Union” etc. However, when I looked in the newspaper the next day all there was was a picture of him examining a robot in one of the university science labs – I guess the fact that he behaves like this is no longer considered newsworthy (although the newspapers will report when he says something particularly bad). Is this the same as, say, the newspapers failing to report a bus exploding? No.

    @Bob – Threadjack. I posted my response in the open thread.

  74. Wukailong Says:

    @Bob (#65): “his [DL] close association with Nazi SS officer, or convicted Tokyo subway terrorist”

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the question is:

    * Do you think Dalai Lama were sitting with Harrer, musing about persecuting jews, the final solution and how to wage war against the Soviet Union? The latter left Nazi Germany before the outbreak of the war. According to this article, Simon Wiesenthal, who spent most of his life hunting fugitive nazis, said he wasn’t guilty of any wrongdoing:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article786458.ece

    * Do you think DL were sitting with Shoko Asahara musing about how to kill as much as people as possible? Of course not, he got in touch with Asahara when the latter was just the leader of a cult.

    I’m saying this because this reasoning, guilt by association, could easily be used against the Chinese government as well. That doesn’t say anything, though – Deng Xiaoping is still the great architect of reform even though he had contacts with Pol Pot and in 1984 said that he couldn’t understand why people would want to remove him [Pol Pot]:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/usa-pol-pot-t14391/index.html?s=9f976ab6fa7b198f6a7b5d47ba45807e&t=14391

  75. Jason Says:

    @FOARP

    I believe AP is sourcing the AFP article of a woman’s recount of the stabbing at the train station.

    Since the report made by AFP is Sept 4th, the woman said that this happened “”the day before yesterday at the train station.” so the date is Sept 2nd.

    http://www3.mb.com.ph/node/219039/woman-recount

    4. Irrelevant to our argument.

  76. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To WKL:
    well said.

    To FOARP:
    oh, I agree. I may speak wistfully of fair trials, presumptions of innocence, and the like. But if this were Vegas, my money would squarely be on those 4 guys becoming the punchline of a cautionary tale.

  77. FOARP Says:

    @Jason – This account shows exactly what I was talking about:

    1) She was unaware that she had actually been attacked.

    2) She was unable to identify any assailants, although “there were some Uighur right near me” (in Urumqi, at a train station – who would have thought it?)

    3) She did not identify the weapon used.

    Did she actually report being attacked then? No, she reported receiving a wound.

    Are there other ways in which someone standing in a crowd at a train station can suffer such a wound? Yes, many other ways.

    Are these ways more likely than the way which the authorities have put forward? I don’t know, but I suspect they might be.

    And since our source for the ‘plot’ is the Chinese authorities, their change of heart only in the face of demonstrations casts doubt on them as a source of information – no?

    @WKL – Bob at 65 was pure thread-jacking of the kind which happens way too often on this site – I suggest you guys go to the open thread to discuss it.

  78. Bob Says:

    @Wukailong #74, Heinrich Harrer may not have a direct role in mass killing Jews, but his Nazi ideology is not to be denied. Or else why would he voluntarily joined and became an upper echelon Nazi member? Circumstantially, how could one explain all the racial(ist) remarks spewed by Dalai Lama over the years? You wouldn’t think some indoctrination by a Nazi elite planted deep seed in the mind of a young Buddhist monk? If you have not read the Shadow of Dalai Lama (http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Contents.htm), maybe you should now.

    “Do you think DL were sitting with Shoko Asahara musing about how to kill as much as people as possible? Of course not, he got in touch with Asahara when the latter was just the leader of a cult.”

    Simple answer: it takes one cult leader to know another.

    “I’m saying this because this reasoning, guilt by association, could easily be used against the Chinese government as well. That doesn’t say anything, though – Deng Xiaoping is still the great architect of reform even though he had contacts with Pol Pot and in 1984 said that he couldn’t understand why people would want to remove him [Pol Pot]”

    This just falls flat. CCP’s revolutionary history is known to be bloody and brutal at times, what’s your point?

  79. Shane9219 Says:

    @FOARP #77

    Like a few western media reports I read, they chose not to dig into the fact that there are over 170 cases of people with clear needle attacking wound, they chose to focus on why there are over 500 reporting cases while only 170 cases have confirmed needle marks.

    These people ignore a simple fact that a clear and long lasting needle mark depends on many factors such as the angel of stabbing, the size of needle and the depth of stabbing etc.

    Those strange argument and logic put these people into a strange position ridiculed by their own argument.

  80. Jason Says:

    @FOARP

    Now you are going off base here with our argument of (you say: Protest first and attack second AND I say: You were wrong and attack was first and protesting the attack was second).

  81. Raj Says:

    This isn’t a discussion about the Dalai Lama, Nazis, etc – no more threadjacking, please.

  82. Wukailong Says:

    Well, I actually helped fuel that off-topic discussion. Shame on me.

    The open thread could be more specific. Perhaps it would be better to have specific threads on people’s hobbyhorses, such as a DL thread, a Xinjiang thread or a Taiwan thread, and let people chat away on the topics there. Then it would be easy to just give pointers like, “I’ve heard that argument before, it’s answered in #4″.

  83. FOARP Says:

    @Shane –

    “Recent syringe attacks on hundreds of innocent people are coward (speak COWARD three times here!!!) “

    “Right now is muslin Ramadan. So it is really despicable
    for a few Ulghur separatists to attack innocent people during period of muslin fasting.”

    “Recent hundreds of syringe attacks by Ulghur separatists meant to terrorize Han population, specially by targeting children and women.”

    I see a lot of condemnatory language here for people who no real evidence other than apparent puncture wounds on people who may have obtained the wounds in another way (in a city of millions of people how may accidentally cut/stab themselves every day? Even if it is only one in ten thousand then it would give numbers in the hundreds) and none of whom seem able to identify their attackers. The one instance where someone claimed to have suffered a puncture wound before the demonstrations that has been quoted was only reported after the demonstrations actually took place.

    Meantime, 5 people were killed in demonstration in which the police reportedly deployed tear gas and beat and threatened journalists. Who is responsible for the deaths? How did they occur? It would seem that some people here do not think this is an important issue, and prefer to focus on what is very possibly a largely or wholly false story.

  84. tommydickfingers Says:

    at last. it took 83 comments before anyone made the most important point. Five people were brutally killed by a mob (as opposed to 100 or so pricked by a needle/imagining they were pricked by a needle – either way, no-one has actually reported to have been sick as a result) and yet the media has almost completely ignored this/ No mention of the deaths, no mention of the capturing of the assailants, no mention of the warnings of the death sentences that will be handed out.

    seems to me that china has got its news priorities mixed up on this one. and seems like a lot on here are playing along.

    stick to the real issue. innocents killed by han mob.

  85. FOARP Says:

    @TDF – “innocents killed by han mob”

    As far as I can work out the people who died in the protests were Han killed in demonstrations against the government. It has not been revealed how they died, but you can bet it wasn’t from natural causes.

  86. Shane9219 Says:

    @ FOARP/TDF

    Those 5 death were under thorough investigation. That was also one of the reasons that two high-level officials got removed. If those official acted earlier on wide-spread needle attacks in a forceful and swift way, people would not try to take matters on their own hands.

