Tue, July 07, 2009
China > Mainland

FM spokesman: Violence in Urumqi not a peaceful protest

2009-07-07 08:05:06 GMT2009-07-07 16:05:06 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Vehicles set on fire and destroyed in Sunday night's riot are seen on Beiwan Street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Shen Qiao)

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The Sunday violence in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is not a peaceful protest, but "an evil killing, fire setting and looting", said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Tuesday.

"Anybody calling the violence a peaceful protest is to turn black into white in an attempt to mislead the public," Qin told a regular press conference.

More than 150 people died and other 1,000-odd injured following the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Xinjiang police said Monday they had evidence that separatist World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer masterminded the riot.

Rebiya Kadeer, a former businesswoman in China, was detained in 1999 on charges of harming national security. She was released on bail on March 17, 2005 to seek medical treatment in the United States.

"Rebiya Kadeer is also involved into serious economic crime," Qin said, noting that the Chinese government, out of humanitarian consideration, allowed her to remain out of custody and obtain medical treatment, and she had promised not to engage in actions endangering the country's security before her leaving.

After the Sunday riot, the foreign journalists, about 60 in number, were in Xinjiang on a reporting trip arranged by the Information Office of the State Council, the Chinese Cabinet.

"China takes an open and transparent principle on the news report, and offer active help and convenience for the foreign and Chinese journalists to cover news in Xinjiang," Qin said, hoping that the media would fairly report the truth.

Qin also reminded the reporters to abide by related regulations and laws, and take care of their own security.

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