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UPDATED: 08:42, August 18, 2004
China asks US not to send "wrong signal" to terrorists
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China Tuesday asked the United States not to send the "wrong signal" to terrorist forces operating in western China in its handling of Chinese detainees at the US base at the Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kongquan made the remarks when asked to comment on a report that the United States will not send those suspects back to China and was striving to find destination for them elsewhere.

The spokesman asked the United States to handle the issue according to international rules and with a view toward international anti-terrorism cooperation and bilateral ties.

The terrorists, who call themselves "East Turkistan," are part of the international terrorist forces and pose a vital threat to people's life and property safety worldwide, including in China and the United States as well, Kong said.

Listed as a terrorist group by the UN Security Council, the "East Turkistan" force has staged more than 260 attacks inside western China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in which 162 people of different nationalities have been killed and more than 440 wounded.

The group is colluding with al-Qaeda, Taliban remnants, Chechenterrorist groups and other international terrorist organizations, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said.

The United States has detained about 700 suspects of al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants from over 40 countries worldwide.

Most of them were caught in the US-led war in Afghanistan. Someof them had been handed over to their homeland governments.

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