Post Tagged with: "Uyghur Scholar Calls for Jobs"
RFA News 2009.03.09 HONG KONG—A leading moderate in China’s mainly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority has sharply criticized Chinese policies in the northwestern Xinjiang region, saying that joblessness remains the single biggest problem and residents have suffered under the current governor. “Unemployment has existed in Xinjiang since the 1950s,” Ilham Tohti, an economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, said in an interview with RFA’s Uyghur service. “No matter what … I will still talk about the issue of unemployment.” “Unemployment among Uyghurs is among the highest in the world,” he said after returning home to Beijing from a weeklong academic exchange in France. Xinjiang has developed, but the people are living in poverty, especially Uyghurs.” Ilham Tohti Tohti spoke as the National People’s Congress, China’s annual session of parliament, met in Beijing—where the governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Nur Bekri, warned Friday of a “more fierce struggle” against separatist unrest in the region. China has accused Uyghur separatists of fomenting unrest in the region, particularly in the run-up to and during the Olympics in August last year when a wave of violence hit the vast desert region. The violence prompted a crackdown in which the government says 1,295 people were detained for state security crimes. “The [security] situation will be more severe, the task more arduous, and the struggle more fierce in the region this year,” Nur Bekri said Friday, according to the official Xinhua news agency. “It’s a time of celebration for Xinjiang people, but hostile forces will not give up such an opportunity to destroy it.” This year marks 60 years since China’s People’s Liberation Army entered Xinjiang and implemented what it calls a “peaceful liberation” of the region. Many Uyghurs regard the move as an invasion. Tohti also called for the inclusion […]