New information on Kasghar clash and U.S.-Chinese responses
Reuters has the following opening line on its article "China urges U.S., after Boston bombings, to condemn Xinjiang 'terrorism'":
Nine residents, six police and six ethnic Uighurs were killed on Tuesday in a knife, axe and arson attack, the deadliest violence in the region since July 2009, when Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, was rocked by clashes between majority Han Chinese and minority Uighurs that killed nearly 200 people.
If you remember from yesterday, the ethnicity of the alleged terrorists was not revealed. And it seems like the form the attack took (knife, axe, arson) are also new revelations.
The spotlight on the situation has intensified as U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell asked the Chinese government to follow due process procedures for those detained. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded:
We simply oppose the U.S. reversing black and white, confusing right and wrong, and continually refusing to condemn violent terrorist incidents, and instead, making wild accusations about Chinese policy toward ethnic minorities...We hope the U.S. will turn a mirror on itself and all its own domestic problems instead of pointing fingers at other countries.
Comparisons between the Boston bombings and the situation in Xinjiang are negligible other than the fact that violence was used. The motivation for these recent attacks in Bachu county (Kashgar prefecture) are not yet established as motivated by Islamic separatists, or even secular separatists for that matter. As noted yesterday, the World Uighur Congress tells a different story.
A robust investigation as advocated by the State Department will tell the true story. The response of the Chinese Foreign Ministry is surprisingly (or not?) defensive. I'm assuming the reason the State Department chose not to condemn the attack as a terrorist attack is because what actually happened is still unclear, not because of some double standard. Hence a "thorough and transparent investigation" (Ventrell's words) is needed to establish the case of terrorism.
In addition, there are no "ethnic (minzu) policies" in the United States that are similar to China, in terms of regulating social, political, and religious life. The United States does have domestic (ethnic) problems, to be sure, but of a different kind.