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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Police raid homes of alleged Chinese spies

November 27, 2009

The Local
November 26, 2009

Munich investigators on Tuesday searched the
apartments of four alleged Chinese agents on
suspicion they have been spying on the city's
Uighur community, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

Authorities told the magazine that the Chinese
general consulate has been running a spy network
from the Bavarian capital, where several hundred
Muslim Uighurs form one of the largest communities outside of China.

The World Uighur Congress is also located in the
city, and many members are politically active in
protesting what they see as China's oppression of
the ethnic group. Meanwhile China has in the past
accused Uighur exile groups of supporting terrorism.

"According to findings by the Federal Public
Prosecutor’s office, the Chinese government has
therefore won a range of informants who report on
the private lives of the Munich Uighur community
for Beijing," the magazine's website said.

Investigators have observed Chinese diplomats
meeting with the informants, but only the alleged
spies are under investigation due to matters of diplomatic immunity.

The efforts by German authorities are the result
of new policies created last year to curtail
possible Chinese espionage, though this is the
first time they have taken such drastic steps, the magazine said.

Two years ago Chinese diplomat Ji Wumin left
Germany after he was discovered meeting with an
informant about Uighur issues. But he departed of
his own accord without being expelled. China is
said to be interested in returning Ji to his
former post, but this is now unlikely after the
latest raids, which are related to his successor, the magazine said.
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