If you can’t beat them, out bid them, right? The Chinese government certainly appears to be thinking along these lines. The Chinese government is now offering up to $49 million dollars worth of rewards in awards for information leading the arrest, capture, or death of Xinjiang terrorists. The pool of cash rewards is one of the largest in history, and given how much further a dollar stretches in China, this is a huge sum indeed.

Chinese government

Uighur separatists have managed to launch one of the deadliest and most effective anti-government campaigns in the history of Communist rule in China. 96 people have died in recent weeks alone as separatists are stepping up their efforts. Their attacks have left hundreds dead and tarnished the Chinese government’s reputation for stable and effective rule.

Nearly $700,000 Dollars Already Handed Out

The Chinese government recently shelled out $4.3 million dollars to citizens and government agencies over the capture and killing of 10 suspected Uighur separatists. This would be a large sum in the United States, but in China were the average person makes about $10,000 dollars per year, the payments are even more significant.

The 10 terrorists, as the government refers to them, were discovered by local residents in a corn field and after an intense gun fight that ended at an abandoned house, nine of the suspects were killed while one was captured alive.

Six people were given awards of 100,000 yuan (about $16,200 USD) for tip offs that led to the death and capture of the suspects. Meanwhile, an “award ceremony” attended by some 10,000 people in Hotan drummed up even more support for the government.

Attacks Hurting Economic Development

Xinjiang is rich in natural resources and the Chinese central government has been trying to allocate more resources to developing the region. Beyond allowing the country to tap resources, increased economic development should lead to increased instability. As material wealth and well-being improve, people tend to become more placate.

The rash of attacks, however, has been scaring off some investors and slowing economic development efforts. Uighur separatists want to declare an independent East Turkmenistan. The central Chinese government, however, has shown no appetite for allowing portions of its country to break away.

While separatists have been ramping up their attacks on the government and citizens of Han descent, the government has also been increasing the resources dedicated to fighting the uprising. With the international media paying increasing attention to rising China, government activities may remain constrained in comparison to times past, but as attacks increase in intensity, the government may grow more willing to take the gloves off.