The present Constitution has been prepared according to the common national volition of Eastern Turkistani emigrants who have been obliged to live in exile in several parts of the world, after having escaped from Eastern Turkistan after it was invaded by Communist China in 1949. The present Constitution aims to provide measures to ensure that the people of Eastern Turkistan and their children live in liberty and show our people living under occupation what may be attained when we regain our freedom.


ARTICLE 1: TITLE OF STATE: Eastern Turkistan Republic.

ARTICLE 2: CHARACTER OF THE STATE: This state is a democratic, social, unified and fully legal state that respects all human rights. The unitary land of Eastern Turkistan may not be divided and the national unity of its people may not be broken or threatened.

ARTICLE 3: THE FLAG OF THE STATE: The flag is a Blue Flag with a Crescent moon and Star (Enclosure A).

ARTICLE 4: THE COAT OF ARMS OF THE STATE: Nine points on both the right and left of the Crescent moon with the Bismillah Formula inscribed in the middle of the Crescent. Three stars above the mouth of the Crescent with a cordon joining the points there below. The eighteen points represent the eighteen Turk clans living in Eastern Turkistan, while the three stars symbolize the States of Göktürk, Qarakhanids and Uighurs that were previously founded in Eastern Turkistan (Enclosure B).

ARTICLE 5: THE INDEPENDENCE ANTHEM AND THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE STATE: The Independence Anthem of the State is the poem entitled ‘Kurtuluş Yolunda’ (On The Way To Salvation), which was written in 1933 by Mehmet Ali Tohtu Haci Tevfik and recited by Eastern Turkistanis (Enclosure C).

The National Motto is: ‘We existed before history, We will exist after history’ (Enclosure D).

The state language of Eastern Turkistan Republic is Uighur Turkish. Kazak Turkish and Kyrgyz Turkish are used as national languages.
Religion: The state religion is Islam. The State respects and protects other religions and fully guarantees the rights of religious practice.
Capital of the State: Urumchi.
ARTICLE 7: The foregoing ARTICLEs, viz. ARTICLEs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, may not be changed by any means, nor can any proposal be set forth or attempt made for the amendment thereof.

ARTICLE 8: The Government-in-Exile of Eastern Turkistan Republic, which was founded on 14th September, 2004 in Washington, the capital of the U.S.A., has been accepted as the sole organ of the Eastern Turkistan Republic authorized to protect the rights of the people of Eastern Turkistan Republic until our country has been liberated from rule by imperialist Communist China.

ARTICLE 9: The essential tasks of the Government-in-Exile of Eastern Turkistan Republic is to gain the support of those States of the entire world that adhere to the principles of democracy, law, peace and respect for human rights, as well as all international organizations under the leadership of United Nations, and all international human rights organizations that cooperate therewith, in order to prevent state terrorism under the sovereignty of imperialist Communist China against the people of Eastern Turkistan, and in order to attain the independence of our country, Eastern Turkistan.

ARTICLE 10: The Ministers of the Government-in-Exile of Eastern Turkistan Republic constitute the Cabinet of Ministers who are answerable to the Prime Minister. Those Members of the Cabinet of Ministers who act against the activities of the Government are to be warned three times. If they do not respect these warnings, they are expelled from the Cabinet by the Prime Minister by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers and with the endorsement of the President.

ARTICLE 11: The Cabinet of Ministers convenes once or twice a year and the Prime Minister submits information regarding the fulfillment of the Government’s Programs. The Cabinet discusses and finalizes the advisory decisions adopted by the Permanent Advisory Board. Any citizen of Eastern Turkistan Republic that is in political and economic relation with [Communist?] China may not be a Member of the Parliament or Minister. The Members of the Parliament and the Government are not allowed to travel to China or the colonies of China during their office.

ARTICLE 12: The Parliament elects itself a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman, a Secretary General and two Assistant Secretaries General from among the Members of the Parliament for a period of 4 years according to those who receive a two-thirds majority of the vote. The Parliament is composed of Members of Parliament elected in accord with the rules of the Parliament and elected from any region in a democratic manner. The Parliament opens – apart from extraordinary cases – at the end of every four years on 10th November and closes on 11th November. The Members of the Parliament are elected according to ARTICLEs 18, 19 and 20 of this Constitution and thus the Parliament is formed. The newly elected Members of the Parliament take office with an oath on 12th November. The formation of the new Parliament, their legislation and the number of the Members are fulfilled in conformity with the principles determined by the Founding Parliament.

ARTICLE 13: Those persons who are known to have collaborated with those that have invaded Eastern Turkistan and those that have aided or facilitated the work of the enemy and the invaders are not allowed to be elected as Members of the Parliament.

ARTICLE 14: Any persons that have nothing to do with the invasion of the State, nor have collaborated with the enemies or the invaders nor have protected them, and that were born in Eastern Turkistan, and have seven generations of ancestors who lived in Eastern Turkistan is regarded as a citizen of Eastern Turkistan. Those immigrants that live outside Eastern Turkistan but feel themselves to be from Eastern Turkistan, and take Eastern Turkistan as their homeland are naturalized citizens of Eastern Turkistan.

ARTICLE 15: The Parliament is made up of elected Members of Parliament. The Members of Parliament are elected by those citizens of Eastern Turkistan, that have completed their 18th year, irrespective of their sex, by voting through democratic means.

ARTICLE 16: Officers of the Army and of the Police forces may not be elected Members of Parliament as long as they remain in service. However, on condition that they resign at least 3 month prior to the election, they have the right to elect and to be elected.

ARTICLE 17: One Member of Parliament is elected for every 60 thousand citizens within the boundaries of the country. In the case of the Parliament-in-Exile, the number of Members of the Parliament is determined according to the number the Eastern Turkistanis in that country where the Members of Parliament live on basis of the principles accepted by the Founding Parliament. In any case, the number of the Parliamentarians-in-Exile may not be fewer than 60.

ARTICLE 18: The employees of the Parliament are appointed by the Chairman of the Parliament.

ARTICLE 19: In place of those Members of the Parliament that have died or that have left office for other reasons new Members of Parliament are elected within the period determined with the Parliament’s Decree through an election to be held where they were elected. In all cases, Parliamentarians-in-Exile are replaced by those citizens of Eastern Turkistan in that country where they live.

ARTICLE 20: Alllaws are introduced by the Parliament through negotiations. The introduced laws are approved by a two-thirds majority vote. The accepted laws are implemented by the Government.

ARTICLE 21: All decrees are introduced by the Government. The Prime Minister assigns one or two Ministers as Spokespersons for the Government.

ARTICLE 22: The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

ARTICLE 23: In times of peace the army is conducted and administered by a high-ranking officer who has been appointed by the President, who is experienced and respected, and who is loved and trusted by the armed forces.

ARTICLE 24: The Parliament authorizes the Government to prepare for a war for the protection of the interests of the State, to wage war and to conclude agreements with other countries with a two-thirds majority of the votes.

ARTICLE 25: The President is elected through an election from among the 40-year-old citizens of Eastern Turkistan, who have devoted themselves to the cause of Independence of Eastern Turkistan, who are self-sacrificing for the interests of the people of Eastern Turkistan, who are university graduates, who may be elected as a Member of Parliament, who are loved by the citizens, and who bear national qualities. The elected President takes office with an oath (See Enclosure E).

ARTICLE 26: THE RIGHTS OF THE PRESIDENT: The President presents the Prime Minister as a candidate and endorses the Cabinet of Ministers submitted by the Prime Minister. He conveys a written proposal to the Prime Minister for changing or dismissal of some of those Ministers appointed as candidates. [does he present the Prime Minister for approval by the Parliament? Or does he appoint the Prime Minister?]
During those periods when the President fails to carry out his office because of disease, travel or other reasons, the [Vice?] Assistant President, who is a Member of Parliament, acts for the President and is vested with all the powers of the President until the President has recovered from his disease or returned from his journey. In case of the death of the President, the Vice President fulfills his office until the new President has been elected by the Parliament. The present ARTICLE is also valid for the President of Eastern Turkistan Republic-in-Exile.
The President is the symbol of the Unity of the State. The President undersigns the laws, regulations, statements and decrees endorsed by the Parliament; in addition, he appoints the ambassadors abroad and receives the ambassadors of foreign countries. Upon the proposal of the Minister of Justice, he forgives those who have committed major crimes or lessens their penalty.

ARTICLE 27: A citizen of Eastern Turkistan Republic who has devoted himself to the Cause of Independence of Eastern Turkistan, who believes in this Cause, who has completed the age of 40, who is loved by the public, who bears the national characters, who has been elected as a Member of Parliament and who is of Turkistani descent is presented as a candidate for the position of Prime Minister by the President. The Prime Minister forms the Cabinet of Ministers and submits it to the Parliament after the endorsement of the President. After the Parliament has approved the Government’s Platform, it endorses the Cabinet of Ministers with two-thirds majority of the votes, during which process the Cabinet of Ministers carries out its tasks.

ARTICLE 28: The Prime Minister informs the Parliament at least once a year about the general situation of the country as well as about the policies followed by the Government. The Prime Minister is authorized to fix, after a legislative term has ended, the date of an election for the people of Eastern Turkistan to elect the new Members of Parliament, to maintain the armed forces during the times of war and peace, to supervise the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers, to warn three times those Ministers that act against the decrees adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers and to expel them out of the Cabinet if they do not take these warnings into account, to ensure that the laws are executed justly, to issue decrees that have the power of laws when the country faces extraordinary circumstances, and to declare martial law with the Parliament’s approval.

ARTICLE 29: The Parliament is authorized to introduce all laws and regulations, to introduce related codes of law concerning tax-collection, import and export regulations, to levy taxes on commodities, to take out and pay loans, to serve as custodian of the interests of the public, and to introduce laws so that general taxes and taxes imposed on imported goods should have equal effect within the boundaries of Eastern Turkistan. In addition, the Parliament makes laws with regards to the following issues:

ARTICLE 30: Receiving loans on behalf of the Eastern Turkistan Republic from abroad and controlling internal and external trade;

ARTICLE 31: Receiving persons into citizenship, expelling persons from citizenship, preventing such banking transactions as shall bring about monetary crises, and issuing banking laws;

ARTICLE 32: Coining money, protecting its value, fixing the rates of exchange with foreign currencies, adjusting measures and scales;

ARTICLE 33: Punishing those that counterfeit money;

ARTICLE 34: Opening post-offices, hospitals and schools, and carrying out the construction, maintenance and improvement thereof;

ARTICLE 35: Determining the intellectual rights of authors, artists and scientists, protecting the patent rights of inventors and ensuring that they may carry out their studies and researches freely;

ARTICLE 36: Establishing the Supreme Court and the sub-courts;

ARTICLE 37: Introducing laws that shall alleviate and prevent the crimes of robbery, plunder and forgery, and punishing those who act against the laws;

ARTICLE 38: Waging war, making preparations for defense against attacks upon the country or in cases when such attacks are probable;

ARTICLE 39: Training and supporting the armed forces, and introducing laws for the administration of the army;

ARTICLE 40: Introducing laws for charging the army with duties in case of rebellion against the State or invasions, with the purpose of protecting the unitary structure of the State;

ARTICLE 41: Introducing laws concerning the organization and armament of the army, the appointment of the functionaries and military training in conformity with the laws introduced by the Parliament;

ARTICLE 42: The Government of the Eastern Turkistan Republic is vested with full authority by the present Constitution to have all the laws that are required and appropriate for the execution of the aforementioned duties fulfilled by any Government office or any Government civil servant.

ARTICLE 43: The Parliament guarantees the rights and religious beliefs of the people of Eastern Turkistan and does not introduce such laws as forbid people’s worshipping their own religion freely, or as restrict their freedom of thought, self-expression, assembly, and public demonstration or protest, nor as restrict the freedom of the press and media, nor as hinder the freedom to submit petitions.

ARTICLE 44: With the permission of Eastern Turkistan Government, the public hold the freedom to keep and carry guns.

ARTICLE 45: Those that have collaborated with the invaders and acted as instruments in the invasion of the country or helped the enemy are judged and punished according to the nature of their crimes.

ARTICLE 46: No army officer or security official is allowed to enter or seize a residence – be it in time of peace or war – without the consent of the owner and the court’s decree or the public prosecutor’s writ.

ARTICLE 47: People’s own selves, houses, documents, money, movable and immovable goods shall be secure against unreasonable searches and confiscations; and this right of theirs shall not be abrogated.

ARTICLE 48: [Except??] In case of war or when the public is in peril, no one can be arrested or accused without the Court’s decree or the Prosecutor’s writ. No one can be judged twice for the same offence. No one can be deprived of their freedom or properties nor may their properties be confiscated nor their rights to properties be transferred to the public unless the case has been adjudicated by the court.

ARTICLE 49: In all searches for crimes, the accused person is judged at an impartial court serving on behalf of the public. The accused shall be advised of the character and results of their crime. In addition the witnesses of the event shall be heard and the accused shall be able to employ a lawyer for defense.

ARTICLE 50: No excessive bail may be demanded of the accused; nor excessive fines be applied; nor heavy and abnormal penalties be given. The accused may only be punished with such decrees as match their crime in the Penal Code.

ARTICLE 51: The rights of citizens indicated in the Constitution may not be ignored; in addition, those rights that have already been granted cannot be trespassed against; further, the equal rights determined by the Constitution cannot be denied.

ARTICLE 52: Excluding such penalties as given to an offender who has been duly found guilty by the Court, such practices as slavery, feudality, superiority of one class over another or involuntary service to the state may not take place within the boundaries of Eastern Turkistan. Further, citizens are equal before the laws.

ARTICLE 53: With the exclusion of the allocations determined by the laws, no illegal expense shall be incurred by the Eastern Turkistan Government. The Prime Minister is authorized, with the endorsement of the Parliament, to keep with him and spend funds required for the security and public business of the State. The Parliament endorses the one-year financial budget of the state that has been submitted by the Government with a simple majority of the votes. The Prime Minister shall have the budget expenses of the concerned Ministries and Institutes inspected every year by the Parliament’s Commission of Inspection and Control. The said Commission is composed of Members of Parliament, the number whereof is 3, 5, 7, 9 or an odd number.

ARTICLE 54: The Eastern Turkistan State and Government may grant no titles of nobility to anyone. Public officials and Members of Parliament may get no presents or ranks without the Parliament’s leave. Nevertheless, such titles, gifts and warrants as are deemed concordant to the State’s national interests and as bear the character of honorarium might be received by public officials, Members of Parliament and other accomplished persons, in which regard they have the right not only receive but also give such as a acknowledgment.

ARTICLE 55: The justice system of Eastern Turkistan functions through the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Courts that are established with a law especially introduced by the Parliament. Judges and prosecutors are appointed by the Minister of Justice from among jurists who have completed their legal graduate education, who are of good conduct and are respected by the public. Judges and prosecutors fulfill their office with impartiality and justice.

ARTICLE 56: People retain the right to submit the decisions and decrees taken by a sub-Court to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

ARTICLE 57: The Eastern Turkistan Government is liable for the impartial execution of the laws introduced by the Constitution, the fulfillment of international judicial agreements and the realization of all the universal legal cases wherein the Eastern Turkistan Republic shall take part.

ARTICLE 58: All cases are adjudicated at impartial courts upon the indictment of the Prosecutor.

ARTICLE 59: Treason against Eastern Turkistan State is in question only when war is waged against it or one is affiliated with or helps enemies or invaders. Unless such offences are attested by two witnesses or the accused person confesses the offence at an impartial court, no one could be convicted of betrayal of the country.

ARTICLE 60: The Parliament is vested with the authority to endorse the punishment of treason.

ARTICLE 61: Any ARTICLE(s) of this very Constitution that will be deemed inappropriate by two-thirds of the Parliament could be amended. Nevertheless, the initial ARTICLEs of this Constitution, viz. ARTICLEs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, may not be changed nor even proposed to be changed. Those ARTICLEs amended are presented in an enclosure.

ARTICLE 62: The laws of Eastern Turkistan shall consider those agreements that shall be concluded under the authority of the State as the supreme laws of the country and judges shall officiate in conformity to these laws. The Members of Parliament, and Administrative and Judicial Functionaries shall ratify their loyalty with an oath and then take office.

ARTICLE 63: The Members of the Parliament-in-Exile of Eastern Turkistan are elected by Eastern Turkistanis every four years in the first week of October in a democratic way through a ballot, i.e. secret voting and open tallying of votes. The new Parliament assembles on the 12th day of November, chaired by the oldest Member of Parliament and the new Members of Parliament start office after having taken oaths. After the oath the Parliament carries on its activities according to ARTICLE 14.

ARTICLE 64: The Members of Parliament that were elected on 14th September, 2004 and the Ministers shall remain in power and continue their task for a period of four years until the forthcoming election.

ARTICLE 65: The Constitutional Court is founded in accordance with a special law introduced by the Eastern Turkistan Parliament. This Court supervises whether the laws and decrees introduced by the government as well as the Parliament’s regulations are in conformity with the Constitution in both form and character.

ARTICLE 66: The Constitutional Court – in its position as the Supreme Court of Justice – decides whether the political parties’ activities are in conformity with the Constitution by studying the Public Prosecutor’s written report and application. Before reaching a decision it hears the defense by the President and Deputy President of the concerned political party.

ARTICLE 67: The Constitutional Court – with the Public Prosecutor’s indictment and the Parliament’s approval – tries at the Supreme Court cases when the President, Prime Minister or other Ministers have caused severe loss to the State’s national interests. The Supreme Court’s decision is final and may not be objected to.

ARTICLE 68: The present Constitution being composed of 14 Sections and 68 Articles was accepted unanimously on 25th November, 2004 by the Members of Parliament that convened in Washington and was announced thereafter. The text that will be taken as authoritative is the one authored in Uighur Turkish.



Kurtuluş yolida sudek akti bizning kanımız,
Sen üçün ey yurtimiz bolsun pida bu janimiz.
Kan keçip hem can berip ahir kutuldurduk seni,
Kelbimizde kutquzuşka bar idi imanimiz.

Yar hemdem boldi bizning himmitimiz sen üçün,
Dunyani sorighan idi ötken ulugh ecdadimiz.
Yurtimiz biz yüz-közüngni kan bilen pakizliduk,
Emdi heç kirletmigeymiz çünki Türktur namimiz.

Atila, Çingiz, Tömür dunyani titretken idi,
Kan berip nam alimiz biz ularning ewladibiz.
Çiqti can hem akti kan düşmendin alduk intikam,
Yaşisun heç ölmisun parlansun istikbalimiz.

Tarihtin ewwel biz iduk, tarihtin sonre yene biz,
Kelbimizde wijdanimiz, bu bizning imanimiz.
Türk biz, ana yurtimizning köksi biz tunç suferi,
Baş kesilse kaytmas baskan izidin Türk erliri.
Yurtimizning altunidur taghi birle taşliri,
Her birimiz bir arslandur, bu vetenning yaşliri.
Yurtimiz üçün kurbandur yaşlirimizning başliri,
Imani ıssık kani, ularning yoldaşliri.
Ordimiz hem yurtimiz, meşhur Türkdur namimiz,
Dinimiz, imanimiz, bu bizning wijdanimiz.
Yurtimiz Türkning yurti, biz uning kurbanimiz,
Bayrikimiz kök bayrak otturisida ay-yultuz.

Dölet Reyisi / Parlamento üyesi boluş süpitim bilen, döletning davamini, istiklalini ve vetenning, milletning bölünmes pütünligini koghdişimgha ve vetenning istiklalini mudapie kilişimgha, kanuni asasta hokukning alilikigha ve kişilik hokuk pirinsiplirigha hörmet qilişimgha, Şerkiy Türkistan Dölitining şan-şeripini koghdişimgha, döletni tereqqi kilduruş üçün pütün küçüm bilen hizmet kilişimgha, Ulugh Allah ve Şerkiy Türkistan helki aldida ar-nomus we şeripim bilen kesem kilimen.

The present Constitution has been prepared, submitted to the Parliament, accepted and announced by the Members of the Parliament-in-Exile of Eastern Turkistan, Enver Yusuf Turani, Hızırbek Gayretullah, Sultan Mahmut Kaşgarlı, Hanife Erbaş Ketene, Demiyan Rahmet, Aydoğan Kubilay, İsmail Cengiz, Muhemmet Savut, Azat Mamut, Sultan Mehemmet and Erkin Azizi.

Eastturkistan Republic Government In Exile

25th November, 2004, Washington, the U.S.A.
Prof. Dr. Sultan Mahmut Kaşgarlı, Hızırbek Gayretullah, Demiyan Rahmet and Erkin Azizi have been appointed to reduce this Constitution and prepare it for print in the Turkish of Uighurs and in The Turkish of Turkey.

24 Responses to English


    Posted on December 2, 2010 by Eastturkistan Government In Exil

    The 2,200 years of Turkestan history have played host to some of the most important civilizations in the world. The area is a wide expanse of territory, stretching from the Caspian Sea and the southern part of the Ural Mountains in the west, Siberia in the north, Iran, Afghanistan and Tibet in the south, and China and Mongolia to the east.

    Today, the part of Turkestan that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is known as West Turkestan, and the area that has been under Chinese captivity for the last two centuries is known as East Turkestan. The geographical and strategic importance of Turkestan is obvious from the great interest shown in the area by Russia and China, the two regional superpowers. Russia and China have both played very important roles in Turkestan history, which is why it is divided into two parts today.

    Behind those two countries’ refusal to give the region up, no matter what cost, is its strategic position and its rich underground resources. For Russia, the Turkish states in the west, and for China, East Turkestan, are important reserves of raw materials.

    Following the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia set up a powerful control mechanism in West Turkestan where states consisting of different Turkish tribes were set up. The area was given the name “Soviet Central Asia,” in place of the name Turkestan by which the land had been known for hundreds of years.

    The intention was to do away with the Turks’ shared national consciousness. The most important element of Russia’s policy in the region was to eliminate Islam entirely. Throughout this period, a number of sanctions were employed in an attempt to destroy the Turks’ national cultures; mosques and places offering religious instruction were closed down and religion was entirely divorced from social life. Crimean Turks were rounded up and exiled to Siberia in the course of a single night, and Russians were brought in to occupy their homes and lands. Furthermore, artificial ethnic conflicts were incited between the nations of Central Asia. Another of the Soviet regime’s measures aimed at assimilating the Turks was to develop a second language alongside the mother tongues of the Muslims of the Caucasus and Central Asia. It is for this reason that Russian is now preferred to Turkish as a means of communication between the communities in question.

    East Turkestan suffered similar oppression to that experienced in West Turkestan, but in an even more violent form. In the middle of the 1700s, East Turkestan was invaded by the Chinese. The political changes that occurred in the region (and the world as a whole) prevented the desire of the people of East Turkestan for independence from being translated into reality. China-a country with a total land area of some 10 million square kilometers-tried to exterminate the people of East Turkestan (also a giant nation of 2 million square kilometers) by its policies of oppression and isolation.

    Just like the Russians in West Turkestan, the Chinese also changed the region’s name. The new name they used was the “Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang.” They then began to implement the same kinds of policies used by other imperialist nations. A ruthless war was waged against the local people’s beliefs, customs, and religious practices. Ethnic discrimination became rife, demands for independence were ferociously suppressed, defenseless people were exiled from their land, and Chinese settlers were brought in to replace them. The brutality known as “Chinese torture” and cruelty soon became reality.

    Before going into the details of the oppression, (of which most people are very unaware), we will review East Turkestan’s historical, geo-strategic and geo-political position.


