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Kazakh violence makes Chinese Muslim minority ponder future | Dawn News - Feb. 16, 2020 |

Violence had broken out among local Kazakhs and a group of ethnic Chinese Muslims called Dungans, who number more than 150,000 across Central Asia.

In the worst such violence in nearly three decades of independence, at least nine of the dead were Dungans, while one was a Kazakh, officials said. One body has not yet been identified.

Straddling the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the people who claim Chinese and Arab heritage mostly work in agriculture or run small businesses.

The Mandarin dialect that Dungans speak, which is infused with Farsi and Arabic loanwords, sets them apart in a region where Turkic tongues dominate.

Many Dungans of Central Asia have family ties to China, especially western China, where they are known as Hui.

Beijing has targeted the group of some 10 million as part of a crackdown on Muslims that has also swept up Turkic groups like Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in the western Xinjiang region.

Some Kyrgyz and Kazakhs argue that Dungans have leveraged their linguistic and cultural heritage to benefit unfairly from trade with China, which floods the region with imports.

In 2013, dozens of ethnic Dungan truckers were reportedly beaten by Kyrgyz drivers at a border crossing with China where truckers compete for cargo bound for the country's bazaars.

Earlier, Kyrgyz and Dungans were involved in a village conflict that saw Dungan homes burned and some families flee to Kazakhstan to join relatives there.

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Both Kazakhs and Dungans agree that the conflict, which drew in Kazakhs living hundreds of kilometres away, would not have erupted without online messengers that allowed information -- and disinformation -- to spread rapidly through communities.

Interethnic clash causes Kyrgyzstan's "common house" to tremble | RefWorld - 2006 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 9th, 2022 at 12:34:42 PM EST

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