Reuters via the New York Times already gets the roll bowling with its “can’t resist to joke” article “China Pulls Rug from Under Flying Carpet Drug Smugglers.” As someone who now sees Xinjiang as my adoptive home in China, I feel a sort of odd pride that drug traffickers in Xinjiang and across the border in Afghanistan and Pakistan have pioneered a cutting edge system for smuggling drugs into China. The smugglers in question insert heroin into plastic tubes 1 to 2 mm wide, then disguise them as yarn by wrapping them in synthetic fibers and weaving into carpets. Naturally, the reason we know about this is because the PRC customs anti-smuggling investigators succeeded in unravelling the diabolical plots woven by those with the intent of harming the stability and harmony of Xinjiang. For a profit. However, the deputy director of the General Administration of Customs’ anti-smuggling bureau still acknowledged that a new level of sophistication was attained by the smugglers who developed the method.
And thus drug smuggler joins terrorist, AIDS kebabs vagabond, and thief on the “ways in which Uyghurs are spoiling the harmony of New China” list. Granted the article referenced above didn’t mention Uyghurs in specific, but let’s face it, for the Chinese reader the modus operandi of carpet smuggling will give it all away (even if it turns out that the operation was run entirely by Han Chinese). But as tourism drops rapidly in the months before the 2008 Olympics, perhaps a story like this one will increase carpet sales in Xinjiang, which is rapidly ousting Yunnan as the drug capital of the People’s Republic.