Experts have blamed growing social tensions, a widening gap between rich and poor, and associated mental health problems for recent attacks on school children in China.
Outspoken Uyghur economics professor Ilham Tohti turns 49 today. In 2014, a Chinese court sentenced him to life in prison on charges of promoting separatism. Tohti regularly highlighted Beijing’s religious and cultural persecution of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to chart a difficult path between economic liberalization and tight political control.
Rights groups estimate that as many as 1 million Uyghurs have been held in re-education centers across northwest China’s Xinjiang region.
In a recent speech, Vice President Mike Pence promised renewed resistance to Beijing’s “authoritarian expansionism.” He said previous U.S. administrations chose engagement with the aim of encouraging greater freedom in China. “But that hope has gone unfulfilled,” he said.
China is celebrating the October 1 National Day, marking the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.