Xinjiang Unrest Tests China’s Ties with Central Asia

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The ethnic rioting that has rocked China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang over the past few days has badly poisoned the already tense relations between the region’s Uighurs — Muslims who make up a plurality of Xinjiang’s residents — and the Han Chinese. It could also complicate China’s increasingly important ties with its neighbors in ex-Soviet Central Asia. The Chinese presence in Central Asia has grown in recent years, especially in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Trade between China and Kyrgyzstan — much of it exports of cheap Chinese manufactured goods — tripled between 2004 and 2006 (the last year for which […]

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