Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Almost exactly two years ago, the world protested the Chinese crackdown on Tibet. Their lockdown on rioters drew international criticism, an outpouring of pro-Tibet sympathies, and threats to boycott the Beijing Olympics.
Now, there has been another crackdown on Chinese minority rioters; this time, the world is very nearly silent. When the Uyghurs rioted in Xinjiang earlier this month, Chinese police cracked down on the rioters, leaving 140 people dead and over 800 injured. The only thing the rioters demanded was justice in the June deaths in two Uyghurs.
Xinjiang rioters were not out to overthrow the government, re-instate religion, or demand autonomy. They asked for justice in the deaths of two of their own.
Why did the world speak out and condemn China's crackdown on Tibet, but is now unwilling to anger Beijing over its treatment of another minority riot? Any number of reasons could apply here: China's international power is greater now than it was two years ago, or maybe the Western powers just don't care that the crackdown was against Muslim minorities. Either way, it is sad that international powers have let this moment slide without so much as a slap on the wrist.