【英语财经】暴力事件令乌鲁木齐大巴扎生意受损 Violence in Urumqi Hurts Bazaar Business

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2014-5-26 12:51

小艾摘要: The Grand Bazaar in Urumqi has been a tourist draw for a decade--since it opened in a new plaza meant to evoke the historic caravan-trade culture of Central Asia. But stall owners say fewer tourists a ...
Violence in Urumqi Hurts Bazaar Business
The Grand Bazaar in Urumqi has been a tourist draw for a decade--since it opened in a new plaza meant to evoke the historic caravan-trade culture of Central Asia. But stall owners say fewer tourists are showing up to buy colorful headscarves, knives and other trinkets since a recent uptick in violent attacks in the city and elsewhere in China's westernmost region of Xinjiang.

'The biggest issue is that business isn't as good. A lot of people are concerned about the attacks, and many people are getting hurt,' said Ma Ziding, a 35-year-old pocketknife seller.

A mixture of China's majority Han Chinese and Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, mainly Muslim ethnic group, trickled into the outdoor plaza Saturday morning to shop or take photos against the backdrop of a massive tower and mosque.

'A lot of customers don't dare come,' said a 50-year-old Chinese man who gave his last name as Li. Mr. Li, whose shop sells trinkets, scarves and cigarettes, said foot traffic in the indoor bazaar has fallen by at least 90% this year. 'There were so many people here last year that you couldn't even move,' he said. 'The government needs to think of a way to fix this.'

A simmering separatist rebellion by some Uighurs against Chinese rule has flared into occasional violence over the decades. In the past year, violent attacks have picked up and, unlike in the past, begun targeting civilians.

In late April a knife and bomb attack at Urumqi's main railway station killed three and injured 79. Then, on Thursday, men drove cars into a street-side market and detonated explosives, leaving 43 dead and wounding 94. The dead included four of the attackers; police arrested a suspected fifth attacker in another part of Xinjiang, state media reported early Saturday.

The tourists in the bazaar brushed off the violence. 'It's fine. The situation isn't that serious,' said a Han Chinese man, a 53-year-old teacher who also gave his last name as Li. Mr. Li said he arrived in Urumqi on Friday night from Beijing to tour the region with his younger brother. He said he knew about the Thursday's attack but chose not to cancel his trip.

Security around the bazaar was noticeable, though lighter than on Friday, when hundreds of Uighurs gathered in the plaza for their weekly prayer. An armored police vehicle remained parked outside an entrance and bag checks were enforced. An outlet of the French hypermarket Carrefour, located underground beneath the bazaar, installed a bag-screening machine at its entrances on Wednesday, according to an employee.

Outside the entrance to a clothing market were pasted notices torn out of a newspaper containing a speech--in both Chinese and Uighur--denouncing the attack by the head of the Xinjiang regional government.

Tourism has become an important part of the Xinjiang economy, allowing the development of smaller businesses. The region's oil, gas and mineral resources, as well as its agriculture, are dominated by big, mostly state-owned entities.

One seller of cigarettes, scarves and other souvenirs, who gave his surname as Song, said the number of customers at his shop had halved since last year. He suggested the government support small-business owners by introducing policies to offset the decline in customers.

Not everyone at the bazaar was convinced the recent attacks are the reason for the sharp decline in visitors. Ma Linyu, who sells medicinal herbs and is a member of another predominantly Muslim ethnic group, the Hui, blamed instability in China and the rest of the world. She said the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and China's conflict with Vietnam and others in the South China Sea are contributing to an overall slump of vacationers in China.

'The entire country is like this; it's not just Xinjiang,' she said. Although there was a noticeable drop in traffic for a few days after this month's train-station blast, she said traffic has consistently been lower since the second half of last year.

Still, Ms. Ma praised the police presence outside the bazaar. 'The police standing outside is a good thing. They protect us. If they weren't there, we would be in a worse situation.'

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images图为去年7月,乌鲁木齐的大巴扎。商贩们说,近来出于对暴力袭击的担忧,来这里的游客人数大减。
新疆乌鲁木齐的大巴扎(Grand Bazaar)自开业十年以来一直吸引着各方游客,这个坐落在一个新广场的建筑群重现了中亚古丝绸之路的商业繁华。但摊主们表示,在近期乌鲁木齐和新疆其他地方的暴力袭击事件加剧之后,来这里购买头巾、刀具和其他物品的游客人数大为减少。

35岁的小刀商贩马子定(Ma Ziding, 音)表示,最大的问题是生意不好了,许多人担心袭击事件,许多人受到了伤害。

周六上午人们陆续来到这个露天广场购物,或者是在巨大的观光塔和清真寺的背景下照相,他们当中有汉族人,也有维吾尔族人。

一位自称姓李的50岁汉族男子称,许多客户不敢来了。这位出售饰品、围巾和香烟的男子表示,今年室内商店的客流量至少下降了90%。他表示,去年人多得走不动路。他认为,政府需要想办法解决这个问题。

过去几十年来一些维族激进分离主义分子针对政府的对抗活动已经演化为偶尔的暴力事件。过去一年来,暴力袭击增多,而且与以往不同的是,目标开始针对平民。

就在4月底,乌鲁木齐主要火车站发生了砍人和爆炸事件,造成三人死亡,79人受伤。上周四,几名男子驾车冲进街边市场并投掷爆炸物,导致43人死亡,94人受伤。死者中包括四名袭击者;中国官方媒体周六早间报称,警方在新疆另一个地方逮捕了第五名袭击嫌疑人。

大巴扎的游客未理会这些暴力事件。一位也自称姓李(音)的53岁汉族男子称,还好,情况没有那么严重。这位教师表示,他上周五从北京抵达乌鲁木齐,和他弟弟一起来这里旅游。他表示,他知道上周四的袭击事件,但没有选择取消行程。

大巴扎周边的安保人员随处可见,但比上周五数百名维吾尔族人聚集在大巴扎进行每周祈祷时已经有所减少。一辆装甲车仍停在入口处,人们必须接受包裹检查。据位于大巴扎地下的法资超市家乐福(Carrefour)的一名雇员说,上周三超市的入口处安装了一台包裹扫描设备。

一个服装市场的入口处张贴有从报纸上撕下来的公告,内容是新疆区政府领导人对袭击案的谴责,不仅有汉语版本,还有维吾尔语版本。

旅游业已经成为新疆经济的一个重要部分,一些小型企业因此发展起来。该地区的油、气和矿产资源以及农业都把持在大型企业手中,这些企业大多是国企。

一个出售香烟、头巾和其他纪念品的宋姓商贩说,自从去年以来,来他店铺买东西的客流量已经减少了一半。他建议政府推出能够抵消客流量减少影响的政策,扶持小店主。

不过,并非大巴扎上的每个人都确信最近的袭击案是导致游客大幅减少的主要原因。出售草药的回族人马林雨(音)说,原因在于中国和全球整体局面的失稳。她说,马来西亚航空(Malaysia Airlines) 370航班失踪、中国和越南等国家在南中国海(中国称南海)上冲突也是来华度假游客数量整体锐减的原因之一。

她说,不止新疆如此,全中国游客都在减少。虽然本月火车站爆炸事件之后的数天里客流量急速锐减,但马林雨说从去年下半年起客流量就在持续下降。

不过,她仍然称赞驻守在大巴扎外的警察。她说:“有警察守在外面是件好事,他们能保护我们;如果没有他们,我们的境况会更差。”

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