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Racism Is A Global Problem

The BBC reports that the ethnic violence is ongoing in Western China: Hu leaves G8 amid Chinese rioting

Chinese President Hu Jintao has cut short a visit to Italy for the G8 summit amid ongoing unrest in Xinjiang.

Troops are on the streets after a curfew in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s provincial capital, where ethnic riots on Sunday left 156 people dead.

A BBC correspondent in Urumqi says the security forces are now mounting a show of force after fresh clashes on Tuesday between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese.

More than 1,400 people have been arrested over Sunday’s violence.

State news agency Xinhua said Mr Hu had flown back to Beijing early on Wednesday, leaving officials to represent China at the G8 talks in Rome.

A state visit to Portugal has also been cancelled, Xinhua said.

Tensions have been growing in Xinjiang for many years, as Han Chinese migrants have poured into the region, where China’s Uighur ethnic minority is concentrated. Many Uighurs feel economic growth has bypassed them and complain of discrimination and diminished opportunities.

Some Uighurs support the notion of an independent state and there have been a number of bombings and some attacks on security forces.

Chinese authorities say the Xinjiang separatists are terrorists with links to al-Qaeda and receive support from outside the country.

Campaigners accuse China of exaggerating the threat to justify tough security clampdowns in the region.

I seriously doubt that al Qaeda is responsible for Hans attacking Uighurs. Pushing unemployed Hans into Xinjiang and Tibet was bound to cause problems, especially when there have been economic enticements for the migrants. The death of two Uighurs at a toy factory in a Han area of China is an indication that the animosity is mutual and isn’t going away because the government issues edicts.