Date: November 16, 2015
By Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina, Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) – China has appealed for international help in the battle it says it is waging against Islamist militants in its far western region of Xinjiang, as Beijing seeks Western support for its own “war on terror” in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Western countries have long been reluctant to share intelligence with China or otherwise cooperate, saying China has provided little evidence to prove ETIM’s existence and citing worries about possible human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Hundreds of people have died in unrest in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur people, and other parts of China over the past three years or so.
Beijing has blamed much of the violence on Islamist militants, led by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group it says has ties to al Qaeda and wants to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
More recently China has reported that some Uighurs have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State and other groups.
Speaking in Turkey on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the international community to form a “united front to combat terrorism” in the aftermath of Paris attacks, state news agency Xinhua said on Monday.
“The UN’s leading role should be brought into full play to combat terrorism, and a united front in this regard should be formed,” Wang said.
“China is also a victim of terrorism, and cracking down on ETIM should become an important part of the international fight against terrorism,” he added. [FULL STORY]