March 10, 2008

China fabricated terror plots: Uighur leader in US

China fabricated terror plots: Uighur leader in US

Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer Monday accused China of fabricating alleged plots against the Olympics, and even of scheming to carry out its own terror attacks, to blacken her community's name.

"It's completely untrue. All these allegations are falsified," Kadeer, who joined her US-based husband in 2005 after six years in a Chinese jail, told AFP through an interpreter.

"The real goal of the Chinese government is to organize a terrorist attack so that it can increase its crackdown on the Uighur people," the 61-year-old head of the Uyghur American Association said.

Wang Lequan, Communist Party chief in the northwestern Xinjiang region, said Sunday that a January raid on "terrorists," which resulted in the deaths of two militants and 15 arrests, had foiled a planned attack directed at the Games.

The alleged plot was the second foiled attack linked to Muslim separatists in Xinjiang, home of the Uighur community, to be announced over the weekend.

Passengers on a China Southern Airlines flight attempted to crash a Chinese airliner on Friday flying to Beijing from Urumqi, capital of the region, an official from the region said on Sunday.

The plane was subsequently diverted to the city of Lanzhou in Gansu province, where "suspicious liquids" were removed, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

Kadeer is seeking talks at the White House and the US State Department about the apparent plots, which she insisted were fabricated "to create fear to attract support from the Chinese people and the international community."

"The Uighur people are struggling for their freedom, but the Uighur people will never harm innocent people. Our hearts are kind," she said.

January 17, 2007

Guangzhou motorcycle ban & crime

In City Ban, a Sign of Wealth and Its Discontents

Guangzhou, the chaotic export capital in southern China, appeared to hit a major Chinese milestone this month, becoming the country’s first city to reach a per capita income of $10,000 — more than five times the nationwide figure and a rough threshold for becoming a “developed” country.

But in a measure of just how problematic prosperity can be here, the city will institute a ban on motorcycles and motorized bicycles on Monday, hoping to quell a crime wave that has been building to more than 100,000 offenses a year.

The vehicles, the primary mode of transport for migrant workers clawing their way up Guangzhou’s economic ladder, are also favored by criminals who have terrorized the city in recent years, including a shocking case in late 2005, when a woman had her hand cut off by a thief on a motorcycle. News accounts concluded that motorcycle thieves were divided into gangs, including one called the Hand Choppers.