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China's government has tightened monitoring and boosted security to tackle tensions in Xinjiang (photo:dpa)

China boosts security to curb violent dissent among Muslim Uyghurs

Violence has continued to escalate in China’s Xinjiang region throughout 2014 as the government introduces new, tough curbs on Muslim religious practice fearful that some minority groups are looking to global Islamist groups for inspiration. Meanwhile policy measures designed to boost minorities’ economic fortunes and foster ties between Uyghurs and Han Chinese have proved ineffective. GIS guest expert Vaughan Winterbottom looks at Xinjiang’s key security and governance issues.

THE LAST WEEK in July 2014 saw the worst violence in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region since the July 2009 riots in the capital city of Urumqi, when nearly 200 were killed over several weeks. A knife attac...

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 Vaughan Winterbottom
Certainly, China itself is now on the radar of global Islamist groups. On July 4, 2014, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi included China is a short list of countries where ‘Muslim rights are forcibly seized’.
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