East Turkestan: Xinjiang Still 'Seething'
In an interview with AFP, Ilham Tohti - an outspoken professor, blogger and member of the Muslim Uighur minority - said China's 'carrot and stick' pairing of economic development with tight security controls had failed Uyghurs.
It has instead benefited members of China's majority Han ethnicity who are flooding into the region, while Xinjiang's eight million Uyghurs are becoming further marginalised in their ancient homeland, with no end in sight, he said.
'The situation for Uyghurs in Xinjiang is increasingly bad,' Mr Tohti, 40, said in his modest flat on the campus of Beijing's Minzu University of China, where he lectures - under watchful eyes - on economics and Uyghur issues.
'In this climate, it is very hard to bring together Uyghurs and Han, immigrants and locals. This is a huge problem but the government has come up with no plan for it.' Xinjiang's Uyghurs - a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people - have for decades alleged Chinese political, religious and cultural oppression in the vast region abutting Central Asia.
Their anger erupted on July 5 last year when Uyghur rioters savagely attacked Han in the capital Urumqi, leaving nearly 200 people dead and up to 1,700 injured, according to official figures