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China Says It Will Support Anti-Terrorism Treaties - 2001-11-08


China has ratified a treaty against terrorist bombings and will sign another anti-terrorist convention next week. China also asks for understanding for its own struggle against Muslim separatists in northwestern Xinjiang province.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhu Bangzao says Beijing will give the United Nations its formal support for two anti-terrorist treaties next week. Mr. Zhu said at a news conference in Beijing Thursday that Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan - in New York for a U.N. General Assembly meeting - will hand in China's ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

Mr. Tang also will sign the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The two treaties commit China to help other governments catch and prosecute terrorists, as well as those involved in funding terrorism.

China has pledged its support for the United States in the anti-terrorism effort since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. But it has urged an early end to the U.S. bombing in Afghanistan, and wants terrorist threats to be resolved multilaterally within the U.N. framework.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also says China's fight against East Turkestan separatist forces should be part of the international effort against terrorism, and that there should be no double standards.

East Turkestan is what Muslim separatists call China's northwestern Xinjiang province. China has waged a sometimes violent battle against these separatists, who are trying to establish an independent state. But many human rights organizations say Beijing uses the threat of terrorism as an excuse to crack down on the civil liberties of its ethnic minorities.

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