    The history of the lands of Turkestan goes back to the third century B.C. (the Gokturk and Hun period). The area has been the Turkish homeland since very early in history, and Islamic territory for a thousand years. Although no state or khanate bearing the name of Turkestan was ever established, the area in question, which makes up a large part of Central Asia, has always been called by that name because it has been a Turkish settlement area since very ancient times. Researchers describe East Turkestan in particular as one of the first centers of civilization and, as an area where, due to its geo-strategic position, Western and Eastern cultures intermingled.

    These lands, which have been home to great empires all through history, became an indispensable part of the Islamic world after the Turks converted to Islam during the reign of Caliph Abd al-malik Marwan (b. 646/647-d. 705). The years between 751-1216 A.D. in particular, after Satuk Bughra Khan (—/d. 955-6) had accepted Islam, are known as the golden age of East Turkestan. Throughout that period, students from all over the world came to study at the renowned religious schools and educational institutions of Turkestan. Statesmen and scientists who would help shape the world were also trained there. The Turks who migrated from the region to all corners of the world carried Islam with them to many different countries.

    Prominent Islamic scholars such as Ibn Sina (above), Mahmud al-Kashgari (side) and Farabi (large picture) were just a few of the important figures to emerge from Turkestan.

    The Qarakhan, Ghazna, Khwarezm-Shah, Seljuq and Saidi tribes that were born in Turkestan set up states under the banner of Islam and provided outstanding examples of Turkish-Islamic culture, thus rendering a great service to human kind. Prominent statesmen such as Satuk Bughra Khan (—/d. 955-956), Seljuq Bey (—/d. 1007), Mahmud Ghaznavi (b. 998-d. 1030), Malik Shah (b. 1055-d. 1092), Timur (b. 1336-d. 1405), and Babur Shah (b. 1483-d. 1530) were among the great figures who emerged from those lands. Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Abu Nasr al-Farabi (Avennasar), Narshaki, Zamakhshari and Marginani, who enriched the libraries of Islam with their works, were among the great thinkers who forged the way for other scientists of the world. Furthermore, Makhmud al-Kashgari, author of the Diwan Lughat at-Turk, Yusuf Khass Khadjib, author of the Kutadgu Bilig, and Ahmad Yuknaki, the writer of the great Atabet’ul Haqayiq, also lived in Turkestan, the cradle of Turkish-Islamic civilization. Scholars such as these, of whom we have cited only a few, are sufficient to demonstrate the importance of East Turkestan to the Turkish and Islamic worlds.


    One of the claims made by China in order to conceal its human rights violations and repression in East Turkestan is that the area “forms part of Chinese territory,” for which reason events in East Turkestan “need to be considered a domestic Chinese affair.” However, historical sources disprove that claim. First and foremost is the Great Wall of China, built by the Chinese to prevent attacks on them by other nations. This was the first time that China had put up an official border between itself and the peoples living around it. East Turkestan falls outside that border.5 Moreover, many sources describe the Jade Gate (so called because of the many jade stones found there), as being at China’s westernmost border. One of these sources that describes the gate as opening into East Turkestan is actually a Chinese book, the New China Atlas, published in Shanghai in 1939.6

    The region between the Great Wall of China and the Caspian Sea, Siberia and Iran, and the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Tibet has been known as Turkestan in not only the earliest Islamic records, but also in old Iranian and Indian accounts. This is also accepted by a great many Western historians. Nikita Bichurin, one of the earliest known Turcologists, has supported that historical truth in these terms: “A nation lives between the Caspian Sea and the Koh-i Nur Mountains. They speak Turkish and believe in Islam. They introduce themselves as Turkish and describe their country as Turkestan.”7 Because these lands were given the name of “Xinjiang” or “Sinkiang” (meaning “new borders”) following their occupation by China does not change that historical reality.

    Over the 2,000 or so years, between 206 B.C. and 1759 A.D., East Turkestan was able to maintain its independence for more than 1,800 years. During the periods when it was linked to the Turkish Hun and Gokturk khanates, local administration lay entirely in the hands of the people of East Turkestan. Between 751 and 1216 it was totally independent. During those periods China periodically occupied East Turkestan in order to win control of the Silk Road. Yet these occupations were always short-lived, and China was never able to establish hegemony over East Turkestan in the true sense of the word. In the 2,200-year history of East Turkestan, (if we take into account the occupation that started in 1934 and which is still continuing today) a little more than 570 years have been spent under Chinese occupation.8

    There are also geographic facts that disprove the claim that East Turkestan is part of China. The make-up of the population of East Turkestan (its language, religion, ethnic origins, plus its national and spiritual heritage) all reveal a picture of total independence from China. Panku, the great historian of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. — 220 A.D.), expresses this fact:

    As for clothing, costume, food and language, the barbarians [Uighurs] are entirely different from the Middle Kingdom… Mountains, valleys and the great desert separate them from us.9

    That difference was preserved throughout history. Neither was there any assimilation, even during the periods under Chinese occupation. Today, 54 percent of East Turkestan’s estimated population of 17 million are Muslims, including 47 percent of the Uighurs and 7 percent of the Kazakhs. (This figure is from statistics issued by China in 1997, and is not accepted as reliable by international organizations because of China’s biased attitude toward this issue). The Uighurs, who make up a large part of the Muslim population, bear no ethnic, religious or linguistic similarity to the Chinese. The Uighur alphabet consists of Arabic letters, they are all Muslim, and they have been living by Turkish customs and beliefs for more than 1,000 years.

    Oll of these historical, geographical and sociological facts make it clear that East Turkestan is not part of China, but rather a separate region that China has sought to assimilate. Even under the harshest and most difficult conditions, the people of East Turkestan never accepted Chinese rule, and frequently sought to regain their independence, at times even resorting to armed struggle. For example, when East Turkestan fell under Manchu rule between 1759 and 1862, the Muslim people rose up and rebelled against the Chinese more than 40 times.

    Why is China so determined to maintain its position on East Turkestan in the face of all the facts? This should be discussed before turning to the long years of Chinese oppression.

  2. The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land

    Gardner Bovingdon

    Share | August, 2010

    Politicized History

    Groups embroiled in political conflicts often appeal to history to strengthen their cases. They invoke historical records to prove the location of a boundary, specify the historical population of a region, refer to battles fought, or underscore the validity of agreements signed. But as historians well know, history has never been the impartial arbiter that partisans depict. A Uyghur professor told me one blustery November day in 1996 that in his view, “history is like the Taklamakan Desert. Everything is past; it’s all covered with sand. The historian simply pulls out of the sand the things he needs.” He might have added that the clever scholar or activist also takes care to leave buried what he does not wish to have appear. Even more problematic, the enterprising person might take advantage of the remoteness of the desert from most people’s homes by constructing new artifacts and pretending to have found them beneath the sand.

    The writing of history is a central domain of representational politics. Yet if there cannot be, strictly speaking, truly unbiased historiography, neither is it helpful to object that all history is fiction, representation without any real referent. There is nothing to be gained from denying that there is a Taklamakan desert, that there is a meaningful distinction between “planted” or factitious artifacts and those actually dug out of the sand, or that there are better and worse ways of uncovering the things that are buried. Careful scholarly history requires the review of as many sources as possible without prejudice as to their origin. No serious historian would refuse to consider Chinese documents merely because they are Chinese or dismiss Russian records because they are “foreign” to Xinjiang, as partisans on one side or the other have done. By the same token, serious historical research requires the scholar to evaluate the reliability of sources—to question not only the authenticity of documents and artifacts but also the motives of their writers or fashioners. Finally, responsible historical study requires that the researcher not begin with a preference for having the story come out one way rather than another.

    The very name of the region is a bone of contention. Uyghurs point out acerbically that Xinjiang means “new boundaries” or “new dominions” in Chinese, unambiguously acknowledging the territory’s late incorporation into a Chinese-speaking polity. Many Uyghurs revile the name as a Chinese imposition and prefer Eastern Turkestan or Uyghurstan, toponyms whose use the government forbids today. For nearly two thousand years, Chinese-language historical records used the term Xiyu (Western Regions) to denote a region of shifting size and shape in the general vicinity of today’s Xinjiang. Strictly speaking, the history of “Xinjiang” extends no further back than the eighteenth century when the name came into currency among literati and bureaucrats, or even more narrowly to the period beginning in 1884 when the region was formally established as a province. In a deliberate anachronism for the sake of simplicity, I generally use Xinjiang in this chapter when referring to historical territories more or less contiguous with today’s territory of that name. I do so without intending either to ratify the Chinese use of that toponym or to challenge the use of Eastern Turkestan or Uyghurstan by Uyghurs. When I refer to a historical territory significantly different in size or shape from the current Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, I will say so.

    All the parties involved in the contestation over Xinjiang have used history as a tool to serve political ends. This is true of nationalist historians, officials, and intellectuals who write or disseminate historical narratives and equally true of the many others who consume them. Chinese state actors have manipulated the historiography of Xinjiang to strengthen the state’s hold on the region. They have written the story of the place and its peoples to make them parts of China from a very early date. Virtually every text concerning Xinjiang published in China since 1959 begins with the obligatory statement that “Xinjiang has since ancient times been an inseparable part of China,” and some texts claim the relationship dates back five thousand years. As two judicious historians wrote, such claims “have only rhetoric on their side” (Millward and Perdue 2004:48), but that rhetoric has been employed by a powerful, autocratic state with very little tolerance for answering challenges, whether by dissident historians or skeptical high school students. In concocting this formula, the officials were trying to extinguish the Uyghurs’ claims to independent states in the past and thereby to undercut calls for independence in the future (Bovingdon 2001; Bovingdon and Nebijan Tursun 2004).

    Uyghur nationalists have written histories claiming that Uyghurs have lived in what is now Xinjiang for six thousand years and that they founded many powerful independent states in or near that territory. They constructed these histories, as creative and often as unreliable as their Chinese counterparts, with two audiences in mind: the Uyghurs and the international community. In the face of challenges from official Chinese history, they have tried to restore the Uyghurs’ collective belief in a proud and independent past and so impart new vigor to their resistance to Chinese rule. They succeeded in this aim in the 1980s, and as a consequence, the Chinese government ended the publication of Uyghur nationalist historiography inside China by 1991. The histories that had been published were burned in the public square, their claims officially contradicted, and their authors vilified (Benson 1996; Bovingdon and Nebijan Tursun 2004; Rudelson 1991, 1997).

    Members of the wider Uyghur community have not merely been passive consumers of the ideas promulgated by intellectual elites. Instead they have played an active role in interpreting and disseminating those ideas. Hence even after the publishing crackdown and despite public criticism, the central claims of Uyghur nationalist history have continued to circulate in Uyghur society. These historians’ aim with respect to the international community has been to strengthen the case for Uyghurs’ self-determination, and their history is intended to persuade skeptics that Uyghurs are a historical nation by providing evidence of Uyghurs’ independent states in the past.

    Viewed dispassionately, the historical record of the region and its peoples constructed along these lines has features discomfiting to both Chinese and Uyghur nationalists. The relations between states on the Central Plains of Asia (I explain later why it is inappropriate to call those states China) and those in or around what is today Xinjiang changed often and complexly. So did the states themselves, sometimes growing, sometimes shrinking, sometimes fusing, and occasionally being incorporated into much larger states located elsewhere. Complexity is the bane of nationalist simplification. The relations between the Central Plains states and parts of Xinjiang began much earlier than Uyghur nationalists would like to acknowledge. Through military colonies (tuntian) first established in 120 bce and commanderies (duhufu) first set up in 60 bce, the Han dynasty (206 bce to 220 ce) exercised military and political control over a significant portion of Xinjiang for more than one hundred years, more than two millennia ago. The Tang dynasty (618–907), too, controlled much of Xinjiang for roughly one hundred years until the An Lushan rebellion in the mid-eighth century. After that date, no Central Plains dynasty ruled Xinjiang until generals of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) conquered its northern and southern parts in 1759 (Millward and Perdue 2004: 35–39). It is beyond question that the first two periods of rule far antedated not only the Russian Empire’s first forays into the Qazaq steppe but also the very emergence of the Russian Empire itself. Even the Qing conquest of Xinjiang preceded by a full century Russia’s subjugating Central Asia proper in the 1860s or the British Empire’s taking formal control of India in 1858.

    In contrast, contemporary Chinese nationalists prefer not to admit that the various Central Plains dynasties were not, properly speaking, “China.” There is a record of the continuous habitation of the Central Plains by Chinese-speaking and -writing people from before the common era, and a series of states governed by Chinese-speakers ruled many of those people for much of the intervening two thousand years. Yet as the historian Victor Mair pointed out, there were no state names or names for human groups that outlasted a single dynasty in the Central Plains (Mair 2005:52). William Kirby argues that “there was no ‘China’ in a formal sense under dynastic rule,” nor was there an idea of the nation (Kirby 2005:107; see also Millward and Perdue 2004:29). Ironically, an early Chinese nationalist acknowledged this inconvenient fact. The well-known intellectual Liang Qichao lamented in 1900 that his people had no name for their country. The term that later generations adopted, Zhongguo (central state or states), he dismissed as a foreign imposition, something “people of other races call us” (Fitzgerald 1996b:67). The “Chinese nation” was a modern invention dating to no earlier than the late nineteenth century, although just as their counterparts around the world had done, Chinese nationalists concocted an ancient origin and a linear history of their “self-same, national subject” moving through time (Chow 1997; Duara 1995:4 and chap. 1 passim; Leibold 2007).

    In sum, we must view skeptically the parallel claims of Chinese nationalist historians that “Xinjiang has been part of China since ancient times” and that Uyghurs have been part of China’s “great family of minzu” for an even longer time. We similarly must scrutinize Uyghurs’ nationalist claims that Uyghurs have always been distinct from Chinese and have established many independent states, only to be colonized by the Chinese in the comparatively recent past.

    Historical Questions

    The nationalist claims of Hans and Uyghurs rest on the answers to four questions: Who were the Uyghurs historically? What was the land? What was the relationship between the people and the land? And what was the relationship between Xinjiang and the core of the state (meaning both the ruling elite and the heartlands) in the Qing dynasty and afterward? The answers to these questions are of more than merely scholarly interest. Uyghur nationalist histories written or promulgated in Xinjiang provide answers that have strengthened the Uyghurs’ collective identity and rekindled dreams of an independent state. Meanwhile, Uyghur organizations abroad have used similar answers to build a case for self-determination and thus to gain support from the international community. Conversely, Chinese historians and officials have sought to extinguish Uyghurs’ dreams of independence and to dismiss the case for self-determination by insisting on very different answers.

    First, who were the Uyghurs historically, and when did they first emerge historically? Uyghur nationalists posit that Uyghurs emerged very early, possibly some six thousand years ago (Qurban Wäli 1988; Turghun Almas 1989). Aside from the problem that there are no written records sufficiently old to support this claim, and archeological evidence cannot do so, there is the difficulty that the term Uyghur (variously Weihe, Yuanhe, and Huihe in Chinese sources) is found no earlier than the fifth century (Golden 1992:95, 157). Some Uyghur nationalists claim more recent descent from the Xiongnu, a confederation of peoples who engaged in a “tug of war” with the Han dynasty for control of Xinjiang (Millward and Perdue 2004:36). They place a special emphasis on this lineage because the Xiongnu appear in Chinese-language histories as the mortal enemies of the Han dynasty. Although the topic of ethnogenesis is still contentious, few serious scholars would follow Uyghur nationalists in making the leap from the existence of Xiongnu in the Tarim Basin to the assertion that they were Uyghurs. However that question might ultimately be resolved, the Uyghurs described in Chinese sources several hundred years later were allied with the Tang dynasty for a time in the seventh century before revolting against it (Mackerras 1972:8; Pulleyblank 1956:37). The Uyghurs grew stronger over time until they founded an empire (744–840) in what is today Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, and Siberia. The Qirghiz ultimately crushed the Uyghur Empire and forced the emigration of many of its subjects into Gansu and Xinjiang. Thus, only in the ninth century did peoples bearing the collective name Uyghur settled in the Tarim Basin (Golden 1992; Mackerras 1990).

    A second major problem for the history of Uyghurs as a continuously “self-same, national subject” is that when the Qarakhanid Empire moved south into the Tarim and began to Islamicize its predominantly Buddhist Uyghur population, it set in motion the gradual disappearance of the name Uyghur, along with the Buddhist religion, until, by the fifteenth century, there were no recorded usages in the region. The name Uyghur reappeared in popular discourse only in the twentieth century. Some scholars have argued that it was a Soviet conference in Tashkent in 1921 that led Turkis in Xinjiang to adopt the name. Soviet officials had revived the historical term Uyghur when they divided Turkic-speaking Central Asians into various “national” groups to ward off the threat of a Pan-Turkist revolt. The strategic adoption of the name after centuries of disuse and as a result of government policies strikes some as prima facie evidence of national invention (Gladney 1990; Rudelson 1997). Several scholars have subsequently challenged this argument, however, providing evidence that the name had already been in wide use by Turkis in the late nineteenth century (Brophy 2005; Näbijan Tursun 2002). Historiographic problems notwithstanding, many Uyghur nationalists believe that the Uyghur nation emerged very early in history and that it has remained distinct from the Chinese nation ever since. As the Web site of the World Uyghur Congress puts it, “East Turkistan’s people are not Chinese; they are Turks of Central Asia” (World Uyghur Congress 2006a).

    If Uyghur nationalists had to overcome (and thus conceal) a number of gaps and significant changes of place, religion, and political stance in the story of Uyghur “national becoming,” Chinese historians confronted a similar challenge. They, too, had to assign Uyghurs a clear date of ethnogenesis and a continuous existence since that date, and they also needed to demonstrate that Uyghurs’ history was a component part of the history of the multinational “Chinese nation” (zhonghua minzu). To accomplish this, they adopted two strategies. First, they applied the frame of class analysis in interpreting the past, insisting that in all periods the affinities of all exploited peoples, regardless of language and culture, were stronger than those of any one group for its corresponding exploiting class—within the boundaries of the “Chinese nation,” of course. Second, in order to manage countervailing evidence, they developed the notion of “main currents” and “countercurrents” in history. The “unification” of many peoples under the rule of powerful dynasties and harmonious relations among the laboring ranks of those peoples were the main currents of Chinese history. Internecine battles among peoples they labeled countercurrents. Official Chinese histories of the Uyghurs used these narrative strategies to prove that Uyghurs had been part of China’s “great family of minzu” from the moment of their emergence and never ceased to be so (Liu Zhixiao 1985, 1986; “Weiwu’erzu jianshi” bianxiezu 1991). In asserting that Uyghurs had never separated from the “Chinese nation” in the past, they sought to demonstrate that they could never do so in the future.

    The second important historical question was, what was the land of Xinjiang? Was it the western part of China? The eastern part of Turkestan? The center of something else? Chinese historians have taken the first position; Uyghurs, the second or third. The first premise of Chinese nationalist historiography, as discussed earlier, is that all dynasties and the lands they ruled were “China.” In exact parallel with the gathering and splitting of peoples, historians made the conquest of large territories by powerful dynasties the main current of history, whereas shrunken states ruling only part of the Central Plains belonged to historical countercurrents. The claim of official Chinese histories that Xinjiang has been part of China since ancient times creates serious problems, in that many dynasties did not rule even a part of that region. Chinese historians have resolved the difficulty by regarding diplomatic relations with states in the region, tribute missions originating there, marital alliances with princes and princesses hailing from the Tarim Basin, and encampments of Chinese soldiers or merchants all as proof that each successive dynasty did in fact rule Xinjiang (Xinjiang shehui kexueyuan lishi yanjiusuo 1987; XUAR jiaoyu weiyuanhui gaoxiao lishi jiaocai bianxiezu 1992).

    There were and remain Turkis who identify what is now Xinjiang as the eastern part of Turkestan. Muhämmäd Imin Bughra, an Islamic scholar in Xinjiang’s southern city of Khotan, founded there the Committee for National Revolution in 1932 and helped establish the short-lived first Eastern Turkestan Republic (1933–1934) in southern Xinjiang (Forbes 1986:83–89; Millward 2007:201–6). The organization has been described as both “Uyghur nationalist” and “Turkic nationalist,” but Muhämmäd Imin’s later writings and actions showed him to be inclined toward the latter. He hoped to free Uyghurs from Chinese control as a first step toward establishing a broader Turkic state (Forbes 1986:83–84). A decade later he became close to the Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-shek and served along with Isa Yusuf Alptekin as a delegate in the Constituent Assembly in Chongqing. While there, the two managed to publish a series of articles asserting that Uyghurs, Qazaqs, and others were part of a more embracing “Turkic” (Tujue) nation that Chinese governors sought to subjugate by dividing it into smaller groups and sowing discord among them (Bovingdon 2001). Muhämmäd Imin and Alptekin fled Xinjiang in 1949 and later settled in Turkey, where both wrote books, edited journals, and gave speeches identifying their former home as Eastern Turkestan and calling on Muslims and Turks to support its liberation (I. Alptekin 1981; Bughra 1946; Landau 1995:118, 124–25, 150). There was and remains manifest support among Pan-Turkists in Turkey for the cause of an independent “Eastern Turkestan,” and quite a few Uyghurs in the diaspora refer to their homeland by that name. Many of those who do so, however, are prompted not by Pan-Turkism but by a recognition that given the presence of several Turkic-speaking peoples in Xinjiang, it cannot be defined as exclusively Uyghur.

    Finally, many Uyghur nationalists have rejected the depiction of Xinjiang as either the western edge of China or the eastern edge of the Turkic world, instead identifying it as a center in its own right. Scholars of nationalism will not be at all surprised to learn this; after all, the nation—and the national territory—must be the center of any persuasive national story. Thus in his famous history Uyghurlar (The Uyghurs), the poet and historian Turghun Almas insisted that the “Uyghur homeland” was Central Asia and characterized the Tarim Basin as the “golden cradle” of culture in the region, as well as one of the world’s few such cultural founts (Bovingdon and Nebijan Tursun 2004; Turghun Almas 1989). Many Uyghurs in Xinjiang regard the region as belonging uniquely to them, particularly after Qazaqs, Qirghiz, Uzbeks, and Tajiks all gained recognition in 1991 as proprietors of states bearing their ethnonyms. For the same reason, some Uyghurs in the diaspora, particularly those in Central Asia, have insisted the region be called Uyghurstan.

    The third question concerns the relationship between the people of Xinjiang and the land. Several Uyghur nationalist historians, including Turghun Almas, insisted that Uyghurs were indigenous to the territory, inhabiting it for all their claimed six thousand years (Qurban Wäli 1988; Turghun Almas 1986, 1989). The view that Uyghurs were autochthonous in Xinjiang is widely if quietly shared by many Uyghurs inside the region and is more or less universal in the Uyghur diaspora. Some have made the still more sweeping, and clearly insupportable, claim that Uyghurs were the sole indigenes—in other words, that all other peoples later found in the territory were immigrants to a place already belonging to them.

