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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Definition of terrorist: One who exerts a "Bad influence"

According to a new definition of terrorism coined recently by Chinese Deputy Director of Public Security Ma Mingyue terrorism, Uygur terrorism in particular, is where terrorists exert a "bad influence" on people.

According to Wajahat Ali of the Daily Times of Pakistan on Friday Ma Mingyue, when addressing a group of Pakistani journalists on a visit to Urumqi , capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, told them that members of the internationally listed Uygur "terrorist" group ETIM had holed up in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Rawalpindi. When pressed about how these dangerous terrorists from China's most wanted group operated in or from Pakistan Mr Mingyue is reported to have said that they were

"simply being a 'bad influence' on people visiting Pakistan from Xinjiang".

Simply being a "bad influence"

If it was not so damn serious it would be laughable.

China has claimed since "9/11" that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was an extremely dangerous terrorist and Islamic fundamentalist organisation that had "proven" links with both al Qaeda and the Taliban. That it was an extensive network of members resolute in their aim of separating Xinjiang from China and setting up an independent Uygur Islamic state.

So insistent was China as to the threat this group posed to Chinese and world security it petitioned the United Nations to proscribe this then little known group as an "International terrorist Organisation". By way of payback or whatever for China's support of it's "War on Terror" the United States backed China's push and ETIM was listed early 2002.

As I said, at that time nothing was known of this "dangerous international group". Uygur diaspora organisations stated that they had little or no knowledge of it or it's supposed leader Hassan Mahsun. The United States State Department when announcing the listing could offer no proof of their misdeeds other than stating the Chinese had told them the details, no collaboration validation, nothing. A State Department spokesman even admitted that the group is not known to have operated outside of China or targeted Americans or any foreign national. But of course they could do so that is why they were described as an international group.

In December 2003 the Chinese government trotted out it's "Most Wanted List" of Uygur terrorists and poor Hassan Mahsun topped the list as the equivalent of Bin Ladin in the Chinese terrorism stakes.

The problem was however that Hassan had been dead a full two months at the time, killed by soldiers in a raid on some flea bitten village in Pakistan thought to be a terrorist camp. On top of that China had helped in the identification of his remains. So either he was not really that important to be remembered or China had intended to "keep him alive" to perpetuate the myth, until of course some Pakistani let the cat out of the bag so to speak.

Now a leading Chinese official comes out and says this. Caught,as it would appear, ill prepared with "facts".

It really is about time that the world disabuses itself of the belief in "Uygur Terrorism" propagated by the Chinese to lend validation to their oppressive regime over the Uygurs of Xinjiang.

Anyway on a lighter note (for you readers at least)I am off to hand myself in to the local cop shop because well, in honesty, I have been known to have been a bad influence on a lot of people, especially on a Friday night after work. So See Ya!

Daily Times - Site Edition