China denies Uighurs' Turkic descent and says 'hostile forces' trying to split country

Reuters
Mon 22 Jul 2019 00.13 EDT

The far northwestern region of Xinjiang is an “inseparable” part of China despite efforts by extremists to distort history and facts in a bid to split the country, the Chinese government said in a document published late on Sunday.

The government said in a white paper published by the State Council Information Office it was wrong to suggest members of Xinjiang’s minority Uighur Muslim community were descended from Turks, noting they had become the political tool of pan-Turkic and pan-Islamic groups.

The paper said “hostile forces in and outside China, especially separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, have tried to split China and break it apart by distorting history and facts”.

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