China ‘anti-terror’ rallies: Thousands of troops on streets of Urumqi / The Guardian
Thousands of troops have paraded through the streets of Urumqi, capital of the violence-stricken Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, following a military demonstration earlier this month. The mass gathering of more than 10,000 rifle-toting forces, the latest in a series of “anti-terror rallies” in the region, was described as a way of “mobilizing the armed forces to fight against…enemies of the people” by the government-run Xinjiang Daily. Xinjiang has experienced a series of deadly conflicts in recent years, including an ethnic riot that killed at least 197 people and injured more than 1,700 people in 2009. For more on ethnic tensions and the recently heightened security situation in Xinjiang, see this detailed roundup published by the Jamestown Foundation.
China reacts with anger, threats after South Korean missile defense decision / Reuters
South Korean conglomerate Lotte has confirmed a land-use deal it first gave approval to late last year, and angered Beijing in the process. The deal offers up one of Lotte’s golf courses near Seoul to the U.S. and South Korean militaries so that they can install a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system. Throughout last year, Beijing expressed strong disapproval of the deal. In November last year, construction by Lotte of a multibillion-dollar theme park in the northeastern city of Shenyang was suspended, while in January, scheduled concerts by South Korean musicians were canceled, although the Chinese government made no official connection with the THAAD plans. Chinese state media is now explicitly calling for a variety of boycotts on South Korean goods, with the Party mouthpiece People’s Daily going so far as to advocate the consideration of cutting diplomatic ties with South Korea.
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