The selection of Mr. Zhang represents a major crackdown by the Chinese government. Tensions have been building for over a decade. Contributing to the anger over the government forcing the teaching of Chinese in primary schools, usurping the local language. Additionally, in spite of the fact that the region is primarily Muslim, they have banded beards, the wearing of headscarves and forbid observance of Ramadan, an important Muslim religious holiday. They have also been developing the oil industry in the region and have been bringing in ethic Han workers to take the newly created jobs.
In Xinjiang the mostly Muslim Uighur community has been waging a campaign against
Last September, thousands of angry Han Chinese took to the streets of
Al-Qaeda has been active in the region and using the tensions to recruit members. They have not been reported to have taken much action against the Chinese government as yet but with Al-Qaeda there s no question about if they will act. The only questions are when and where they will act. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese government feels about sanctions against terrorist sponsoring countries like
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