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I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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What gives in Xinjiang Province

Probably most of you aren't following this. The Chinese government came down pretty fast and unlike Iran and Honduras it's not easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. But I was in Urumqi, where the violence is, last May; Xinjiang was most of my trip, where I was blogging from.

The short version: Xinjiang is a Uighur Province. The Uighurs are Turkic people, not Han Chinese (Han are the ethnic group dominant in China, the faces we think of as "Chinese") and generally, though not always, Muslims. Relations between the Uighurs of Xinjiang, which has been a Chinese province for over a hundred years (but remember this is a country whose history goes back thousands of years, so a century is a blink of an eye) have always been strained at best, bitter at times. In response to the killing of two Uighurs in south China by a policeman, the Uighurs of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, took to the streets. Then what happened? No way to know, at least right now. Were they a violent mob from the start, bent on revenge? Were they a peaceful march attacked by riot police, and they took up violence in reponse? The goverment has cracked down on news, including Twitter and other web sources (which leads me to believe in the latter, because if they had evidence of the former you'd see it everywhere). The result is, over 150 people are dead, many but not all Han Chinese; and now apparently mobs of Han people are roaming the streets attacking Uighurs.

But this is the 21st C. News is getting out. Governments can no longer stop up the leaks in that bucket no matter how hard they try. If you really want to know, here are some sources.

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