Poisonous plotters gang up on China
Rowan Callick, China correspondent
September 23, 2006

IT was the Chinese equivalent ofa get-together of the evil geniuses of the world, something out of Austin Powers or The Naked Gun.
Seated round a table in conference room HC9 at the US Congress on Capitol Hill for two days this week were four of the "five poisons" that Beijing views as public enemies numbers one to five.

Number one on the list - the Falun Gong - was missing. But it has tended to try the patience even of fellow poisons.

The other poisons are campaigners for independence of Tibet and of the Muslim region of Xinjiang in China's northwest, supporters of Taiwan, and activists for democracy in China.

Among those present at the Washington conference were the leaders of the Inner Mongolian People's Party, the US Tibet Committee, the Uighur American Association - the Uighurs being the indigenous people of Xinjiang - and representatives from Taiwan.

The best-known figure at the meeting was Wei Jingsheng, twice jailed in China for a total of 18 years, and widely viewed as the leader of the international movement for democracy in China.

Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region within China, is not viewed today as especially prone to "splittist" tendencies - compared with Xinjiang and Tibet. But it shares a culture with the former Russian satellite of Mongolia, which is today an independent nation - and most of whose population follows the Buddhist school led by the Dalai Lama, who visited there last month.

The delegates in Washington formed an Asian Democracy Alliance, and drafted a Declaration of Independence of the Nations of High Asia that referred to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and thus of Soviet communism in 1989, concluding: "For the people of Inner Mongolia, East Turkistan (Xinjiang) and Tibet, such a moment may be at hand.

"China's economic boom has created enormous and unresolvable problems and conflicts that threaten to tear Chinese society apart."

Republican Congressman for Virginia Frank Wolf told the conference it was good that such groups were now working together "to defeat the common enemy, Communist China, which I am confident will fall in the next few years".