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25-08-05, 09:47
The New York Times
August 25, 2005
China Accuses High - Profile Dissident of Terror Plot
By REUTERS

Filed at 6:11 a.m. ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday accused a high-profile dissident exiled to the United States of plotting to sabotage upcoming celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the setting up the northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang.

Wang Lequan, the Communist Party secretary of the restive region, said Rebiya Kadeer, a minority Muslim Uighur businesswoman freed in March after years in jail, had also evaded taxes, committed fraud and ran up huge debts.

``She said that once abroad she would never do anything to damage state interests,'' Wang said of Kadeer at a news conference. ``But as soon as she went over the border, she broke her promises.''

While abroad, she had conspired with separatists and religious extremists ``about how to plan terror attacks and jeopardize our 50th anniversary,'' he added.

The anniversary falls on China's National Day, October 1.

Wang, who sits on the politburo, making him one of China's 24 most powerful leaders, did not elaborate, but said Chinese authorities had reliable evidence of the plot.

Kadeer was jailed in 1999 on charges of providing state secrets abroad and released on medical parole. She was not immediately available for comment.

The U.S.-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch said in May police had raided Kadeer's trading business in Xinjiang, tried to arrest one of her sons and beaten up and detained two of her associates.

Beijing keeps a tight grip on restive Xinjiang, which borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, three former Soviet Central Asia republics, Russia and Mongolia.

Xinjiang, which means ``New Frontier,'' a name given during the Manchu Qing Dynasty, is considered offensive by many advocates of independence.

Uighur militants, whom Beijing calls terrorists or separatists, have been struggling for decades to make the region an independent state called East Turkestan.

``No country would allow this, so we must take tough measures,'' Wang said.

At the news conference, Xinjiang governor Ismail Tiliwaldi said: ``Terrorists are now hated and detested in Xinjiang. They are like rats run on to the street and everyone is screaming 'smash them!'''