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Kazakh expert rebuts Xinjiang separatist leader's claims
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A Kazakh expert on Monday rebuted a Xinjiang separatist leader's claims concerning the history and present situation of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

At a seminar held in Almaty on the July 5 riot in Urumqi, Khahriman Hojamberdiyev, vice president of the World Uygur Congress, said the ultimate goal of the congress is to separate Xinjiang from China and found a sovereign state. He claimed that the Uygurs had established their own country before.

Syroezhkin Konstantin Lvovich, chief researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, challenged Hojamberdiyev's claims.

He said that the Uygurs are not the original inhabitants of Xinjiang and disputes still remain on whether a country ruled by Uygurs did exist.

Hojamberdiyev further said that how can a region, with more than 9 million Uygurs and abundant natural resources and close ties with Central Asian culture, will not pursue independence and establish its own country?

"But as far as I know, no country in the world support the Uygurs to establish a sovereign state. You may drop the separatist motive and stay in harmony with the Han people to promote common development," said the emcee of the seminar.

That opinion was echoed by Syroezhkin, who said that the Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy enacted in 1984 stipulates that ethnic groups practice self-government in their regions, which is a legal guarantee for the ethnic groups to exercise their right of regional autonomy.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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