BEIJING - China has piled pressures on Japan to prevent a conference by an exiled group championing the rights of Uighur Muslims, who are the subject of repressive policies by Beijing.
"We believe this organization harms China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a daily briefing cited by Reuters.
They are engaged in activities that harm China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. They engage in separatist activities to split China.
The Germany-based World Uighur Congress plans to hold its general assembly in Japan in May.
Around 100 Uighur Muslim delegates are expected to attend the event from May 14-17 in Tokyo.
China accuses the WUC of inciting violence in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province in western China.
"We have launched a representation with the Japanese side to take measures to prevent such an organisation from using Japanese territory to engage in activities splitting China," the Chinese spokesman said.
"They (the WUC) carry out activities undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
This is the first time the WUC meeting to be held in Asia.
The first and the second meetings were held in Munich in Germany and the third was held in Washington.
China often reacts angirly at events it views as supporting exiled Uighurs and it has exerted diplomatic pressures to prevent the convention of these meetings.
In 2009, Chinese pressures prompted South Korea to stop the entry of WUC general secretary Dolkun Isa to attend a forum on democracy, saying he was on a blacklist.
But Uighur leaders ruled out Japan would bow to Chinese pressures to prevent the conference.
I believe the Japanese government will not accept an interruption to the general assembly, said WUC General Secretary Dolkun Isa, Radio Free Asia reported.
We are not surprised [by China's objection]. It's not only for the general assembly, but also whenever we hold a conference or any kind of international event, the Chinese government immediately attacks and raises objections to the country hosting it.
Established in 2004, the WUC is an exile organization representing Uighur Muslims, a Turkish-speaking minority of eight million in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.
Xinjiang has been autonomous since 1955 but continues to be the subject of massive security crackdowns by Chinese authorities.
Rights groups accuse Chinese authorities of religious repression against Uighur Muslim in Xinjiang in the name of counter terrorism.
Muslims accuses the government of settling millions of ethnic Han in their territory with the ultimate goal of obliterating its identity and culture.Beijing views the vast region of Xinjiang as an invaluable asset because of its crucial strategic location near Central Asia and its large oil and gas reserves.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net