In the afternoon of 7/5, a crowd gathered in Xinjian’s capital Urumqi, attacking pedestrians, torching vehicles. They toppled street dividers, causing traffic to stop. Police have arrived to maintain order.
On 7/5, violent incidents involving vandalism, arson, murder occurred in the City of Urumqi. Up to now, 140 people have died, 816 injuries, 196 vehicles torched and vandalized, some store fronts and two buildings were torched. Police have arrested over 100 people suspected of assault, vandalism, robbery, and arson. Right now, Urumqi traffic and social order have returned to normal.
On 7/6 local authority reported the situation during a news conference. Preliminary investigation indicates this incident is premeditated. Separatist element headed by Kadeer’s “World Uygher Congress” has exploited the Guangdong Shaoguan incident to incite, organize, and coordinate these severe violent crimes in China.
On 6/26, a group brawl between Uygher and local workers occurred in Shaoguan, Guangdong. It is an ordinary public safety case being handled carefully. After the incident “World Uygher Congress” used it to denigrate China’s ethnic and religious policy, using it to foment unrest, create disturbance. Some inside China also started inciting on the Web.
Since the evening of 7/4, some netizens on QQ, forums and blogs, started calling for gathering on 7/5 5pm at Urumqi Square’s south gate, to coincide with “World Uygher Congress” demonstration overseas. Large amounts of text messages were sent to gather people towards Urumqi. “World Uygher Congress” leader Kadeer publicly announced that a large incident will occur in Urumqi, and asked people within China to observe and collect information pertaining to this incident.
As directed by outside, two hundred some people gathered at the Square at 6:20pm on 7/5, and was dispersed by the police. Around 5:40pm, around 300 people were on Renmin Road, South Gate area blocking traffic, was again dispersed by police. Around 8:18pm, people started vandalizing, tipping over street dividers, destroying three buses, the police again dispersed them. The incident escalated around 8:30pm, rioters started burning police cars along Jiefan Road South, Longchuan street, chasing and assaulting pedestrians. 700-800 people moved toward West Gate area from the Square, looting, burning, killing along the way. Initial investigation at 11:30pm shows, 3 people were killed, 26 injured, including 5 police, as the incident escalated for the worse.
In order to protect Urumqi’s social stability, local government and police headed towards People’s Square, South Gate, Tuanjie Street, stable district, Xinhua Road South areas according to law. At 10:00pm, rioting in the main streets and business districts were under control. But the rioters altered their course and split down multiple streets, acting out outside the patrolled area, in streets and alleys in the fringe of town. Han people were killed on sight, cars were trashed, torched. Local authority immediately adjusted tactic, organizing a mobile teams to rescue citizens and arrest rioters district by district.
Right now there are still people on-line inciting, plotting to create, expand this incident. Local authority is strengthening prevention and control, resolving to ensure societal stability, protecting citizen’s life and property.
… I predict, the “Hu Jintao style” government response [which emphasises on proactive reporting the news and guiding the public discussion/opinion in order to restore/maintain stability] is going to be followed by acts in the “organizing department style” , that the entire local leadership team is going to be summarily dismissed.
He was right. The following is a translation of an article titled “Party secretary and head commisioner of Weng’An county both dismissed”, coming from the Xinhua Net.
Guizhou provincial government continues pursuing officials responsible for the June 28th Weng’An incident. Authorities at various levels have decided on July 4th to dismiss Weng’An county party secretary, Wang Qin, and head commisioner, Wang Haiping, from their positions. [Note: these are the top 1 and 2 positions at the county level.]
By anyone’s standard, these should all be considered positive steps in the aftermath of this type of crisis. But it didn’t completely work; for many Chinese, online tempers still flared. Here’s one key, representative quote behind the public frustration:
Shi Zongyuan pointed out, “6.28” incident started for a simple reason, but was used by a small number of people with ulterior motives along with the participation of evil, organized criminals.
(Written on June 23rd)
To the Weng’An (Wengan) Public Security Ministry:
Applicant: Li Xiuhua, Chinese Communist Party Member, Male, 36 years of age, Han, Weng’An resident, father of victim Li Shufen.
My daughter Li Shufen, before death, was a second year (8th grade) student at the local middle school. In order to study more conveniently, she rented an apartment from Liu Jingxue. At 18:00 (6 PM) in the afternoon of June 21nd, she was called away from her apartment by classmate Wang Jiao. On the same day at 23:12 (11:12 PM), Wang Jiao used her cell phone to call the victim’s brother Li Shuyong (a graduate of a local high school) informing him that Li Shufen was playing with her, and would be staying over that night, and definitely wouldn’t be going home.
– written by Brandon
It has been the case for well over 2000 years that with a huge population and rich diversities in custom, cuisines, dialects, culture, religions, ethnicities, and political views, it’s always a challenge for any Chinese government to unit its people. However, recent events provided the Central Empire another silver bullet in its arsenal to achieve just that, the butterfly effect.
It takes a real expert to explain the effect in details. The short and layman version is that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear. In other words, a small disturbance might have huge and unintended consequences somewhere and somehow.
Examining what happened since middle of March will better illustrate my point.