Countries urged to stop funding 'East Turkistan'

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China on Tuesday strongly demanded that unnamed "relevant countries" stop their support for "East Turkistan" terrorists in the wake of the Urumqi riots.

"We firmly opposes any support for the 'three forces' by any foreign countries or overseas organizations and demand they immediately cease the support," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular news briefing.

The "three forces" are separatism, terrorism and extremism.

Qin said a large amount of evidence showed the "three forces" at home and abroad never ceased activities to sabotage China's national security and that "relevant countries" had provided them support and funding.

Qin did not elaborate on the "relevant countries."

But U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed at a press conference on Monday that a U.S. organization had provided funding for the World Uygur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer, which the Chinese believe was behind the Urumqi riots and a series of protests at Chinese embassies worldwide.

"I do know that her organization does receive funds from the National Endowment for Democracy, which receives its funds from Congress," Kelly said.

The deadly July 5 riot in Urumqi, capital of northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has left at least 184 dead.

"We strongly demand that these countries should immediately stop their funding and support to the 'three forces' in any form," Qin said.

Qin said that the measures the Chinese government had taken to deal with the July 5 riots were not targeted at any ethnic group or religion and called on the Muslim countries to see the "truth" of the incident.

"If they realize the truth, they will understand China's ethnic and religious policies and the measures the Chinese government has taken to deal with the incident," Qin said.

Qin said China and Muslim countries had forged relationships of mutual respect and support. "The relationships will move forward on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, particularly mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit."

Qin reiterated that China firmly opposed terrorism in any form and would work with other countries to jointly combat terrorism and safeguard the security of Chinese personnel and organizations abroad.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2009)

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