    Chinese historians have explicitly denied this claim. All the official histories of Uyghurs and of Xinjiang published in China since 1949 state flatly that the territory was multicultural (and multi-minzu) from prehistorical times. They couple this argument with detailed retellings of the story of the Uyghur Empire in Mongolia and the subsequent exodus, endlessly underscoring the point that Uyghurs were “late” arrivals in Xinjiang, entering only in the ninth century. Recent Chinese histories have boldly added that Hans were among the first inhabitants of the region and in fact arrived long before Uyghurs (He Jihong 1996; Ji Dachun 1993:149, 606). A recent journalistic piece announced that Hans “have been settled in Xinjiang for over 2000 years, preceding not only the Mongols, Qazaqs, Uzbeks, Manchu, Hui and Xibo, but also the western migration of the Huigu [Uyghurs]” (China Radio International 2006). Such arguments are clearly intended to simultaneously defeat Uyghur assertions of indigeneity and establish China’s claim to the region through its prior occupation by Hans. In turn, these assertions rest on the intertwined assumptions that Hans existed as Hans two millennia ago and that they represented “China.” In fact, as Zhao Suisheng argues, the idea of Han ethnonational identity, like that of the Chinese nation, dates only to the late nineteenth century (Zhao 2004:21–22; see also Chow 1997).

    Uyghur intellectuals are aware that demonstrating indigeneity in Xinjiang might be one of their only resources for contesting Beijing’s actual political control of the region, which has not been legally challenged by any foreign state or international organization since 1949. It is precisely for this reason that Beijing has adamantly refused to recognize any “minority minzu” in China as indigenous, fearing that international organizations might codify rights for indigenous peoples that it does not consider “appropriate” for those non-Hans (Hannum 1988:655–56, quoted in Corntassel and Primeau 1995:n. 77). Party officials’ recognition that history is a bulwark (or threat) to China’s rule over Xinjiang can be discerned from the construction of the most significant documents on the region prepared for international consumption since 2002. Both the State Council’s brief on “Eastern Turkestan terrorism” (Guowuyuan xinwen bangongshi 2002), and its white paper touting the virtues of Xinjiang’s system of governance (Guowuyuan xinwen bangongshi 2003) begin with lengthy—and carefully manipulated—historical summaries.

    The fourth question concerns the relationship between the imperial heartland and the periphery following the Qing conquest. Was the relationship between country and province or between empire and colony? The importance of the answer to this question lies in the relationship between the pair of binaries discussed in the introduction: nation-state versus empire and sovereignty versus self-determination. For if Xinjiang was simply a province in a nation-state from the Qing period on, then its status must be governed by the principle of sovereignty and the emphasis on territorial integrity in international law. But if the Qing conquest and rule of Xinjiang prove to have been colonial and if that relationship was not materially altered in the Republican period, then Uyghurs would have a correspondingly stronger case for independence from China today.

    Qing Conquest

    Despite contemporary Chinese claims, it was only with the Qing conquest of Xinjiang in the mid-eighteenth century that the territory was firmly bound to a Central Plains state. The conquest began not as a land grab but as a punitive expedition against the Zunghars, whom three successive Qing emperors had tried to crush. The conquest was sanguinary and ruthless: under the orders of Emperor Qianlong, the Qing troops were not to stop until they had killed or routed nearly the entire population of Zungharia (Perdue 2005a).

    Having won the campaign, the Manchu emperor and his administrators found themselves in charge of an enormous territory. The northern part had largely been depopulated by the bloodbath, and the southern region was a distinct unit often ruled indirectly by nomads in the northern region who supported themselves on the agricultural wealth of the oasis towns but were content to leave administration to the locals. Qing rulers elected to continue the practice of indirect rule, giving the top military and political posts to Manchus and Chinese but leaving the daily administration of local affairs around the Tarim Basin in the hands of the begs, or Turkic notables. Under Qing control, Xinjiang remained distinct from China proper and was frankly ruled as a colony. The imperial administration hoped that the colony could eventually be made to pay for itself (Millward 1998:76–112, 153; Millward and Perdue 2004:57–58).

    This proved a vain hope. Sustaining the garrisons and officials controlling the region proved to be expensive and was beset by numerous challenges. Turkis rose repeatedly against Qing rule, most notably in the late 1820s and 1830s and again in the mid-1860s. In 1820 the literatus Gong Zizhen memorialized the emperor by urging that the colony be transformed into a province. Gong argued that by opening the region to immigration, the state could serve two goals at once: it could relieve the population pressures on the heartland provinces, and it could stabilize the volatile border region by colonizing it with industrious, tractable farmers. The emperor ignored the first of Gong’s proposals but found the second sensible in the wake of the Turki uprisings, and so the immigration of Chinese increased (Millward 1998:241–46). In the 1860s, an uprising by the Chinese Muslims of Gansu cut off Xinjiang from China proper and facilitated the emergence of an independent state in Xinjiang (1864–1877) led by Ya’qub Beg, a canny operator from Kokand who styled himself as emir and began diplomatic negotiations with the Russian, British, and Ottoman empires (Kim 2004). Russian generals in Central Asia took advantage of the state’s weak control of northern Xinjiang to conquer a strategically crucial chunk of the Ili Valley region, which they managed to hold for a decade, from 1871 to 1881.

    Both Ya’qub Beg’s emirate and the Russian incursion contributed to a major crisis in the Qing administration. While the Qing general Zuo Zongtang was battling the Gansu uprising, Japan invaded Taiwan in 1874, an event compounding the shock from the Qing’s devastating losses in the opium wars. Facing military challenges at opposite ends of the empire, the emperor and his advisers felt incapable of responding effectively to both and uncertain which was the more important. Xinjiang had consistently been a drain on Qing resources and was proving increasingly difficult to defend (Borei 1991). Maritime administrator Li Hongzhang argued that the coastal threat was more pressing and urged the Qing to abandon Xinjiang in order to marshal resources for a naval response. General Zuo, influenced by Gong Zizhen’s earlier writings, asserted, on the contrary, that the inland threat mattered more, since Xinjiang was the bulwark protecting Mongolia and Mongolia, in turn, was the buffer protecting the capital. In the end Zuo was victorious in the “great policy debate” and won permission to launch a very expensive campaign to crush Ya’qub Beg’s emirate and reconquer Xinjiang for the Qing, which he did by 1877. Only in 1884, after a Qing diplomat induced St. Petersburg to give up the land in Ili—without which the region would have been indefensible—did the emperor finally act on Gong’s suggestion of sixty years earlier and transform the colony of Xinjiang into a province (Hsu 1964–1965, 1965; Wright 1994:660–61).

    Three features of the Qing conquest and subsequent administration of Xinjiang are important. First, the acquisition of territory was a by-product of the emperor’s attempt to rid himself of a troublesome foe. During the military campaign, there was not a word about “unification” or “reunification”; it was later Qing historians who painted the conquest as a fulfillment of imperial destiny, a legacy left by the Han and Tang dynasties but overtopped by the Manchus (Perdue 2005a:500–501, 509). Second, the Qing imperial house regarded Xinjiang as a colony and saw its Muslim inhabitants as a discrete population in an empire of culturally distinct parts (Millward 1998:197–203; see also Crossley 1999). Third, far from thinking of it as an “inseparable” part of the empire, on numerous occasions both the imperial house and much of the Qing policy elite seriously contemplated abandoning the colony before finally deciding to make it a province. Both the events in Xinjiang during the Qing period and the Qing Empire itself ill fit the national frame that was later imposed on them (see, e.g., Esherick 2006).

    Chinese Nationalism: Talk of the Nation

    These difficulties did not stop people from trying to stretch a Chinese national skin over the Qing imperial body (Anderson 1991:86). It is generally agreed that Chinese nationalism emerged in the late nineteenth century, though as in the case of nationalisms everywhere in the world, its progenitors set the movement in motion by invoking a hoary history of the “Chinese nation.” They felt called to the task by the widespread perception that the Qing was on the verge of collapse and that its territory might be carved up “like a melon.” The wholly unexpected naval defeat by Japan in 1894 incited near panic. The birth of Chinese nationalism saw the odd conjunction of announcements that the Chinese nation was awakening and dire warnings that it might soon disappear from the earth (Zhao 2004:17).

    There were two principal and conflicting strands of Chinese nationalism in the 1890s, exemplified in the work of near contemporaries Zhang Binglin and Liang Qichao. The distinguished literatus Zhang Binglin envisioned a Chinese nation that was both racially and culturally unified. He argued that its members could rescue the nation from its crisis only by jettisoning non-Hans and, with them, all the territory that had not been part of the Ming (Zhao 2004:66). His rationale was that mutually hostile groups would not consent to stay together. Zhang bitterly hated the Manchus and, during a stay in Japan, had himself photographed in Ming-era garb (punishable by death in the Qing) to indicate his absolute rejection of the Qing dynasty. He acknowledged in his writings that the Muslims of Xinjiang felt toward Hans precisely the antipathy Hans felt toward Manchus (Zhang Binglin 1907:18; cited in Perdue 2005b:189; see also Gasster 1969:206). There is little doubt that he expected Xinjiang to separate from a future “purified” China, although he also apparently believed that it might ultimately be reabsorbed, since it did not “belong to anyone else.” Liang Qichao, also an accomplished and very influential literatus, shared Zhang’s belief that race defined the nation but asserted it could be culturally plural. Liang saw all the various peoples of the Qing as belonging to the “yellow race” and differing only in culture. He was led to envision a culturally heterogeneous nation by the practical concern that abandoning territory would weaken the state still further. Liang rejected anti-Manchuism and advocated a “broad nationalism” (da minzu zhuyi) that would awaken a sense of belonging to “China” in all the peoples of the Qing Empire (Chow 1997:42; Esherick 2006:235; Fitzgerald 1996a:86–87).

    Sun Yat-sen, a humble Cantonese farmer’s son who emigrated to Hawaii as a youth and later studied medicine in Hong Kong, could not claim the intellectual distinction of either Zhang or Liang, but he was a far more astute politician. Radicalized by the mid-1890s, he shared Zhang’s fiery anti-Manchuism and staged an abortive revolt in 1895, as a consequence of which he had to flee to Japan. When the Wuchang uprising brought down the Qing dynasty in 1911, Sun was on a fund-raising trip in the United States, yet he was subsequently credited with leading the Republican revolution and dubbed the “father of the Republic.” After returning to China to serve as the first president, Sun soon recognized the incompatibility between anti-Manchuism and the desire to keep all Qing territories, and he adopted the kind of “broad nationalism” that Liang Qichao had advocated (Zhao 2004:22). In 1919 he urged that Hans “sacrifice the separate nationality, history, and identity that they are so proud of and merge in all sincerity with the Manchus, Mongols, Muslims, and Tibetans” (Sun Yat-sen [Sun Zhongshan] 1919/1994:225). In his famous series of lectures, the Sanmin zhuyi (Three Principles of the People), Sun imagined that while European nations had been forged in violence, the Chinese nation had grown peacefully through the immense attractive power of its culture, thereby neatly erasing the history of conquest that had made the Qing (Sun Wen [Sun Zhongshan] 1985). Sun’s Three Principles became the official doctrine of the GMD, or Nationalist Party, and despite their obvious historiographic inaccuracy, his lectures were published as a book and widely disseminated. Chiang Kai-shek, Sun’s successor as head of the GMD, proposed an even more fantastic ethnological theory in his Zhongguo zhi mingyun (China’s Fate): the various peoples in China came from a single racial stock, and their cultural differences stemmed entirely from regional disparities in soil and water (Jiang Zhongzheng [Chiang Kai-shek] 1943/1962). The doctrines of Sun and Chiang were transparently intended to deny that any of the peoples ruled by the republic had a right to secede. If Xinjiang had become a province and the Qing had turned into the Chinese nation, Xinjiang and its peoples must necessarily remain part of that nation.

    Xinjiang in the Republican Period: Colonial Rule in National Guise

    As is widely known, between 1917 and 1927, the rule of China’s various regions devolved on a number of warlords. Chiang eliminated most of them during his Northern Expedition and recentralized authority in Nanjing by 1927. Yet Xinjiang remained largely beyond the reach of that central authority until well into the 1940s. The province’s first governor after 1911, Yang Zengxin, maintained autocratic control untrammeled by Nanjing from 1911 until his death in 1928. Having installed a network of relatives and associates in various administrative positions and enacted policies intended to “isolate, divide, and maintain in enforced ignorance” the peoples of the region, keeping the single key to the only telegraph office in Dihua (Ürümci) in his own pocket, Yang ruled the province as a virtual feudatory kingdom. He responded to political uprisings with unflinching brutality, once famously ordering rebellious underlings to be beheaded at a banquet, and reportedly ran Xinjiang’s economy “largely for his own benefit” (Forbes 1986:13–15, 29). Yang’s successor, Jin Shuren, was no more sensitive, though considerably less adroit politically. Jin reportedly had people executed for injudicious remarks made in ordinary conversation and emulated his predecessor in seeking to exclude all external influences, whether from Nanjing or Central Asia. When the king of the still-autonomous khanate of Qumul died in 1930, Jin moved to eliminate the khanate and open the region to Han immigration. Even more provocatively, he forced Turkis off their land to make room for the immigrants and exempted the latter from land taxes, which the displaced Turkis were still obliged to pay, even though they had been displaced to much poorer land. It is not surprising that in the 1930s, Turkis in several parts of Xinjiang rebelled against the misrule of Jin and his regional subordinates (Forbes 1986:38–62). The most successful of the uprisings established the Eastern Turkistan Republic (ETR, 1933–1934) in the south. Although the short-lived republic was a fully elaborated state, with a flag, currency, and government, it failed to win diplomatic recognition from either Middle Eastern states or Britain, which had a firm policy of supporting the Nanjing government. The Soviet Union offered military assistance to Jin Shuren’s de facto successor, Sheng Shicai, but in the end it was a Hui warlord from Gansu, Ma Zhongying, who crushed the republic (Forbes 1986:112–27; Millward 2007:200–206).

    Sheng Shicai then ruled Xinjiang, largely as a Soviet puppet, through 1944. While his reversal of Jin’s pro-immigration policy and initiatives to build roads and schools seemed to suggest that he would be more responsive to the population’s wishes, he proved to be just as corrupt and nearly as brutal as Yang and Jin. While governor, he reportedly imprisoned some 100,000 people, most of them Turkis. During his tenure, Huis from Gansu founded a more or less independent polity in the southern Tarim Basin (1934–1937), and former participants in the first ETR revolted again in 1937. Once more, the Russians assisted Sheng militarily, incensed at the staunchly anti-Soviet doctrine of ETR members, and, after helping crush the uprising, Moscow deployed Russian troops in several Xinjiang cities. By the late 1930s the province had become economically and politically a dependent of the Soviet Union. In 1942 Sheng decided to break with the Soviets and go over to the GMD, before thinking better of his decision and trying to reverse it in 1944, at which point Nationalist leaders unceremoniously relieved him of his position and installed the Chiang loyalist Wu Zhongxin (Forbes 1986:148, 152, 161, and chap. 5 passim; Millward 2007:213).

    An unabashed Han chauvinist like his mentor Chiang Kai-shek, Wu followed the example of Jin Shuren in opening Xinjiang to Han immigration. The Chinese government supplied funds to finance the migration, which was clearly aimed at “permanently altering the ethnic balance” in the province and predictably angered Turkis. The combination of renewed Han immigration, economic chaos, and official corruption turned most of the Turkic population against Wu’s government (Forbes 1986:163–69). At this point, Uyghurs, Qazaqs, and others established the Eastern Turkestan Republic (ETR) in what had been Xinjiang’s three northwestern districts. From 1944 until 1949 the ETR maintained an independent government in Ghulja, though scholars disagree on the degree of Soviet involvement and whether anti-Chinese or socialist elements played a stronger role in the government (Benson 1990; Forbes 1986; Millward 2004:chap. 5; Wang 1999).

    In August 1945 the Nationalists dispatched General Zhang Zhizhong to negotiate with the ETR government, and with Soviet encouragement, the latter agreed to negotiations. Within a year, the two sides had formed a coalition government in Ürümci with representatives from Ghulja. A year later in 1947 the coalition had frayed considerably, and Turkis staged several large demonstrations in the widely separated cities of Ghulja, Dihua (Ürümci), and Kashgar. In that year, Zhang traveled around Xinjiang making speeches and seeking common ground with locals. Strikingly, in his speeches, he regularly compared Xinjiang with British India and the former American colony of the Philippines, recognizing that there was a global “tide of decolonization,” and acknowledged that Xinjiang, too, might someday become independent. Nonetheless, he often expressed doubts that the region could achieve true independence, fearing that instead it would fall under the control of another state, understood to be the Soviet Union (Bovingdon 2001; Forbes 1986:207–9; Millward 2007:216–18; Zhang 1947).

    This was not the last time a GMD official openly spoke of the possibility that Xinjiang might become independent. In 1947, Wu Qiyu, an adviser to the Nationalist Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote an article analyzing the “Xinjiang problem” for the new journal Tianwentai (The Observatory). In the article he posed the question of whether China should abandon the unruly province. Both his entertaining this question in 1947 and some of his reasons are of interest to us here. First, as had Zhang Binglin before him, Wu represented Xinjiang as being outside the territory of China, writing that “the roads going from China’s territory [Zhongguo lingtu] to Xinjiang” were very poor and far inferior to those from India and the Soviet Union. Second, he estimated that garrisoning the soldiers required to bring the restive province under control would consume vast resources and still necessitate buying off local leaders. Betraying his low opinion of non-Hans, Wu likened such a course to “exhausting the Central Plains to serve the four barbarian tribes” (pi bi zhongyuan yi shi si yi). As Zhang Zhizhong had done, Wu acknowledged a global trend that seemed to favor Xinjiang’s separation from China:

    “Given the tide of national self-determination (minzu zijue) in today’s world, we seemingly have reason to let go of Xinjiang. After all, Britain has already let go of Ireland [so he thought] and India. America has given up the Philippines. What, then, is wrong with our dispensing with Xinjiang? Especially considering we’ve already given up Outer Mongolia. (Wu 1947:6)”

    Wu’s explanation of the difference between Xinjiang and the other colonies will be eerily familiar to students of colonial rhetoric: India and the Philippines “had undergone years of training by Britain and the U.S., and were therefore eminently qualified for independence.” The various peoples of “our” Xinjiang, by contrast, “were very far from qualified” (Wu 1947:7). The tropes of “training” and “political maturation,” basic components of the European mission civilisatrice, had been deployed by Britain, the United States, and France to stave off decolonization in the face of popular pressures. Beyond the question of Xinjiang’s people’s lack of qualifications for independence, Wu decided that China could not abandon Xinjiang, for the same reason that Zuo Zongtang had stated seventy years earlier. To do so would leave the heartland vulnerable to attack.

    Wu’s and Zhang Zhizhong’s reasoning was manifestly far from that of nationalist historians. Instead, it echoed, by turns, the pragmatic calculations of Gong Zizhen, the impatient fiscal and military conservatism of Li Hongzhang, or the ethnocultural realism of Zhang Binglin. In comparing Xinjiang with India and the Philippines, they made plain that they considered it a colonial possession and therefore a candidate for self-determination as part of the global tide of decolonizations. Such talk ceased immediately with the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

    Uyghur and Chinese nationalists have staked competing territorial and political claims by answering these four historical questions very differently. The former rest their case on the assertions that Uyghurs have existed as a people for millennia, that Xinjiang was not historically part of China but instead the seat of several Uyghur states, and that Uyghurs were indigenous to the region, whereas Hans were not. They underscore the violent conquest and colonial rule of Xinjiang under the Qing and argue that Republican rule was similarly colonial. They point to the emergence of three independent states in the region between 1864 and 1949 as evidence that locals did not wish to be ruled by Manchus or Hans. They also invoke both colonial rule and the independent states in support of their right to self-determination. Chinese nationalists have countered Uyghur claims by postulating, first, that Uyghurs were historically part of the “Chinese nation” and that Xinjiang was part of a transhistorical “China” from earliest times and, second, that the Hans were early inhabitants and the Uyghurs were later immigrants to the region. By separately binding Uyghurs to the Chinese nation and Xinjiang to China, they sought to dismiss Uyghurs’ assertions of an independent relationship with the land. I believe that several of the claims on both sides founder on the historical evidence. The charge that Qing Xinjiang was a colony and the implications of that charge are not so easily dismissed.

    If officials and authors could casually refer to Xinjiang as a colony in public before the revolution, Chinese historians after 1949 would busy themselves erasing any such reference. They tried to obscure the Qing’s having been an empire by emphasizing that it was the victim of other imperialist powers, such as Russia and Britain. Second, by reframing the Qing as “China,” they could depict its conquest of Xinjiang as the “reunion” of the nation with a long-alienated part. They worked tirelessly to strengthen the Chinese “national narrative” and undermine Uyghurs’ counternarrative. Their colleagues in the field of “minzu theory” (minzu lilun) grappled with the problem of self-determination, not only because the continuing spate of decolonizations in Africa (often enjoying Chinese moral and military support) demonstrated the continuing vitality of the principle, but also because Lenin had argued forcefully that all Marxists were obligated to recognize an absolute right of national self-determination (Lenin 1914/1975). Finally, they worked for decades to make a persuasive case that the Chinese Communist Party’s rejection of Lenin’s principle of self-determination was doctrinally sound and to provide theoretical justifications for the system of “minzu regional autonomy” (minzu quyu zizhi) that Beijing established instead in Xinjiang and other peripheral territories.

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    Chapter 1: Using the Past to Serve the Present


  3. Crackdown Launched in Easttukistan

    Authorities in Eastturkistan (China’s troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang) are holding more than 20 people in a new crackdown on separatism mainly targeting the region’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, an exiled group said on Friday.

    This winter’s “strike hard” campaign began in mid-November in Aqchi Nahiyisi, in southern Eastturkistan’s Kizilsu Kyrgyz autonomous prefecture, according to Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress.

    “Nearly 100 people have been detained,” Raxit said. “Some of them are still being detained under criminal detention,” he said, adding that several had also been freed.

    Raxit said that more than 20 people were being held under criminal charges, while at least 10 had been freed on bail pending court hearings.

    “Others are still being held in the detention center because they refused to pay fines,” he said.

    An officer who answered the phone at the county police department declined to comment.

    “You will have to ask my superiors,” he said. “Those are the rules.”

    “They know what is happening.”


    A resident of Aqchi said police had stepped up routine patrols and surveillance in the county town in recent weeks.

    “Aqchi has a reputation, and it is always subjected to tight controls,” the resident said.

    “There are not so many people out and about at the moment, it’s very plain to see.”

    “It’s because the Chinese Communist Party has said it will crack down on the ‘three forces,'” the resident said, referring to Beijing’s campaigns against “separatism, terrorism, and splittism.”

    Raxit said that authorities in the northwestern region of Ili, which saw a bloody suppression of an uprising against Chinese rule in 1998, have recently been targeting the culture of Uyghurs, a Central Asian Turkic-speaking ethnic group, many of whom are unhappy under Chinese rule.

    “The Chinese government has launched a clean-up campaign targeting audio-visual media being sold in the region,” Raxit said.

    He said the campaign was being coordinated by the Ili prefecture news and publishing bureau and the local police.

    “They have confiscated more than 20,000 video CD disks which the government says are illegal,” Raxit said.

    “They are mostly focusing on those in the Uyghur language.”


    He said four Uyghurs had been charged by national security police with the possession and recording of illegal CDs containing “overseas enemy propaganda.”

    “Five people have also been formally detained for possession, recording, and distribution of religious education videos,” Raxit said.

    A Han Chinese resident of Ili said that authorities have not clarified exactly what is permissible in the lyrics of Uyghur songs, and that they are simply banning those they think might be problematic.

    “The Communist Party has decreed a whole bunch of guidelines of stuff which isn’t allowed, and then confiscated them,” the resident said.

    “It is all being decided entirely by them,” he added.

