Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China has called the Japanese ambassador in Beijing to protest the visit to Japan of Rebiya Kadeer, head of the Uyghur World Congress.
The Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Wu Dawei said that Beijing "asked the Japanese government to take immediate effective measures to prevent [the Kadeer] from carrying out anti-China separatist activities in Japan." Sources of the Japanese Government responded that the woman has not been invited by the government, nor had dealings with it.
In Tokyo, Kadeer spoke of the Uyghurs cause, accusing Beijing of violence and persecution and met parliamentarians from the Liberal Democratic Party which is part of the ruling coalition. China says that the woman is a dangerous terrorist and separatist and organized violent protests that broke out on July 5 in Xinjiang.
Yesterday, the Kadeer also accused the Chinese authorities of being behind the overnight disappearance "of about 10 thousand people” from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang. Today Hou Hanmin, spokesman of the Xinjiang government, denied the allegations, insisting on the official figures of about 1,700 arrests for violent protests. Furthermore, the province has issued a list of 15 fugitive Uyghurs, wanted on charges of having had a "significant role" in the protests.
The Kadeer has also asked the Chinese authorities "to dialogue" and called on the international community to press Beijing to look for a peaceful solution to the problem of the Uyghurs, a minority in their own country and subject to systematic cultural and physical persecution.
Chinese diplomacy is working to mitigate the negative effect of the protests and the crackdown in place in Xinjiang. Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, has written article in European Voice entitled "What Europe should understand about the violence in Urumqi”, in which he insists that the Uyghurs started the violent protests and that the police had to protect the safety of innocent citizens. Many comments on blog posts from China are cited as evidence in support of this version. But the fact that the internet was shut down across the region in the immediate aftermath of the protests is not explained. Song celebrates Beijing as an example of economic growth and tolerance and recalls the 23 thousand mosques that exist across the country. But the frequent prohibitions affecting Muslims in Xinjiang, with regard to their religion, language, culture are not mentioned.