    As from your typically biased view towards China, you have pathetically disregarded and downplayed the suffering of an innocent population under a pre-mediated well-organized terrorist crime since 7-5, instead of focusing on a few ACCIDENTS.

    Clearly, you guys are on the same boat as those racist and separatist criminals in Xinjiang, just like their mastermind Kadear.

    Don’t you know Kadear has been fighting for a racist and separatist cause, something she personally revealed during an interview with a Italy newspaper .

  87. Raj Says:

    Shane, I’ve asked you nicely more than once to be civil. Accusing other members of being in the same boat as racists and criminals (whether or not one agrees such people as you describe are like that) is an attempt to provoke a reaction. You’ve done this repeatedly on this blog. Your actions are disruptive and therefore not acceptable.

    Now you can pretend I’m not making these points, but if you do so you can explain to the admin why you feel you can ignore requests for you to stop this behaviour.

    Earlier in this thread you implied I had to watch my step. Well I think it’s you that needs to tread more carefully in future.

  88. Shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    Just like you enjoyed and used various of ways of accusing and censoring opinions from many other people, whose opinions you don’t agree, it is only fair when you put yourself into front of criticism in a voluntary fashion. So far, you have not yet demonstrate such willingness, but often blow off your anger with steam …

    Being critical on opinions of other people is the normal part of a civil discussion. Criticism can be harsh at time, especially when opinions from two sides are too far part. Harsh criticism does not measure up to be “non-civil manner” as you called. You can be assured to hear far worse criticism in UK House of Common or US Congress than calling opponents “being on the same boat of enemies” :-)

    I would advise you not to hide behind your own “civil code” to fend off criticism. You could read more unpleasant words if you wanted to stay on this “For China” forum, while being a China hater or basher.

  89. tommydickfingers Says:

    shane – five people killed is some accident

    foarp – I wasn’t sure how the poeple died or what ethnicity there was as I have yet to see any reports. will take your word for it though.

  90. hzzz Says:

    I think the problem with ethnic relationships within China has a lot more to do with clash of cultures than anything else. To simply pin the issue on the Chinese government is over reaching. The Uighur’s reputation for being thieves and drug dealers in just about everywhere but Xinjiang has more to do with how some of them behave in other areas in China rather than the usual CCP propaganda constantly reminding hans that Uighurs are nice and friendly people.

    While I do agree that the issue of ethnic tensions in China should be studied throughly, the problem is that this is such a polarized issue that any information gathered on this will be politicized. I also do not believe there are many people who are qualified to do any objective analysis on this matter. Even if they do, I am sure they will be accused of being biased. I think the best thing to do is to have multiple studies published by known biased sources from different groups and let people decide for themselves.

    Lastly I am not sure if it’s in anyone’s best interest to open this can of warms because such ethnic issues cannot be solved easily without major drastic measures which people are simply not going to agree with. The level of ethnic violence in China is somewhat mild comparing to other south east sian nations such as India, Indonesia, etc. Even in Western democracies with freedom of speech, some races face much steeper hardships financially and are much more likely to be persecuted despite heavy affirmative action programs forced upon all industries.

  91. FOARP Says:

    @Shane –

    “ACCIDENTS”

    People do not suddenly drop dead in a demonstration by accident. The fact that government officials resigned suggests that the police caused the deaths – not so?

    Since from the first I have described Kadeer’s comments on the riots as ‘fanciful’, perhaps you had better change your tack?

  92. kui Says:

    “The fact that government officials resigned suggests that the police caused the deaths – not so?’

    So, government officials resigned=police caused the deaths to you??????:D

  93. Raj Says:

    Shane

    Don’t try to hide your responsibility. I am not talking about any comments made towards myself, I’m talking about how you interact with other people here. You can criticise someone without making personal comments and whilst remaining civil. Civility helps keep discussions on course. You know that and I know that. That you choose to do otherwise shows you wish to create trouble and/or drive other people away.

    This is the last time I’m going to discuss this with you. I’ve made my position clear, and if you have a problem with it you can talk to the admin. However, in future you will receive no more warnings or requests to behave.

  94. Raj Says:

    So, government officials resigned=police caused the deaths to you?

    Kui, I think he’s saying that one interpretation of the resignation/firing of officials is that it indicates that the Police had responsibility over the deaths – either because they caused them or failed to prevent them. For that reason, the people in charge of the Police had to go.

  95. FOARP Says:

    @Kui –

    1) ‘Suggests’ means that it looks a likely explanation – not that I am certain of it.

    2) The deaths of five citizens in a demonstration is, by any measure, a more serious matter than these ‘attacks’ – is it then not likely that this is the cause of the resignations? And if they had responsibility, is it not then most likely that it was the response of the authorities, and not the actions of the demonstrators, that caused the deaths?

    3) I do not know how the demonstrators died, but from what has been reported of the demonstrations, potentially deadly means were used to control the crowd – is it too much of a stretch to say that, all things being equal, these were most probably the cause of the deaths?

    At any rate, we know how the people who were killed in July died – in fact their story has been recounted in explicit detail in both the national and and the international media. The authorities have not seen fit to reveal the details in this case though.

  96. kui Says:

    FOARP,

    ‘Meantime, 5 people were killed in demonstration in which the police reportedly deployed tear gas and beat and threatened journalists.” I think your interpretion comes from there.

    I have seen some report from Chinese media back in July about journalists being unprofessional to the extend that they were actually encouraging Uighurs to resort to violence. There were angry Hans who confronted western journalists. There are reports in this case (again from Chinese media) that some Hongkong based journalists were detained because they manipulated an already angry Han crowd. Hans protested to voice their disapproval of the party chief because of his failure to deliever security. From what is reported by Chinese media, the party chief was directly targeted by the crowd. These two top officials were sacked because they “不得人心”(lost support from the people.)

    Did five people die? How did these five people die? I do not know. There is not enough details given by journalists or Chinese government. When people die they do not evaporate from the earth. There would be bodies, crying families, blood on street, witness, mobile phone photoes….. The July killing of mostly Hans by Uighurs is well recorded with plenty of evidence. This case is not. Lack of hard evidence. I think the reporters were unsure about it themself, tear gas usually would not kill. And these journalists obviously have no evidence against the police using deadly force. Nor was there any evidence support the journalists beaten and threaten story? Many be they do not know enough to give details, or they do not want to report the details or they think it wasnot newsworthy????. Were they at the scene? They did not claim they were barred from reporting. I believe a protest of tens of thousands in XINjiang would attract more than 3 Hongkong based journalists? If these 3 journalists were beaten and threaten and therefore could not collect any evidence of government using deadly force where were the rest of journalists??? Were they all beaten and threaten??? Who are these journalists??? Names???How come they could not produce any evidence, a photo or some thing to support that the government using deadly force? They did not claim these people were killed by police, did they???

    This is a very weak claim by itself with no direct evidence to support it.

    The report of Hongong based journalists manipulating the Han crowd is probably Chinese government’s side of the story. Five people killed and journalists beaten and threaten for no reason story (With no direct evidence supporting the report)will be taken as truth by western public as they believe the Chinese government are thugs and goons.

  97. FOARP Says:

    “There were angry Hans who confronted western journalists.”

    Are you refering to the correspondent for The Telegraph who was set on by a group of Han?

