We'll execute rioters, says China as thousands of police restore order in Xinjiang

China has vowed to execute protesters responsible for the deaths of 156 people in violent protests in Xingjiang province.

Li Zhi, the Communist Party's highest official in the region, said it was was stable after several days of ethnic violence. He said security forces had control of the streets.
He added that many people accused of murder had already been detained and that most of them were students.

The violence has already caused President Hu Jintao to cut short a visit to take part in the Group of Eight summit in Italy to return to take charge of the situation.


Extraordinary pictures have emerged of thousands of paramilitary police massing in the region.
Yesterday, hordes of Han armed with iron bars, machetes and even spades spilled on to the streets looking for Uighur targets.

Riot police used tear gas to try to break up protests in the capital of the Muslim region of Xinjiang and enforced an overnight curfew.


Hundreds of protesters from China's predominant Han ethnic group, many clutching meat cleavers, metal pipes and wooden clubs, smashed shops owned by Uighurs, a Turkic largely Islamic people who share linguistic and cultural bonds with Central Asia.

Some Han Chinese shouted 'attack Uighurs' as both sides hurled rocks at each other......


Along with Tibet, Xinjiang is one of the most politically sensitive regions in China and in both places the government has sought to maintain its grip by controlling religious and cultural life while promising economic growth and prosperity......


Xinjiang has long been a hotbed of ethnic tensions, fostered by a yawning economic gap between Uighurs and Han Chinese, government controls on religion and culture and an influx of Han Chinese migrants who now are the majority in most key cities.

Beijing has poured cash into exploiting Xinjiang's rich oil and gas deposits and consolidating its hold on a strategically vital frontierland that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, but Uighurs, who launched a series of attacks to coincide with the buildup to last year's Beijing Olympics, say migrant Han are the main beneficiaries.

Part of the crowd briefly surged forward singing the Chinese national anthem before police drove them back with tear gas.


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