Holy cow, I knew there were racial tensions in China, but not this bad.
Thousands of Chinese, many wielding sticks, clubs and knives, marched today through Uighur neighborhoods of the northwestern city of Urumqi chanting "blood for blood’’ and singing the Chinese national anthem.
Chinese police and paramilitaries deployed by the thousands struggled to contain escalating tensions in the worst outbreak of ethnic violence the country has seen in years. The marchers, who appeared to be ethnic Han, the majority in China, were demanding revenge for rioting by the Turkic-speaking Uighurs on Sunday in which 156 died.
The escalating violence belies China’s claim of having quickly subdued the violence, which began Sunday afternoon after what was supposed to be a peaceful march by Uighurs about discrimination in the workplace. The Uighurs are an ethnic Turkic people, predominantly Muslims, who claim what the Chinese call Xinjiang as their traditional homeland and often bristle at Chinese rule.
Chinese authorities accuse Uighur rioters of going on a savage rampage Sunday in Urumqi in which civilians were pulled out of cars and shops, beaten and stabbed for no other reason that being Han, the ethnic majority in China.