China Demands Rendition of Uighur Guantanamo Bay Detainees

America should "stop handing over terrorist suspects to any third country," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

Palau, a former US Pacific territory which does not recognise China, has agreed to accept the ethnic Uighurs.

US President Barack Obama has ordered the Guantanamo detention centre closed by early next year.

Some 22 Uighurs were captured by United States forces during their invasion of Afghanistan and taken to the detention base in Cuba but were found not to be enemy combatants four years ago.

China is demanding the U.S. return 17 Chinese Muslims currently being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp instead of sending them to the Pacific island of Palau.
The government of the island nation said it would accept the detainees as both a humanitarian gesture and to help President Obama fulfill his promise to close the prison housing foreign terrorism suspects.

A Chinese government spokesman says his country opposes any third country accepting the suspects.