Xinjiang in 2013: Problems and prospects
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Several major disturbances in Xinjiang in China's northwest in 2013 have further exacerbated the already tense ethnic relations between the Han Chinese and the main minority in Xinjiang, the Uighurs, who are Turkic and Muslim. The Chinese state blames terrorism but most Western journalists remain sceptical. This article argues that terrorism is indeed a real threat, but the Chinese state tends to overreact to disturbances, exacerbating the problems. China's response has included befriending countries further west, including Turkey. The outlook is not good for ethnic harmony, but the region is likely to develop economically and the prospects for independence or quasi-independence from China are very poor.
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Sociology not elsewhere classified