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Separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang major threats: China

world Updated: Jan 20, 2009 15:52 IST

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Separatists in Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan are major threats to China's security, Communist nation's top military official has said.

Defence Ministry spokesman Hu Changming said Chinese faced threats in these regions and warned that Beijing would not tolerate any subversive action in these areas.

This is for the first time that a senior Chinese military official has openly admitted that Beijing is facing insurgencies in East Turkestan region, which is heavily populated by ethnic Uighur Muslims.

Though the Chinese claim that it has broken the Tibetan independent movement, Hu Changming insisted that China face an independence movement in Tibet.

"Taiwan's independence, East Turkmenistan, Tibetan independence and other separatist forces form a major security threat to our security organs," Hu said while launching 'China's national defence in 2008' policy paper.

"These problems are all linked to the fundamental interest of the people and the core interest of our country," he was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

Chinese military forces were called in last year to quell civil unrest and protest by Tibetans and a sizeable section of the Peoples' Liberation Army is positioned in Kashgar and other major towns of Xinjiang where separatist forces carry out armed attacks.

"The PLA will uphold the task of safeguard state sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of China," Hu added.