China slams Uighur leader Kadeer's Japan visit: report

Other News Materials 28 July 2009 09:26 (UTC +04:00)
China slams Uighur leader Kadeer's Japan visit: report

China's ambassador to Japan on Monday slammed a planned Tokyo visit by Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, in an apparent escalation of Beijing's campaign against the exile it accuses of instigating deadly ethnic riots, Reuters reported.

China says Kadeer, a once successful businesswoman in China but now leader of exile group the World Uyghur Congress, planned an outbreak of violence in northwestern Xinjiang region earlier this month in which nearly 200 people died.

She denies the claim.

"How would the people of Japan feel if a violent crime occurs in Japan and its mastermind is invited by a third country?" Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted ambassador Cui Tiankai as saying in a group interview.

"The matter can be considered easily when you think from the other person's viewpoint ... she is a criminal," he added.

International trips by exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, who China also blames for instigating deadly ethnic violence last year, are routinely criticized by Beijing, particularly when he has been received by prominent figures.

But China has rarely commented on Kadeer's travels before.

She is scheduled to give a news conference on Wednesday and speak at a symposium. Organizers of her trip did not respond to requests for further details of her plans.

But Japanese officials do not generally meet with the Dalai Lama and a foreign ministry spokeswoman said there were no plans for official meetings with Kadeer.

Cui also warned that the visit should not be allowed to damage a working relationship with China which has improved recently, after years of diplomatic spats over wartime history.

"We must prevent important matters that should be worked on together from being disturbed by a criminal or attention to our common interests from being diverted," Kyodo quoted him as saying.

Hackers have also defaced the website of Australia's biggest film festival which refused to withdraw a documentary about Kadeer, organizers said on Monday.

The Chinese government two weeks ago protested to the Melbourne International Film Festival over the inclusion of the documentary and last week three Chinese films were withdrawn in protest at Kadeer's planned attendance at the August 8 premiere.