Thursday, June 19, 2008

Olympic torch relay celebrated joyfully by locals in Kashgar, Xinjiang

By China Watcher

Contrary to what was reported by the Western Media (particularly the anti-China New York Times), the torch relay in Kashgar was a success with the locals being able to display their traditional Uighurs cultures and dances in conjunction with the fun-filled event.

Though the Muslim Uighurs are now in the minority, I noted that the unique traditional cultures and customs are still very much alive and are being practiced openly by the Chinese government contradicting, once again, what was being stated by the Western media.

Because of the possibility of sabotage by the Uighurs rebels or separatists, the soldiers are present to ensure that the procession of the Olympic torch and the various performances are not disturbed by these troublemakers. Considering that there were two suspicious militant plots that occurred this year, one involving an attempt to bring down an airliner flying to Beijing and the other to kidnap foreigners and carry out suicide attacks at the Olympics, the precautions undertaken by the government are understandable.

Xinjiang governor, Ismail Tiliwaldi, told the audience comprising government officials, womenfolk and children that the Olympic relay torch is part of the motherland celebration and Xinjiang is an integral part of this momentous and historical occasion.

The West tried to portray the cheering bystanders as “choreographed acts”, I would choose to use the word as “well planned security measures” given the risk of dangers posed by the rebels as what had happened in security lapses in Pakistan and Iraq. I sincerely believe that protecting innocent lives is much more important than allowing the people to move freely whereby security can be compromised.

Western media selectively interviewed those poor Uighurs who have remained steadfastly against the Han Chinese influence even though the government has promoted minority educational and financial assistance programs for them. Obviously, the comments would not be friendly but these are extensively used to portray the necessary image of an “anti-Chinese” atmosphere for its targeted audience in the US or Europe. From the manner the many articles that have been written, there is underlying devious agenda to promote and encourage an independent East Turkestan.

Just to give you an idea of what the journalist had written, I extracted from the article what the Uighur woman has commented on the event: “We weren't allowed to go and see it. But even if we were, I think people would have stayed away anyway." If foreign reporters were banned from talking to the locals watching the event, how did he manage to interview the Uighur woman?

The writer commented that there were hardly any Uighur languages being used for the torch event. Is this a fair comment and observation? I think the pictures here would be able to reveal whether the writer is being honest in his work.

It is a known fact that the Uighurs resented the migration of Han Chinese to the under developed region but if the province is an integral part of China, I think there should not be any restrictions on such movement within the country as this is the fundamental right of a citizen to seek a living elsewhere if he cannot do so in his own birth place.

Also economically, the investments from these entrepreneurs and skilled laborers from the rich coastal provinces would help to accelerate the development of these backward areas. When the white settlers moved to the West in the US during the 19th Century by imposing its so called western cultures and uprooting the Indians from its ancestral homes, it is even worse. I rarely see any current efforts to preserve the “uncivilized” cultures of such deprived people in the US.

The torch relay is definitely a pride for China, both for Chinese residents and the Chinese overseas and we do not need Westerners especially those with a hidden agenda to add his or her opinions which will not help to promote unity among its 56 ethnic groups in China.

Go China, Go Olympics, Go Sichuan, Go Kashgar……and without forgetting, Go Tibet.

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