    “I have seen some report from Chinese media back in July about journalists being unprofessional to the extend that they were actually encouraging Uighurs to resort to violence.”

    I would like to see these reports – and does this have any relevance to this month’s incidents?

    ““不得人心”(lost support from the people.)

    If this has become a sackable offence, then many people in the Chinese government will lose their jobs . .

    “There is not enough details given by journalists . .”

    Actually, there is plenty – of being beaten up and abused, and prevented from covering the demonstrations by the police. Here’s a recent question asked by an HK journalist at a PRC foreign ministry press conference:

    “顶无线的林子在外交部发布会上问姜瑜:“请问你们是否同意新疆方面的调查结果?请问我是不是应该现在回去投案?”

    As for this:

    “Nor was there any evidence support the journalists beaten and threaten story?”

    Well none, except for their own reports, the reports of their colleagues, and the fact that it reportedly happened in separate independent incidents.

    “Five people killed and journalists beaten and threaten for no reason story (With no direct evidence supporting the report)will be taken as truth by western public as they believe the Chinese government are thugs and goons.”

    The report of five people dead comes from the Chinese government, who refused to reveal the cause of their deaths, nor have they denied the HK journalists’ story.

  98. kui Says:

    The report I referred to is from following site:

    http://www.popyard.org/

    You can use their search engine to find the story.

    “““不得人心”(lost support from the people.)

    If this has become a sackable offence, then many people in the Chinese government will lose their jobs . .”
    You should find out how many Chinese officials have been sacked for that reason(whether the government made it clear is another matter). Obviously these two were the first? to attract such large crowd to demand their sacking.

    Claims are claims. If journalists are round up and beaten then produce evidence to back it. I mean hard evidence, photos, videoes, signs of injuries. If they are professional journalists then they are supposed to be trained to collect evidence to back their report not to report without evidence backing it. A question asked by journalists are not evidence. You probably still believe these journalists’ golden words. For me that trust was long gone.

    Chinese government’s report? Can you provide a link to it pls.

  99. hzzz Says:

    It seems that a lot of the arguments on this site go something like this:

    person A) I present point A
    person B) I don’t think so because the Chinese media said B
    person A) Chinese media is always wrong, give me more evidence
    person B) Prove Chinese media wrong, give me more evidence

    (repeat the last two steps)

    Why can’t people just accept that Chinese government can act like a thug AND at the same time Uighurs can act like terrorists? How many people can honestly say that is not the case?

  100. kui Says:

    “顶无线的林子在外交部发布会上问姜瑜:“请问你们是否同意新疆方面的调查结果?请问我是不是应该现在回去投案?”

    That sounds like investigation was carried out. It also sounds like there is a case against the journalists? By the Xinjiang government? I have seen the report against Xinjiang government’s investigation results. But, again it was full of opinions, no hard evidence. I have not seen the investigation report from the Xinjiang government anywhere. Gee, they are slow. The report you got from the Chinese government does not deny the journalist’s story? Are you talking about the same report as the Xinjiang government investigation report? FOARP, can you provide the link to Chinese government’s report please or Xinjinang local government’s report?

  101. kui Says:

    @FOARP

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8239432.stm

    http://china.blog.time.com/2009/09/07/the-new-normal-for-urumqi/

    These two both reported the confirmation from the Chinese government that five died during the protest. I notice one thing from these two reports that the Chinese government confirmed “two innocent civilians” among the five dead. Still, I think what you suggested (police killed these people with deadly force) is from nowhere. I still have not seen any report that suggests police using deadly force (except from you) or provide any evidence backing it. May be I am too slow to get the news. Also these reports shy away from the Hongkong journalists story, why?

  102. Bob Says:

    @FOARP # 63 : “Let me tell you about some of my experiences with the Mainland Chinese media: ”

    @FOARP # 73: “@Bob – Threadjack. I posted my response in the open thread.”

    The “experiences” FOARP shared in # 63 had no direct relevance to the thread topic. The only purpose it serves was to rehash the tired old notion how selective PRC’s media is. I countered that mainstream Western media isn’t much more exemplary is this regard with a specific example. I am not aware there exists such a rule that when giving example(s) to buttress one’s argument, mere mentioning Dalai Lama is a taboo on this site.

    @Raj # 81: “This isn’t a discussion about the Dalai Lama, Nazis, etc – no more threadjacking, please.”

    Discussion about Dalai Lama wasn’t intended. See above.

  103. sids Says:

    China is stuck in a hard place regarding Xinjiang. With the recent riots and current rumor syringe attacks, just sacking two top official will not solve anything because the problem in Xinjiang lies deeper than that.

    Firstly, the amount of chinese (majority hans) migrating to Xinjiang in the past few years, cause panic to the ughirs of assimilation and taking their jobs. But chinese government really cannot restrict the migration of its own people looking for opportunity elsewhere within the country.

    Secondly if the Ughirs really want to wage a gurrilla type wars ( i.e urban type terrorist attack), it will be tough for the chinese government to fully crackdown. Unless they lockdown all the city that is getting attack in Xinjiang but its really unfair to the people in Xinjiang who just want to get on with thier life peacefully and it could last alongtime.

    Thirdly the media in the west ain’t helping by not holding a neutral stance with article regarding Xinjiang and Tibet. Whenever something happen in Xinjiang or when the Ughirs exile speak up against the chinese government. The western media will happily fill 90% of their article talking about how Ughirs people is getting oppress by the chinese government. Usually the other 10% in the article present the other side of the story to make it look like a newsworthy unbias article. ( i know what Raj and others will say ” atleast the west media give 10% space to present other side of the story while the state own news will be 100% in favour of the chinese government) .
    I hope those people that dont like the chinese state media won’t think that way. You guys always give the benefit of the doubt to article that is agaisnt the chinese government but when its on the other side of the coin you guys give the benefit of the doubts to the otherside against the chinese state run media. I hope you guys should really think deep. If the western media always print article not checking the source and facts regarding the news and let those exile ughirs think they can get away with it. When they really try to promote terrorist attack within Xinjiang and the west media wont care one bit and whatever the chinese state media say will get ignore because the west wont trust them. You guys will unintentionally promoting terrorist attacks, and the people you try to protect will end up be the people that will get hurt on both side and actually will make the situation worst.

    Fourthly whatever the chinese government do good in Xinjiang will not get reported in the mainstream western media and whenever the bad things they do will get magnifer 10 times. The chinese government will always be the loser in the eye of the western opinions.

    My solution for the problem in Xinjiang its easy said than done. Just promote equality of race in china as awhole with the minority. Let them know that they are part of china that they wont get discriminate anywhere within china in terms of education, job and government position ect… Promote education and raise the living of standard in Xinjiang could go alongway to ease the tension in the area.

  104. miaka9383 Says:

    @Sids
    How do you suggest Chinese Government promote equality of race when minorities ARE being discriminated for jobs any part of China?

