BEIJING- The struggle against Islamist militants in China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang should become an "important part" of the world's war on terror, China's foreign minister said, following the attacks in Paris.
Hundreds of people have died in unrest in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur people, and other parts of China over the past three years.Beijing has blamed the violence on Islamist militants, led by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group it says has ties to al Qaeda. More recently China has reported that some Uighurs have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State and other groups.
Speaking in Turkey on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the international community to form a "united front to combat terrorism" in the aftermath of Paris attacks, state news agency Xinhua said on Monday.
"The UN's leading role should be brought into full play to combat terrorism, and a united front in this regard should be formed," Wang said.
"China is also a victim of terrorism, and cracking down on ETIM should become an important part of the international fight against terrorism," he added.
Both the United Nations and Washington placed ETIM on lists of terror organizations after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.