On the eve of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's trip to Beijing this past weekend, China released a prominent dissident. Rebiya Kadeer had advocated greater rights for the ethnic Uigher community, a Turkic speaking Muslim population in western China. Kadeer, a self-made and very wealthy businesswoman, once was praised by the Chinese government and given official positions. But her activism on behalf of ethnic Uighers apparently raised government concerns about separatism in the impoverished region of Xianxiang. Kadeer is now in the Washington, D.C., area.
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