A lawyer for an outspoken Chinese minority Uighur scholar accused of separatism says his trial has been set for Wednesday.

Liu Xiaoyuan said Friday he has been informed by the court in the northwestern city of Urumqi of the date of Ilham Tohti's trial. Tohti, an economics professor, was arrested earlier this year in Beijing amid rising tensions in the northwestern region of Xinjiang between Muslim Uighurs and majority Han people.

Tohti is accused of activities aimed at overthrowing Chinese rule in Xinjiang, of which Urumqi is the capital.

Tohti, who has spoken openly on problems with China's ethnic policies, has rejected the accusations.

Authorities have blamed the deadly conflicts in Xinjiang on terrorists seeking a separate state, and have accused Tohti of fanning ethnic hatred and advocating independence.