A top Xinjiang official yesterday denied reports a prominent ethnic Uygur businesswoman had been barred from leaving China because of her support for local separatists. Xinjiang's vice-chairman Li Donghui said Robiya Kodir, whom he knew through business, was still in the autonomous region. But reports she had been detained or denied the right to travel because of her support for Xinjiang's independence were inaccurate, Mr Li said during a trip to Hong Kong. 'They are not in accordance with facts. There are discrepancies,' he said, without pinpointing them. Ms Kodir, whose husband lives in the United States, was reportedly interviewed by Xinjiang police and had her passport confiscated when she was about to board a plane in Urumqi on March 28. A member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, she is one of the richest and most popular businesswomen in Xinjiang. The region has recently been hit by a spate of separatist activities. 'Only a few people, backed by international forces, are involved in these violent acts,' Mr Li said. 'They will never win the hearts of the people.'