Unrest in the Xinjiang region of China currently poses the most imminent threat to the internal security of China and to central government control over peripheral regions. Instability in Xinjiang, furthermore, has ramifications for the wider security environment in Central Asia as the conflict becomes linked with jihadist groups in other security hotspots, like Pakistan and Syria. However, our understanding of important potential factors affecting political instability in Xinjiang is limited by the lack of systematically collected event data of ethnic violence. In this article, we introduce the first effort to fill this gap in data collection, that is, the Ethnic Violence in China (EVC) Database: the Xinjiang Region. This is a geocoded database of yearly incidents of ethnic violence at the county level in Xinjiang from 1990 to 2005. Using the EVC database, we demonstrate some initial results modeling ethnic violence in Xinjiang. We find that ethnic violence is positively associated with interethnic inequality; resources such as oil and cotton, on the other hand, are unrelated to the likelihood of ethnic violence.


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pp. 121-154
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