Merkel to discuss Xinjiang violence with China at G8

8th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Merkel also called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, which left 156 dead in weekend clashes.

Berlin -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she would speak to China's President Hu Jintao about the worsening violence in the remote northeast Xinjiang region where 156 people died in weekend clashes.

"We will have the opportunity to address these questions with the Chinese president in L'Aquila," Merkel told reporters, referring to the Italian city where leaders are gathering for a Group of Eight (G8) summit.

"I will use this opportunity," she added.

"I would like to underline that we hope for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Everything needs to be done to contain the violence on the ground that has already happened," she said.

"We support the one China principle. That is clear. But it must also be possible to guarantee the rights of minorities," the chancellor said.

Speaking after a bilateral meeting with Merkel, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also appealed for calm as the situation on the ground descended into chaos.

Rudd said he had received what he termed "disturbing reports" from the region and said: "We call on the Chinese government and all parties to exercise necessary restraint."

"There has been a large loss of life. There has been a lot of violence and restraint is required now on the part of all parties," the prime minister said.

Tensions remained at boiling point, with Han Chinese roaming the city wielding machetes, bricks, chains, steel bars and other weapons while calling for revenge against Muslim Uighurs who they blamed for Sunday's carnage.


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