Thursday, May 23, 2013
Last Updated: 22 May 19:22 PM IST
29 October 2012
Press Trust of India
Confirming reports that the militants from Xinjiang, where China is grappling with ethnic unrest between Muslim Uyghur population and Han Chinese settlers, foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said that the Xinjiang militants were “colluding” with international terrorist groups.
“China opposes all forms of terrorism. The East Turkistan terrorist forces lead by the East Turkistan Islamic movement, (active in Xinjiang) have been colluding with international terrorist organisation,” Mr Hong told a media briefing without directly naming Al Qaida.
“It not only seriously undermines China's national security but also a threat to other countries peace and stability. The international community should stay on high alert against them and step up cooperation the joint fight against all terrorist organisations including them,” he said.
Earlier state-run Global Times quoted unidentified Chinese anti-terrorism officials as saying that leaders from “East Turkestan” terror organisations sending their members to Syria to participate in their quest for jihad.
China backs the embattled Assad regime in Syria even though it established contacts with the rebel groups.
East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) were fighting for “independence” for China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where Uyghur Muslims of Turkik origin opposed settlements of Han Chinese.
Since May, ETIM and ETESA members have been going to Syria and linking up with organisations like Al Qaida to fight against the Syrian government, the report said.