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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Opinion
UPDATED: July 29, 2009
Rebiya's Japan Visit Will Spell Trouble for China-Japan Relations

The visit to Japan of Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the separatist World Uyghur Congress (WUC), may cause trouble for China-Japan relations, said Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai on Monday.

Cui was speaking in a joint interview with Kyodo News and Japanese national broadcaster NHK on the July 5 Xinjiang riot and Kadeer.

The deadly July 5 Xinjiang riot was neither an ethnic nor a religious issue, but was masterminded by the separatist WUC led by Rebiya, said Cui.

"The July 5 riot in Urumqi was a serious, violent, criminal incident, which caused heavy casualties of innocent civilians," he said.

"Evidence showed the well-orchestrated riot was instigated and masterminded by the WUC led by Rebiya," he said.

The WUC called for massive bloodshed "at any cost" before the Sunday riot. And on July 5, the WUC sent out a flood of instructive messages via telephones and mobile phones to the rioters, and Rebiya herself also reminded her family of their safety in case anything should happen, Cui said.

"The riot was not a religious issue, no Islamic clergy were involved, and nor was it an ethnic one as ethnic groups live in perfect harmony with each other in China," Cui said.

On Rebiya's visit to Japan, the Chinese ambassador said China was firmly opposed to her visit to Japan and had made clear its stance to the Japanese side.

"Her tour in Japan is aimed at distorting the facts and advocating her separatist stand," said Cui. Rebiya's separatist activities in Japan would spell trouble for China-Japan relations, he said.

"China and Japan need to make a concerted effort to advance their strategic and mutually beneficial relations and jointly tackle the ongoing international financial crisis as well as regional issues," Cui said.

"China-Japan relations should not be undermined by the issue concerning Rebiya, nor should the two countries' recognition for major common interests and their cooperation," he said.

On bilateral ties, Cui said promoting the sound, stable and long-term development of China-Japan relations was the consensus of mainstream Japanese society.

"It is in the common interests of the two countries and embodies the common aspiration of both peoples (to build relations)," he said, adding he hoped the two sides would work together to achieve that goal.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2009)

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