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Uyghurs Ask U.S. For Support In Beijing Talks

1 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A group advocating independence for China's Uyghur minority appeals to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to tell Beijing that it must not use the war on terrorism as an excuse for political repression.

The German-based World Uyghur Congress made its plea today, while in Beijing Zoellick was co-chairing a two-day meeting designed to promote transparency in U.S.-Chinese relations.

Talks were expected to include recent bilateral trade disputes, Taiwan, the global fight against terrorism, and relations between China and Japan.

London-based Amnesty International has accused China of using the fight against global terrorism to justify its "long- standing repression" of the rights of Uyghurs, a Muslim Turkic minority living in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.