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Press Release on the Serious Violent Crimes in Urumqi

On 5 July, highly violent crimes involving beating, smashing, looting and arson took place in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

A large number of innocent civilians and armed policemen were killed and many others were injured. At 220 sites, the rioters set fire to buildings, smashed or burned vehicles, and killed people. According to the initial figures up to 10th July, 1680 people were injured and 184 killed, including 57 who were beaten to death right on roads or alleys. Most of the victims are innocent civilians. About 627 vehicles including buses, taxis and police cars, were smashed and burned. 633 construction units, with a total floor space of 21,353, were damaged in the riot. There are 291 shops among the damaged houses. 29 of them with a total floor space of 13,769 were razed by fire. Most of them were big supermarkets.

No country under the rule of law, and no responsible government would tolerate such violent crimes involving beating, smashing, looting and arson. The CPC Committee and Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region paid great attention to the situation. Police were speedily deployed to protect people's life and property, maintain social stability and restore public order. They sent in small teams to rescue people across the downtown area and search for criminals. The action taken by the local authorities are completely legitimate and justified and have received public support. By now, the public security authority has arrested and detained over 1400 suspects in accordance with the law. The situation has now been brought under control. Transport and public order in Urumqi have returned to normal. Main retailers in Urumqi have resumed business.

The Chinese Government adopts an open and transparent policy towards media report on July 5 riots. Resident correspondents in China are invited to visit Xinjiang. The local authorities set up a media center in Urumqi and are providing assistance and convenience to foreign and domestic media for their report in Xinjiang with the hope that international media could cover the incident in an objective and fair manner.

Facts have fully shown that July 5 riot is premeditated and organized crimes of violence directed and instigated by separatists abroad and organized and carried out by separatists inside the country. It aims at destabilizing Xinjiang and separating it from China. It is not an ethnic or religious issue, but rather, major principled issues of national unification and social stability.

The Chinese Government cherishes national unification, ethnic unity and social stability and is committed to ethnic harmony and common development of all ethnic groups. The Chinese Government is unequivocally against ethnic separatism, violence and terrorism. The Chinese people and Government also hope the international community can recognize the terrorist and separatist nature of the Eastern Turkistan forces and do not support or sympathize with them in any form.
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