China plays down tensions and complaints of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang

May 28, 2013

(An ethnic Uighur man sits at a local market in Kashgar, Xinjiang province August 2, 2011.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria )

Ethnic minority people in China’s Xinjiang are far more fond of dancing, singing and being good hosts than making trouble, a top official said on Tuesday, dismissing the idea that the far western region is a hotbed of unrest.

Many Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people who live in energy-rich Xinjiang, chafe at Chinese restrictions on their culture, language and religion, and the region is frequently the scene of deadly ethnic violence.

Last month, 21 people were killed in clashes in the heavily ethnic Uighur part of Xinjiang near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, the deadliest unrest since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in riots in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi.

China says it offers broad freedoms in Xinjiang, though few Chinese officials make the effort to learn the Uighur language or understand much about Islam in what is officially an atheist country.

Read the full story here.

Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/