Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Islamic Terrorism Coming To China via "East Turkestan"


China Seeks Greater Cooperation from Turkey against Violence in Xinjiang

BEIJING – China has sought greater cooperation from Turkey to end what it considers Islamic terrorism in the autonomous Xinjiang province, in northwest China, where violence has escalated in recent years with over 200 deaths registered in 2014, China’s state media reported Tuesday.

During a meeting with Turkish National Police chief Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz, Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun said that terrorist cells like the East Turkistan Islamic Movement had had very serious consequences on the safety and stability of people from both countries.

Chinese authorities usually link all acts of violence in Xinjiang, home to Muslim minority groups such as the Uighurs, to Islamic groups seeking to establish an independent state of East Turkestan.

The government attributes every incident of violence in the region to terrorism, while members of the Uighur community in exile – the only ones who dare to speak without fear of reprisal – claims that the clashes are a result of official repression that the minorities are subjected to.

In this context, China called upon Turkey for enhanced cooperation on anti-terrorism and for combating organized human trafficking.

Guo suggested that both countries should use their cooperative platforms, including a joint working group, to improve bilateral cooperation.

The Turkish police chief, on his part, expressed his country’s opposition to any form of terrorism and its willingness to work with China on the issue.

On numerous occasions, China has claimed that it had evidence of internal terrorism being supported by external influences and has often related East Turkistan Islamic Movement to groups like Al Qaeda.

Several international organizations and countries have sought more clarity on the lack of transparency – information on violence is very limited and only provided by the official media, and China only provides limited access to Xinjiang – from the Chinese government.

Beijing usually responds to these charges by criticizing the perceived double standard against terrorism by these parties.

In the wake of increasing violence not only in Xinjiang, but also in other parts of China in an unprecedented manner, the government launched an anti-terrorism campaign which led to about a dozen death sentences given 2014.


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