    Also whatever Chinese government does good for the community is their job. It should not be publicized. Whatever it is bad, it should be criticized. Just like I don’t talk about the good in my State Government because whatever good that they do for its citizen it is their duty and job. But when there is corruption, there are voices that openly criticize it.
    Also, how do you suggest Western Media check their sources when they cannot obtain any? Except from the other side? This topic has been discussed over and over and from a balanced point of view how can ANY media check any sources when the sources are not open to them? So they are just suppose to take the government at its worth? We have seen all over the world that all governments lie to protect themselves, whether it is local or central government. How do you expose their corruption and mistakes when they have EVERY power to cover it up? Regardless of what the other side says or thinks, it is the DUTY of the Central Chinese Government to keep an eye out on its local government and make sure that local region is prosperous and everyone can make a living and able to feed themselves and protect its people from fear whether it is from Ughers fearing Han Chinese moving into their territory or the Han Chinese are in fear of their lives from terrorists. They need to erase that fear… how? make things transparent and not lie or even better, stop covering things UP!

  105. Raj Says:

    What I’m confused about are these “innocent civilians”. Why are only two of them innocent – what about the other three? If they were guilty of saying something, why not say two bystanders were murdered and three criminals killed? And why no details of how they died?

    sids

    I’m afraid you’re quite wrong over controlling the flow of people. Beijing actively encouraged Han people to move to Xinjiang for a long time. It’s not exactly the most beautiful and comfortable part of the country. If Beijing wanted to allow the Uighurs to remain the ethnic majority in that region it could have done so. Even today Chinese people can’t choose the city they live in. If they move to the “wrong” one they lose all privileges official residents can enjoy. If newly-arrived Han people lost those rights in Xinjiang most would leave.

    The Chinese government has treated foreign journalists with hostility for decades. After all that bad treatment, why should they suddently trust the Chinese authorities? If China wants more positive reporting, it needs to allow free access without harassment with the aim that future Chinese adminstrations will benefit.

    Remember that even in our own countries the media will hound our governments over perceived failures, whether the criticisms are fair or not. Do you expect our media to be kinder to China than they are to our own countries just because the Chinese government can’t handle the criticism?

    In any case I think miaka makes good points. For example, what’s the point in back-slapping? I think some Chinese people have got too used to it. It doesn’t help deal with outstanding problems. We should focus on uncovering and dealing with injustice and suffering rather than congratulate ourselves about people who don’t need assistance. As miaka says, lies and deception don’t solve problems. Being honest about them puts you on the road to a solution.

  106. miaka9383 Says:

    Of course, I am not saying that the Chinese government lie all the time or cover things up all the time for the local government. I think we can safely assume that sometimes central government are not aware of the levels of corruptions that goes into these local governments. However, it does not help any when ANY forms of media or person gets punished or just harrassed for uncovering these corruption.

    I know it is very hypocritical of me when I am critcizing Chinese government’s corruption since we as americans have institutionalize these corruption (lobbying and special interest groups). However, the difference that I see is that if we ever decide to investigate, we can find out who contribute to what senator’s campaign fund whereas in China, if I pissed off the wrong people, I might go to Jail.

  107. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Sids #103:
    well said. You’ve made good points. And you’ve already identified the likely areas of objection, which Miaka and Raj expanded upon.

    So rather than rehash things, I just wanted to ask about this statement:
    “When they really try to promote terrorist attack within Xinjiang and the west media wont care one bit and whatever the chinese state media say will get ignore because the west wont trust them.”
    —First, Chinese state media doesn’t enjoy much trust because she hasn’t done a lot to earn it, and it can certainly be argued that she’s done her darndest to erode it. But this is reversible with time, and hopefully it will. Second, especially in a post 9/11 world, I think people are responsive to condemning acts of terrorism, when they are presented with evidence of same. However, it seems that, when it comes to this sort of thing, China is fairly quick to affix labels, but moves with less urgency in providing proof of same. If China wants us to believe that she is the victim of terrorism, she should show us why she thinks so, without the repeated use of euphemisms like “maintaining social stability”.

  108. Jason Says:

    @How do you suggest Chinese Government promote equality of race when minorities ARE being discriminated for jobs any part of China?

    Are you serious, miaka? Can you show me proof of your outrageous claim?

    Do you ever thought about that most of the Uighurs has simple life and they want to leave their rural areas?

    If they ever leave rural areas and came to urban areas to make a living to a mid-level to high-level business, they should learn English and/or Chinese and a full knowledge of the economic spectrum (and without any help from the Chinese educational system which increase their test scores to their original score).

    And second I have seen again and again about the obsession-istic argument of unfair treatment of the Uighur in Xinjiang by the Chinese detractors.

    Seriously, it has nothing to do with the current situation. The two Uighurs died in Guangdong NOT in Xinjiang. And this was a result of a disgruntled Han who has been fired by his Han boss. The real situation was that a woman who seemed puzzled where her room is accidentally came to a room where some Uighur were there so she yelled. The disgruntled Han who got fired thought those men raped the women and told rumors about it and the violence ensued.

    Also:

    As far as US journalists criticize their own government, sure there is some but never in the MSM and not as popular as Western media criticize Chinese government.

    Here ‘s a wonderful example how there’s massive press on Roxana Saberi and just a pinch of journalist who is been jailed by the US govt provided by my favorite US blogger Glenn Greenwald:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/11/journalists/index1.html

    And the lone voice in the Congressional stand who points to US hypocrisy: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/06/03/ron-paul-on-tiananmen-resolution-lets-care-to-our-own-house/

  109. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Jason:

    it is beyond unfortunate that 2 men who died after being wrongfully and mistakenly accused has somehow resulted in 3 months of violence and racial tension. It speaks to the racial powderkeg that exists just below the surface in some parts of CHina, which is in and of itself unfortunate.

    Ron Paul and our very own Charles sometimes seem like twins who have become separated.

    Do you mean to suggest that American mainstream media don’t criticize their own government? We must frequent very different outlets of said media.

  110. Jason Says:

    @SKC: Do you mean to suggest that American mainstream media don’t criticize their own government? We must frequent very different outlets of said media?

    You have no idea how Washington Post and New York Times editorials view on torture looks like propaganda pieces.

  111. Raj Says:

    Jason

    Please stay on topic. How American journalists report on the arrest of Iraqi journalists in comparison to Iranian ones and whether Congress should make resolutions on Tiananmen isn’t relevant to Xinjiang’s future. The topic isn’t that the American media is perfect.

    You have no idea how Washington Post and New York Times editorials view on torture looks like propaganda pieces.

    Even assuming that’s true, there are other newspapers. In a free media you can’t ban outlets from sharing views you don’t like. The fact is that there are a very wide range of views in the American media, including on politicians and the government, that you just don’t get in China.

  112. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Raj:
    agreed.

    To Jason:
    perhaps you haven’t read the WP and NYT editorials that were less kind towards “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Besides, as Raj suggested, are we back to taking the opinion of some editorialists to represent the journalistic trajectory of entire news organizations?

  113. rolf Says:

    rolf, you’ve been warned against thread-jacking and off-topic nonsense before.

    Post deleted

  114. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Here we go again…Gosh, if Pavlov hadn’t come up with his experiments back then, this would be a suitable replacement that would’ve allowed him to arrive at similar conclusions.

  115. Shane9219 Says:

    @Raj #93

    I had been nice to answer your accusation, but please don’t get too nasty. As matter of fact, your post is not worthy a rebuttal. Resorting with your method of threatening voice is useless.

    @Admin

    If this public forum was set up with main purpose to present “For China” POV. Then it should not become a play ground for those China haters and bashers, especially to let some people abusing their editorial power, regardless who started a thread

    If you look at my posts here, it showed I been willing to engage different POVs, in fact, in very civil fashion.

