Wednesday, May 25, 2005

China Hearts Uzbekistan 

Trying to gain influence in Uzbekistan to counter our presence there.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, May 24 - The government of China offered unequivocal support on Tuesday for President Islam A. Karimov of Uzbekistan, who is facing international criticism for the crackdown against a prison break and antigovernment rally in the northeastern city of Andijon earlier this month.

Uzbeks grieved at the body of a relative found Monday in a new graveyard in northern Andijon. They planned a burial at a cemetery on Wednesday.
The support came amid fresh signs that the scale of violence exceeded what the Uzbek authorities have described, and as residents of Andijon and rights groups warned that roundups had begun inside Uzbekistan in an effort to squelch dissent.

With essential facts about the violence still in dispute, China made clear that it would stand beside the authoritarian government of Mr. Karimov, who was to begin a three-day visit with Chinese leaders on Wednesday.

"We firmly support the crackdown on the three forces of separatism, terrorism and extremism by the Uzbekistan government," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Kong Quan, said at a news conference in Beijing, according to news agency reports.

Mr. Kong's statement cemented a stark split between the West on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other, over the behavior of the Uzbek authorities, who have been accused of firing indiscriminately into antigovernment crowds on May 13, possibly killing hundreds. Several Western governments, NATO and the European Union have called for an independent investigation.
Not that we should expect anything else from the Neo-Fascist Chinese Government, but they're feeling the heat from our friendship with many of their neighbors, so anytime they can create a divide, they will. Even if it means openly supporting Dictators like Karimov.


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