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China asks Pakistan, other countries to unearth links with Urumqi violence

China asks Pakistan, other countries to unearth links with Urumqi violence

Author: Saibal Dasgupta
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 8, 2009
URL http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/China-asks-Pakistan-other-countries-to-unearth-links-with-Urumqi-violence/articleshow/4754374.cms

Even as additional security personnel and machinery poured into Urumqi, the Chinese foreign ministry has got into action asking several countries including Pakistan to prove their friendship by taking a stand on the issue.

Beijing wants several countries to unearth the links between their citizens and the World Uyghur Congress.

A worried Hu Jintao, secretary-general of the Communist Party of China and the country's president left the G8 summit in Italy and rushed back to Beijing on Tuesday night as it dawned on Chinese authorities that the Urumqi violence might set off a chain reaction and eventually affect the party position.

The Communist Party boss of Urumqi said the local government will seek death penalty for those involved in the killing of 156 people during the orgy of violence on Sunday. Li Zhi, the local party boss, said the streets of the city are totally under the control of security forces.

The authorities also launched a concentrated effort to connect with all communities with the help of leaflets dropped from airplanes and appeals made through loud speakers telling people to stay calm and eschew violence.

Li made a significant revelation saying most of those detained for the violence were young students. This may not be good news for authorities, who were hoping that the young would be charmed by promises of modern development instead of carrying forward the old struggle for an independent East Turkmenistan nation.

A section of Uyghur Muslims have been demanding a separate nation in the northwest Chinese region of Xinjiang for many years.

China wants several countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany and the United States to help unearth links between their local citizens and the World Uyghur Congress, which Beijing considers to be behind the violence in Urumqi. One report suggested that foreign ministry officials are in talks with envoys of Afghanistan posted in Beijing on the issue.

The government had earlier issued a white paper, which showed that a large number of Xinjiang terrorists have been trained in training bases in Pakistan. The Turkic speaking Uygurs have close links with Kazakhstan and Turkey while the WUC operates from Germany and United States.

Russia came out with a statement confirming that it "views the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region as an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China and considers that events there are purely the internal affair of China". The statement was apparently issued after persuasion from Beijing.

The moves suggest that China has further evidence about rioters in Urumqi getting support from sources based in foreign countries. But reports from the northwestern city suggest that there was still a high level of fear and distrust among both the Ughyur and majority Han communities about a possible reoccurrence of violence.

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