  116. Shane9219 Says:

    China’s Muslims date back to Tang era

    “Although Muslims only account for 1.5 percent of China’s population, their absolute number is not to be underestimated: 20 million.

    Muslim communities can be found throughout China, but most of them are in Northwestern China, especially in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

    Ten of the 56 ethnic groups in China believe in Islam: the Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Ozbek, Tatar, Tajik, Dongxiang, Salar, and Bonan. There are more than 34,000 mosques and more than 45,000 imams in China. Most Chinese Muslims are Sunnis.

    It was in the mid 7th century, not long after Mohammed died, that Arabic envoys and merchants began to bring Islam to the Middle Kingdom. Arabic and Persian merchants reached Southern and Southwestern China by sea, and reached Chang’an, today’s Xi’an through the Silk Road.

    With the permission of the Tang (AD 618-907) and Song (960-1127) dynasties, Arabs and Persians established communities in the cities of Guangzhou, Yangzhou, Quanzhou, Hangzhou, Chang’an, Kaifeng, and Luoyang. Abiding by Chinese laws, they kept their religion but intermarried with Chinese.

    During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), hundreds of thousands of soldiers, craftsmen and religious scholars from West and Central Asia moved to China, which further helped the dissemination of Islam in China.

    The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had the first written record of Chinese Muslims performing the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. Some historians believe the famous Chinese Muslim mariner and diplomat Zheng He (1371-1433) performed the Hajj during his voyage to Arabia.

    After the founding of New China in 1949, the China Islamic Association was established in 1953.

    The number of Chinese Muslims who perform the hajj has been increasing in recent years. Last year, the number exceeded 10,000 for the first time.”

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-05/12/content_7768756.htm

    Muslims in Beijing pray on Djumah Day

    “Muslims pray on the Djumah Day in Niujie mosque, Beijing’s largest Muslim neighborhood of Niujie Street, China, July 24, 2009. Niujie, with about 12,000 Muslims, dates back more than 1,000 years. The Niujie Mosque has been standing since 996AD”

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-07/24/content_8471342.htm

  117. Shane9219 Says:

    Rumormonger of Urumqi riots arrested

    “Kurban Khayum, a member of the World Uygur Congress (WUC), was arrested for exaggerating the death toll of a factory unrest involving Uygurs in Shaoguan, Guangdong province in June.

    Earlier that month, the 32-year-old had been instructed by WUC secretary-general Dolqun Isa, to “gather intelligence on separatist activities in China by Uygurs and people of other ethnic groups… in order to carry out activities to split China,” according to the statement.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-08/06/content_8533262.htm

  118. Jason Says:

    @Raj, SKC:

    Quoting Michael Parenti: “The U.S. major media and much of the minor media are not free and independent, as they claim. They are not the watchdog of democracy but the lapdog of the national security state. They help reverse the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers. The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth.”

    Examples of that:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/05/the-nyt-finally-prints-torture.html
    (To: SKC, all NY times editorials and their history of reporting torture [see how they report torture on other countries comparing to us])

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/the-nyt-and-torture-a-brief-recent-history.html
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/who-was-behind-the-wapo-torture-propaganda-piece.html

  119. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Jason:
    I’m heartened that Mr. Parenti and Mr. Sullivan share your point of view. Such is their purview, and yours. And that makes at least 3 of you who espouse that perspective. But I hope you’re not suggesting that the opinions of 2 editorialists prove your assertions about the opinions of all editorialists (well, all minus 2, I suppose, since these 2 guys apparently haven’t been hoodwinked like all the rest).

    To Raj:
    I respect your role in trying to keep the discussion on track, in your capacity as moderator of this thread. However, recent history suggests that every time you delete a thread, your exercise of that capacity will be questioned, followed by justifications on your part. All the while, the discussion becomes more side-tracked, not less. I would suggest your merely collapse stuff unless they are truly egregious, and that might elicit less whining from certain quarters.

    To Shane #116:
    thanks for the history lesson. And your point is?

    To Shane #117:
    for the statement in paragraph #2 to have any semblance of legitimacy, it really should be prefaced with “allegedly”. That being said, I have taken note of the source, and should’ve known better than to have such expectations.

  120. hzzz Says:

    “How do you suggest Chinese Government promote equality of race when minorities ARE being discriminated for jobs any part of China?”

    Oh really? The on going price to hire a Caucasian english teacher in Shanghai is about 30k USD/year, or about 20 times an average Chinese english teacher makes. Who are you to say that Chinese companies are rejecting people based on their race/ethnicities rather than their skill sets? Furthermore, what can the government do about this other than Affirmative Action, which the Chinese government has already implemented at many levels? Also, isn’t affirmative action itself a form of discrimination?

    “Also whatever Chinese government does good for the community is their job. It should not be publicized. Whatever it is bad, it should be criticized. Just like I don’t talk about the good in my State Government because whatever good that they do for its citizen it is their duty and job. But when there is corruption, there are voices that openly criticize it.”

    I don’t see the logic in this. When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of policies, which I believe is the case here, of course both the good and bad should be discussed. For any rational decision to be made, both the pros and cons should be weighed. That would not be possible if the media only cover one side of the story, or if the reader actively choose to only accept one side while completely rejecting another which is typical of the China-basher types.

    Take for example the topic of Chinese government’s policy to invest in the Xinjiang region which resulted in millions of Hans migrants moving into the region. On one hand Uighurs feel their culture is being threatened, on the other hand the expansion into this region also gave more opportunities to millions, Uighurs, Hui, Hans, and others.

    A lot of people who complain about Han’s culture dominance also complain that Uighurs, Tibetans, etc do not have enough jobs. Ironically without the Chinese government heavily investing in these regions these minorities would even have less jobs. The reason why so such people cannot make this simple connection is because they focus only on the flaws of this policy while willingly ignoring the benefits.

  121. Steve Says:

    @ Shane #116: I collapsed your remark because you just posted an entire article without any comment as to its relevance per the discussion. If you want to reference an article, provide a link, post excerpts and add your thoughts why it is appropriate to this thread.

  122. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Hzzz #120:
    “That would not be possible if the media only cover one side of the story, or if the reader actively choose to only accept one side while completely rejecting another”
    —it will be fantastic when China can reach the point that both sides of a story can be reported, and for both to be done with credibility. Right now, one side might be more believable than the other; at times, it seems neither side is believable.

  123. Raj Says:

    Jason (118)

    As I said previously that is not what this thread is about. Next time you post comments so obviously off-topic (whether on this thread or another of mine) I will consider deletion.

    SKC (119)

    Please do not respond to such obviously off-topic comments. I know you “suffer no fools” but feeding the fire is also against the conduct rules.

  124. hzzz Says:

    “it will be fantastic when China can reach the point that both sides of a story can be reported, and for both to be done with credibility. Right now, one side might be more believable than the other; at times, it seems neither side is believable.”

    Yes, that would be for the best. I have written here a few times that the free media is the best way to improve efficiency in a system and to fight corruption. China should continue to open up its media and allow for critics.

