China: Urumqi Market Attack TR Oct14


  • Historic ethnic tensions between minority Islamic Uighurs and majority Chinese Han in China’s Xinjiang province have resurfaced, resulting in several recent terrorist attacks against Chinese Han.
  • Radicalized Uighurs have increased terrorist attacks against majority Han within China, targeting larger crowds and adopting deadlier tactics.
  • The Urumqi market attack is the most deadly, sophisticated attack within China to date.
  • The escalation of terrorist attacks throughout China since April 2013 represents an increase of attacks that is three times the average annual rate.
  • As a result of the Urumqi market attack, the Chinese government declared a year-long campaign against the terrorists of the Xinjiang province. The campaign, dubbed yanda (“strike hard” in Chinese), is described as a brutal crackdown on Islamic influence and terrorist activity in China.
  • With this new declaration and a historical past of brutality and suppression against the Uighur society, there exists a potential for increased ethnic destabilization throughout the region that may result in more destructive, deadlier attacks within China.
  • China’s Xinjiang province shares a border with eight Central Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia. With such close proximity to volatile regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the potential for radicalized Uighurs to travel between borders and join conflicts in neighboring states is high.