With students starting to file in and a new school year just around the corner, things have been a bit busy here at ChinaGeeks HQ, so you’ve probably already heard that there are more rumblings in Xinjiang. The short version: some people (Han) were being stabbed (by Uighurs) with syringes, which led to protests and even some deaths.
There are a reported 470 people hit in Xinjiang by syringes presumably filled with AIDS contaminated blood, reported television broadcaster ‘Bingtuan’, which has its headquarters in the same autonomous region which depends on central authority, after new clashes which occurred in Urumqi, capital of former Eastern Turkestan, between the local Uiguri community and ethnic Han immigrants, who hold the majority in China. ”Since last August 20 the government in Xinjiang has received reports from local epidemiological centres that say 476 people have been assailed using syringes”, the television network reported. Before the news, without making a precise estimation, the report was denied.
Violent clashes between the communities already erupted in July with a toll of at least 200 dead and 1,700 wounded. The Uiguri, Muslims who speak a language similar to Turkish, have always called for greater autonomy from Beijing and an end to economic discrimination by the Han.
Personally, I find this report a bit perplexing, and not just because AGI is trying to set the record for longest run-on lede in a two-paragraph news item, or because the rest of their report is full of typos. No, what I wonder is: why are the syringes presumably filled with AIDS? First of all, what the blood would actually contain is not AIDS but HIV, but secondly, where is all this infected blood coming from? Are people being injected with infected blood, or simply stabbed with contaminated needles? Why on earth would Uighur separatists adopt this tactic, virtually guaranteed to turn any and all supporters against their cause? Is there any real evidence the perpetrators (perpetrator?) is even Uighur at all? Protests, even when they turn into riots, can be spun, especially in a world media climate that hungers for evidence of communist evil. But stabbing people with HIV infected needles? Not likely to win anyone any popularity contests.
I suppose the motive could be pure spite, but that seems awfully thin, especially in the absence of any significant evidence about any of this stuff. Your guess is as good as mine, folks: what the hell is going on in Xinjiang?