    Yet that is clearly a different point from the post I was responding to. The poster’s position was that the media should only report the bad and not the good because it should be assumed that government should always do good. That appears to be the some kind of justification for Western media’s obvious bias against China. I find that position odd and unconvincing. Any person who advocates truth in media would surely demand accuracy and accountability not only from the Chinese media, but also the Western media as well. Yet the criticisms are almost entirely one-sided.

    Furthermore, given the fact that both Western and Chinese media are unlikely to change their attitude any time soon, for those of us who have access to both why not take both sides into consideration when we form our opinions? Why do so many of us continue to completely trust one source while discounting the other? Are there studies out there which compare the accuracy of the Western media on China vs. the Chinese media on itself to help us form our opinion about the state of media? Or do people just automatically discount the Chinese media because they are heavily biased and brainwashed themselves?

  125. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj #123

    FYI: I also witnessed your recent deletion of posts made by “dewang”

  126. shane9219 Says:

    @hzzz #124

    Western media recently strongly criticized bilingual education in Xinjiang. This is a simple example of western media’s hypocrisy and bias.

    Mandarin is the standard language in China, why western media bad-mouth China for its push of bilingual education on its soil? Nowadays, even foreigners try hard to learn Mandarin. Without having good English skills, can anyone get a decent job in Australia, GB and US? Let’s not mention other places like India.

    Uighur population traditionally are small street vendors and farmers of a small land patch . They had little desire to limit their family size. It is typical to see a Uighur family with a dozen kids. So what they can spend on their children’ education is much less than equivalent family of Han population. So how can these people get decent jobs without good Mandarin skill and education.

    Without good language skill and education, they are often not aware of what is going on outside their small circle as well as the whole nation, and susceptible to rumors and racial incitement by outside Turkic people.

  127. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To hzzz #124:
    “The poster’s position was that the media should only report the bad and not the good because it should be assumed that government should always do good. That appears to be the some kind of justification for Western media’s obvious bias against China.”
    —I think Miaka feels that should be the case both for reporting about China and about the US. If government’s job is to serve her people well, then is an independent media’s job to trumpet a government that is simply doing what it should, or is it to hold their feet to the fire when it isn’t? Do you think CHina’s media is more adept at the former, or the latter?

    “Any person who advocates truth in media would surely demand accuracy and accountability not only from the Chinese media, but also the Western media as well.”
    —agreed.

    “Yet the criticisms are almost entirely one-sided.”
    —which is a problem if you think such criticism is undeserved. If both sides are being accurate and accountable, yet criticism is one-sided, then I think you’ve got a problem.

    “Why do so many of us continue to completely trust one source while discounting the other?”
    —I wouldn’t say the trust is complete, nor is the discounting. That being said, trust is something that’s earned.

  128. hzzz Says:

    “If government’s job is to serve her people well, then is an independent media’s job to trumpet a government that is simply doing what it should, or is it to hold their feet to the fire when it isn’t? Do you think CHina’s media is more adept at the former, or the latter?”

    It depends on the aim of this “independent media” I guess. There is nothing wrong with biased think tanks, but it’s imperative that such bias is stated. I see the media as something like review sites whose function is to help serve citizens to make better decisions. To say that the “independent media” should only report the bad is like saying that product review sites should only report negative reviews because the official product site only posts positive reviews. Do we need negative information in order to help our decision making? Sure. But can we effectively make a decision based on negative news only? Of course not. In Miaka’s example, since it’s likely that I don’t live in her state I have no idea how her local government is doing. While she herself knows well about how her local government is doing, if all I read is negative news then I would foolishly into thinking that her local government is doing a terrible job although that may not be the case. For me then to give advice on how her local government should be run based on that information alone would be simply ignorant.

    In one of my earlier posts in the thread, I suggested that the media should declare its position clearly so that people can look at the other side before forming opinions. The Chinese media is an obvious instrument of the government. Should the Chinese media be more objective? Definitely. But it also has never pretended otherwise. I don’t know about “independent media” but most of the Western media declare themselves as objective when it comes to reporting. If a particular “independent media” outlet has a bias and states that outward then that’s fantastic because then objective readers will seek other information sources to balance out the views. The problem is when a media outlet pretends to be objective but is actually biased.

  129. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To hzzz:
    I agree with you to a point. Sometimes, i think using the term “media” is too broad a brush. These outlets serve (at least) 2 functions: reporting of the “news” (hopefully containing facts that have been verified; and if they’re not, hopefully clearly so stated); and having editorialists who “review” the news and add context and opinion. I think it ought to be assumed that anyone performing the latter function does so with their own inherent biases. I’m not sure anyone would read an op-ed of any flavour by any writer and take that as the unvarnished truth. As for the former function, if one stipulates that no media organization can report on everything, everywhere, all the time, and that some discretion is exercised in choosing what stories to pursue and what not to pursue, then I think it’s up to the consumer to decide if what they’re being fed is a reasonable facsimile of “truth” or not. Besides, I’m not sure Fox News needs to air a disclaimer that they’re actually biased.

  130. pug_ster Says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/16/world/main5315229.shtml

    China just broke up a a Uighur Bomb polt. It is interesting that the cbsnews says that Xijiang is not a ‘restive’ region but a volatile one.

  131. Steve Says:

    @ pug_ster #130: I think the article you linked to is a great example of how China mishandles the media outside of China. First of all, it’s fantastic that these guys were caught. Based on the story, they planned to kill many innocent people and were terrorists of the worst kind.

    But by releasing a story like this with nothing to back it up, the media is forced to use images that don’t fit the story. Look at this article and then look at the accompanying photo. It has nothing to do with the story. The Chinese government should have immediately released photos of the bomb factories and detailed information on where the factories were located, what they looked like and as many details as possible. But what did they release?

    “Forces arrested six suspects and seized large amounts of bomb-making materials in the raids, according to a notice posted on the Public Security Ministry Web site. Initial investigations showed the suspects had begun making bombs following deadly ethnic rioting in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi in July, the notice said. It did not say when the arrests were made and calls to Xinjiang regional police headquarters rang unanswered.

    The ministry said the gang had set up three bomb making workshops on the outskirts of the city of Aksu, about 430 miles (700 kilometers) southwest of Urumqi, and had already assembled 20 explosive devices, the ministry said. The gang had planned to place bombs on cars, motorcycles, and people and “carry out terrorist sabotage activities,” but were prevented from doing so by the timely police action, the notice said. The names of two men described by Xinhua as the gang’s ringleaders, Seyitamut Obul and Tasin Mehmut, appeared to identify them as members of the Turkic Muslim Uighur ethnic group, radicals among which have long fought Chinese rule in Xinjiang. “

    This is a very ineffective way to release the story. Everything reported is based on a press release. They should have handed out all kinds of photos of the suspects, finished bombs, the factories both inside and outside and given specifics. Then they should have arranged a tour of the facilities open to all reporters to back up what they said. But instead they don’t release any photos, give no names except to say who the ringleaders are, don’t say if the ringleaders are two of the six in custody, and don’t answer calls from reporters to police regional headquarters.

    This gives reporters very little to work with in writing the story. pug_ster, the reason they used the word “volatile” is because one of its meanings is “explosive”, which would certainly seem to fit this story. ;)

  132. real name Says:

    btw.
    there are signs that China is now seeking India’s cooperation to counter the Uighur “problem”
    http://www.gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/world/10348578.html

  133. Raj Says:

    SKC (129)

    Besides, I’m not sure Fox News needs to air a disclaimer that they’re actually biased.

