Wild frontier
April 24, 2010 1:55 AM   Subscribe

China’s partnership of stability in Xinjiang As news breaks that Wang Lequan has been replaced as Party secretary in Xinjiang (a fall for the long-serving hard man some expected last last year, though only last month Wang was bullish in interviews about major new central investment in the western border region), Tom Cliff has a timely and informative short background piece up at the East Asia Forum that gives some of the context behind the move.
posted by Abiezer (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Inevitably, someone is going to post a comment about China "cutting off its Wang", so I thought I'd get it over with.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:57 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Little mention of the Uighurs, who have been stuck in the middle of all of this for some time.
posted by msbrauer at 2:59 AM on April 24, 2010

Just noticed the typo; should have read 'late last year'.
msbrauer, I think that's as much because in such political musical chairs, the Uyghur people feature only as the problematised other; as I'm sure you know, the only input they get in the process is rioting in the streets and they've done that bit.
posted by Abiezer at 4:08 AM on April 24, 2010

Xinjiang ""New Frontier" is home to a number of different ethnic groups and major ethnic groups include Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongol. (Uyghur Autonomous Region) for those catching up as I am.
posted by vapidave at 4:35 AM on April 24, 2010

Meanwhile, things seem to be getting a bit more tense in Qinghai Province following the recent earthquake:

After Quake, Tibetans Distrust China’s Help

Tibetan monks ordered to leave China's quake zone
posted by homunculus at 9:14 AM on April 24, 2010

And the Greco-Bolivian alliance - have they responded?
posted by codswallop at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2010

The Tom Cliff piece mentions needlestick attacks -- were those ever proven to have actually occurred? I know that a friend of a friend who works in an ER in Urümchi said that people were coming in to get tested after believing themselves to have been stuck, but the whole thing sounded like it might be an urban legend. There have been plenty of cases of such things getting picked up in Chinese newspapers - including a case in Tianjin not long ago, if I recall correctly. Ultimately these always seem to end up getting debunked a month or two down the line.
posted by bokane at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2010

Following up on the needlestick attacks: one article says that as of September 3, 2009, 21 people had been arrested in connection with the needlestick attacks, so at least someone was taking it seriously. A September 13 article says that tests of samples taken from the syringes revealed no poisons or viruses, including AIDS.
posted by bokane at 10:40 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Excellent post—thanks, Abiezer.
posted by languagehat at 12:09 PM on April 24, 2010

a group of Chinese soldiers who had been relaxing on the school grounds sprang to action. They put on their army caps, waved the monks away

The PRC has a most interesting definition of the word "autonomous".

My feeling is that the word translates to: "the mayor can schedule public feelgood events and road resurfacings and such. But we'll be there to help whenever unforeseen events occur, or unauthorized journalists appear to upset the people or cast our benevolence in a poor light. And our railroads -you'll never ride- will pass through in case our soldiers need to protect you from yourselves."
posted by Twang at 4:01 AM on April 25, 2010

New Dominion blog seems to be up and running again; here's their take on the move, with a bit of a look at the new man, Zhang Chunxian.
posted by Abiezer at 10:05 PM on April 27, 2010

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