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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BEIJING1972 2009-07-13 10:53:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

URUMQI CALM -- JULY 13 SITREP

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PROP CH 
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VZCZCXRO5621
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1972/01 1941053
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131053Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5153
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001972 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/13/2029
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PROP CH
SUBJECT: URUMQI CALM -- JULY 13 SITREP

REF: BEIJING 1954

Classified By: Acting Political Section Chief
Ben Moeling. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
-------



1. (C) Urumqi and Kashgar remained calm July 11-13,
according to a U.S. Embassy team on the ground
there, with no reports of new violence. The
government July 11 revised the official death toll
upward to 184 and provided an ethnic breakdown which
showed that three quarters of the riot fatalities
were Han. Official Chinese media, however, did not
report the ethnicity of the dead (Chinese officials
have described the numbers as "too sensitive" to
show domestic audiences). The death toll may
continue to rise, as Chinese officials have
characterized more than 70 of the wounded as "near
death." Urumqi PSB July 13 returned the passport
of an Amcit who was detained briefly following the
riot. The Amcit, who had his passport confiscated
after PSB spotted him taking pictures of the riot
aftermath, has since departed for Beijing. Two mid-
level Xinjiang officials visited the Embassy July 10
as part of a previously arranged USG exchange
program. The two remarked that the reasons for the
riots were "complex" but the Uighurs who committed
violence against Han July 5 represent only a small
minority. Hinting at Han resentment, one of the
officials said the government should rethink
policies exempting Uighurs from the one-child policy
and granting them preferential university admission.
End Summary.

Calm in Kashgar and Urumqi


--------------------------





2. (C) Post heard no reports of additional violence
in Urumqi or other communities in Xinjiang July 11-


13. A team from the Embassy Defense Attache Office
reported July 13 from Urumqi that the situation in
the city appeared to be stabilizing, with more shops
open in the ethnic Uighur section of the city. PSB
foot patrols have been replaced with smaller patrols
by ethnic Uighur officers. Significant numbers of
PAP troops remain in and around Uighur
neighborhoods. The DAO team spent July 11-12 in
Kashgar, which was quiet over the weekend. The
security presence in Kashgar was significantly less
dense and less numerous than that observed in
Urumqi. The one exception was at the Sunday Market
on the east side of Kashgar, which was surrounded by
approximately 300 PAP troops. The market was open
July 12, but only half of the stalls were open.
Foreigners, including the DAO team members, were
able to travel around the city without hindrance,
however, Public Security Bureau roadblocks were
blocking access to most of the countryside.

Officials Raise Death Toll to 184


--------------------------





3. (C) Xinjiang officials on July 11 raised the
death toll from 156 to 184. Authorities also
revised the number of injured to 1,680. On July 12,
according to media reports, Xinjiang Chairman Nur
Berkri announced that of the 939 injured who
remain in the hospital, 216 are seriously injured
and Berkri warned the deal toll could go higher.
For the first time July 11, the government released
an ethnic breakdown of the 184 dead: 137 Han, 46
Uighurs, and one ethnic Hui. This ethnic breakdown
was reported in China Daily, an official English-
language newspaper, but has not been mentioned in
the PRC's Chinese-language press. Nevertheless,
these figures have been reported in several Chinese
blogs and Internet chat rooms. (Note: MFA officials
told A/DCM July 10 that the ethnic breakdown of the
dead was too sensitive to release domestically
because the high number of Han dead could lead to
further reprisals, see Ref A.) Weekend media
coverage in the Chinese press highlighted government
financial assistance to victims, including payments
of compensation and funeral expenses of RMB 210,000
(USD 31,000) to the family of each victim.

BEIJING 00001972 002 OF 002



Amcit Riot Witness Departs Urumqi


--------------------------





4. (SBU) Adam Grode, a former Fulbright scholar
who was briefly detained by the Urumqi PSB following
the July 5 riot, received his passport back from the
PSB July 13. Grode, who provided an account of the
riot to several western journalists and was detained
after PSB officers spotted him taking photos of the
aftermath, departed for Beijing in the afternoon.
Post's American Citizen Services Unit has contacted
83 Amcits in Xinjiang since July 6 (53 in Urumqi and
13 in Kashgar and other cities). All reported that
they were safe and 17 have since departed Xinjiang.

Xinjiang Officials on "Complex" Reason for Riots


--------------------------

---



5. (C) On July 10, ConOff spoke to two Xinjiang
officials: Ren Xinjun, Director of the Xinjiang
Foreign Affairs Office Protocol Office, and Zheng
Ping, Vice President of the Xinjiang Women's
Federation (protect both). Ren and Zheng, both Han
officials who were born and raised in Urumqi,
visited the Embassy on their way to participate in a
IVLP program in the United States. Both left Urumqi
on July 6, immediately after the first wave of
rioting July 5. Both Ren and Zheng were visibly
disturbed and saddened by the violence and deaths.
Zheng said that a former director at the Women's
Federation, a 65-year-old Han woman, was beaten to
death July 5 on her way to a medical appointment.
While the June 26 factory brawl in Shaoguan,
Guangdong Province was a factor in starting the
violence, the real reasons, Zheng said, were
"complex." The July 5 rioters were young and
irrational, Zheng added, and represented a small
percentage of the total Uighur population. Ren said
the government should review its ethnic affairs
policy of giving special advantages to minorities
such as exemption from the one-child policy and
preferential university admission. Such policies
are "not working," Ren asserted. Both noted that
Xinjiang authorities had been transparent with the
media. This, Ren and Zheng said, showed that China
had learned from the Tibet unrest of March 2008.
GOLDBERG