Xinjiang Riots Harm Peaceful Ethnic Co-Existence: Egyptian Diplomat
    2009-07-16 12:02:23     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Jin
The recent riots in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, have jeopardized the peaceful co-existence of different ethnic groups there and should be condemned, a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

The latest events in Urumqi were instigated by some extremists who are engaged in actions of sabotage and destruction, Ahmed Wally, Under Secretary General of Arab-Chinese Friendship Association, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Actions of violence, extremism and destruction, no matter who committed them, should be condemned, he said.

Wally, who is also vice chairman of Egypt-China Friendship Association, said he could feel the peaceful co-existence of all people in Xinjiang when he visited there.

When he visited the main square in Urumqi, Wally said, he failed to tell the difference between Han and Uygur people, who lived together in peace, love and safety.

The Chinese government is working hard to achieve balance and protect the rights of all minorities, Wally said. The riots in Urumqi have damaged the lives of both the Han and Uygur people there, he said.

He said he has visited Islamic universities and mosques in Xinjiang and witnessed the freedom of faith there, adding that what he saw refutes the lies told by some Western media which aim to distort China's image in the world.

Xinjiang covers an area of about 1.66 million square kilometers, accounting for one-sixth of the Chinese territory. It is the largest region in China in terms of landmass, and has a population of about 21 million people.

The unrest in Urumqi has led to the deaths of at least 192 people. More than 1,680 were injured

Wally said some people in the Arab world failed to get a true picture of China, as some Western media have given an unfair coverage of the Xinjiang riots. To compensate that, Wally called on the Chinese government to intensify contact with all moderate sides in the Muslim World and encourage Islamic organizations members and groups to visit China.

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