MinistryApproves of China’s Course of Action in Uighur Riots

China has taken “appropriate measures” in dealing with the riots in the Xinjiang Uighur Auto­no­mous Re­gion and the country’s actions are “its exclusive internal affair,” according to a statement from the Cambo­dian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The announcement, posted Sat­urday on the ministry’s website, was issued to clarify Cambodia’s pos­ition and did not come about after any discussions with China or prompting from other nations, ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said.

“[T]he government of China is tak­ing appropriate measures to ad­dress the problem and restore so­cial order,” the brief statement read.

Other countries have condemn­ed Beijing’s response to the unrest, which, Mr Kuong said, is their right.

The unrest began July 5 in western China when members of the ethnic Muslim Uighur minority rallied to demand an investigation into a brawl at a toy factory between Han Chinese and Uighurs that re­sulted in at least two Uighur deaths. The clash has been called some of the worst ethnic violence in China in years.

The Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, quoted Chinese Foreign Min­­istry spokesman Qin Gang as say­ing the protest was not a peaceful one but “an evil killing, fire setting and looting.” The news agency re­ported that 156 people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the riots.

Mr Kuong said the Cambodian government is following the situation in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang region, through various media outlets. He said on Sun­day that he has not received any re­s­ponse from Chinese officials but add­ed the ministry was not expecting any reply.

Second Secretary for the Chi­nese Embassy Qian Hai said his country “welcomed the statement’ but de­clined to answer any fur­ther questions about the situation in Xinjiang.

The Cambodian government took a similar stance with Burma in September 2007 when pro-democracy demonstrations provoked a mi­l­­i­tary crackdown there. While the US, EU and Canada leveled econo­mic sanctions against the Asean mem­ber, the Laotian and Cambo­dian governments said they would not support sanctions against the military junta and deemed the ac­tions counter-productive.


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