China's Far West; Uighurs: Destruction of An Old City
As one of the major trading centers of the Silk Road, the Old City in Kashigar, located in Western China’s Xinjiang province, has long been a heart of Uighur traditions and livelihoods, with a history over 2,000 years.
Redevelopment of Old City in Kashigar, which is estimated to cost $440 million, began abruptly in 2009, soon after China’s central government said it would spend $584 billion on public works to combat the global financial crisis. Over the next few years, city officials say, they will demolish at least 85 percent of Old City and many of its 13,000 families will be moved. Government say demolition is deemed an urgent necessity because an earthquake could strike at any time, collapsing centuries-old buildings and killing thousands, but critics argue it would destroy Uighrs’ identity and resettlement program is used to have tighter control over Uighrs.