China Irate After U.S. Removes ‘Terrorist’ Label From Separatist Group
Hong Kong is allegedly angered at the fact that the US State Department removed a Uighur separatist group that is largely defunct from its list of terrorist organizations. Beijing blames the group for ethnic tensions in its northwest region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered the delisting of the group, called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, from the list. The Federal Reister was published Thursday without the group on it.
According to China, the Uighur group called for an independent state in the northwest, within the Xinjian region. Beijing has rejected the decision and responded with anger. The group was initially listed as a terrorist organization in 2002 amid the global War on Terror in which the US was seeking Beijing’s cooperation. China has blamed a number of terrorist attacks on the group and used its existence to justify a harsh crackdown on the Uighur population that some human rights groups have called a genocide.