China’s problems stemming from minorities in the west of the country – particularly the Uighurs, but also the Tibetans – do not seem to be coming to an end. Given Beijing’s approach, it will not be solved soon.

The most recent attack occurred last week in Urumqi. Suicide bombs from two SUVs killed at least 31 and wounded 94 at a popular garden market. Some suspect that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a separatist group, may have played a role.

The bombing apparently was timed to embarrass President Xi Jinping while he hosted a summit of 26 nations in Shanghai. It also came on the heels of Xi’s signing with Russian President Vladimir Putin a 30-year natural gas deal, estimated at $400 billion, that is to the advantage of both countries.

The newest attack followed other recent violence. On April 30, an explosion in a train station in Urumqi killed three people and wounded 79 after Xi finished a visit to the region. In March, 29 people were killed in a mass knife attack in the city of Kunming. The perpetrators of the knifing incident were Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group.

The Beijing government does not seem to know what to do about the Uighurs or the Tibetans. In both cases, Beijing has tried to flood their regions with Han Chinese and station more People’s Liberation Army forces there. But the Tibetans continue to resist through self-immolations and the Uighurs through more violent assaults.

Beijing should think instead in terms of dialogue and greater political and economic freedom, tools used too infrequently by the Communists.