    An employee who answered the phone at a bookshop in Ili prefecture said the government has always confiscated illegal publications, however.

    “If they haven’t been published via legal channels, then the publications are definitely illegal,” she said.

    “It has always been this strict, ever since the violence began in this place. They have always maintained tight controls over publications by ethnic minorities,” she added.

    ‘Clean-up’ operation

    Meanwhile, in the Silk Road city of Kashgar, authorities had closed down a number of bookshops selling Uyghur books, Raxit said.

    “In Yarkand county, the authorities have mounted a sudden and aggressive ‘clean-up’ operation,” he said.

    “They have also closed down a few printing houses and 76 bookshops selling religious books,” he said.

    Local sources said that authorities in Eastturkistan are targeting any printed materials in Uyghur in this year’s campaign.

    “The printing houses and video production houses have all been informed that they will be closed down if they don’t sign a ‘responsibility agreement’ with the police,” the Kashgar source said.

    “They are being made responsible for checking the contents of what they sell, and they will have to take the blame if there is a problem with any of the things they are selling,” he added.

    Raxit said Beijing’s tactics show it has little interest in easing ethnic tensions in Eastturkistan following the deadly ethnic unrest in July 2009 that left nearly 200 people dead, according to official figures.

    “Instead, their campaign against printed and audio-visual media is robbing Uyghurs of their right to information,” Raxit said.

    Website attacked

    The popular Uyghur website Uyghur Online said it had come under a denial-of-service attack—on Friday, one day after it re-opened following a similar attack last month, according to the Boxun news website.

    The site’s online host had been unable to cope with the attack, and had asked the editors to find another service provider, the report said.

    Reported by Qiao Long for RFA’s Mandarin service and by Hai Nan for RFA’s Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

  4. Free Eastturkistan! says:

    Brief History of the Uyghurs

    2.Early History
    3.The Kanchou (Ganzhou)Uygur Kingdom
    4.The Karakhoja Uygur Kingdom
    5.The Karakhanid Uygur Kingdom
    6.Manchu Invasion
    7.Uygur Civilization
    8.Uygur Script
    9.Uygur Literature
    11.Uygur Economy
    12.Uygur Medicine
    13.Architecture, Art, Music and Printing

    The Uighers are the native people of Eastern Turkestan, also known as Xinjiang or Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The latest Chinese census gives the present population of the Uyghers as 18 million 1 . There are also 500,000 Uygurs in Western Turkestan mostly known as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan 2 . Almost 75,000 Uygurs have their homes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Europe and the United States 3 .
    The Chinese sources indicate that the Uygurs are the direct descendants of the Huns 4 .

    The name “Uygur” is mentioned in the chronicles of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.), Wei Dynasty (265-289 A.D.), Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.), and Sung Dynasty (906-960) 5 .

    Ancient Greek, Iranian, and Chinese sources placed Uygurs with their tribes, and sub-tribes in the vast area between the west banks of the Yellow River in the east, Eastern Turkestan in the west, and in the Mongolian steppe in the northeast as early as 300 B.C. 6 .

    2.Early History

    After 210 B.C., the Uygurs played important roles in the Hun (220 B.C. – 386 A.D.), Tabgach (Toba) (386-554 A.D.), and Kok Turk (552-744 A.D.) empires which were established in Central Asia 6
    In 670, 688, 692 A.D., the Uygurs, the Kok Turk and the Shato joined the Tibetan Armies in their military expeditions in capturing the Chinese invasion strongholds in north and northeast Central Asia. 8

    After the fall of the Kok-Turk Empire in Central Asia, the Uygurs established their first true state in 744, with the city of Karabalgasun, on the banks of the Orkhun River, as its capital.

    The founder of this Uygur state was Kutluk Bilge Kul Khagan (King or Ruler). In 747, he was succeeded by his son Moyunchur, a powerful leader who subdued other Turkic clans, consolidated the monarchy, and extended his rule in the north to Lake Baikal, in the east to Gansu and in the southwest to India. 9

    It so happened that just as the Uygurs became united and strong, the Chinese Tang Dynasty under Hsuan-tsung (Xuanzong) (712-756 A.D.) was undergoing a sharp decline. In 751, a Chinese army was disastrously defeated at the battle of Talas River by the Arabs, Tibetans, and the Uygurs. In the same year, a Chinese invasion of the Nan-chao (Nanzhao) to the southeast was thwarted with appalling losses to the Chinese; and a Chinese force under An Lu Shan was defeated by the Khitan (Qidan) in the northeast. These disasters were but the prelude to a much more fearful catastrophe – the rebellion of the former trusted minister An Lu Shan which broke out in 755 A.D.

    It was under these circumstances that the Uygurs were invited by Su-tsung (Suzong), the Hsuan-tsung’s (Xuanzong) successor, to send armies to help the Chinese. In this event, the Uygur forces played a key role in the recapture of both Chang-An (Chang’an) and Lo-yang (Luoyang) in 757. The Uygurs did not hesitate to exploit the Tang Dynastic debt owed them, by acts of appalling pillage. The Chinese emperor agreed to pay 20,000 rolls of silk as a tribute annually to the Uygurs and granted the Uygur Khagan one of his daughters in marriage. 10 She was the first of three princesses of the Chinese imperial family to become a Uygur khatun (wife) in the period 744-840 A.D. 11

    Moyunchur Khagan died in 759 and was succeeded by his son Bugu Khagan. During his reign, the Uygurs reached the apex of their power. They began with China, which engaged in forced trade of Uygur horses for Chinese silk – an exchange which was noted frequently in Chinese sources before 829.

    In 762 Bugu Khagan sent to the Middle Kingdom where he helped the Tang Dynasty in the final battles against the rebellion which had racked it for so long.

    In 779, Bugu Khagan was killed by his first cousin and chief minister Baga Tarkan. Bugu Khagan’s Sogdian allies and advisors had wanted him to take advantage of the death in 779 of Emperor Tai-tsung (Taizong) and the state mourning involved in it, to undertake an invasion of China. Bugu Khagan agreed to do this. His first cousin Baga Tarkan opposed the plan; and when he saw the tide turning against him, murdered Bugu Khagan and set himself on the throne. Baga Tarkan, believed at this stage China could have been conquered by the Uygurs. But he did not believe that Uygurs would be able to preserve their cultural identity if they once conquered China, a vast and populous country even then.

    After the death of Baga Tarkan in 789 and specially after that of his successor, Kulug Bilge Khagan in 790, Uygur power and prestige declined

    In 795, the rule of the Uygur state passed to another clan. Under this new clan the Uygurs became more and more steeped in religion, which softened them and planted seeds of advanced culture which characterized the Uygurs of later ages.

    The most important ruler of this clan was Kutluk Bilge Khagan, whose successful military exploits, both before and during his reign, are reported in the Karabalgasun inscriptions. 12 He did not succeed , however, in restoring the Uygur empire to its former power.

    With Kutluk Bilge Khagan’s death in 805, the forces of disintegration of the Uygur state gathered momentum. War broke out abroad with the powerful Kyrgyz neighbors to the north; while at home, court intrigue eroded the power of the royal family; rebellions broke out, and, to add to everything, a bad season and severe winter in 839 killed much of the livestock upon which the Uygur economy was so dependent. In 840, the Kyrgyz, invited by a rebel chief, attacked the tottering state, killed the Khagan, and took the capital.

    This first part of Uygur political history shows the Uygurs as the protectors of the Chinese empire for almost a century. On the other hand, the relationship was not really a friendly one. There was abiding resentment on the Chinese side. The reason was that the Middle Kingdom was obliged to be protected by a “barbarian” people. The Uygurs, for their part, never gave the Chinese the respect which the latter would have liked. 13

    After the fall of the first Uygur empire, a group of Uygurs emigrated to the west banks of the Yellow River in Kansu (Gansu); a second group emigrated via Yetti Su to the Southern part of Khan Tengri or Tianshan in Eastern Turkestan; the third and the largest group emigrated to the northern part of Khan Tengri where their ancestors are still living. 14

    3.The Kanchou (Ganzhou) Uygur Kingdom

    The Kanchou (Ganzhou) Uygur Kingdom, which was established in today’s Kansu province of China, in 850, never became a major power, but the Chinese had great respect for it as seen from the Chinese court praise Kanchou (Ganzhou) Uygur King when an Uygur and a Tibetan ambassador visited the Chinese capital in 911. 15 . Nevertheless, this kingdom was absorbed in 1228 by the Tankuts who established a state in the area known as Western Hsia.
    Several thousand of these Uygurs still live in the Kansu (Gansu) area under the name yellow Uygurs or Yugurs, preserving their old Uygur mother tongue and their ancient Yellow sect of Lamaist Buddhism.

    ´4.The Idikut/Karakhoja Uygur Kingdom

    The Uygurs living in the northern part of Khan Tengri (Tianshan Mountains) in Eastern Turkestan established the Karakhoja Uygur Kingdom (Qocho) near the present day city of Turfan (Turpan), in 846. 16 The Chinese recognized this kingdom and sent Wang Yen (Yan) De in 981 to Karakhoja as their ambassador 17 . Wang Yen (Yan) De stayed in Karakhoja for three years.

    5.The Karakhanid Uygur Kingdom

    The Uygurs living in the southern part of Khan Tengri, established the Karakhanid Uygur Kingdom in 840 with the support of other Turkic clans like the Karluks, Turgish and the Basmils, with Kashgar as its capital. 18
    In 934, during the rule of Satuk Bughra Khan, the Karakhanids embraced Islam 19 . Thus, in the territory of Eastern Turkestan two Uygur kingdoms were set up: the Karakhanid, who were Muslims, and the Karakhojas, who were Buddhists.

    In 1397 this Islamic and Buddhist Uygur Kingdoms merged into one state and maintained their independence until 1759. 20

    6.Manchu Invasion

    The Manchus who set up a huge empire in China, invaded the Uygur Kingdom of Eastern Turkestan in 1759 and dominated it until 1862. During this period the Uygurs revolted 42 times against the Manchu rule with the purpose of regaining their independence. 21 In the last revolt of 1863, the Uygurs were successful in expelling the Manchus from their motherland, and founded an independent kingdom in 1864. The kingdom was recognized by the Ottoman Empire, Tsarist Russia, and Great Britain. 22 But for fear of Tsarist expansion into Eastern Turkestan, Great Britain persuaded the Manchu court to conquer Eastern Turkestan. The money for the Manchu invasion was granted by the British Banks. 23
    Large forces under the overall command of General Zho Zhung Tang (Tso Tsung-t’ang / Zui Zongtang), attacked Eastern Turkestan in 1876. After this invasion, Eastern Turkestan was given the name Xinjiang which means “new territory” or “New Dominion” and it was annexed into the territory of the Manchu empire on November 18,1884. 24

    In 1911, the Nationalist Chinese, overthrew Manchu rule and established a republic.

    The Uygurs, who also wanted to free themselves from foreign domination, staged several uprisings against the nationalist Chinese rule during this period. Twice, in 1933 and 1944, the Uygurs were successful in setting up an independent Eastern Turkestan Republic. 25 But these independent republics were overthrown by the military intervention and political intrigues of the Soviet Union. It was in fact the Soviet Union that proved deterrent to the Uygur independence movement during this period.

    In 1949 Nationalist Chinese were defeated by the Chinese Communists. After that, Uygurs fell under Chinese Communist rule.

    7.Uygur Civilization

    At the end of the 19th and the first few decades of the 20th century, scientific and archaeological expeditions to the region along the Silk Road in Eastern Turkestan led to the discovery of numerous Uygur cave temples, monastery ruins, wall paintings, statues, frescoes, valuable manuscripts, documents and books. Members of the expedition from Great Britain, Sweden, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, and the United States were amazed by the treasure they found there, and soon detailed reports captured the attention on an interested public around the world. The relics of these rich Uygur cultural remnants brought back by Sven Hedin of Sweden, Aurel Stein of Great Britain, Gruen Wedel and Albert von Lecoq from Germany, Paul Pelliot of France, Langdon Warner of the United States, and Count Ottani from Japan can be seen in the Museums of Berlin, London, Paris, Tokyo, Leningrad and even in the Museum of Central Asian Antiquities in New Delhi 26 . The manuscripts, documents and the books discovered in Eastern Turkestan proved that the Uygurs had a very high degree of civilization. 27

    8.Uygur Script

    Throughout the centuries, the Uygurs used three kinds of scripts. When they were confederated with the Kok Turks in the 6th and 7th centuries, they used the Orkhun script, which was actually a Kok Turk invention 28 . Later, the Uygurs dropped this script and adopted their own script which became known as the Uygur script 29 . This script was used for almost 800 years not only by the Uygurs, but also by other Turkic peoples, the Mongols, and by the Manchus in the early stage of their rule in China 30 . As the Mongols did not have their own written language, the Uygur script was adopted by Chengiz(Genghis) Khan’s Empire, for all sorts of correspondence. 31 . Guyuk Khan’s (1246-1248) letter to the Pope of that time was written in Uygur script 32 . The Uygurs were also instrumental in shaping Mongol administration, which was formidable by any standards. They manned Mongol chanceries and, probably because of their knowledge of languages, were often charged with visiting foreigners. Both Plano Carpini and Rubruck mention them. The Uygurs also emerged as teachers of the royal family, governors in China, ambassadors in Rome, today’s Istanbul, and Bagdat, scholars in Tebriz and officers in the army 33 . After embracing Islam, the Uygurs adopted the Arabic script, but common usage of the Arabic script came only in the 11th century.

    9.Uygur Literature

    The first Uygur literary works were mostly translations of Buddhist and Manicheist religious books. Besides, during the expeditions some narrative, poetic, and epic works were also discovered. Some of these books have been translated into German, English, Russian, and Turkish 34 . After embracing Islam, Uygurs continued to preserve their culture dominance in Central Asia.
    In this period hundreds of Uygur scholars, well known to the world, emerged. Hundreds of valuable books were written. One hundred and thirty of these important works were discovered later 35 . Among these works Uygur scholar Yusuf Has Hajip’s book Kutatku Bilik , Mahmud Kashgari’s Divani Lugatit Turk , Ahmet Yukneki’s Atabetul Hakayik , are very famous. Yusuf Has Hajip’s Kutatku Bilik , was written in 1069-1070. It is a unique example of a work that explains social, cultural, and political lives of the Uygurs during this period. Mahmud Kashgari’s Divani Lugatit Turk , which was also written in this age, bears knowledge as to the dialects of various Turkic people living at that time. It also gives information about the dialectical differences, their social upbringings, their customs, as well as the regions they inhabited. the author of this encyclopedic dictionary wandered amidst all of the Turkic peoples before he compiled his work, studied all the data and thus provided a sound academic basis. Divani Lugatit Turk , is one of the main source for Turkic Studies today.


    Prior to Islam, like most of the Turkic peoples in Central Asia, the Uygurs believed in religions like Shamanism, Manicheism and Buddhism. Buddhism entered Eastern Turkestan at the beginning of our era 35 . It quickly spread among Turkic peoples, but it was the Uygurs who founded Buddhism in Central Asia. The ruins of the famous monasteries known as Ming Oy or Thousand Buddhas built by the Uygurs can still be seen in the cities of Kucha, Turfan(Turpan), and Tunhuang(Dunhuang), where Kanchou (Ganzhou) Uygurs or the Yellow Uygurs still live.

    The Uygur king Kul Bilge Khagan (678-712) ordered a Budddist monastery to be built in the city of Bay in Eastern Turkestan 36 . In the city of Kucha, there were more than 50 Buddhist temples, libraries and welfare programs for the support of the poor 37 . In the city of Hoten, there were 14 large monasteries without counting the smaller ones. 38

    When Uygur king Bugu Khagan traveled to China in 762, he met some Manicheist priests. They succeeded in converting him to their religion and four of these priests returned with him to Karabalgasun. Shortly after, Bugu Khagan imposed Manicheism as the state religion 39 . This was a political step rather than a religious one. He hoped that by adopting this characteristically Sogdian religion to direct the future of his people away from the cultural influence of the Chinese who were also Buddhists 40

    The Uygurs embraced Islam in 934, during the reign of Satuk Bughra Khan. He was the first Turkic ruler who embraced Islam in Central Asia. At this time, instead of temples, mosques were built. Almost 300 mosques were built only in the city of Kashgar 41 . Among them, most famous are the Azna Mosque, built in the 12th century, Idgah (Id Kah) Mosque built in the 15h century, and Appak Khoja Mosque, built in the 18th century. In the city of Kashgar alone there were 18 big Madrasas (mosque schools), and up to two-thousand students enrolled in these schools in any given year. these schools were one of the important facilities not only for teaching the Uygur children reading, writing, and subjects Islamic in nature, but also such familiar subjects as mantik (logic), arithmatik (arithmetic), hendese (geometry), hai’a (ethics), astronomiye (astronomy), tibb (medicine), and falaha (agriculture). The Mesudi Library built in the 15th century, had a collection of almost 200,000 books. 42

    11.Uygur Economy

    The Uygurs adopted a sedentary life style earlier that the other Turkic peoples. Thus, the Uygurs knew how to cultivate land as early as 2nd century A.D. The Uygurs were engaged in a much more advanced agriculture by the 7th century. They raised wheat, maize, corn millet, potatoes, sesame, sugarbeet, peanuts, peaches, grapes, melons and cotton. The fields were irrigated with water brought from far distances by the “kariz” (water canals) built by the Uygurs. These “kariz” are still in use today around the city of Turfan(Turpan) today.

    Cotton was one of the principle local products of commercial value. Cotton and products manufactured from cotton contributed to the prosperity of the region.

    Another product of commercial value was carpets. The cities of Hoten, Kashgar, and Turfan(Turpan) were carpet manufacturing centers.

    12.Uygur Medicine

    The Uygurs had an extensive knowledge of medicine and medical practice. Sung (Song) Dynasty (906-960) sources indicate that an Uygur physician, Nanto, traveled to China, and brought with him many kinds of medicine not known to the Chinese 43 . There are 103 different herbs for use in Uygur medicine recorded in a medical compendium completed by Li Shizen (1518-1593), a chinese medical authority. The Tartar scholar Rashit Rahmeti Arat has written two valuable books in German entitled Zur Heilkunde der Uighuren (Medical Practices of the Uygurs) , in 1930 and 1932, relying on Uygur documents discovered in Eastern Turkestan. In his book, Arat gives important information on Uygur medicine and medical treatment. Among other documents he studied he found a very important sketch of a man with an explanation of acupuncture. Relying on this document, some western scholars claim that acupuncture was not a Chinese, but a Central Asian invention and the Uygurs perfected the method 44 .
    Traditional Uygur medicine, which can be traced back for more than 2,700 years through written records, is still very popular in Eastern Turkestan today.

    13.Architecture, Art, Music and Printing

    In the fields such as architecture, art, music and printing the Uygurs were also advanced.
    Scholars, archaeologists and Chinese envoys who traveled through Eastern Turkestan have often expressed their high estimation of the level of the Uygur civilization.

    For instance, Wang Yen(Yan) De, who served as Chinese ambassador to the Karakhoja Uygur Kingdom between the years 981-984, wrote the following in his memoirs:
    “I was impressed with the extensive civilization I have found in the Uygur Kingdom. The beauty of the temples, monasteries, wall paintings, statues, towers, gardens, housings and the palaces built throughout the kingdom cannot be described. The Uygurs are very skilled in handicrafts made from gold and silver, vases and potteries. Some say that God has infused this talent into these people only.” 45

    Albert Gruenwedel:
    “Turfan(Turpan) is without doubt a forgotten Asian city of extraordinary interest. The size of it is remarkable: the inner, holy city, consisting only of temples and palace, measures 7,400 feet at the widest point of the still extant walls. Hundreds of terraced temples and grandiose vaulted edifices cover an extensive area of lane.” 46

    Fredinnad de Sassure:
    “Those who preserved the language and written culture of Central Asia were the Uygurs.” 47

    Albert von Lecoq:
    “The Uygur language and script contributed to the enrichment of civilizations of the other peoples in Central Asia. Compared to the Europeans of that time, the Uygurs were far more advanced. Documents discovered in Eastern Turkestan prove that an Uigur farmer could write down a contract, using legal terminology. How many European farmers could have done that at that period ? This shows the extent of Uygur civilization of that time.” 48

    Lazlo Rasonyi:
    “The Uygurs knew how to print books centuries before Guetenberg invented his press.” 49

    Wolfram Eberhard:
    “In Middle Ages, the Chinese poetry, literature, theater, music and painting were greatly influenced by the Uygurs.” 50

    Russian scholar Pantusov writes that the Uygurs manufactured their own musical instruments; they had 62 different kinds of musical instruments and in every Uygur home there used to be an instrument called a “dutar”. 51

    This Uygur power, prestige and civilization which dominated Central Asia for more than a thousand years went into a steep decline after the Manchu invasion of Eastern Turkestan, and during the rule of the Nationalist and specially during the rule of the Communist Chinese.


    Notes to “Brief History of the Uyghers”

    1. Beijing Review, 24.12.1990
    2. Kommunizim Tugi, 12.1.1989, Almaty
    3. Estimates of the Eastern Turkestan Refugee Committee in Istanbul.
    4. I. Kafesoglu, Turk Dunyasi El Kitabi, Ankara, 1976, p. 725.
    5. Jack Cheng, Sinkiang Story, New York, 1977, p. 96.
    6. Riza Nur, Turk Tarihi, Istanbul 1972, p. 57; Kommunizim Tugi,13.12.1973; Kafesoglu, Ibid. p. 706-707, A. Caferoglu, Eski Turk Sozlugu, Istanbul 1968, p. 8.
    7. Lazlo Rasonyi, Tarihte Turkuk, Ankara 1971, pp. 105, 107.
    8. H.E. Richardson, Tibet and Its History, London 1962, p. 29.
    9. Collin Mackarras, The Uighur Empire, Canberra 1968, p. 6
    10. Ibid., p. 7.
    11. Ibid., p. 11.
    12. Ibid., p. 7.
    13. Ibid., p.9.
    14. Kafesoglu, op. cit., p. 726.
    15. Ibid., p. 727.
    16. Riza Nur, op. cit., p. 358.
    17. Von Gabain, Das Leben in uighurischen Koenigreich von Qoco, Wiesbaden 1973, p. 19.
    18. Riza Nur, op. cit., p. 348.
    19. M.E. Bugra, Dogu Turkistan, Tarihi, Istanbul 1952, p. 12.
    20. Fan Wen Lan, A Short History of China, Shanghai 1947, p. 279.
    21. M.E. Bugra, Chinese Policy, Istanbul 1954, p. 25
    22. I.Y Alptekin, Dogu Turkistan Davasi, Istanbul 1973, pp. 126, 127, 128
    23. Owen Lattimore, Pivot of Asia, Boston 1950, p. 32
    24. Ibid., p. 50.
    25. I.Y Alptekin, op. cit., pp. 154, 175
    26. Owen Lattimore, op. cit., p. 223.
    27. Albert von Lecoq, Turan, Berlin 1918, p. 452
    28. Emel Esin, Islamiyetten Onceki Turk Tarihi, Istanbul 1978, p. 117
    29. Ibid.
    30. Ibid.
    31. Lazlo Rasonyi, op. cit., p 112
    32. Ibid.
    33. Ibid.
    34. Bradford D. Kelleher, Along the Ancient Silk Road, New York 1982.
    35. Gevin Hambley, Central Asia, New York 1969. p. 35
    36. Ismet Parmaksiz, Genel Tarih, Ankara 1976, p. 33
    37. Denis Sinor, Inner Asia, Bloomington 1969, p. 330
    38. Peter Hopkirk, Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, London, 1980, p. 25
    39. Collin Mackarras, op. cit., p. 7
    40. Ibid, p. 8
    41. S.M. Kashgarli, Akademi Mecmuasi, Istanbul, Oct. 1985, No. 4
    42. Al Abudi, Shark-ul Vasta, 12.8.1983
    43. Shuyl Unver, Uygurlarda Tababet, Istanbul 1936. pp. 4,5,6.
    44. Yakup Bugra, Tercuman, 6.6.1984
    45. Bahaeddin Ogel, Turk Kulturunun Gelisme Caglari, Istanbul 1988, p. 206
    46. Along the Ancient Silk Routes: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York April 3 – June 20, 1982.
    47. Caferoglu, op. cit. p. 1
    48. Suheyl Unver, op. cit., pp. 4-6
    49. Lazlo Rasonyi,, op. cit., pp. 105-107.
    50. Wolfram Eberhard, Cin Tarihi, Istanbul 1947, p. 116.
    51. G. Sadvakasov, Uygur Edebiyatining Kiska Tarihi, Almaty, 1983, p. 7.