    Exactly. Even in the UK people are aware of its political position. Similarly Channel 4 News is notorious for being at least centre-left and more generous to political parties like the Liberal Democrats than the Conservatives – they’ve also been soft on the ruling Labour Party from time-to-time.

    hzzz (128)

    To say that the “independent media” should only report the bad is like saying that product review sites should only report negative reviews because the official product site only posts positive reviews.

    No, it is not. You have good and bad reviews to help people make a decision about whether they should or should not buy an item. That has nothing to do with the situation we were talking about, which is an entire country. In a situation like that we’re all part of the “technical support team”. If we spend too much time wading through general platitudes and believing everything’s fine because most people are satisfied, we can’t see the problems that maybe affects only a minority but nonetheless must be adddressed.

    The Chinese media is an obvious instrument of the government. Should the Chinese media be more objective? Definitely. But it also has never pretended otherwise.

    Err, come on. Privately some Chinese journalists will admit they practice self-censorship, but in public their organisations will never admit they’re an obvious tool of the government. Even if they don’t promote themselves as a shining beacon of truth, they leave things ambiguous by never saying when they are a “tool”. So Chinese people either have to suspect every single news article or trust at least parts of the domestic media.

  134. real name Says:

    btw.
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2009/09/i-was-fact-checked-by-the-new-yorker.html

  135. Steve Says:

    @ real name: Excellent article, thanks!

  136. real name Says:

    134. unfortunately it’s not only standard
    f.e. inner = central (also after my email)
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article6828240.ece

  137. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Steve:
    doesn’t the Xinjiang Regional Police have a designated talking head? How can this police unit break up an apparent terrorist plot, then have no one to even answer the phone to disseminate the info further?

    Around here, that would call for a full-on press conference. That they would issue a press release with no opportunity for follow-up questions is bizarre.

  138. Steve Says:

    @ SKC #137: That’s why dumping it all on “western media” really isn’t accurate. Western media makes its share of stupid mistakes but much of that occurs because the Chinese government gives them so little to work with. So we have a vicious cycle where the CCP breaks a controversial story, the western media wants to write about it but gets very little information from the Chinese government so they call other sources and get information from them which contradicts the CCP version, the CCP screams bloody murder and says the western media is biased, repeat ad infinitum.

    If you’re even in Borders, Barnes & Noble or any major bookstore, try to find a book called “Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs” by Chuck Klosterman and then read Chapter 16 entitled “All I Know Is What I Read in the Papers”. It’ll explain exactly how media creates stories and what the deciding factors are. It’s the best single piece I’ve ever read as to how media really works. It is NOT pretty. The chapter is short so you can read it in the store and don’t even have to buy the book, though it’s a really good book and worth buying.

  139. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Steve:
    yeah, it’s like lather, rinse, repeat.

    As per usual, the “notice” lists all the transgressions as though they’re the whole truth and nothing but. Makes sense, really. Why get bogged down in something as mundane as proving the allegations in court. The Chinese system is far more efficient.

  140. pug_ster Says:

    @Steve 130,

    Perhaps that the Chinese Media doesn’t seem to be as detailed as Western Media. I think that’s the problem, the news are supposed to inform you what’s happening and not try to ‘emotionalize’ the news. Chinese media do just that, inform. Even the news that I watch in Hong Kong, they usually don’t have ‘experts’ who try to analyze the news because it tends to bias towards one way or another. Saying that, I think that much of the stuff is just shown on TV anyways and not online because online Chinese news is just on its infancy compared to Western Media.

    @SKC 139

    The US court system is a joke. For me, when I got a violation for something in my property. It took literally 2 years to get a summons, and 8 months to get a judgement. The housing court system here in NYC is literally a circus. I already went to court 4 times on one case, 2 of times the case was adjourned because there’s not enough available judges to hear my case. I’m awaiting to go back next month. Meanwhile, my lawyer is making a killing off from me.

  141. Raj Says:

    Guys, please avoid turning this into a discussion on legal systems. Thanks.

  142. Steve Says:

    @ pug_ster #130: I don’t think this has anything to do with the Chinese media, it has to do with the way the Chinese government informs all media. They gave a bare bones account of discovering several bomb factories with no photos or much in the way of specifics in order for the reporters to write their story.

    As far as Chinese media is concerned, it must be different in Chinese than the stuff I read from them in English. It is very biased, opinionated and predictable, and admittedly so. In western media, the vast majority of political editorializing takes place in the cable world. To be honest, I don’t watch those shows anymore so I can’t really say much about them except that when I did watch them, they were terrible and a complete waste of my time. They were also very biased, opinionated and predictable.

  143. shane9219 Says:

    >> Bilingual education promoted at kindergartens in Xinjiang

    A couple of pictures of kindergarten education in Xinjiang

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/14/content_12051691.htm

  144. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane,
    that’s interesting, but what’s that have to do with the recent topics of discussion, or the theme of this thread? Perhaps Open Thread would be more appropriate for this.

  145. shane9219 Says:

    @SKC #144

    The post’s title itself is a great and concrete answer to current Xinjiang problem.

    Look like you can grasp something really simple.

  146. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Dude,
    bilingual education cures all? From whose perspective?

    Simple strokes for simple folks, I guess.

    Just because the thread contains the word “Xinjiang” doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that happens in Xinjiang is relevant.

  147. shane9219 Says:

    @SKC

    It’s pity that you got raised and educated in Canada, speaking dialect of English well, but probably can’t grasp Chinese well … so why not search an answer from your own background …

  148. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Good god, can we dispense with the navel-gazing already.

    BTW, you should note that I came to Canada, so it behooves me to learn the language of the land (though sadly my French is not what it used to be). If Han Chinese go to Xinjiang, you might ask yourself how that serves as any parallel whatsoever.

  149. shane9219 Says:

    @SKC

    How possible you forget such a simple fact that Xinjiang is part of China for such a long long time.

    Did you ever expect Canada to be another HongKong, just because so many people there immigrated from HK ? :-)

  150. Steve Says:

    @ Shane: Same reasons as in the India/China thread.

  151. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane #149:
    are we doing the “historically it was such and such” and “it’s been there since such and such a dynasty” song and dance again? Isn’t there a different tune you bop to?

    As for your question, of course not, and should go without saying. But I have no idea what the point of your question is.

  152. shane9219 Says:

    >> Yes, Uyghurs are a new hybrid population

    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/09/yes_uyghurs_are_a_new_hybrid_p.php

    “Our results showed that more than 95% of UIG haplotypes could be found in either EAS or EUR populations, which contradicts the expectation of the null models assuming that UIG are donors”

  153. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    I almost hesitate to ask where you’re going with this latest tidbit. It’s also unclear what this has to do with the current thread.

  154. Steve Says:

    @ SKC: What Shane is referring to is something the worldwide Uyghur population is using as a way to say they are not “Chinese” but have more European in them and are a mix between many DNA types. His use of the word “new” is misleading since everyone has hybrid DNA, it’s a matter of the mix. Right now, the prevalent thesis is that everyone came from Africa and left through the NE part of the continent, where they developed different DNA strains which later combined in various ways to form different races. A hybrid strain of DNA doesn’t mean it’s new, it means it’s hybrid. Here is another article that might make more sense and believe it or not, a YouTube video about it! (nice song but horrible spelling)

    I’m not exactly sure why Shane has brought up an argument being made from the Uyghur POV since he didn’t give any explanation, but I’m sure he had a reason for doing so.

