China sees long-term stability struggle in Xinjiang

Originally Published by The Reuters, 3 January 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s restless far western region of Xinjiang will have to wage a long-term struggle to contain separatist forces and maintain stability there, the region’s top leader was quoted as saying by state media.

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THE bright winter sun bouncing off the green and gold decorated mosque in the remote northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi is deceptive

Originally Published by The Australian, 2 January 2010

It’s minus 6C as thousands of the city’s male Uighur population slip off their shoes and lay down their prayer mats for Jumu’ah, the sacrosanct Friday service.

Worshippers have been gathering for the past hour and at 2pm the Imam begins his sermon, preparing the faithful for their ritual. Men in a wide variety of hats spill beyond the front fence into the street.

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Turkey-China Relations in 2009

Originally Published by Turkish Weekly, 1 January 2010

Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to China between June 24 and 29 was the one of the most important developments in Turkey-China relations in 2009. Gul was the first Turkish president visiting China after 14 years.

President Gul and Chinese President Hu Jintao attended ceremonies held on signing of several agreements between the two countries after their meeting on June 25, 2009.

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Chinese Muslim region adopts law on national unity

Originally Published by The Washington Post, 31 December 2009

BEIJING — The government of a restive Chinese Muslim region rocked recently by ethnic strife said Thursday it has adopted what appeared to be a sweeping law barring the spread of views deemed to threaten national unity.

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China police order strikes against state enemies

Published by AFP, 28 December 2009

BEIJING — A top police official in China has ordered pre-emptive strikes against perceived threats to social order in a speech published Monday, just days after a key political dissident was jailed.

“Hostile forces” both in and outside China were seeking to inflame growing social discontent in an effort to create instability, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said in a speech carried by state news websites.

He pointed the finger of blame at anti-China forces in the troubled regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, where Tibetans and ethnic Uighur Muslims have recently rioted against Chinese rule.

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Turkey concerned about Cambodia’s expulsion of Uighurs

Originally Published by TODAY’S ZAMAN, 26 December 2009

Turkey has spoken out against Cambodia’s deportation of 20 ethnic Uighur asylum seekers who had fled violence in China, while stating that it expects Chinese authorities to treat the deported Uighurs fairly and in line with international human rights norms.

The asylum seekers had escaped China in recent months following the July clashes between Uighurs and ethnic Han in Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, which, according to government figures, claimed more than 150 lives.

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Authorities seek pair of Uighur escapees

Originally Published by Phnom Penh Post, 24 December 2009

NATIONAL police said Wednesday that they had begun the hunt for two Uighur asylum seekers who avoided the deportation of 20 of their countrymen on Saturday, and a top UN official added his voice to those criticising the Cambodian government over the deportation.

Sok Phal, deputy national police commissioner, said the two missing Uighurs were being investigated in the same manner as all foreigners suspected of breaching the country’s immigration laws.

“Our police forces are working to make an arrest of all immigrants who entered Cambodia illegally. These two Uighur men are also under our investigation,” he said, adding that around 40 foreign nationals were in custody for entering the country illegally.

The two escaped Uighurs have been unaccounted for since last week, before 20 others were taken to a site jointly monitored by the government and the UN’s refugee agency on December 16.

Rights activists say Cambodian authorities went to the site two days later and detained the 20 at gunpoint before putting them on a chartered plane to China the next night.

All 22 Uighurs had applied for refugee status through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Phnom Penh after fleeing ethnic violence in China’s restive Xinjiang province in July.

On Tuesday, Sister Denise Coughlan, director of Jesuit Refugee Services Cambodia, which was involved with the Uighur case, said she was “praying” for the safety of the two missing Uighurs. “I can’t imagine that Cambodia is a safe place for them anymore, so I hope they’ve escaped,” she said.

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More Uighurs sentenced to death in China

Originally Published by The Australian, 23 December 2009

CHINA has begun sentencing 20 more ethnic Uighurs – some to death – for their part in riots which left 197 people dead in the remote western city of Urumqi on July 5, as the second batch of trials of more than 1200 people arrested as a result of the carnage began today, with at least one man sent for execution.

In early December five people were sentenced to death and a further eight given prison terms, bringing to 17 sent to be executed in trials of the first two groups of people from the bloody unrest. Nine have been executed so far.

The province of Xinjiang, of which Urumqi is the capital, remains locked down with internet, text messaging and international phone access cut off.

The Australian has learned that three new trials were held today with other accused expected to be given their final sentences in coming days.

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