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China Accuses Xinjiang Separatists of Terrorist Acts

China yesterday published its first White Paper on the north-western Xinjiang region as President Hu Jintao left for a trip that will take him to a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) – a grouping which sees anti-terrorism as a key mission. The 55-page document, called History And Development Of Xinjiang, said independence forces in the predominantly Muslim region had been engaged in terrorist actions for a decade. The document said separatists, who want an independent East Turkestan in Xinjiang, started conducting sabotage in the early 1990s, plotting ‘a number of bloody incidents of terror and violence’. Since the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the groups had found themselves in a more difficult situation because of the global war on terror, the document said. ‘In order to get out of their predicament, the East Turkestan forces have once again raised the banner of ‘human rights’, ‘freedom of religion’ and ‘interests of ethnic minorities’,’ the document said. An independent Republic of East Turkestan existed in Xinjiang from 1944 to 1949. Full Story

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