Chinese Leader Visits Turkey, Uighurs Protest

Published February 21, 2012 7:54AM (EST)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has started his official visit to Turkey amid protests by dozens of Uighurs who threw a poster of him to the ground, trampled on it, spat and threw eggs at it.

Xi, who is expected to become president of the world's most populous nation next year, is scheduled to hold talks with Turkish leaders Tuesday and oversee the signing of cooperation agreements with Turkey.

About 100 Uighurs also set two Chinese flags on fire to protest China's crackdown on the minority group. Uighurs are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a large Uighur community.

The Chinese-Turkish talks are expected to focus on ending the violence in Turkey's southern neighbor Syria. About 10,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey.

By Salon Staff

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