World Bulletin / News Desk
Exiled Uighur woman Rebiya Kadeer plans to visit Taiwan in December following an invitation by groups advocating independence for the island, reports said on Thursday.
"I hope to visit Taiwan and meet with Taiwanese people. This is very simple and has nothing to do with politics," Kadeer said in footage aired by Taiwanese cable news channel TVBS.
"I have not applied for a visa yet but I hope the Taiwanese authorities will issue me a visa," she said
Backers of Rebiya Kadeer's proposed visit to Taiwan said they saw no reason for her to be denied a visa to the island, Reuters said.
Kadeer, whose buildings where her family lived in Urumqi demolished by China, hopes to visit Taiwan in December, but the island's China-friendly government has yet to examine her visa request.
Uighur demonstrators took the streets in Urumqi on July 5 to protest against Han Chineses' attacks on Uighurs workers at a factory in south China in June which left two Uighurs dead. Hans in Urumqi sought bloody revenge two days later.
World Uighur Congress said that near 800 Uigurs were killed during a week-violence after Han Chineses attacks and following intervention of China forces. The China governmnet put the death toll 197.
Kadeer, a former businesswoman who now leads exile group the World Uyghur Congress, wants to come at the invitation of an entertainer close to Taiwan's anti-China opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
But China has intensified its pressure after the screening this week of a Kadeer documentary in Taiwan.
China has worsened its relations with Taiwan were subjected to a new chill after by a visit to the island this month by the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan spiritual leader denounced by Beijing as a separatist. He used similar policy in Uighur region, calling Rebiya Kadeer as "separatist" too.
"Just because she's on China's blacklist doesn't mean she has to be on Taiwan's," DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang said. "We see no reason she shouldn't come."
Cabinet spokesman Su Jun-pin said Taiwanese officials had to see Kadeer's travel application before deciding how to handle it.
The government has yet to say whether it welcomes her.
East Turkistan has 8 million Uighurs and historical records show that the Uyghurs have a history of more than 4000 years.
Throughout the history the Uyghurs developed a unique culture and civilization and made remarkable contribution to the civilization of the world.
The Uyghurs Islam in 934, during the reign of Satuk Bughra Khan, the Kharahanid ruler. Since that time on the Islam continuously served Uyghurs as the only religion until today.
After embracing Islam the Uyghurs continued to preserve their cultural dominance in Central Asia.
East Turkistan was occupied by the communist China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955. The communist China has been excersizing a colonial rule over the East Turkistan since then.
Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2009, 21:01
Many Uighurs resent Han Chinese rule, complaining they're marginalised economically and politically in their own land, while having to tolerate a rising influx of Han Chinese migrants.
Meanwhile, human rights groups accuse Beijing of using claims of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uighur identity
China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fled to the island. But the two sides have worked since mid-2008 to improve relations.
Declining a visa would upset government opponents who say current policy has moved too close to China. It could possibly boost DPP support.
Kadeer's August visit to Australia to attend a film festival strained the host country's ties with China.