  5. Japan adopts new defense guidelines (AFP)

    Tokyo / Beijing – With a new defense strategy will focus more on Japanese settings possible military conflict with China and North Korea. The government in Tokyo decided the new defense guidelines that, in view of the dispute with China to upgrade the waters and islands of the People’s Republic has been as disturbing. North Korea described the strategy paper as a “factor of instability”.

    China is modernizing its military very quickly and expand his “activities in neighboring waters” from, criticized the Japanese strategy paper. “Together with the lack of transparency in China’s military and security affairs, this trend is worrying for the region and the international community.”

    Japan’s dispute with China at an uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea a few months ago had led to their most serious diplomatic rift in years. Trigger was the arrest of a Chinese master of the Japanese coast guard near the island chain early September.

    The new guidelines also denounced the China-backed North Korea as “acute, serious factor of instability” to. The communist country has in the past missile fired over Japan and taken away two nuclear weapons tests.

    As a consequence of the new dangers, wants Japan to change over the next five years the focus of his defense strategy, which was previously based on the situation in the Cold War and the conflict with the former Soviet Union. The troops and the Navy fleet in the south are located closer to China increased the quota to be on the north and thus closer to Russia reduced lying island of Hokkaido, however.

    Japan, which its Constitution is a pacifist state wants to, also stick to the close alliance with the U.S.. This partnership is “essential,” it says in the new guidelines. Security cooperation with South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia and India, and with the European Union and NATO should go ahead. In relations with Russia and China, Japan will seek to “promote trust and cooperation.”

    The Chinese government criticized Japan’s new defense strategy focus. “No country has the right to declare itself the representative of the international community and to make irresponsible comments on China’s development,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing, Jiang Yu.


