Urumqi Riot Brings Loss to Other City in Xinjiang
    2009-07-12 10:52:42     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

Halimlarti stared at the empty Errean Ethnic Park, shook his head and sighed.

"No visitor has come to our park by now today," Halimlarti said, pointing to an empty outdoor restaurant that accommodates about 200 visitors at time, "we feel personally the impact of the riot in Urumqi though it happened hundreds of kilometers away."

But for the fatal violence in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it would have been the park's busiest time in a year, said Halimlarti, the park's assistant manager.

Security presence remained heavy Saturday in Yining, capital of Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, as armed police with shields and sticks continued to patrol the city about 500 kilometers west of Urumqi.

Halimlarti, a 42-year-old local Uygur, said the park used to be one of the attraction spots for Han ethnic from Yining and cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou.

"But there's no Han visitors now," he said, "it is a huge loss for us."

The park suffered a 50 percent decline in income, or 5,000 yuan (about 735 U.S. dollars) of loss, every day since the violence on July 5 in Urumqi, according to Halimlarti's estimate.

"We are expecting the hardest time for our park this year due to the riot in Urumqi and its impact on tourism in Xinjiang," he said, "for our business people, stability is the best."

"Thus the riot in Urumqi is also a disaster for us in Yining," he said.

Chen Yongqiang, general manager assistant of Angel Yeast (Yili) Co. Ltd., shared Halimlarti's anxiety, saying "We are worried about our production if our production facilities could not be repaired timely."

Angel, China's largest yeast producer with an annual output of 30,000 tonnes, employs more than 300 workers of Uygur ethnic and about 400 Han workers.

"Luckily, we haven't seen any tension between our workers of different ethnic groups," Chen told Xinhua.

Inside one of Angel's production plant, Halimatjan, a Uygur worker in blue uniform, was chatting with his Han colleagues.

"I am a little afraid," said Halimatjan, "if our factory closed down due to the riot, how can I support my family."

"I grew up with my buddies of Han ethnic and we get along very well," said, Halimatjan, 37. "I just don't understand, why did this happen?"

"I do hope the government can bring the situation under control," he added.



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