Tomorrow, more on the substance of the racial violence in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in northwest China. For the moment, small glimpses of what some people there look like.
Three of the students below are ethnic Uighurs -- ethnically Central Asian, generally Muslim, raised speaking a Turkic language rather than Mandarin -- on the first day of class in the fall of 2007 at 新疆大学, Xinjiang University in Urumqi. They had come from remote parts of Xinjiang and, when my wife and I saw them, were buying "Mandarin as second language" textbooks in the university book store. The man on the right of the picture, a Han Chinese, was their teacher.
The Uighur father on the right below, who wore the same expression of wistful pride my wife and I did when we took our children to college, had come a long distance from the countryside to bring his daughter, on the left, for her first day at the big-city university. He is holding the math and Mandarin textbooks he has just bought for her.
The racial tension was palpable when we traveled around Xinjiang. More on the consequences soon. After the jump, several other pictures from Xinjiang U.