  6. Monday, July 06, 2009 Ethnic riots spread in China’s west; 156 killed By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer William Foreman, Associated Press Writer – 2 mins ago URUMQI, China – Riots and street battles killed at least 156 people in China’s western Xinjiang province, state media said Tuesday, and injured 828 others in the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the region in decades. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise. Police sealed off streets in parts of the provincial capital, Urumqi, after discord between ethnic Muslim Uighur people and China’s Han majority erupted into violence. Witnesses reported a new, smaller protest Monday in a second city, Kashgar. The unrest is another troubling sign for Beijing at how rapid economic development has failed to stem — and even has exacerbated — resentment among ethnic minorities, who say they are being marginalized in their homelands as Chinese migrants pour in. Columns of paramilitary police in green camouflage uniforms, helmets and flak vests marched Monday around Urumqi’s main bazaar — a largely Uighur neighborhood — carrying batons and shields. Mobile phone service and the social networking site Twitter were blocked, and Internet links were also cut or slowed down. Rioters on Sunday overturned barricades, attacked vehicles and houses, and clashed violently with police in Urumqi, according to media and witness accounts. State television aired footage showing protesters attacking and kicking people on the ground. Other people, who appeared to be Han Chinese, sat dazed with blood pouring down their faces. In a one-sentence reported released early Tuesday, the official Xinhua News Agency said 156 people had died. There was little immediate explanation for the high death toll and officials did not say how many of the victims were Han or Uighurs. Xinhua cited Xinjiang’s police chief Liu Yaohua as saying that the death toll was expected to rise. The government accused a Uighur businesswoman living in the U.S. of inciting the riots through phone calls and “propaganda” spread on Web sites. Witnesses and state media said the violence started only after police arrived to disperse a peaceful protest demanding justice for two Uighurs killed last month during a fight with Han co-workers at a factory in southern China. Thousands of people took part in Sunday’s disturbance, unlike recent sporadic separatist violence carried out by small groups in Xinjiang. The clashes echoed the violent protest that rocked Tibet last year and left many Tibetan communities living under clamped-down security ever since. Tensions between Uighurs and the majority Han Chinese are never far from the surface in Xinjiang, a sprawling region rich in minerals and oil that borders eight Central Asian nations. Many Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) yearn for independence and some militants have waged a sporadic, violent separatist campaign. Uighurs make up the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang, but not in the capital of Urumqi, which has attracted large numbers of Han Chinese migrants. The city of 2.3 million is now overwhelmingly Chinese — a source of frustration for native Uighurs who say they are being squeezed out. Kakharman Khozamberdi — leader of a Uighur political movement in Kazakhstan, where the Uighur minority has its largest presence outside China — said machine gun fire was heard all night long. One witness told Khozamberdi 10 bodies were seen near a bazaar, including those of women and children. In Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged China and any country with violent protests to use extreme care. He urged all governments to “protect the life and safety of civilians.” About 1,000 to 3,000 Uighur demonstrators had gathered Sunday in the regional capital for a protest that apparently spun out of control. Accounts differed over what happened, but the violence seemed to have started when the crowd of protesters refused to disperse. Xinhua reported hundreds of people were arrested and checkpoints ringed the city to prevent rioters from escaping. Mobile phone service provided by at least one company was cut Monday to stop people from organizing further action in Xinjiang. Internet access was blocked or unusually slow in Urumqi on Monday. Videos and text updates about the riots were removed from China-based social networking sites such as Youku, a YouTube-like video service, and Fanfou, a Chinese micro-blogging Web site similar to Twitter. Major Chinese news portals relied solely on Xinhua for news of the event and turned off the comment function at the bottom of the stories so people could not publicly react. Witnesses said the protests spread to Kashgar, a second city in Xinjiang, on Monday afternoon. A Uighur man there said he was among more than 300 protesters who demonstrated outside the Id Kah Mosque. He said they were surrounded by police, who asked them to calm down. “We were yelling at each other but there were no clashes, no physical contact,” said the man, who gave his name as Yagupu. Calls to Kashgar’s public security bureau rang, then were disconnected. Uighur activists and exiles say the millions of Han Chinese who have settled here in recent years are gradually squeezing the Turkic people out of their homeland. But many Chinese believe the Uighurs are backward and ungrateful for the economic development the Chinese have brought to the poor region. Wu Nong, director of the news office of the Xinjiang provincial government, said more than 260 vehicles were attacked or set on fire in Sunday’s unrest and 203 shops were damaged. Uighur exiles condemned the crackdown. “We ask the international community to condemn China’s killing of innocent Uighurs. This is a very dark day in the history of the Uighur people,” said Alim Seytoff, vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based Uyghur American Association. Chinese officials singled out the leader of the association — Rebiya Kadeer, a former prominent Xinjiang businesswoman now living in Washington — for inciting the violence. “Rebiya had phone conversations with people in China on July 5 in order to incite, and Web sites … were used to orchestrate the incitement and spread propaganda,” Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri said on television early Monday. Xinjiang’s top Communist Party official, Wang Lequan, called the riots “a profound lesson learned in blood.” “We must tear away Rebiya’s mask and let the world see her true nature,” Wang said. The government has accused Kadeer of having a hand in many of Xinjiang’s problems since her release from prison into U.S. exile in 2005. The Foreign Ministry has publicly accused the 62-year-old of having links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group the U.S. put on its terrorist blacklist. Beijing has not provided evidence to support the allegation, and Kadeer denies the claim. She has repeatedly called for nonviolent protest. On “Oriental Horizon,” a current affairs program aired on China Central Television on Monday night, a scholar from the government’s Chinese Academy of Social Science blamed Kadeer for masterminding the riots. The half-hour program, which was devoted to the Urumqi violence, also showcased footage shown on earlier newscasts. The clashes in Urumqi echoed last year’s unrest in Tibet, when a peaceful demonstration by monks in the capital of Lhasa erupted into riots that spread to surrounding areas, leaving at least 22 dead. The Chinese government accused Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of orchestrating the violence — a charge he denied. Seytoff said he had heard from two sources that at least two dozen people had been killed by gunfire or crushed by armored police vehicles just outside Xinjiang University. Mamet, a 36-year-old restaurant worker, said he saw People’s Armed Police attack students outside Xinjiang University. “First they fired tear gas at the students. Then they started beating them and shooting them with bullets. Big trucks arrived, and students were rounded up and arrested,” Mamet said. Previous mass protests in Xinjiang that were quelled by armed forces became signal events for the separatist movement. In 1990, about 200 Uighurs shouting for holy war protested through Baren, a town near the Afghan border, resulting in violence that left at least two dozen people dead. In 1997, amid a wave of bombings and assassinations, a protest by several hundred Uighurs in the city of Yining against religious restrictions turned into an anti-Chinese uprising that left at least 10 dead. In both cases pro-independence groups said the death tolls were several times higher, and the government never conducted a public investigation into the events. Menbe: http://www.uyghuramerican.org/forum/showthread.php?p=57789#post57789 Tuesday, July 07, 2009 Tight Security in Eastturkistan (Not Xinjiang) 2009-07-06 Chinese authorities say more than 700 people are detained following deadly clashes in Urumqi, as ethnic minority Uyghurs report strip-searches, roadblocks, and thwarted protests. RFA Rebiya Kadeer addresses the press in Washington DC on July 6. HONG KONG—Residents of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) report a heavy police and paramilitary presence inside and outside the regional capital, Urumqi, where deadly clashes erupted at the weekend following a protest by ethnic minority Uyghurs. “The situation in Gulja is so intense right now. I saw armed police everywhere when I went out to buy oil this morning. I saw five armored vehicles patrolling the streets. There are many police cars, patrolling on every street,” one man told RFA’s Uyghur service. “Military police are stationed in front of every government building and other work units. Since armed police blocked the main entrance to Ili Teachers’ College, I went home through the back door,” he said, adding that officials in the northwestern XUAR city of Gulja had imposed a curfew. “They said they are going check every vehicle from other towns. They said it’s better for us to remain inside,” the man said. The weekend clashes, which left at least 156 dead and hundreds injured, flared after an initially peaceful demonstration took to the city’s streets to protest how authorities handled recent violence between majority Han Chinese and mostly Muslim Uyghur factory workers in the southern province of Guangdong, witnesses said. According to the official Chinese Xinhua news agency, some of the 156 dead were retrieved from Urumqi streets and lanes, while others were confirmed dead at hospitals. Xinhua also said more than 700 suspects had been taken into custody. Urumqi is home to 2.3 million residents, including many Uyghurs, who have chafed for years under Chinese rule. The city is located 3,270 kms (2,050 miles) west of Beijing. Security forces were now manning checkpoints at strategic points throughout the city, and ethnic minority officers were being drafted from outlying regions to help interrogate detained suspects, police said. Security is always tight in the XUAR, and after the clashes phone service was in many instances suspended. Uyghur witnesses spoke on condition that they remain unnamed. Strip-searches reported “The information we are getting is that this is sort of spreading,” World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur American Association leader Rebiya Kadeer told a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington late Monday. “We have heard news that in Hotan, in Aksu, in cities like Karamai, there were protests. And because of the tragic event, many people were killed and a lot of families and friends were killed. So others may have joined in other towns as well to protest,” said Kadeer, whom Chinese authorities have blamed for instigating the clashes. A former businesswoman in Xinjiang who served time in prison for alleged subversion, Kadeer denied instigating the protes and subsequent violence. Sources at Xinjiang University estimate the number of dead at “nearly 400,” including many outside Xinjiang University, Kadeer said, but she cautioned that “we can’t confirm” that number. A Uyghur man living in Saudi Arabia said residents of the old Silk Road city of Kashgar were reporting that some 300 people tried to stage a protest outside a mosque and at the local People’s Square but were quickly suppressed. A Uyghur youth in Kashgar gave a similar account. “A protest was planned in Kashgar today at 3 p.m.,” he said. “But first they set up checkpoints on every road into Kashgar, then there were two or three Chinese soldiers in various places. But after 3 p.m., the government brought a lot of armed forces in around the Heytkar Mosque,” the youth said. “They blocked both sides of the mosque and wouldn’t let people in or out. They took a lot of photos and video and detained some people.” In Urumqi, meanwhile, the city was tense but calm. Residents said numerous intersections had been blocked, and police were said to have surrounded a Uyghur settlement, called the Horserace Track, and detained all adult males. “They are gathering them in the field, strip-searching them, and pushing them down to lie on the field, naked,” one man said. “This morning they also took away many youths from that area whether they participated [in the protest] or not. They just took away many Uyghur youths.” Electroshock weapons Other witnesses described a heavy presence by security forces on Sunday. Before the demonstrators reached the People’s Square in central Urumqi, armed police were in position and moved to disperse them, one witness said. Police “scattered them [the protesters],” he said. “They beat them. Beat them, including girls, very, very viciously,” he said. “The police were chasing them and captured many of them. They were beaten badly.” “When the demonstrators reached the People’s Square, armed police suppressed them using electroshock weapons and so on,” he said, adding, “After that, other protests erupted in Uyghur areas of town.” A Uyghur patient at the Dosluk No. 3 Hospital said she saw at least 10 to 15 injured men there. Official CCTV television said the hospital treated more than 100 people injured in the clashes, four of whom died. “There were Uyghurs and Chinese, but mostly Uyghurs. There were both badly injured and lightly injured. Blood was everywhere,” she said. “Riots took place in bus stations, in tourist spots, and in shopping areas. Scores of Uyghurs were killed. Armed police were carrying automatic assault rifles and machine guns. There were thousands of soldiers. It had a tremendous impact, and we won’t be able to go to work for three days,” another resident said, also speaking on condition of anonymity. City ‘now calm’ A police officer in Urumqi contacted by telephone early Monday said a curfew had been imposed on Uyghur areas, and residents said many shops were shuttered. “People are dead. This might have planned by evil-minded people,” the officer said. “All the shops in the area where the riot happened were closed today,” one Uyghur girl said in an interview Monday. “I walked around the streets a while ago. There were police and soldiers in the streets. There are some Uyghurs, but no Chinese. Today, for the first time in my life, I have a feeling that Urumqi is my hometown, because there were no Chinese in the streets. I am so glad.” A shop owner in Urumqi who declined to give his name said he had had to close for business as police swarmed through the city. “We closed our doors from last night. Armed police dispersed the protesters in about two hours. Firefighters were also dispatched and last night police were all over the city,” he said in an interview Monday. Deadly clash in June was trigger Uyghur sources said the protest Sunday was organized online and began early July 5 with about 1,000 people but grew by thousands more during the day. They gathered to demand a probe into the deadly fight in Guangdong late last month. In separate interviews, three Uyghur witnesses now under Chinese government protection said the fighting in Shaoguan began when Han Chinese laborers stormed the dormitories of Uyghur colleagues, beating them with clubs, bars, and machetes. The clashes began late June 25 and lasted into the early hours of the following day. At least two people were killed and 118 injured, and witnesses said the numbers could be higher. A number of Uyghurs have voiced anger and bitterness over the clash and accused police of doing too little, too late to stop it. “If the government had given any explanation about the Shaoguan incident without hiding it from Uyghurs, this would not have happened in Urumqi,” one Urumqi businessman said Monday. “If the government had explained, as the demonstrators demanded, the protests would have dispersed,” he said, referring to the demonstrations Sunday. “Instead, the government got heavy-handed, and this angered the people.” “Because the police took the protest leaders away, the protesters did not know what to do and acted aimlessly. If the leaders had not been captured, the demonstration would have ended peacefully. Trying to dissipate [the protest], the government only aggravated it.” Simmering resentment Like Tibet, which erupted in protests in early 2008, the XUAR has long been home to smoldering ethnic tensions related to religion, culture, and regional economic development that residents say has disproportionately enriched and employed majority Han Chinese immigrants. China has accused Uyghur separatists of fomenting unrest in the region, particularly in the run-up to and during the Olympics last year, when a wave of violence hit the vast desert region. The violence prompted a crackdown in which the government says 1,295 people were detained for state security crimes, along with tighter curbs on the practice of Islam. XUAR Party Chief Wang Lequan was quoted in China’s official media as saying the fight against these forces was a “life or death struggle,” and he has spoken since of the need to “strike hard” against ethnic separatism. Activists have reported wide-scale detentions, arrests, new curbs on religious practices, travel restrictions, and stepped-up controls over free expression. Original reporting by Mamatjan Juma, Shohret Hoshur, Medina, and Mehriban for RFA’s Uyghur service and by Qiao Long for RFA’s Mandarin service. Translated from the Uyghur by Mamatjan Juma and from the Mandarin by Jia Yuan. Uyghur service director: Dolkun Kamberi. Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Written and produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han. Edited by Luisetta Mudie. Copyright © 1998-2009 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved. From: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/security_in_xinjiang-07062009174105.html Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 3:51 PM Tuesday, July 07, 2009 Xinjiang Party chief calls for avoiding ethnic conflicts amid fresh chaos http://www.chinaview.cn 2009-07-07 17:19:28 Print Video frame grab shows Wang Lequan, secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, delivers a televised speech on the riot on July 5 in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 7, 2009. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>> URUMQI, July 7 (Xinhua) — The city of Urumqi would adopt a “comprehensive traffic control” Tuesday night to avoid further chaos amid the ongoing unrest, said Wang Lequan, Communist Party chief of Xinjiang in northwest China, in a televised speech Tuesday. The traffic control would be imposed from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, said Wang, secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). “It may bring some inconvenience to you, but we expect your understanding,” he said. Wang delivered his speech when fresh chaos hit Urumqi again Tuesday afternoon, nearly two days after a riot that killed 156 people and injured more than 1,000 others. Several thousand protesters, mostly Han Chinese, marched along Youhao Street and Guangming Street toward Erdaoqiao, mainly inhabited by Uygurs, in downtown Urumqi in the afternoon. The protesters held clubs, knives, axes, hammers and various types of tools that could be used as weapons, and shouted “protect our home, protect our family members”. They were stopped by units of the Armed Police before reaching the destination. No clashes were reported. In his speech, Wang called for avoiding confrontation between ethnic groups in the region. “Some Han people took to the streets in Urumqi today, disrupting social order,” he said. “It is completely unnecessary.” “Neither the people of Han nor Uygur ethnicity are willing to see the Han people being attacked. It is the same the other way around. If the Han people attack the innocent Uygur people, it is also heart-breaking.” “The family members of those who were involved in the violence are innocent. We should be cool-headed and do not be fooled by the enemies,” he said. “Our targets should be the hostile forces, both at home and abroad, and criminals, rather than our own brothers and sisters of different ethnic backgrounds,” said the official. “Unreasonable behavior will only further worsen the situation,” he said. Secretary of the CPC Urumqi city committee Li Zhi took to the streets at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to persuade the protestors to return home. Under police protection, a Uygur woman and her child passed the downtown Jiexin Garden, where about 3,000 people gathered. “Some rioters killed our families, including women and children. We cannot do so. Let them pass,” said a citizen among the crowd. The crowded protestors dispersed before the traffic control was imposed. A boy about 13 years old who climbed up a tree in the nearby Mashi Compound for fear of the fresh riot was sent back home by the police and some Han people. But some customers and students in the streets were still holding sticks in case of more danger two hours before the traffic curfew was scheduled to start. Wang said an overwhelming majority of the suspects involved in the deadly riot were under investigation. “Some of those involved are students. Most of the youngsters were unaware of the truth. If they did not play a major role in the violence, they will be released. Their future should not be ruined.” “All the injured have received the best medical treatment,” said Wang. The government would comfort and compensate bereaved families, and strive to help restore business for those who suffered losses in the violence, he said. Police arrests 1,434 suspects in connection with Xinjiang riot URUMQI, July 7 (Xinhua) — Police have arrested 1,434 suspects in connection with the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to official sources. Li Yi, head of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xinjiang regional committee, said early Tuesday morning that the suspects included 1,379 men and 55 women. Full story Mobs in deadly Xinjiang violence subject to severe punishment: official URUMQI, July 7 (Xinhua) — A Xinjiang official Tuesday vowed severe punishment for the mob in the “deadliest riot since New China was founded in 1949.” Vehicles set on fire and destroyed in Sunday night’s riot are seen on Beiwan Street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Shen Qiao) Photo Gallery>>> Sunday’s riot in Urumqi has killed 156 people and injured more than 1,000, the largest number of casualties in any single incident of its kind in six decades.Full story Chinese embassy in Netherlands attacked by supporters of Uyguristan separatists BRUSSELS, July 6 (Xinhua) — The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands was attacked and partly damaged on Monday by supporters of separatists in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to news reaching here from The Hague. About 150 Xinjiang separatist supporters began to gather outside the Chinese Embassy at around 12:30 p.m. local time, according to officials of the embassy. Full story Fresh chaos erupts in Urumqi URUMQI, July 7 (Xinhua) — Chaos were seen in a number of places in Urumqi Tuesday afternoon, nearly two days after the deadly violence. Many people were gathering or running in panic at the Urumqi South Railway Station, Changjiang Road, Yangzijiang Road and some other places at around 1 p.m.. Roadside shops were shut down. Full story Death toll in Xinjiang riot rises to 156 Firemen put out a fire in Dawannanlu Street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on July 5, 2009. (Xinhua/Shen Qiao) URUMQI,July 7 (Xinhua) — Death toll has risen to 156 following the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to official sources. Li Yi, head of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xinjiang regional committee, said early Tuesday morning that the dead include 129 men and 27 women. Full story Xinjiang Party chief slashes riot which kills 140 URUMQI, July 6 (Xinhua) — Xinjiang Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Wang Lequan said Monday the riot in Urumqi revealed the violent and terrorist nature of the separatist World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer. “The riot has destroyed the spiritual support with which the terrorist, separatist and extremist forces cheated the people to participate in the so-called ‘Jihad’,” Wang said in an interview with Xinjiang TV. Full story Traffic blockade remains in some streets of NW Chinese city URUMQI, July 7 (Xinhua) — Riot-plagued Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was slowly returning calm but traffic blockade remained in some streets Monday night after the riot on Sunday evening killed at least 156 people. Police officers were seen wearing riot gear and standing guard in downtown areas. Police vehicles kept patrolling the blockaded streets including Xinhua South Road and Renmin Road Monday night. Full story Police have evidence of World Uyghur Congress masterminding Xinjiang riot URUMQI, July 6 (Xinhua) — Police in northwest China’s Xinjiang region said Monday they have evidence that the separatist World Uyghur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer masterminded the Sunday riot that left 140 people dead. An unidentified spokesman of the Xinjiang regional department of public security said some people used “a number of telephones outside the country” to direct mobs in Xinjiang to stage the violence. Police have obtained recordings of calls between overseas Eastern Turkestan groups and their accomplices in the country, the officer said. Full story Commentary: Riot a catastrophe for Uyghuristan (NO Xinjiang) BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) — Sunday’s deadly riot in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region bruised the beautiful city of Urumqi and shocked the world, barely 16 months after the nightmarish Lhasa violence that still clings to many Chinese minds. Full story Eyewitness accounts of Xinjiang riot URUMQI, July 6 (Xinhua) — When sunshine fell upon the ruins which used to be a supermarket, Liu Jie, the owner, was still frightened by Sunday’s nightmare. The supermarket, in Houquan street, lost more than 900,000 yuan (132,353 U.S. dollars) in the riot. In the street, five buses and four cars were burned and a driver was missing, said the lady in her 30s, quivering and crying. Her hands and legs were black from dust and ashes. Full story Backgrounder: Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Backgrounder: Previous unrests in China’s Xinjiang region Xinjiang Riots From:http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-07/07/content_11668519.htm Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 6:06 PM Tuesday, July 07, 2009 Ethnic riots spread in Uyghuristan-China *A woman on a crutch argues with a Chinese soldier in front of an armoured personnel carrier and soldiers wearing riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Hundreds of Uighur protesters clashed with riot police in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic unrest left 156 dead and more than 800 injured.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS RELIGION) *Chinese riot police get into position as Uighur protesters gather during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Uighur protesters clashed with Chinese riot police in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic violence broke out leaving 156 people dead and more than 800 injured.REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT) *Women hold their babies while sitting among other women in the middle of a road in front of Chinese soldiers wearing riot gear and armed policemen in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Hundreds of Uighur protesters clashed with riot police in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic unrest left 156 dead and more than 800 injured.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS) *A woman yells as another cries in front of Chinese soldiers wearing riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009.REUTERS/David Gray *Uighur protesters gather during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Uighur protesters clashed with Chinese riot police in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic violence broke out leaving 156 people dead and more than 800 injured.REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT) *A Han Chinese crowd walk holding sticks and other items as they gather in the street in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Uighur protesters clashed with Chinese riot police in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic violence broke out leaving 156 people dead and more than 800 injured.REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT POLITICS) *A crowd of Han Chinese carrying shovels, sticks and metal rods march towards the end of the city occupied by ethnic Uighurs in Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. China said a riot that shook the capital of the western Xinjiang region on Sunday killed 140 people and the government called the ethnic unrest a plot against its power, signalling a security crackdown.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS) *A large crowd of Han Chinese, some carrying shovels, sticks and metal rods, march towards the end of the city occupied by ethnic Uighurs in Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. China said a riot that shook the capital of the western Xinjiang region on Sunday killed 140 people and the government called the ethnic unrest a plot against its power, signalling a security crackdown.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS) *A group of Uighurs protest in front of journalists visiting the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur residents protest against paramilitary police on the streets of Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur residents try to stop a group of protesters from approaching armed paramilitary police in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A group of Uighurs protest in front of journalists visiting the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur residents protest in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continue to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A Uighur woman faces off with Chinese paramilitary police in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Ethnic Uighur women grab at a riot policeman as they protest in Urumqi in China’s far west Xinjiang province. Thousands of Han Chinese protesters armed with makeshift weapons have marched through China’s Urumqi city vowing revenge after ethnic unrest claimed 156 lives, an AFP reporter witnessed.(AFP/Peter Parks) *People inspect a blood-stained rock in Urumqi. Baton-wielding riot police have been deployed in the tense Chinese city following bloody weekend riots, as authorities announced the mass arrest of more than 1,400 people.(AFP/Peter Parks) *Uighur protesters gather during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT CRIME LAW) *Uighur protesters gather in front of policemen during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT CRIME LAW) *A group of Uighurs face off armed paramilitary police as they protested infront of journalists visiting the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continue to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A woman (bottom L) holds a baby amongst a group of other women in the middle of a road in front of Chinese soldiers and policemen, in the city of Urumqi, in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT CRIME LAW POLITICS) *A mob of Han Chinese throw rocks at a building where some Uighurs are believed to be hiding in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continue to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur protesters gather during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT CRIME LAW POLITICS) *Han Chinese men attack a Uighur house despite tear gas attempts by paramilitary police to stop them in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7 , 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A crowd of Han Chinese carrying shovels, sticks and metal rods are stopped by Chinese soldiers wearing riot gear march towards the end of the city occupied by ethnic Uighurs in Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. China said a riot that shook the capital of the western Xinjiang region on Sunday killed 140 people and the government called the ethnic unrest a plot against its power, signalling a security crackdown.REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS) *An angry crowd yell chants at Chinese soldiers and policemen during a confrontation with security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. China said a riot that shook the capital of the western Xinjiang region on Sunday killed 140 people and the government called the ethnic unrest a plot against its power, signalling a security crackdown.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS) *A Uighur woman faints during a protest sparked by the arrival of foreign journalists in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7 , 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A Han Chinese man holds a plank during demonstrations in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA POLITICS CRIME LAW CONFLICT) *A Uighur woman faints while protesting against the arrest of men in the community as journalists visited the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A local woman on a crutch shouts at Chinese armoured personal carriers and soldiers wearing riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. China said a riot that shook the capital of the western Xinjiang region on Sunday killed 140 people and the government called the ethnic unrest a plot against its power, signalling a security crackdown. REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY) *Uighur protesters gather during a demonstration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to try to break up rock-throwing Han and Uighur protesters who clashed in the capital of China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang two days after bloody clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT CRIME LAW IMAGES OF THE DAY) *Policemen carry a woman who had fainted on a street in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Chinese police have arrested more than 1,400 suspects in connection with rioting in the capital of Xinjiang region which left 156 people dead and more than 800 injured, Xinhua News Agency reported. REUTER/China Daily (CHINA CRIME LAW POLITICS RELIGION CONFLICT IMAGES OF THE DAY) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA. *Uighur women grab a police officer as they protest in front of journalists visiting the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The city, where rioting and ethnic clashes killed over one hundred people two days ago, remained extremely tense Tuesday, as security officials and police continued to work to restore order.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *A woman lies on the ground as people try to revive her in front of Chinese soldiers in riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009.REUTERS/David Gray *Uigher women grieve for their men who they claim were taken away by the Chinese authorities after Sunday’s protest in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7 , 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *One of the top dissidents from China’s Tiananmen Square massacre Wu’er Kai Xi pauses as he denounces China’s handling of the ethnic violence in the mainland’s western Xinjiang region during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Police have arrested more than 1,000 suspects in connection with the worst ethnic violence in decades in China’s western Xinjiang region, which killed at least 156 people, state media reported Tuesday.(AP Photo/Wally Santana) *One of the top dissidents from China’s Tiananmen Square massacre Wu’er Kai Xi denounces China’s handling of the ethnic violence in the mainland’s western Xinjiang region during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Police have arrested more than 1,000 suspects in connection with the worst ethnic violence in decades in China’s western Xinjiang region, which killed at least 156 people, state media reported Tuesday.(AP Photo/Wally Santana) *Wu’er Kaixi, an exiled Uighur and a former student leader who escaped to Taiwan after China’s 1989, June 4 Tiananmen Square democracy movement, gestures while talking to the journalists during a news conference in Taipei July 7, 2009. Wu’er, whose family still lives in China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, spoke of the ongoing clashes and said that the casualty numbers released by the Chinese government should not be trusted. He also added that the Chinese government should take responsibility for the bloody clashes which have killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000. *A Han Chinese woman holds a stick as she speaks to the media before protesters surged onto the streets in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Han Chinese armed with iron bars and machetes spilled down side streets and into the stairwell of an apartment building on Tuesday in looking for Muslim Uighur targets two days after bloody ethnic clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT POLITICS CRIME LAW) * A Uighur man is taken away by police officers after a protest broke out when journalists visited the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Chinese soldiers look out the back of a truck near the main square in the centre of Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Han Chinese armed with iron bars and machetes spilled down side streets and into the stairwell of an apartment building on Tuesday in looking for Muslim Uighur targets two days after bloody ethnic clashes killed 156 and wounded more than 1,000.REUTERS/ Nir Elias (CHINA CONFLICT POLITICS) *A paramilitary officer tries to persuade two Uighur women to leave when they attempted to face off a group of paramilitary police following a visit by journalists in the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7 , 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur women grieve in front of journalists visiting the area, claiming authorities have taken their relatives in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Chinese paramilitary police prepare to face off protesters in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Han Chinese armed with sticks break through a paramilitary police line as they attempt to attack Uighur areas in Urumqi, western China’s Xinjiang province, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Scattered mobs of Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese roamed the streets and beat passers-by Tuesday as the capital of China’s Xinjiang region degenerated into communal violence, prompting the government to impose a curfew in the aftermath of a riot that killed over one-hundred people.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Policemen carry a woman who had fainted on a street in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region July 7, 2009.REUTER/China Daily *A group of Uighurs face off with armed police officers after they protested in front of journalists visiting the area in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Scattered mobs of Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese roamed the streets and beat passers-by Tuesday as the capital of China’s Xinjiang region degenerated into communal violence, prompting the government to impose a curfew in the aftermath of a riot that killed over one-hundred people.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *Uighur women grieve for their men who they claim were taken away by Chinese authorities after Sunday’s protest in Urumqi, China, Tuesday, July 7 , 2009. Urumqi was tense Tuesday, with protests happening in several parts of the city and both Han Chinese and Uighur groups facing off with armed police.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) *In this photo taken on Sunday, July 5, 2009 and released by the Xinjiang Government Press Office on Tuesday, July 7, 2009, a body and a burnt out car are left in a street following a riot in Urumqi, China *Chinese riot police watch a Muslim ethnic Uighur woman protest in Urumqi in China’s far west Xinjiang province following a third day of unrest. Canada on Monday expressed alarm over violence in the ethnic Uighur enclave of Xinjiang in China, where scores of protesters were killed during weekend protests against the Beijing government.(AFP/Peter Parks) *A Han Chinese mob march up a street in Urumqi. Thousands of angry Han Chinese armed with poles, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons stormed through Urumqi as the flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions descended into chaos. *Policemen stand next to their vehicle on a deserted street as they enforce a curfew in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Han Chinese armed with iron bars and machetes roamed Urumqi city on Tuesday looking for Muslim Uighur targets to wreak revenge for bloody ethnic clashes two days earlier which killed 156 and wounded over 1,000. The government of China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang will impose a curfew in the city of Urumqi from Tuesday night, the official Xinhua agency said, after thousands of protesters poured into the strete. *At least 200 Muslim Uighur women staged a fresh protest in China’s Urumqi city to demand the release of detained relatives, two days after deadly riots. Duration: 01:16 *Map showing Kashgar and Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang province. Thousands of angry Han Chinese armed with poles, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons stormed through Urumqi as the flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions descended into chaos. *The burnt wreckage of a car lies abandoned on a street in Urumqi. Thousands of angry Han Chinese armed with poles, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons stormed through Urumqi as the flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions descended into china. *Uighur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer describes the unrest in China’s western Xinjiang province during a press conference on July 6. China has accused Kadeer of masterminding the violence, but she has denied the accusations and called for an international probe into the violence. Thousands of angry Han Chinese stormed through Urumqi as the flashpoint city descended into chaos. Children wave the flags of East Turkestan, a short-lived break-away would-be constitutional republic founded in 1933, as they march toward the Chinese embassy before a group scuffled with police during a protest against China, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. Several hundred Uighur and Turkish demonstrators denounced the riot in what is now China’s Xinjiang region that killed at least 156 people http://hantengri.blogspot.com/2009/07/people-inspect-blood-stained-rock-in.html From:http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090707/ids_photos_wl/r4095818069.jpg/#photoViewer=/090707/ids_photos_wl/r4261749480.jpg Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 6:43 PM Sunday, July 12, 2009 Iran, China say security of Muslim Uyghurs must be maintained Tehran Times Political Desk TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi discussed the recent events in Xinjiang on Sunday and agreed that the security of Muslims in China must be maintained. The two ministers also said any foreign interference meant to destabilize China is unacceptable. However, Mottaki told Yang that Muslim countries and Islamic centers are concerned about the incident and asked the Chinese foreign minister to inform him about the latest developments in the region. Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi and Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani have condemned the recent killings of Muslims in China and asked the Foreign Ministry to seriously pursue the issue. In a statement issued on Sunday, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi urged the government to not remain silent in the face of the murder of Muslim Uyghurs in China. “The appalling news about the mass murder and widespread suppression of the Muslims in Xinjiang… is deplored by all Muslims and every liberal person,” part of the statement read. The crisis began on July 5 when Chinese police severely cracked down on a peaceful demonstration held by Muslims in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Uyghurs said they were protesting against the religious discrimination they experience at the hands of the Chinese government. Over 180 Muslims have been killed in the unrest. There has been tension between the Muslim Uyghurs and Han Chinese in the region for decades. “Although the Chinese government has regarded the event as an ethnic conflict, the government’s support for the opposing group, the severe repression of the Muslims, and the closing of their mosques are all signs of a conspiracy against the Muslims of the region,” Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said. He added, “Although the Chinese government and people have friendly and close relations with us and other Islamic countries… this does not justify the appalling suppression of our Muslim brothers and sisters in that region while we remain silent.” He also called on all Muslims throughout the world to condemn the murders and unanimously urge China to end the discrimination and punish the culprits. “The nation expects the officials of the Islamic Republic not to be silent on the issue and to take a strong stance.” Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani condemned all violations of Muslims’ rights wherever they occur in the world and asked Muslim states to respond to the violation of Muslims’ rights without any bias. The ayatollah asked international bodies to set aside their double-standard policies, to not divide people into anti-Western and pro-Western, and to not turn a blind eye toward human rights issues in China. In a separate statement issued on Sunday, the Qom Seminary Teachers Society expressed regret over the events in Xinjiang. The statement urged the Beijing government to respect the civil rights of Muslims in China and to stop supporting racist groups. The Qom Seminary Teachers Society also asked the Iranian Foreign Ministry to seriously pursue the issue through diplomatic channels. From:http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=198661 Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 11:14 PM Monday, July 13, 2009 CHINA: Investigation must be launched in Xinjiang: Please sign petition … July 9, 2009 Dear Human Rights Supporter, PLEASE SIGN PETITION Who are the Uighur people? Uighurs (pronounced “weegurs”) are a Turkic, mainly Muslim, people who are the majority of the population in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of northwest China, north of Tibet. Over the past several decades Uighurs have been the targets of extensive human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and imprisonment, torture, the death penalty and serious restrictions on religious freedom and cultural and social rights. Human rights and China’s UighursAmnesty’s open letter to Minister CannonBrief: Uighur Ethnic Identify Under ThreatAmnesty’s human rights concerns in ChinaHusein Celil: Canadian-Uighur detained in China On July 5th, widespread protests began in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China. The protests in Xinjiang, in particular in the regional capital, Urumqi, were sparked by the strong feeling among the Uighur population that Chinese officials had failed to take any meaningful action in response to the deaths of two Uighurs who were killed during clashes between Uighur and Han Chinese workers at a toy factory in Shaoguan, in Guangdong province on June 26th. The Chinese authorities responded to the violence in Guangdong by imposing a black-out on information related to the incident. This sparked protests that have reportedly killed 156 people and injured hundreds of others. Official Chinese media has reported that 1434 people have been detained in connection with the protests, but the numbers are likely to be much higher. Amnesty International is gravely concerned that anyone detained in connection with the protests may face torture or other ill-treatment, and will not receive fair trials. The Chinese government must take action to bring the crisis in Xinjiang to an end and to protect human rights throughout the region. Chinese security forces must abide by international standards, and not use excessive force in responding to the protests. Amnesty International is urging the Chinese authorities to immediately launch an independent and impartial investigation into the events that have lead to the protests and deaths. Please sign our online petition calling for truth and justice in the face of the human rights tragedy that continues to unfold in XUAR. Sincerely, Alex NeveAmnesty International, Canadian Section PS: Thank you for responding last year to Amnesty International’s campaigning to protect monks in Tibet, and our continuing work on human rights in China throughout the Beijing Olympics. This new uprising in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region demonstrates our need to continue to urge the Chinese government to live up to its commitment to improve its human rights record. Amnesty International Canadian Section (English Speaking) http://www.amnesty.ca1-800-AMNESTY (266-3789) or direct: 613-744-7667 Email: members@amnesty.ca Banner photo and caption: AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS /AFP/Getty Images. Chinese riot police watch a Muslim ethnic Uighur woman protest in Urumqi in China’s far west Xinjiang province on July 7, 2009 following a third day of unrest. Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of Han Chinese protesters armed with makeshift weapons and vowing revenge, as chaos gripped this flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions following rioting that claimed at least 156 lives. Authorities ordered a night curfew and thousands of heavily armed police deployed across Urumqi. Please note: You have received this email because you indicated in a previous communication that you wished to be updated about Amnesty International’s campaign work on human rights in China. If you do not wish to receive future emails on this topic, then please click here to unsubscribe. Menbe:http://www.amnesty.ca/keepthepromise/email/uighurs.html Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 12:33 PM Monday, July 13, 2009 China’s Uighurs hope to gain from world spotlight By Dan Martin – 6 hours ago URUMQI, China (AFP) — Like many ethnic Uighurs, businessman Anwar hopes greater world interest in the Muslim minority following deadly unrest in this remote Chinese city of Urumqi could lead to long-time grievances being addressed. Sitting on an overturned bucket he uses as a chair in his cramped apartment, Anwar spoke in angry whispers about religious restrictions and other forms of repression many Uighurs say they suffer under Chinese rule. “In my lifetime we have not had an opportunity like this,” Anwar said of the recent international attention on the eight million Uighurs in China’s far northwest Xinjiang region. “We call on America or the United Nations to come here and see the situation for themselves and help us.” The Uighurs created headlines around the world after taking to the streets of Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, on July 5 in protests that quickly turned violent. The government said 184 people died that day, when some Uighurs savagely attacked members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group and razed their shops. However the death toll from that day of unrest, a security crackdown and subsequent clashes is likely to be higher. When told of world criticism about some of China’s policies toward Uighurs, Anwar, who wore a traditional four-cornered embroidered Uighur cap, broke into a broad grin as he stroked a scruffy beard. “We welcome this. We hope the rest of the world can stop ignoring us,” Anwar said in Mandarin. Tucked in a remote corner of China, and without a charismatic globe-trotting figure like Tibet’s Dalai Lama to trumpet their cause, many Uighurs expressed hope that the recent unrest here had finally given them a window on the world. Aside from what they say is Beijing’s religious and political oppression, Uighurs complain of an influx of Han migrants that they say is extinguishing their culture. But those hopes could soon prove unfounded, experts said, with the unrest likely fortifying China’s resolve to maintain its tight grip on Xinjiang, a strategic and energy-rich region that crosses into Central Asia. Publicity about Uighurs attacking Han will also likely damage their public relations efforts. “In some ways, this has helped the Uighur cause by raising their (world) profile,” said Dru Gladney, an expert on the Turkic-speaking central Asian people at Pomona College in California. “But domestically, the government has successfully turned this against the Uighurs and made them look very bad. It has demonstrated that the Uighurs are violent.” The Islamic world’s criticism of Chinese policies towards the Uighurs has been the strongest, with Turkey’s prime minister last week calling them “a kind of genocide.” But China, which says Xinjiang faces a Uighur terrorist threat, has given no hint of any softening. Official pronouncements have vowed a tough crackdown and made little or no mention of Uighur complaints. Communist Party Politburo member Zhou Yongkang, the nation’s security czar, over the weekend called for a “steel wall” of security against “hostile forces”. Gladney said he saw little hope of a government rethink to any policies relating to Uighur grievances. “That has all been put on hold for a while,” he said. The Islamic world’s criticism also is likely to prove only a blip against China’s rising economic and diplomatic clout, Gladney added. Many Uighurs agreed, expressing deep dismay that the violent riots had cost them the moral high ground and saying darker times lay ahead. Akbar, a college-educated Uighur in his late 20s, has not held a steady job for three years, saying job fairs in Urumqi often say “Uighurs need not apply.” He left Urumqi at the weekend for his rural hometown several hours’ drive away, fearing arrest amid reported police sweeps on young Uighur men, although he denies involvement in the unrest. “Many of us (Uighurs) had wondered how it could be worse for us but we are now entering into a new period that will be bad for a long time, so I just want to spend time with my family now,” he said. Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More » From: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hLjP7yHkt5Zzuw7KGtlim17UYgCg Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 2:40 PM Monday, July 13, 2009 A picture speaks a thousand words Turdi Huja China says majority of the dead from the Urumchi violence are Chinese, but Uyghurs dispute that. According to eyewitnesses majority of the dead are Uyghurs. Police fired at Uyghurs to cause 800 – 1000 deaths. The following picture proves Uyghur allegations. If the Chinese police do this while the international media is watching, you can only imagine what they might do when no one is looking behind the closed doors. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8144362.stm That is after all why these women in the following pictures grieve that much, because they know that they may not see their beloved ones again. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…114a2999379684 That is why these people took to the streets Friday, risking being arrested and tortured themselves. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…83e763ea8449b1 http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…a29980bff49e1b Chinese mob were given a free ride to terrorize the city. Look closely at the picture at the first link, police do not seem to be trying hard to stop them, do they? Can you imagine Uyghurs walking around like this with sticks and other weapons in their hands? http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…47f51eaf89cb41 http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…fd4fe4064ddd2d http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…5815906bb4d886 Was this guy trying to win some kind of photographer award? Some of these images came to light because of people like him. But, do not count on my vote. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…9e487a8cea5143 Scared from attacks like this: http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…9ca2dbd4f535f5 Uyghurs fleeing the city like these: Because, the Chinese have this: And Uyghurs have this: http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…06ea45cd7329f5 We should copy placards like these. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…0559aa760a9007 http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…4017b6dfc566b5 At the end, I hope we do not have any body left among us who needs to borrow courage from these women. http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…26e9f1ce98c79a http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/death-…606c5ae361bfa0 Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 2:46 PM Tuesday, July 14, 2009 Is The World Ignoring A Massacre of Uighurs In China?14.7.09 I have just received disturbing information from several Uighur correspondents in the United States, regarding the “riots” that began just nine days ago in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. When the unrest began, the world’s media suddenly discovered the story of the Uighurs, who describe their situation as akin to that of the Tibetans, but without the popular support. Once known as East Turkestan, the Uighurs’ long-contested homeland was conquered by the People’s Liberation Army in 1949, and anyone even remotely familiar with recent Uighur history will be aware that, in the 1960s, Mao Zedong encouraged Han Chinese to settle in the area in large numbers, and that the Uighurs — some of whom came to the attention of the West when 22 refugees were sold to US forces and imprisoned in Guantánamo — maintain that, as a result, they are marginalized and persecuted in their own country. According to a 2005 report b
  7. Thursday, December 27, 2007
    World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA)
    ___Manila Declaration on Democracy and Peace

    Adopted on 21 September 2007 at the close of the second biennial conference of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) in Manila, Philippines (19-21 September 2007)

    I. Introduction
    1. We, more than 100 participants from over 20 countries in Asia, as well as partners from around the world, met in Manila from 19-21 September 2007 at the second biennial conference of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA), which was convened by the WFDA Steering Committee and hosted by the Initiatives for International Dialogue, with generous support from the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
    2. During the three-day meeting, we as democracy advocates and human rights activists identified and assessed issues and challenges we faced in our work for democratization in Asia, in particular evaluating our first Framework for Action in the light of developments in the region since the first biennial conference in Taipei in 2005.
    3. We express our greatest appreciation to our host country, the Philippines, and our hope that it can once again take up a leadership role in championing democracy in the region.
    4. We recall and reaffirm our previous Taipei Declaration on Democracy in Asia (17 September 2005), as well as the Framework for Action 2007-2009, also adopted today, and especially the specific country situations and concerns cited therein.
    5. We note that today is the International Day of Peace, declared by the United Nations in 1981 by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/67 (further amended by A/RES/55/282 in 2001) as a time “devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” We join our voices with people around the world who are commemorating this day.
    6. We further note that 21 September is also the anniversary of the imposition of martial law in the Philippines in 1972. This ushered in a period of dictatorship which lasted until the 1986 “People Power” movement, when the inherent democratic spirit among Filipinos engendered a revolution felt across Asia.
    7. Finally, we are deeply concerned that many Asians are suffering as a result of a deepening nexus between internal conflicts which are caused or exacerbated by authoritarian rule or anti-democratic practices and non-compliance with the rule of law, among which we may cite the peoples of Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Turkestan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam.
    8. Furthermore, we deplore the use of national security as a pretext for attacks on democracy and suppression of human rights in many Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Tibet, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    9. We welcome and reiterate solidarity for the courageous actions of civilians and Buddhist monks in Burma who have held more than 50 peaceful protests for democracy and economic reforms throughout the country in the past month.
    II. Resolution
    · Therefore, this is the appropriate occasion to emphasize the indissoluble link between democracy and peace, in our region and around the world. In particular, we affirm the following:
    · Democracy and peace are both basic rights of all peoples. They are universal, indivisible, and interdependent and interrelated.
    · Internal conflicts must be resolved through democratic means. In particular, lasting solutions must include the realization of the ability of marginalized or disenfranchised groups, including women and indigenous peoples, to participate in civil life – including the rights to speak, associate, and assemble. Conversely, human rights violations only serve to instigate or sustain conflicts. In this regard, we particularly welcome the progress that has been made to resolve the long conflict in Aceh, and we support the active civil society engagement in the peace process in Mindanao.
    · While we believe democratic political processes; including elections are the main means of addressing and resolving political conflicts, such mechanisms must accommodate and affirm political plurality, and not simply majority rule. To this end, WFDA will actively support peoples’ participation in decision-making processes.
    · Military rule cannot bring either democracy or genuine peace; therefore, effective civilian control of the military is a basic condition that must be realized in all Asian countries.
    · Externally, democracies are less prone to threaten other countries, since informed, empowered citizens rarely choose to bring upon themselves the pain and risks of war. Therefore, democratization of the rest of Asia will promote regional stability and peace, and in the meantime democracies should support each other more actively.
    · Military interference in other countries’ affairs must always be condemned, including military assistance to authoritarian regimes.
    · A focus on national security should be replaced by a focus on human security.
    · Governments and civil society groups must promote women’s empowerment in peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution, in keeping with the spirit and content of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security.
    · Civil societies from around the region must work together to realize these goals. Therefore, as a platform of Asian democrats, we resolve to support each other and to share information and experience, in the spirit of true Asian solidarity.

    Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 10:49 PM

    World Forum for Democratization in Asia
    Framework for Action, 2007-2009

    Adopted on 21 September 2007 at the close of the second biennial conference of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) in Manila, Philippines (19-21 September 2007)

    The following will be the priority activities for WFDA between now and the next Biennial Conference in 2009. They are grouped into the categories of global participation, regional strategies, and country-specific focus areas.

    I. Participation in Global Democracy Forums

    WFDA will endeavor to coordinate and support Asian participation in the growing number of global forums dedicated to the advancement of democracy. In particular, over the next two years WFDA will develop a constructive role with the following:

    1. World Movement for Democracy: WFDA will coordinate Asian participation in the WMD Fifth Assembly to be held on 6-9 April 2008 in Kyiv, Ukraine, including organizing a regional workshop during the event, as well as publicizing the outcome.
    2. International Conference on New and Restored Democracies: WFDA will assist in organization of an Asian regional workshop to exchange experience in developing democratic governance indicators that will help assess and monitor progress in democratic reforms in emerging democracies in Asia, to be organized by the Asian chapter of the International Civil Society Forum for Democracy (ICSFD) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in the first quarter of 2008.
    3. Community of Democracies: WFDA will assist and participate in regional and global activities of the Non-Governmental Process to develop the regional strategy towards the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the CD that will take place in Bamako, Mali, from 15-17 November 2007. WFDA will also coordinate regional follow-up activities and preparatory events for the Fifth Ministerial Meeting to be held in Portugal in 2009.

    II. Regional Activities

    WFDA’s primary focus is on developing a regional community of democrats. We are convinced that greater linkages among democrats from different sub-regions, different countries, and different sectors will generate useful sharing of experience and effective momentum for democratization. Therefore, WFDA will engage in the following activities on a region-wide basis.

    1. Communicating Asia’s commitment to democracy

    In order to ensure that the views of Asian democrats are heard, WFDA will:
    1. Encourage the development of an “Asian voice” for democracy, to raise the profile of Asian democrats speaking for Asia, for example through radio, the internet, and other media. Cultural media (music, arts, etc.) shall also be used as a means to raise awareness.
    2. Establish strong linkages with diplomatic missions and relevant international agencies in the region, to ensure that they receive accurate and documented information on abuses and issues of concern.
    3. Disseminate the reports, statements, and other documents of participating organizations and partners through the WFDA website ( http://www.wfda.net). Ensure the strategic and effective distribution of these documents to key stakeholders and decision-makers.

    2.Implementation of international human rights standards

    Implementation of universal democratic principles is essential to sustaining Asian democracy. Meanwhile, Asia is alone in the world in its lack of official or inter-state regional human rights mechanisms. Therefore, WFDA will support efforts to promote effective implementation of international human rights standards and to establish regional mechanisms, including working to:
    1. Engage governments to ratify and implement all major international human rights instruments, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and those relating to the treatment and assistance of refugees, asylum-seekers and non-citizens, as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
    2. Encourage the creation of effective regional or subregional human rights mechanisms, starting with supporting civil society campaigns for ASEAN and SAARC to establish a strong human rights body consistent with international standards and practices, which can be replicated to other sub-regions. Further, support efforts to establish national human rights bodies which comply with the Paris Principles, as well as to ensure the continued compliance of already existing bodies.
    3. Supporting comparative research and advocacy on constitutional reform, to identify deficits in existing or proposed constitutional arrangements, as well as to extend solidarity to those who are campaigning for reform in each country.
    4. Encouraging the sharing of best practices for transparency and accountability, such as anti-corruption measures and guarantees of public access to information.
    5. Monitoring and assessment of progress towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goal #5 on human rights, democracy and good governance.

    3.Action for defense of human rights

    The regional gap in official human rights institutions has been partially filled by a number of vibrant and dynamic civil society led or initiated human rights mechanisms. WFDA will expand upon these efforts by:
    1. Establishing a mechanism for the defense of critical cases, such as an Asian Legal Defense Fund, an international legal resource center for defense of human rights defenders and journalists under threat, and a mechanism to review politically motivated libel and defamation cases. This will include creating a network of human rights lawyers to share experiences and build capacity for legal advocacy and defending critical cases.
    2. Working with existing regional or sub-regional organizations to carry out fact-finding missions to address urgent threats to democracy and human rights violations, as well as to promote conflict prevention or resolution.
    3. Launching a multi-country solidarity campaign, the “WFDA Watch List,” to identify the top priority political prisoners from around the region and jointly work for their release. In particular, lesser-known cases should be placed alongside famous ones, to raise their profile.

    4.Defending Civil Society in Asia

    To help build a response to efforts by various governments to restrict the space in which civil society organizations in Asia carry out their democracy and human rights work, including their work on economic, social and cultural rights, WFDA will:
    1. Promote the World Movement for Democracy’s Defending Civil Society report that explores in depth the widely accepted norms and principles that are being violated by various regimes around the world—such as the rights to association, advocacy, and assembly, as well as access to international solidarity and support.
    2. Help incorporate the Defending Civil Society report into national and regional dialogue processes by modifying the content of the report with national contexts, organizing national civil education campaigns, organizing a regional conference to share experience and knowledge related to the national processes.
    3. Help organize discussions of anti-terrorist laws and their impact on civil society.
    4. Urge democracies in Asia, such as India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, to accept the Defending Civil Society report and take the lead in promoting efforts for defending civil society groups throughout the region.
    5. Recognize the work of progressive and tolerant religious groups to strengthen civil society, promote democracy and defend human rights.
    6. Whenever possible, advocate in the international arena for autonomous NGOs and assist them in the process of gaining international recognition and consultative status from UN and other international organizations. WFDA will condemn governments’ efforts to supplant autonomous NGOs by creating barriers for their registration while creating increasing numbers of GONGOs that aim to dilute, divert and diffuse resources meant to strengthen human rights and democracy.

    5.Promoting political accountability

    In Asia’s democratizing countries, political accountability often remains underdeveloped or inadequate. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support programs on promoting healthy political party systems, in particular by advocating universal values and human rights principles as the basis of party manifestos, internal party democracy, and the participation of women and other underrepresented groups.
    2. Facilitate processes and dialogue to promote consultation between parties and civil society, especially in situations where there is a potential for greater grassroots or community participation in politics, such as local councils or regional representation.
    3. Encourage processes to empower local governments, including appropriate budgetary authority, so they can play their proper role as an essential avenue for participation of citizens.
    4. Support standards for independent media that will increase their capacity and role to promote and defend democracy and human rights.

    6.Promoting the role of women in democracy & the political process

    A crucial element of any country’s democratization must be to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in political representation and political participation. Therefore, WFDA will support programs and dialogue to encourage women’s participation in politics, such as:
    1. Discussion of the ways to implement quotas for female candidates or elected members of legislatures and to support quotas for women not just based on biological identity, but also on political identity and principles such as anti-corruption.
    2. Promotion of training of women for political office.
    3. Supporting enhancement of conditions necessary for women’s political participation at the grassroots and beyond, including access to education, livelihood and economic independence.
    4. Creating a monitoring mechanism for WFDA on women’s political participation.
    5. Establishing an ongoing women’s forum/caucus within WFDA to exchange legislation, information and experiences to promote women’s political participation and leadership.
    6. Tackling conservative and anti-democratic “traditions” that are being used to suppress women in the name of culture.
    7. Promoting actions to address the specific targeting and exploitation of women in conflict zones as violations of human security, and promote the participation of women in conflict prevention and resolution.

    7.Promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues of peace and conflict resolution

    In many parts of Asia, notably in Aceh, Mindanao, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Southern Thailand, and Timor Leste, domestic conflicts have become major threats to democracy. Democratic governments must be able to deliver peace and stability without destroying human rights in the process. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Encourage the formation of a regional mechanism among and between governments, civil society, and multi-lateral and regional inter-state organizations to promote dialogue and intercultural interactions to promote peace, security, and stability in the region. This could also provide a forum for negotiation on local conflicts.
    2. Support peace-building efforts by civil societies in conflict areas, following the example set by organizations such as the Initiatives for International Dialogue and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), including the sharing of experience among relevant organizations in various countries.
    3. Address concerns about foreign military interventions in the region that undermine the sovereignty of states and create obstacles to democratic development and consolidation.

    8.Supporting Free and Fair Elections

    Free and fair elections are an essential component of any democracy. Effective observation by neutral and credible organizations helps ensure the quality of election processes. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Create mechanisms whereby there is consultation with political parties, election commissions, election monitoring agencies, and donors whereby changes in laws and voter registration are addressed and solved early thus ensuring a free and fair election.
    2. Supporting comparative research and advocacy regarding election processes, to promote best practices for ensuring free and fair elections.
    3. Support efforts to upgrade the credibility and effectiveness of election authorities throughout the region, including ensuring their political independence and administrative capacities.
    4. Strengthen cooperation with domestic, regional (e.g. ANFREL), and international partners working on election monitoring activities in the region.
    5. Participate in efforts guaranteeing the conduct of free and fair elections in the region; pay particular attention to the Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal in November 2007, the parliamentary election in Thailand in December 2007, the parliamentary election in Pakistan in January 2008, the parliamentary elections in Cambodia in July 2008, and any election that may be held in Bangladesh.

    9.Promoting Youth Action for Democracy, Human Rights and Peace

    The active engagement of young people is essential to a healthy democracy, because they provide creative ideas and energy for reform. However, youth voices are all too often neglected in political processes. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support the development of a WFDA Youth Caucus, which will exist as a young people’s network within WFDA. It will also work as the regional arm of the World Youth Movement for Democracy (WYMD).
    2. Help facilitate the creation of network of youth advocates and determine best practices for supporting youth participation in the promotion of democracy, human rights and peace.

    10. Other regional activities

    1. Support links among faith-based organizations in the region to promote human rights and democracy, building on the work to protect religious freedoms and develop autonomous civil society.
    2. Support or sponsor a series of workshops targeted at promoting and providing training for civil non-violent action.
    3. Support or host an event to discuss the opportunities and problems of governments-in-exile, including issues of preparedness for transition. Such an event would enable sharing of experience both among countries with such governments ( e.g. Tibet, Burma) and with overseas democratic movements that may be considering setting up such governments.
    4. Establish contacts with movements and organizations inside and outside the region facing similar issues, such as those of autonomy and self-determination.
    5. Support the development of independent media, including the internet and community radio, in order to improve access to information and strengthen the capacity to advocate for democracy.
    6. Develop a contacts database of all Asian pro-democracy national and regional civil society organizations, to enable better communication and coordination of activities.
    7. Support democracy and civic education programs, including the establishment or strengthening of democracy education institutions, sharing of best practices, curriculum development, translation of relevant texts, and teacher training.

    III. Country-Specific Focus Areas

    Mindful that the aforementioned regional programs will also directly support democracy movements and democratization in every Asian country, we also commit ourselves to achieving the following goals specific to each situation.


    Bangladesh faces the following challenges:
    1. Strategic and practical issues of addressing democratic deficit in the constitution and the constitution making processes in order to integrate various international covenants and declaration related to human rights and democratic polity as well as institutional issues related to Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Human Rights Commission, etc.
    2. Reversing the militarization and anti-constitutional processes that have been set by the events of January 11, 2007 and the consequent political pitfalls.
    3. Engaging with development partners to review their perceptions, analysis and role in Bangladesh and the increasing gap with the democratic aspiration of the people.
    4. Promoting stakeholders dialogue among political parties and popular organizations promoting human rights

    Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Campaign against human rights violation and request the government to follow strict judicial process and rule of law in the trials of political leaders.
    2. Campaign against extra-judicial killings and intensify observations and reporting to UN Human Rights Commission
    3. Take initiative for a stakeholders dialogue involving human rights organizations, popular mass organizations, political parties, government, army, business communities, women’s organizations, local government representative and other state and non-state actors before the situation in Bangladesh becomes further polarised.
    4. Initiate research on constitutional issues in order to address democratic deficits as well as appropriate processes to be undertaken to involve all sections of the population aspiring for democracy. Immediate focus will be strengthening the Election Commission, supporting an Independent Judiciary that can deliver justice, particularly to the poor and the disadvantaged, and strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms and institutions.


    The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has seen some encouraging signs of movement toward democracy, despite a serious refugee issue that remains unresolved. In order to include Bhutan on the regional agenda, WFDA will:
    1. Support efforts to implement a democratic constitution, and to hold genuinely free and fair elections.
    2. Urge a just resolution of the situation of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, including allowing those who wish to return to do so. In the meantime their basic human rights should be respected and protected by the Nepali government.


    Burma’s military regime, through its systematic human rights abuses and gross mismanagement continues to suppress the struggle for democracy and perpetuate conditions that threaten regional stability. Therefore, WFDA recommits itself to support the ongoing efforts of such networks as the Asia Pacific Peoples Partnership on Burma (APPPB) and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) to advocate for human rights and democracy in Burma. WFDA will work to:
    1. Support ongoing campaigns to secure the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as well as all other political prisoners, freedom for legitimate political parties to operate, particularly the National League for Democracy (NLD), and commencement of a substantive political dialogue with pro-democracy and ethnic nationality groups to achieve national reconciliation. In particular, WFDA will support initiatives to strengthen international commitment to the defense of human rights and democratization in Burma, including through the UN and the UN Security Council, ASEAN, and other international forums.
    2. WFDA publicly rejects the SPDC’s illegitimate “National Convention” and “Roadmap” process and supports the alternative roadmap proposed by 92 elected MPs on August 1 2007 that advocates for an inclusive and democratic constitution drafting process which includes the participation of all sections of Burma’s diverse society, particularly ethnic nationality groups and all political parties that won parliamentary seats in the 1990 election.
    3. Welcomes the resurgence of domestic activism and direct actions including greater involvement of the Buddhist clergy in the promotion of democracy in Burma.

    The period from now until the general elections scheduled for July 2008 will be critical, as election-related repression of political opposition is anticipated to increase in the months leading up to the political exercise, while the government/ruling party is manipulating the voters’ list in order to predetermine the election result before voting day. Immediate support to the protection of democratic institutions and processes is therefore needed, and toward this goal, WFDA will:
    1. Monitor the ongoing September-October 2007 voter registration process that is played with the political discrimination, administrative harassment and voter list manipulation leading to the disenfranchisement of significant portion of the electorate.
    2. Send a regional delegation to meet with political parties, Election Commission officials, relevant parliamentary committees, and NGOs to ensure the continued safe and peaceful exercise of democratic freedoms in Cambodia.
    3. Support and complement existing democracy education programs in the country through regional experience-sharing on such issues as independence of the judiciary, quasi-judicial election commissions, scrutiny of candidacy, and other topics relevant to the upcoming electoral exercise.
    4. Urge all the signatories of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord, notably Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to assume their responsibilities as signatories to draw the attention of the Cambodian government to its breach of the Paris Agreement by its human rights violations.
    5. Support efforts to disseminate information on corruption in Cambodia by Asian and other donor governments as well as Asian corporations. Further, urge international lending organizations to ensure that the government follows practices of good governance and transparency.


    The Chinese authorities’ anti-democratic policies and practices not only cause widespread human rights violations among the Chinese people, but also reinforce authoritarian regimes around the region. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support opportunities for the Chinese democratic movement to interact, share perspectives, and dialogue with regional counterparts, in order to build solidarity with other Asian democrats and amongst those affected by China’s support for dictatorships.
    2. Develop forums for Chinese, Tibetan, and Uyghur democrats to develop mutual understanding and support.
    3. Intensify support for campaigns on democracy and human rights in China in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This also includes using the opportunities provided by the Olympics to discourage China from continuing its support of repressive dictatorships in other parts of Asia and the world, in particular, Burma and North Korea. Campaigns could include targeting corporate sponsors, as well as suppliers, particularly of security-related technologies, and governments of the region.
    4. Support efforts to develop not only the international Chinese democratic movement, but also the nascent civil society within China, through maximizing the opportunities presented by:
    · Academic exchanges, conferences, etc. to develop leadership training for public intellectuals, including members of diverse ethnicities as future seeds of change.
    · Using the internet and/or personal information contacts to transmit news and information.
    5. Urge the European Union not to lift Tiananmen-related sanctions.
    6. Urge governments, corporations, and international organizations to ensure that they do not contribute to human rights violations of human rights defenders in China.

    Under the discrimination and assimilation policy of the PRC , the Uyghur are a minority group in their own land. Based on its support for the principal of self -determination for the Uyghur people, WFDA will:

    6.1 Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness the right of Uyghur people to use peaceful non violent and democratic means to determine the political future of East Turkestan.
    6.2 Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness of the arbitrary arrest and execution of political and non political prisoners. Campaign for the release of Ms. Rebeya Kadeers’ two sons.
    6.3 Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness to address the forceful transfer of young Uyghur women to the PRC
    6.4 Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness of the assimilation of Uyghur culture, language and educational System by the PRC.


    The struggle of the Hong Kong people for the rule of law and full democracy faces daunting challenges. Therefore, WFDA will work to:
    1. Support the people’s movement for equal and universal suffrage to elect its Chief Executive and Legislative Council and for other democratic reforms and constitutional reforms to guarantee democratic processes.
    2. Defend the rule of law by publicizing objections to the arbitrary interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, as well as to the introduction of draconian national security laws.
    3. Urge the HKSAR Government to establish a statutory human rights commission in accordance with the Paris Principles on national human rights institutions as soon as possible.
    4. Press the authorities to respect and ensure the independence, credibility, and effectiveness of existing statutory watchdogs in Hong Kong, such as the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Privacy Commissioner, and the Ombudsman. Most importantly, ensure that the power to appoint chairpersons and members to such bodies should not be abused.
    5. Urge the HKSAR to amend the Race Discrimination Bill to comply with international human rights standards.


    Despite a wide-ranging process of reforms in recent years, notably successful national elections, decentralization, and the peace process in Aceh, Indonesia’s democracy is at risk of regression because of the high level of corruption, deficiency in rule of law, and the increasing religious fundamentalism. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Promote the consolidation of the peace process in Aceh, and advocate for peaceful solution for conflicts in Papua and other parts of the country.
    2. Provide support for efforts by civil society to fight corruption.
    3. Continue supporting campaigns to promote press freedom and freedom of expression.
    4. Help promote tolerance and pluralism as a measure to reduce religious extremism.


    Repression in Laos has long been neglected by the international community. To raise the profile of Laos on the regional democratization agenda, WFDA will:
    1. Call on multilateral and bilateral donors to systematically tie their financial aid to the performance by the government of the Lao PDR with regard to transparency and accountability, human rights policies and practices, and progress towards democratization.
    2. Pressure the Lao PDR to give international media full access to information and facts relating to human rights and religious freedom. Further, explore the possibility of funding efforts of Lao democracy organizations based overseas to reach all segments of society through radio or television broadcasts and the internet, as well as print media.
    3. Call for the immediate release of political prisoners including Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, Bouavanh Chanhmanivong and Keochay (leaders of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy of the October 1999 demonstration); the 16 Vangtao border freedom fighters repatriated in contradiction of the Thai court decision; and Pangthon Chokbengboun (former Royal Lao government officials held in the Lao gulag since 1975).
    4. Campaign to put political and economic pressure on the Lao PDR to comply with the call of the United Nations Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to halt immediately all acts of violence against the Hmong population and other ethnic minorities and allow for immediate humanitarian assistance.
    5. Send a delegation to the country to access the feasibility of laying the ground work for an emerging civil society and the government’s program on capacity-building for teachers to formulate curriculum compatible with universal human rights principles.

    10. MALAYSIA

    Though elections are regularly held in Malaysia, the electoral system is not free and fair. Fundamental rights, in particularly freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are severely curtailed. Its cultural diversity has all too often been manipulated into communal politics. Therefore, WFDA will:
    10.1 Send high level mission to examine and observe before and during the next general election in order to ensure a clean, free and fair election.
    10.2 Support campaigns for the reform of the police, the repeal of the Internal Security Act and the disbandment of civilian vigilante group, the RELA.
    10.3 Send missions to observe politically motivated trials.
    10.4 Provide support to initiatives on media freedoms and a legislation for freedom of information.
    10.5 Support campaigns on the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in Malaysia, in particular
    – on international trade agreements
    – cultural rights and religious freedoms
    – rights and self determination of indigenous peoples

    11. MONGOLIA

    Democracy has developed rapidly in Mongolia, but remains challenged by weak institutions, corruption, and spreading poverty as in many other countries in Asia. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support democracy education as a part of WFDA’s regional activities. This will include support for Mongolia’s on-going survey on “Democratic Governance Indicator: Assessing the State of Governance” and Civil Society Indicators titled “The State of Civil Society in Mongolia”
    2. Support free and fair elections through voters’ education and international monitoring.
    3. Support the passage of a freedom of information law, which will ensure greater governmental transparency and accountability of the government and more effective campaigns against corruption, poverty and human rights abuses.
    4. Support freedom of expression and strengthening of the independent media through regional workshops to promote closer cooperation between civil society and media, and facilitate dialogue between politicians and media professionals on legal, political and economic issues.

