Tensions in Chinese province prompt US travel warning

WASHINGTON - The State Department on Friday warned Americans to carefully weigh any travel to a Chinese province where tensions between Han Chinese and ethnic Uighurs have resulted in violent clashes.
The travel alert, which is in place until December 10, does not explicitly warn US travelers against visiting Xinjiang province, home to China's Uighur minority -- a largely Muslim population who speak a Turkic language.

Tensions in Chinese province prompt US travel warning
But it says US citizens "are advised to carefully consider travel" to the province, and then to "avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place."
The alert comes as tensions between Han Chinese and Uighurs flared again in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, months after large-scale violence broke out in early July.
Recent tensions have centered around so-called syringe attacks, where victims were stabbed with needles, prompting demonstrations and violence.
In July, the State Department warned US travelers to be aware that Chinese government measures to counter the spread of the A(H1N1) virus involved quarantining visitors who showed any signs of swine flu.
That alert, which remains in effect until the end of September, cautioned that the US embassy was unable to intervene in the quarantine process, which in some cases involved children being separated from their parents.

Saturday, September 12th 2009

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