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Silk Road Projects Distress Minorities: Modernization of China Heads West, Where Locals Aren’t Sold on the Benefits


James T. Areddy

...But critics charge the redevelopment also extends China's already tight political control over the Uighurs. As in Tibet, new projects in Kashgar and elsewhere in Xinjiang are being built by and for China's dominant Han ethnic group, with harsh penalties doled out to those who try to oppose them, according to Human Rights In China, a lobby group.

"The destruction of the traditional neighborhoods is rightly seen as the Hanification of the city," says Nicholas Becquelin, a Hong Kong-based research director at Human Rights In China. "Most of what is being built now is obviously for the Han population, not the Uighurs."...

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