China has been busy this week quashing Muslim terrorists and defending stability in China, as the government asserts, or possibly just stifling Muslim belief and the ethnic minority, Uygur Muslims, as supporters might contend.

On Monday the Chinese police announced that they raided a suspected terrorist training camp in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, killing 18 alleged terrorists in the process and seizing a hoard of hand-made grenades that were both completed and being made. Chinese police claim that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which the United Nations considers a terrorist organization, ran the camp.

Some eight million Muslim Uyghurs, who are ethnic Turks, live in the Xinjiang province, and some groups of Uyghurs are violently petitioning to establish an Islamic state independent of China.

The training camp may well have been a terrorist training camp. However, it’s difficult to ignore the timing, on Sunday, of China’s increased urgency to target Uyghurs and to denounce Rebiya Kadeer, an exiled dissident and nominee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, as a separatist and “terrorist.” Rebiya Kadeer has been based in the U.S. since March of 2005; she was jailed six years ago for “leaking state secrets,” which was, in effect, communicating with her U.S.-based husband about Chinese reporting on the Uyghurs.

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