Thousands of protesters have clashed with the police in the town of Nagu, in the Yunnan province of south-western China. Videos shared on Twitter show protesters throwing bottles and bricks at the riot police in front of the mosque. Protests erupted over plans to demolish a part of a mosque in the town, whose residents are mostly part of the Hui people, the third largest nationality in China. The majority of the Hui are Muslim, and as part of its chauvinist attack against minority nationalities in China, the so-called ”sinicization”, Chinese social-imperialism attacks the religious practices of the Hui. The protests started on the 27th of May, and new protests were still expected as of 30th of May.
According to media reports the demolition works have been halted because of the protests, and the protesters have overcome the authorities who tried to prevent them from entering the mosque. The local police says in a statement that it is investigating a ”serious disruption of order”, and has given those who organized the protest time until the 6th of June to turn themselves in. On Monday, the internet had been cut off in many areas and the police was patrolling the streets with drones.
Large areas of China are inhabited by minority nationalities. In recent years, the regime of Xi Jingping has increased the persecution of minority nationalities in order to have vast areas of the country better in its control. The Han chauvinism is used to break down on the resistance of oppressed nations within China. There has been reports from shutting down schools teaching Islam or the Arabic language, demolishing the domes and minarets of mosques to remove non-Han influence, to even large-scale concentration camps aimed at repressing activism labeled as ”separatist” or ”terrorist”. The US on its behalf is using the situation to accuse China of ”human rights” violations to justify implementing more policies against it.
For centuries before the Chinese revolution the minority nationalities were harassed by the rulers, usually from the majority Han nationality. The Communist Party of China under the leadership of Chairman Mao however promoted the unity of the nationalities and highlighted the need to fight Han chauvinism.