China allows texting in Xinjiang six months after riots

Originally Published by BBC, 18 January 2010

Text messaging services have resumed in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, six months after deadly ethnic unrest that left nearly 200 people dead.

Services were being restored gradually, according to an official quoted by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.

People were stopped from sending text messages last July following riots and demonstrations in Xinjiang.

The authorities said this was done to maintain social order between ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese people.

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Germany urges China to respect for minority rights

Originally Published by World Bulletin, 15 January 2010

German FM urged China to show more respect for human rights but said differences of opinion on this issue should not hinder trade ties.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle urged China to show more respect for human rights on Friday but said differences of opinion on this issue should not hinder trade ties between the world’s two biggest exporters.

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2009 – The Uyghur Human Rights Year in Review

Originally Published by Huffington Post, 14 January 2010

2009 will be remembered as a watershed year for the Uyghur people of East Turkestan (a region known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by the Chinese government). The event that defined not only the year, but also the foreseeable future for millions of Uyghurs was the serious unrest in the regional capital of Urumchi. The events beginning on July 5 and their repercussions underscored both the egregious human rights abuses that are endemic in East Turkestan, and the pressing need for meaningful and participatory solutions to the grievances of the Uyghur people. Notable incidents before the Urumchi unrest in 2009 merely illustrated the broad range of Uyghur human rights concerns, such as the demolition of Kashgar Old City, which were contributing factors to mounting tension that contextualize a serious outbreak of social disorder.

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Guantanamo Uighurs start new life in Palau

Originally Published by BBC, 14 January 2010

At 0300 on 1 November 2009, the roar of a C17 US military transport plane shattered the silence at an airport in Palau, its landing lights off, invisible against the night sky.

Waiting anxiously on the tarmac was Johnson Toribiong, president of the tiny Pacific island state with a population of just 20,000 people.

Six more residents were about to be added. All of them were Muslim Uighurs from western China, who 20 hours earlier had been detainees at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Bern to consult Jura before Uighur decision

Originally Published by World Radio Switzerland, 14 January 2010

The Swiss government says it won’t make a final decision on whether to take in two Uighur brothers who’ve been held at Guantanamo Bay until it’s heard from the canton of Jura, where the two men would ultimately be heading.

The Cabinet’s comments come amid deep divisions in parliament over the issue.

Some MPs have warned that accepting the two men would threaten national security and relations with China.

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China Nearly Doubles Security Budget for Xinjiang

Originally Published by New York Times, 13 January 2010

BEIJING — The government of the vast western region of Xinjiang, which last July was rocked by China’s deadliest ethnic violence in decades, is almost doubling its security budget this year compared with 2009, according to a report on Wednesday in China Daily, an official English-language newspaper.

The move is an indication of how deeply worried Chinese officials are that members of the Uighur and Han ethnic groups could clash again in the cities and desert oasis towns of the oil-rich region, and of the extraordinary measures the officials are taking to clamp down on the area.

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Parliament divided over Uighur situation

Originally Published by World Radio Switzerland, 13 January 2010

There are continuing divisions this morning in parliament over whether Switzerland should take in two Guantanamo detainees, minority Uighurs from China.

Two parliamentary committees have issued opposing appeals to influence the cabinet on the matter.

Members of parliament’s committee on human rights published a letter earlier this week, urging the federal cabinet to stick to their decision to house the two men. They also criticize China for what they describe as a ‘campaign to denigrate’ the Guantanamo detainees.

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Ethical Conflicts for Firms in China

Originally Published by Wall Street Journal, 13 January 2010

BEIJING — Google Inc.’s stunning announcement that it might withdraw from China follows its long struggle with the ethical implications of doing business here, an endeavor which has forced it to make painful concessions to its public embrace of freedom of information.

Google entered the China market relatively late. If began offering a Chinese-language version of its search site in 2000, but didn’t open offices in China until 2005—years after rivals like Yahoo Inc.—a delay that gave local rival Baidu.com Inc. time to gain dominance in the market.

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