The Uighurs consider themselves to be the rightful occupants of the region and resent the fact that the region is ruled by the communist Chinese Government. There have been calls for independence and there have been uprisings by groups such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. There are various reasons why the Uighurs resent Chinese rule:
The Chinese government have encouraged indiginous Chinese people to migrate to the region to settle. The Uighurs resent this as they blame the Chinese for taking all the jobs and wealth for themselves. The immigrants tend to be wealthier than the locals.
In July 2009, this ethnic tension between the Han and Uighur communities in Xinjiang was brought into the international limelight after severe riots between the two groups and police forces erupted in the province's capital city of Urumqi. According to Chinese state media, at least 150 people were killed, and more than 800 were injured. The riots were reportedly sparked by a Uighur protest over the ethnically motivated killing of two Uighur workers in the southern province of Guangdong. Accounts of how the protest turned violent differ.
There have been reports that human rights have been violated in the region in various ways, and the main victims are the Uighurs:
People have been sent to prison without a fair trial. There are reports that some there are still some prisoners in prison that have never had a trial.