This paper argues that Beiijing's handling of the Xinjiang and Uyghur issues at the domestic, regional and international levels is characterised by a number of contradictions. Domestically, the July 2009 unrest suggests that China's longstanding approach to Xinjiang is at risk of failure due to the contradictions inherent in the logic that underpins Beijing's strategy. Regionally, Beijing faces a contradiction between its growing influence on the governments of Central Asia and the ambivalent attitude of Central Asian publics towards China. Internationally, the major implication of the July unrest has been to signal the internationalisation of the Uyghur issue whereby it has become a significant irritant in Beijing's relations with a number of major Western states, including the USA and Australia. It has been Beijing's own approach to Xinjiang domestically and its handling of the Uyghur issue in its diplomacy that has contributed to the internationalisation of the issue.