Present-Day Ethnic Problems in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region: Overview and Recommendations (4) – Ethnic Alienation and Segregation

China Change

By Ilham Tohti, translated by Cindy Carter, published: May 4, 2015

Continued from I. Unemployment, II. Bilingual Education and III. Religion

IV. Ethnic Alienation and Segregation


Among the openly talked-about problems affecting ethnic relations in Xinjiang, perhaps the most important is the increasing sense of alienation among ethnic minorities. But beyond this psychological sense of alienation, there is another, even more severe problem that few people (Uighurs in particular) are willing to discuss openly: the problem of physical ethnic segregation.

By physical or macro-level segregation, I mean that Xinjiang’s Han Chinese population tends to be clustered in areas of relatively high population density. In fact, the vast majority of Xinjiang’s Han Chinese population is concentrated in three areas, all of which are effectively off-limits to Uighurs: Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) areas; Xinjiang’s capital city of Urumqi; and cities, such as Shihezi and Kuitun, located in the…

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