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Friction with China's African immigrant-workers in Guanghzou; China launches final stage of
"stability-maintaining campaign" in Xinjiang

American Foreign Policy Council
Edited by Joshua Eisenman, July 31, 2009

July 10:

China has officially called upon Russia to guarantee the rights of Chinese businesspeople and workers after over 240 were detained for smuggling and illegal immigration, the official People’s Daily reports. Beijing said it had not yet received official notification from Russia about the detentions, most of which are related to the closure of Moscow’s Cherkizov market. "The detentions will leave a shadow in the hearts of Chinese businessmen," said Wan Chengcai, a researcher with the official Xinhua World Studies Center. The daily market was Russia’s biggest and employed about 80,000 Chinese before police closed it on June 29. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a crackdown on smuggling at the market after about $2 billion of "smuggled goods" were seized last September. The market's multimillionaire owner, Telman Ismailov, allegedly laundered billions of dollars through the facility.

July 13:

Xinjiang’s Yining city authorities have “smashed two violence gangs, and arrested more than 70 suspects,” the Zhongguo Xinwen She reports. Authorities said they made the arrests on leads supplied by an “information network” that supplied “new clues” and “urged people of all nationalities to promptly report to local public security organs, resident commissions, or police stations any suspicious persons or criminal case-related clues.” Jiao Baohua, secretary of the Yining city CPC committee, said Xinjiang authorities warned that, "If anyone dares to commit a violent crime, sufficient police force will arrive and deal with it in the shortest time."

July 17:

Over 100 Africans surrounded a Guangzhou police station to demand justice after a Nigerian clothing trader died when he jumped out of a window to avoid an immigration raid. Protesters carried the body of the man, who was trying to evade police because his visa had expired, to the station. Police at the scene denied the death and a press release from authorities said a "foreign suspect doing illegal currency exchange" was severely injured after falling from the building. Ademola Oladele, of the Nigerian embassy in Beijing, told Nigeria’s This Day newspaper, "If the police have pursued another country's national to the point of death, to me, perhaps there is a bit of heavy-handedness.” Many Africans in China are angry about tightened visa controls in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic in October.

[Editor’s Note: Estimates vary about the number of Africans living in Guangzhou. Huang Shiding, a city management expert of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, estimated there are about 20,000 Africans in the city, but in 2007, the official Guangzhou Daily reported there could be as many as 100,000. That year Guangzhou police complained about the African drug-trafficking network that was threatening to turn the city into a narcotics hub. But local Africans disagree: "Most of us come for business," said one Nigerian in Guangzhou to the South China Morning Post. "We are selling Chinese products back to our countries."]

Interfax reports that in 2008 China produced 14.8 billion kWh of wind energy and has already produced 12.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) worth in the first six months of this year making it Asia’s largest producer of wind energy. By the end of 2010 China’s National Energy Agency projects that China’s wind power capacity will reach 30 million kWh. Over the next decade, as part of its wind power expansion plan, China will in vest heavily in several 10-million kWh farms in the wind-rich provinces of Gansu, Hebei, Jiangsu, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Although growing fast over the first six months of 2009 wind power still made up a tiny portion – only 0.77 percent – of China’s total 1.64415 trillion kWh of electricity production.

July 18:

“The final, challenging stage of the stability-maintaining campaign” in Urumqi will include the government’s transfer of over 500 ethnic minority cadres from various departments and units to quell the restive Uighur areas of the city. Uighur cadres will go “door to door” and have “face-to-face interactions to explain the truth and expose the lies and sinister intentions of the hostile forces both at home and abroad, and preach the importance of nationality solidarity and stability.” Thousands of armed police, special police, and public security personnel are on around-the-clock duty patrolling Uighur sections of Xinjiang’s strike-ridden capital Urumqi. Since the July 5th race riots, the police have conducted numerous raids on Uighur areas of the city and detained hundreds of suspects, the Hong Kong’s Beijing-leaning Ta Kung Pao reports.

Copyright © 2009 - American Foreign Policy Council

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