The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has regularly suggested that Uyghur militants have killed and are threatening to kill other Chinese citizens in the name of radical Islam, drawing direct parallels to violent events in the Middle East and Europe. Many Uyghurs were particularly disappointed that the independence of the former Soviet Central Asian Republics in 1991 did not lead to independence or at least increased autonomy in their own Autonomous Region. After denying the problem for decades and stressing instead China's "national unity", official reports and the state-run media began in early 2001 to detail terrorist activities in the regions officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. International campaigns for Uyghur rights and possible independence have become increasingly vocal and well organized, especially on the internet. China's Uyghur separatists are small in number, poorly equipped, loosely linked, and vastly out-gunned by the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police.