Hundreds of Uighurs have once more taken to the streets of the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang, saying family members have been arbitrarily arrested in a sweeping crackdown.
It comes after the deadliest ethnic violence in the Muslim region for decades. Television footage showed wounded demonstrators along with bloodied bystanders caught up in the unrest. Protestors could be seen trying to overturn vehicles as tear gas was fired into the crowd. Witnesses say the fighting broke out on Sunday after police tried to break up a march demanding justice for two Uighurs killed last month during a fight with Han co-workers at a factory. State media reported that 156 people have been killed and at least 800 injured. More than 1,400 have been arrested. Analysts say the unrest shows how rapid economic development has exacerbated resentment among ethnic minorities who fear being marginalised as Chinese migrants arrive. This is a worry for Beijing, which has embarked on a policy of aggressive economic expansion. Visiting a car plant with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ahead of this week’s G8 summit in Italy, Chinese President Hu Jintao made no comment on the situation.