Rebiya Kadeer (file photo) (AFP)
June 7, 2007 -- China's Foreign Ministry has accused U.S. President George W. Bush of interfering in its internal affairs by meeting with a prominent exiled Uyghur activist.
Bush met with Rebiya Kadeer on June 5 on the sidelines of the Democracy and Security Conference in Prague.
Kadeer spent six years in prison in China for leaking "state secrets" to a U.S. congressional delegation visiting China's northwestern Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the 1990s.
Rights groups accuse China of repressing Uyghurs and other non-Chinese peoples.
China In Central Asia
The Almaty,Kazakhstan, office of China's National Petroleum Corporation (RFE/RL)
BEIJING ON THE RISE: The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States prompted Washington to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. At the time, many predicted the United States would gain a new foothold in Central Asia: new U.S. military bases appeared in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, U.S. foreign aid increased, and much U.S. attention was lavished on the region. Russia and China looked on warily. But the pendulum may be swinging back in Moscow’s and Beijing’s favor. China, especially, has expended great effort at winning friends in Central Asia and is becoming a force to be reckoned with....(more)