China not happy on pris­oner trans­fer

Guan­tanamo sus­pects are en route to Slo­vakia amid protest

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHOU WA and ZHANG FAN in Bei­jing and CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton

China has op­posed the US de­ci­sion to send the last three Chi­nese Uygur ter­ror­ist sus­pects im­pris­oned at Guan­tanamo Bay to Slo­vakia, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thurs­day, adding that China has al­ways main­tained that th­ese ter­ror­ist sus­pects should be handed over to China rather be­ing trans­ferred to a third coun­try.

“China firmly op­poses any coun­try ac­cept­ing those sus­pects for any rea­son,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a Pen­tagon state­ment on Tues­day, three ter­ror­ist sus­pects — Yusef Ab­bas, Saidul­lah Khalik and Ha­ji­ak­bar Ab­dul Ghu­per — who are mem­bers of the Uygur eth­nic group, were to be moved from Guan­tanamo Bay mil­i­tary prison in Cuba. Slo­vakia’s in­te­rior min­istry later con­firmed that the cen­tral Euro­pean coun­try would take in the three men.

Qin said the sus­pects were mem­bers of the sep­a­ratist East Turk­istan Is­lamic Move­ment, which is a small Is­lamic ex­trem­ist group based in China’s Xinjiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

In 2002, the US des­ig­nated the group as a sup­porter of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity. In the same year, the United Na­tions added the group to its list of ter­ror­ists and ter­ror­ist sup­port­ers as­so­ci­ated with Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida net­work.

“They are gen­uine ter­ror­ists. They not only threaten China’s se­cu­rity, they will threaten the se­cu­rity of the coun­try that re­ceives them,” Qin said in a daily news

The‘

US has never changed th­ese dou­ble stan­dards, which are also shown in other cases.” LI WEI THE CHINA IN­STI­TUTES OF CON­TEM­PO­RARY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL RE­LA­TIONS.

brief­ing in Bei­jing.

“China hopes that the rel­e­vant coun­try ... does not give asy­lum to ter­ror­ists, and sends them back to China as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Slo­vakia, a mem­ber state of the Euro­pean Union, first ac­cepted three Guan­tanamo pris­on­ers in 2010, and the min­istry said the lat­est trans­fer is the con­tin­u­a­tion of an EU-US agree­ment aimed at help­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama close the prison.

The US said it was grate­ful to Slo­vakia for its “hu­man­i­tar­ian ges­ture”.

The US has so far failed to con­demn ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties by Uygur sep­a­ratists against civil­ians in China, draw­ing wide­spread crit­i­cism for its dou­ble stan­dards on the is­sue.

“The US has never changed th­ese dou­ble stan­dards, which are also shown in other cases,” said Li Wei, di­rec­tor of the anti-ter­ror­ism re­search center at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions.

“If this is not an ex­am­ple of dou­ble stan­dards, what is?” said Zhu Zhiqun, pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at Buck­nell Univer­sity.

“We have no ca­su­al­ties as the ar­son at­tack hap­pened dur­ing off-work hours,” he said. “But the de­spi­ca­ble act caused se­vere dam­age to the con­sulate fa­cil­i­ties and poses a threat to the safety of the con­sulate staff, their fam­ily mem­bers and the nearby neigh­bor­hood.”

Marie Harf, State Depart­ment deputy spokes­woman, said on Thurs­day that af­ter the in­ci­dent, the State Depart­ment had been in im­me­di­ate con­tact with the Chi­nese con­sulate and the Chi­nese em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton

“We take this in­ci­dent very se­ri­ously, and the Bureau of Diplo­matic Se­cu­rity is work­ing with the FBI and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate and ap­pre­hend the per­pe­tra­tors,” she said.

“It is so ter­ri­ble to see such dis­re­spect­ful be­hav­ior,” said Tom Jenk­ins, a tourist from Oregon who hap­pened to be pass­ing by the site. “Anger should have a bet­ter way to ex­press it­self.” Zhang Jie, a Chi­nese lawyer and vis­it­ing scholar from Chicago, told China Daily he drove an hour from his ho­tel to show his sup­port for the con­sulate.

“I don’t think this ar­son at­tack will in­flu­ence the Sino-US re­la­tion­ship, but the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment must take this in­ci­dent se­ri­ously and find out who com­mit­ted this crime,” he said. “They must give an an­swer to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

“As ev­ery­one knows, all con­sulates are pro­tected,” he said. “It is shock­ing and in­fu­ri­at­ing that some­thing like this has hap­pened.”

He Konghua, chair of the US Chi­nese Women Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion, said the fire was “an ex­tremely se­ri­ous, ma­lig­nant, and po­lit­i­cal of­fense.” Qi­dong Zhang in San Fran­cisco and Chen Weihua in Wash­ing­ton con­trib­uted to the story.

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