Monday, July 20, 2009
China to Pass Anti-Separatist Laws
China faced its worst unrest in decades this month when tensions between the dominant Han Chinese and the Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uighurs descended into violence in the regional capital of Urumqi. Nearly 200 people died in the unrest. Chinese police killed 12 people during July 5 rioting _ a rare acknowledgment by the government that security forces opened fire in the worst ethnic clashes to hit the region in decades.
The Xinjiang Regional People's Congress blamed the riots on "three forces" _
extremism, separatism, and terrorism _ both at home and abroad, and authorities will speed up local legislation against separatism in the western region that has a long-running independence movement by minority Uighur.
China already has a national law against secession, though there are no similar regional laws. Xinjiang is working on legislation that would "provide legal assistance to Xinjiang's anti-secession struggle and crackdown on violence and terrorism.”