  155. Chops Says:

    Xinjiang bans online separatist talk

    “Authorities in China’s restive northwestern Xinjiang region on Sunday approved a bill making it a criminal offence for people there to discuss separatism on the Internet, state media reported.

    The bill passed by Xinjiang’s standing committee bans people in the region from using the Internet in any way that undermines national unity, incites ethnic separatism or harms social stability, the China News Service reported.

    The bill requires Xinjiang’s Internet service providers and network operators to set up monitoring systems — or strengthen existing ones — and report anyone who breaks the law, the report said.

    The bill did not specify what punishment offenders would face, but its apparent aim is to allow authorities to arrest individuals behind e-mails, web postings and sharing of media within the region that they deem to be a threat.”

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090927/technology/china_unrest_xinjiang_internet_consorship_1?printer=1

  156. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Next step…a bill that bans certain thoughts. Also convenient that punishment is not specified…that way, they can “tailor” it to the offense, or to their own needs, while making it up as they go. Brilliant.

  157. tanjin Says:

    Uighurs from Xinjiang celebrate national day

    http://www.zaobao.com/photoweb/pages1/celebrate091002e.shtml

  158. jpan Says:

    Ewenki minority in China

    “We have to use modernized and high-tech methods to preserve our ethnic languages and ethnic cultures,” Dular said, taking out his mobile phone and sending an Ewenki text message to a friend in Inner Mongolia as a demonstration. “This is the only way.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i1KSDSG_WZ3Mkng_fa4d1I775MIQD9B4BU700

  159. tanjin Says:

    How the 7-5 riot started from University of Xinjiang

    http://www.360doc.com/content/090716/16/97112_4296706.html

    >> A partial translation

    “In mid-May of this year, Xinjiang University, Red Lake’s pavilion, a 51-year-old Uighur man indignantly delivered an address. More than 180 audience gathered at the equivalent of a basketball court, huge space, they are mostly from the university’s minority students. Published in advance in accordance with the theme of the speaker, this is “academic report”, aims to “encourage ethnic minority students to entrepreneurship.” Over the years, with the mainland, as university students in Xinjiang, continued concerns for the future, has become an increasingly open social problems.

    Speech has aroused the attention of the party committee of Xinjiang University, because they generally involve ethnic minorities to learn Chinese as well as employment issues. Chinese Communist party secretary of Xinjiang University, Xian-Liang Zhang told the “China News Weekly”, lecture contents are mostly sensitive issue for the inflammatory language.

    Speech lasted about 70 minutes, using a Uighur. “We have translated this according to video of the speech, translated into Chinese for a total of fifty or sixty pages.” Xian-Liang Zhang said. Speakers also answered questions from the students followed by a series of questions.

    Key elements of the speech by World Uyghur Congress (WUC) member

    The people who spoke called Erkin Siddiq, and now a senior engineer at a US based company. He is a 1978 from the Aksu Prefecture were admitted to Department of Physics, Xinjiang University, students, former students, Xinjiang University, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of Communist Youth League, Xinjiang University, Student Union President of the autonomous region, autonomous regions and Youth Vice-Chairman, Vice-Chairman until the National Federation.

    School of Information professor at Xinjiang University, Song I Fall • memories of Tesla wood, Erkin Siddiq used to be “very good student,” is a 10 year one of the students staying in school. Section in 1985, he was sent to study Osaka, Japan Electric in 1988 as an exchange student then went to study at the University of California, and in November 1994 the school received a PhD in electrical appliances and later settled the United States.
    China News Weekly “reporter visited the Xinjiang University found that, in the eyes of some students, Erkin • Sdic is a” good scientist “is an outstanding representative of young people in Xinjiang. However, students did not know his other identity – outside of the “three evil forces” one of the principal leaders of the backbone.

    According to “Xinjiang University guard against and resist the” three evil forces “infiltration and sabotage the struggle and Countermeasures documentary,” a book shows that Erkin Siddiq as early as in December 1994 joined the “East Turkistan Youth League for Democracy,” The United States branch, 1996 years of planning and directly involved in the United States, the “East Turkistan national liberation centers” set up activities, and served as executive member of the organization, then was elected as the first “World Uyghur Youth Congress,” UNESCO minister. The organization is the “World Uyghur Congress” (referred to as “World-dimensional”) and the predecessor of one of the end of 2003 the Chinese Ministry of Public Security as “East Turkistan” terrorist organization. Erkin is also in Japan, the United States during the study, it has become the backbone of Kadeer a member of the group. He advocated “East Turkistan organization” to the “United Way” and obey “the United States Uygur Alliance” unified leadership, jointly carried out separatist activities.

    For such a dangerous man to sneak in, “prior, we do not know.” Xian-Liang Zhang said. Previously, Erkin many want to return to Xinjiang University to academic exchanges, and were rejected. Whether the speech is one of the school associations, and is still under investigation.

    According to Zhang Xianliang is understood that this Erkin Siddiq to return to Xinjiang University, twice or three times to the Xinjiang Normal University. Finally sneaked into Xinjiang Medical University, was discovered surveillance video of expulsion. Erkin gone, Xinjiang University to restore the surface calm. No one would have thought that more than a month after the street violence, the fuse has been lit.”

  160. Jason Says:

    Damn! What a BOLD statement made by an Uighur inmate in Gitmo: “I know I’ll die in here,” Arkin told Gilson not long ago. “In China, at least I would have a trial and sentence.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/27/AR2009092703076_2.html?sid=ST2009092703279

  161. Nimrod Says:

    Wang Lequan has been removed from the post of Xinjiang Party Secretary according to the linked report. Wang becomes Deputy Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, so it is a demotion of sorts. The new Party Secretary of XUAR is Zhang Chunxian of Henan, formerly the head of the Ministry of Transportation, the Party Secretary of Hunan Province, and also chief officer of the NPC Standing Committee.

    There has also been a high-level meeting on “long-term peace and stability in Xinjiang”, wherein nearly two dozen provinces are directed to take over investment and development in different parts of Xinjiang.

    These are major and sweeping reorganizations and thought to be in response to the 7/5 Urumqi riots of last year, which has definitely woken up the central government about Xinjiang.

  162. r v Says:

    I wonder if Wang Lequan will be next to be prosecuted for corruption.

    He probably made a ton of corrupt money in Xinjiang.

  163. hotmoney Says:

    162 — Wang’s recent job change is partially due to his own recommendation, partially due to the felt need of a new governance by central government. Wang may be criticized for many things, but those corruption charges from oversea Uighur will not stick. In fact, Wang’s new position is to supervise party’s internal disciplines.

    161 – The “new” way to help Xinjiang region is modeled after years of similar programs in Xizang/Tibet as well as 2008 Sichuan earthquake relief. Such decentralized assistant program can potentially work better and faster than the old way.

  164. Nimrod Says:

    hotmoney,

    Good point on the second comment. It also introduces a little local competition and reduces the chances for corruption since many self-interested actors are involved. I must say it is an interesting model of development that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Some may complain it’s carpetbaggers coming though. We’ll see.

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