China: October 29, 2004

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In China's Henan province, a traffic accident involving members of the Hui Moslem minority led to thousands of Han (majority) Chinese and Hui men battling each other. Over twenty people died before police and riot troops could arrive and disperse the mobs. The government tried to keep the event quiet, but details were soon on the Internet. Up to 150 people were killed, many more injured and hundreds arrested. What was unusual about this incident is that it caused a major splash on the Chinese Internet. Each month, there are several large demonstrations in China, that don't appear in the mainstream media, but do get "reported" in the Internet (usually just the Chinese language portion.) These riots are usually against local corruption or labor problems. Ethnic strife is rather rare, so the Hui incident leaked into the larger English language Internet. 

 

 

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