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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Latest News
UPDATED: July 16, 2009
Members of European Parliament Speak out for China on Xinjiang Violence

Some members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday spoke out for China on violence in its Xinjiang region amid a misinformation campaign by the Western media.

In a debate, many MEPs pointed out the fact that the violence that occurred on July 5 in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, was carried out by Uygur separatists and that the majority of the victims were ethnic Han Chinese.

Adrian Severin, who spoke for the Socialist group, said minority rights should not be used as an excuse for separatist policies and extremist means to promote these policies.

"While asking the Chinese government to refrain from excessive use of power, we have to also ask everybody in this world to refrain from using minority rights as a means for promoting geopolitical goals," he told the chamber.

Charles Tannock, a long-time critic of China, said he shared China's concern about Uygur Islamic terrorism.

Most of the Uygur population in Xinjiang are peaceful followers of Islam. "However, sadly, some of the local population in recent years has become increasingly radicalized by terrorists in league with al-Qaeda," he said.

"I do share its (China's) concern about the threat of Uygur Islamic terrorism," he said.

As the EU pursues a one-China policy, "we shall not support in any way the cessation of Xinjiang" from China, he said.

Tannock, who spoke for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, also blasted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement that the Xinjiang violence was genocide of Uygurs.

He noted that Erdogan has refused to recognize the Armenian genocide by the Turks during and after World War I.

"His efforts to appeal to pan-Turkish nationalism are also hypocritical given Turkey's treatment of its own minorities, and in particular, the Kurds in eastern Turkey," said Tannock.

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2009)

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