    12. NEPAL

    Nepal suffered a serious reversal of democratization in 2005, with the resumption of absolute power by the King, suspension of the Constitution and Parliament, and extensive human rights violations. However, the country has since embarked on a two-fold transition, marked by the April 2006 “people power” movement which ended the King’s rule and the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord between the “Seven Party Alliance” and the Maoist rebels, which aims to end the long-running civil war. The country is now moving to establish a democratic republic of Nepal that would realize the rule of law, human rights and a just peace, through Constituent Assembly elections scheduled at the end of 2007 and drafting and adoption of a new constitution by 2009. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Send a high-level fact finding mission to raise international understanding of the real situation of the country and develop a short-term strategy for effective intervention.
    2. Continue to engage with and encourage all political parties to work more proactively towards democratization and to ensure effective internal democracy.
    3. Strengthen cooperation and coordination of civil society, media, human rights organizations, and other stakeholders to promote inclusive democratization and a just peace process in the country.
    4. Keep engaging with the UN bodies in Nepal, including the OHCHR-Nepal, the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and other agencies, along with the UN Treaty and Charter-based human rights mechanisms at Geneva, New York and other places of the world for the promotion of human rights, democracy and peace in Nepal.
    5. Keep calling on the Nepal Government to fulfill its obligations under the international human rights treaties to which it is a state party, and urge for ratification of major international human rights and humanitarian laws treaties.
    6. Monitoring of the elections to the Constituent Assembly before, during and aftermath of November 2007.
    7. Lobbying/advocating at the regional and international level for a more inclusive democratization and just peace process keeping the victims of conflict and marginalized and disadvantaged people’s agenda at the top most priority.
    8. Contributing to the constitution-making process by providing experts’ advises and conducting interactions/workshops in and outside Nepal with concerned stakeholders.
    9. Conducting an expert visit to Nepal to share experiences and practices of Asia and other regions regarding transitional justice mechanisms.
    10. Supporting publication of key documents related to democratization and sustainable peace.
    11. Carrying out activities for capacity building of leaders of political parties and members of civil society and human rights organizations in the subject matters of democratization and peace making.


    The human rights situation in North Korea is worrisome and needs the full attention of the international community, especially in the Asian region. In particular, there are serious concerns over the refugee situation and the very large number of political prisoners. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Encourage the development of regional and international civil society networks concerned with North Korean human rights in cooperation with South Korean civil society.
    2. Support efforts by civil society and governments to facilitate the exchange of information and views between the peoples inside and outside North Korea, through visit programs, radio and other media, etc.
    3. Call on concerned governments to uphold their obligations to North Korean asylum seekers under international refugee law, and to allow for international NGOs’ access to North Korean refugees.
    4. Urge donor governments and international organizations to ensure that humanitarian aid be delivered in a transparent, accountable, and fair manner.

    14. PAKISTAN

    Pakistan has continuously alternated between civilian and military government, and as a result has failed to develop strong roots and sustainable legitimacy. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support political party reform, especially developing internal party democracy and monitoring their functions, such as their manifestos, membership lists, financial accountability, etc. International assistance could be provided to the process of amending the Political Parties Act and other relevant legislation. Training programs for party workers at central and local levels should likewise be expanded and upgraded.
    2. Provide accurate and up to date information on existing and emerging conditions to all relevant international, regional, and governmental organizations.
    3. Recognizing the interconnection between political reform and social and economic structures, support and encourage domestic campaigns for land reforms in order to reduce political and economic monopoly of the landed elite and thereby alleviate poverty and powerlessness of the rural population.
    4. Support a level playing field for all political parties and candidates and to hold free, fair and transparent elections, further to respect the results of such elections.


    With entrenched inequality and continuous human rights violations, the Philippines is experiencing a grave political crisis, and the risk of further instability, and even reversal, of Philippine democracy is significant. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support ongoing civic education efforts, especially in the fields of human rights, citizen and voter education, democracy promotion, and the rule of law.
    2. Engage the Philippine government and generate international pressure to bear on cases of human rights violations, government corruption and abuse, and suppression of civil freedoms, as well as issues of political and electoral reform, particularly reform of the electoral administration to ensure credible free and fair elections.
    3. Support peaceful resolution of internal conflicts, especially in Mindanao, through the rejection of foreign military presence and the active engagement of civil society.
    4. Support initiatives to create mechanisms enabling full participation of all sectors of society in democratic governance.
    5. Urge governments hosting overseas Filipinos to allow for political participation of overseas Filipinos in their jurisdictions.
    6. Help facilitate discussions among WFDA participants from the Philippines on the threats to democracy in the country.


    Singapore is behind Asia’s democratic learning curve, persistently suppressing legitimate political opposition and controlling the media. Its combination of wealth and authoritarianism poses a unique challenge to Asian democrats. The use of defamation lawsuits to bankrupt opposition leaders and the judiciary’s lack of independence in political cases are emblematic of the regime’s tactics. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Organize a high-level delegation, including legislators and government officials, to visit Singapore to conduct a dialogue with the government on human rights.
    2. Promote the full independence of the judiciary, through measures such as missions to observe politically motivated trials.
    3. Send and encourage democracy and human rights groups to attend a parallel meeting of the International Bar Association, which will be held in October 2007, which will highlight the serious deficiencies in the rule of law in Singapore.

    17. SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka’s civil war continues, despite a ceasefire agreement reached in 2002. A significant electoral reform was also proposed in 2006, but the country still suffers barriers to democratic consolidation, including political and electoral violence, and abuse of executive powers. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Build solidarity for those civil society groups promoting a lasting settlement of the civil war.
    2. Expose the abuse of power by the executive presidency.
    3. Raise awareness of political and electoral violence, killings, and abductions.
    4. Strengthen mechanisms that protect human rights and support missions to monitor abductions, disappearances and/or killings.
    5. Engage in initiatives to ensure that the fourth coming local government and provincial elections are free and fair, including participation in and support for independent election monitoring.
    6. Urge the government of Sri Lanka to maintain the rule of law and an independent judiciary.
    7. Support efforts to strengthen women’s participation in politics and urge the government to change the election laws accordingly.

    18. THAILAND

    The military coup of 19 September 2006 was a major setback for democratization throughout the region. Restoration of a legitimate civilian government, elected through free and fair elections, is a priority. Meanwhile, the situation in the South remains unresolved and dangerous. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support grassroots efforts to educate the public about democratic values, institutions and practices, in order to prevent the recurrence of military coups.
    2. Engage in initiatives to ensure that the elections of 23 December 2007 are free and fair, including participation in and support for independent election monitoring.
    3. Strengthen mechanisms and institutions to protect human rights defenders. Support the work of human rights defenders including lawyers working to help victims of abuse and violence.
    4. Support efforts to maintain rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression and oppose repressive laws, particularly in the lead up to the upcoming election, and after the election.
    5. Encourage peaceful resolution of conflict in the South. This may include advocating for the adoption of new, people-centered strategies that also involve the participation of civil society and governments in the region, and visits from international fact-finding teams.
    6. Urge the government to uphold the human rights of its indigenous people including their right to citizenship, and the human rights of asylum-seekers and migrants from Burma.

    19. TIBET

    Under the PRC occupation, Tibetans are a minority in their own land. Currently, after six visits to China by envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, dialogues have now reached a critical stage. Based on its support for the principle of self-determination for the Tibetan people, WFDA will:
    1. Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness of the “middle way” approach and the Five Point Peace Plan proposed by the Dalai Lama among other Asian countries, in order to urge these countries to press for tangible results from the dialogue process.
    2. Assist a wider variety of Tibetan organizations, including civil society groups as well as the institutions of the Government-in-exile, to build more regional linkages and participate more actively in regional networks. WFDA can provide contacts and logistical support for a series of visits by Tibetan activists to countries around the region.
    3. Campaign for the release of Tenzin Delek, the Panchen Lama, and other political prisoners of conscience.


    Asia’s newest nation faces many challenges of consolidation, which flared up in a serious crisis in 2006 which shook the foundations of the state. A successful series of elections has restored constitutional rule, but the underlying political tensions remain, and the political and social institutions remain generally weak. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Urge the need for peaceful competition between the government and opposition, within the constitutional framework.
    2. Support capacity building of both civil society and political entities.
    3. Support the development of community media, and alternative media that is accessible to poor people.
    4. Sustain the campaign for justice to end the impunity of perpetrators of crimes.
    5. Assist the documentation and dissemination of lessons from Timor-Leste’s experience.
    6. Encourage greater involvement of youth in civic activities.
    7. Support the development of pro-poor economic activities.
    8. Encourage good governance within the justice and security sector

    21. VIETNAM

    The recent economic development of Vietnam has not translated into an improvement of its human rights and democratic record. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Support campaigns for the immediate and unconditional release of Thich Huyen Quang, Thich Quang Do, and over 350 Montagnard prisoners of conscience, as well as all other political prisoners detained for peaceful advocacy of democracy and human rights.
    2. Support initiatives for the implementation of the “Appeal for Democracy in Vietnam” launched by Thich Quang Do. This 8-point transition plan could be a rallying-point for Vietnamese from different political and religious affiliations to work together for democratic change and particularly freedom of the press and opinion.
    3. Continue to campaign, on a regional basis, for the abrogation of legislation that restricts freedoms, notably Ordinance 44 on “administrative detention” which allows for detention without trial and the internment of dissidents in psychiatric hospitals.
    4. A “White Paper on Legal Reforms” could be published to inform donors and governments to ensure that legal reforms in Vietnam, as well as Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc., conform with international human rights standards.
    5. Launch a campaign to support the action of Venerable Thich Quang Do for the “Victims of Injustice” – the movement of farmers protesting against state confiscation of lands. This campaign could help protect Thich Quang Do from imminent arrest, and also press Vietnam to seek solutions for the abused rural populations.
    6. Campaign for international access to Montagnard areas by monitoring teams to address human rights concerns facing the Montagnard peoples, to resolve the issues of religious persecution of Montagnard Christian House Churches and the abuse of their indigenous land rights.

    IV. WFDA Organizational Development

    In order to meet these goals, WFDA needs to strengthen its own functioning, building on its development to date and in keeping with its nature as a collaborative network. Therefore, WFDA will:
    1. Invite more regional organizations to join the Steering Committee, particularly with a view to further strengthening representation from South Asia and Northeast Asia.
    2. Hold Steering Committee meetings at regular intervals, where possible coinciding with regional or international events sponsored or supported by WFDA.
    3. Encourage and facilitate the development Youth Caucus and women’s forum within WFDA.
    4. Have a plenary on women’s political participation at the Third Biennial Conference, which will also include men as panelists and participants.
    5. Hold the third Biennial Conference in late summer


    Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 10:39 PM

    __________High Noon in China’s Far West

    By Wieland Wagner

    China is sending more troops to the mostly Muslim province of Uyghuristan in the far west of the country. Concerns are rising in Beijing of ethnic unrest in the border region. Its plans for economic development there may be in trouble.

    Mao Tse Tung defies the icy wind blowing from the Pamir Mountains across the city of Kashgar. Beijing is worlds away from this spot on the historic Silk Road, not far from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Which is perhaps why the Chairman Mao needs such a tall base for his statue, perched 24 meters (79 feet) above the “Square of the People.” But Mao is strikingly alone — the square is practically devoid of people.

    Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (10 Photos)It is time for prayer. A few blocks away, locals are streaming into the Id-Kah Mosque, the largest Muslim house of worship in the Uyghuristan/ Autonomous Region, home to the Uighur minority in weit northwestern China.

    The faithful wear their fur turbans pulled down over their faces. It’s bitterly cold, but it is also to disguise their identities. Many are afraid of being recognized.

    Muslims are the majority in Kashgar, giving this ancient city bordering the Tarim Basin the air of an Arabian oasis. Uighurs, Kyrgyz and Tajiks bring their dates, nuts and pomegranates to the market on donkey carts. Instead of Peking Duck, the air smells of roast lamb and flatbread.

    Veil of suspicion

    But a veil of suspicion hangs over the region. Unlike in other parts of Central Asia, the muezzin in Kashgar is not permitted to use a loudspeaker to call the faithful to prayer from the minaret. His voice sounds muffled as it emerges from the interior of the mosque. Civil servants are essentially barred from taking part in Muslim prayers, evidence of fears among China’s atheist leadership that Islam could develop into the core of an independence movement.


    Uyghuristan (Nicht Xinjiang) in north-western China is home to a large Muslim population.In January Chinese police attacked a base used by fighters of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in western Uyghuristan. The organization supposedly has ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network. It was the bloodiest battle between Chinese government forces and Uighur resistance fighters in a decade. A Chinese police officer was killed, and Beijing has since celebrated the man as a martyr of the revolution. The police shot and killed 18 of the alleged terrorists and arrested 17 suspects.

    Since then military transport aircraft and helicopters have been making regular landings at the Kashgar airport, as China builds up its forces in its mountainous border regions. Neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are seen as the principal hideouts for the region’s Islamists.
    Since the battle at the ETIM camp, anyone in Kashgar who is unable to show identification is considered a suspect. The police search vehicles on arterial roads and security forces, uniformed or in civilian clothing, lurk in the city. “We stay home at night,” says Mohammed, a 26-year-old Uighur who operates a clothing stand near the “Street of the Liberation.” The police keep a watchful eye on Kashgar’s crowds, even at events as seemingly harmless as the opening of a new supermarket across the street from the mosque.

    Massacre in the mountains

    In some ways the heightened surveillance runs counter to the Chinese government’s aims in the region, where it welcomes every new business, factory or apartment building — any building to displace the city’s traditional earthen structures. Beijing is spending billions of Yuan to develop a modern-day Silk Road (more…) in this border region, complete with new pipelines, railroad lines and roads. China plans to use the new infrastructure to bring oil and natural gas from Central Asia to the Chinese heartland and export its electronics and textiles in the other direction.

    Beijing’s strategists are pinning their hopes on new wealth to pacify the troubled Uyghuristan. But the recent massacre in the mountains could scare away investors, as China wages its own war on Islamist terrorists.


    Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication. Chinese President Hu Jintao has long believed that his country is already a “victim of terrorism.” He is referring primarily, though, to forces fighting for regional independence, or at least for greater autonomy from the central government far to the east.

    The government has charged Uighur dissident Rebiya Kadeer with “violent terrorist activities.” Two years ago Beijing forced the prominent local businesswoman to emigrate to the United States and imposed prison sentences on her sons in Uyghuristan for alleged tax evasion. In quoting an angry Internet user who called Kadeer a “separatist monster,” the official China Daily expressed one of Beijing’s greatest fears: that the dissident, who was elected president of the World Uighur Congress last year, could be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The “war on terror” doubles as a convenient fig leaf for the Chinese leadership. In 2001 Beijing used its concerns over alleged terrorist activities as the impetus to establish the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation, which also counts Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as members. The dangers of terrorism were also used to justify joint military exercises with the Russians in 2005. Three years earlier China gained US support for its campaign to have the United Nations classify the Islam independence movement ETIM as a terrorist organization. But little in fact is known about ETIM’s goals, and Beijing has yet to produce clear evidence of the organization’s alleged ties to al-Qaida.

    “Robbing us of our livelihood”

    Despite its successes, the Chinese leadership remains seriously concerned, fearing a reprise of the bloody unrest of recent decades in Uyghuristan(XUAR). According to official figures, the resistance movement’s activities cost 162 lives and caused 400 injuries between 1990 and 2001. Out of an apparent fear of attacks, China imposed restrictions on passengers carrying liquids onto airplanes as far back as 2003 — well before similar rules were enacted in Europe and the United States. With a view toward the 2008 Olympic Games, security has already been tightened in and around the capital.

    China’s strategy of using the blessings of capitalism as one of its tools in fighting terrorism tends to have the opposite effect among Uighurs. More and more ethnic Chinese are immigrating into Uyghuristan(XUAR); their share of the population has grown to at least 40 percent since 1949.

    Sign up for Spiegel Online’s daily newsletter and get the best of Der Spiegel’s and Spiegel Online’s international coverage in your In- Box everyday.

    The change in the region’s ethnic makeup has widened the gap between rich and poor, and social decline tends to affect Uighurs like textile vendor Mohammed first. “The Chinese are the ones running businesses here today,” he says angrily. “They are robbing us of our livelihood.”

    In addition, with Uyghuristan(XUAR) having evolved into a virtual military base, even the most peaceful of Uighurs are deterred from staging demonstrations. Tens of thousands of Chinese troops, for example, are stationed in Shule, a garrison town near Kashgar.

    Fighting, though, isn’t the only reason the soldiers are there. Many have also been sent to the region to develop their own farms and factories. According to one soldier, whenever they encounter unrest the troops simply change into the uniforms of the armed People’s Police.

    As if that weren’t enough, the Chinese government also controls the clocks in Uyghuristan (XUAR). Although the capital is almost 3,000 kilometers (1,865 miles) away, Xinjiang runs on Beijing time.

    Despite the official mandate, clocks at the mosque in Kashgar are set, in quiet protest, to the real local time, which is two hours earlier than Beijing time — exactly the way nature would have it in Uyghuristan(XUAR).

    Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

    : Blogs discussing this story
    Photo Gallery: China Looks to Control its Wild West
    An Iron Silk Road: The New Transcaucasian Railway

    Taoism and Modernity: Finding ‘The Way’ in Communist China (02/13/2007)
    © SPIEGEL ONLINE 2007All Rights ReservedReproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

    Posted by UYGHURISTAN at 10:05 PM

  9. Uyghur Student Sentenced to Death

    A 19-year-old Uyghur becomes the second woman sentenced to die following ethnic violence last year.

    A female Uyghur student in northwestern China was sentenced to death with a two-year suspension following a trial last April on charges of participating in ethnic riots that left hundreds dead, according to a classmate.

    Pezilet Ekber became the second Uyghur woman to receive the death penalty in connection to the unrest. Another woman was executed by Chinese authorities earlier this year.

    “Nobody knows what exactly led to Pezilet Ekber receiving such a heavy punishment, other than her ‘involvement in violence,’ because the trial was secret and her parents were only just informed of the decision,” her classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote in a letter.

    “After the trial, her parents were just given the judgment, and were warned to keep silent and to refrain from telling the content of judgment to anyone,” the letter said.

    Pezilet Ekber, 19, had been enrolled in Russian language classes at Xinjiang University in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) capital of Urumqi just before the violence erupted, her classmate wrote.

    But she had temporarily left the school because of her family’s financial difficulties and was working for a Han Chinese-owned business in the city’s Grand Bazaar as a translator and saleswoman at the time of the riots, the letter said.

    Urumqi’s Grand Bazaar was one of the locations central to Uyghur demonstrations and violence during the July 5, 2009 riots, which left nearly 200 people dead, according to official Chinese estimates.

    Pezilet Ekber was arrested two months after the unrest while visiting her parents in her hometown of Suydung, in the XUAR’s Qorghas [in Chinese, Huocheng] county, Ili prefecture.

    In the letter, Pezilet Ekber’s classmate wrote that the two had met on July 4 last year, and that her friend had no plans to attend the demonstration the following day.

    “Her workplace was at the center of the event so she was probably unable to keep herself away when she saw the demonstrators and witnessed the tragic event of the demonstrators being shot by police,” the letter said.

    “She usually always took a careful approach to such subjects related to the ethnic problem, even if it was a class discussion, because of her family background—being the granddaughter of a former independence fighter.”

    A concerned father

    Pezilet Ekber’s father, Ekber, 45, was a former state security officer in Qorghas county, but was forced out of his job due to his family background when ethnic tension began to build in the XUAR in the late 1990s.

    Her grandfather had served in Ili prefecture’s Gulja city as a member of the East Turkestan Liberation Army shortly after its founding in 1944, seeking independence from China.

    A friend of Mr. Ekber, reached by telephone, said he had traveled to Urumqi on April 16 to visit his daughter in detention, but police ordered him to leave the city within a day of his arrival.

    “He left without seeing his daughter. It happened just a few days before Pezilet’s trial,” the friend said.

    “After that, I never saw him again—I guess it was in order keep his daughter’s life safe. Now he has isolated himself from the public to avoid leaking ‘state secrets.’ I don’t know whether or not he was able to visit his daughter after the trial.”

    Pezilet Ekber’s boss at the shop in the Grand Bazar, a man surnamed Zhang, briefly answered questions about her detention and subsequent trial.

    When asked if Pezilet Ekber was available to speak, Zhang said she hadn’t worked at the store since September.

    When asked when she would return to work, he answered, “My guess is that will never happen,” but hung up the phone before responding to questions about why she was unable to return.

    Employees who answered the phone at the Urumqi Intermediate Court, which handed down the punishment to Pezilet Ekber, and the Ghalibiyet Police Station, which ordered her father to leave Urumqi in April, both refused to speak with reporters.

    Family a factor?

    Ilshat Hassan, U.S.-based spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, said Pezilet Ekber may have been singled out by the court due to her family history.

    “Usually family background is the most considered factor at the time of a decision, especially in political and ethnic cases tried by Chinese courts,” Hassan said.

    “A Communist-oriented family background might save your life, even if you are a murderer, while an anti-communist or pro-independence family background can lead to a death sentence, even if you are innocent,” he said.

    “I think Pezilet Ekber’s family background was one of the factors which influenced the decision.”

    Pezilet Ekber is the second woman known to receive the death penalty in the aftermath of the Urumqi unrest, according to information made public by Chinese authorities.

    In January, Hayrinsa Sawut, 20, was executed for committing murder during the riots.

    A third woman, Gulmire Imin, received life in prison for her role as an “illegal organizer” during the 2009 demonstrations.

    Reported and translated by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

    Copyright © 1998-2010 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved.


  10. Judges Transferred for Riot Trials

    Judges from inner China are being sent to the country’s northwest to assist in the trials of Uyghurs.

    Beijing has ordered a number of Han Chinese judges from eastern Jiangsu province to relocate to China’s northwest in an apparent bid to deal with cases brought against Uyghurs in the aftermath of deadly riots last year.

    According to a report published on the official Xinjiang News website on Monday, citing an article in the Jiangsu Legal Daily, “politically-motivated and experienced” judges from the Jun’an High Court in Jiangsu will be sent to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in 2011 to “bolster the judicial field.”

    The report did not provide details of what the most pressing judicial needs in the XUAR are or how many judges would be sent to the region.

    “The judges will assist in special cases and educate members of the judiciary to improve their ability,” the report said.

    “Judges will be required to preside over at least one large and one sensitive case each year, and must show success within three years’ time,” it said.

    Behtiyar Omer, a Uyghur who worked as a lawyer in the XUAR for eight years before moving to Norway, said that judges from different parts of the country had worked in the XUAR in the past, but never before in such a capacity.

    “The exchanging of judges has occurred before between the Uyghur region and other provinces, but the term would only last 1-2 weeks, and the purpose was related to government-funded travel and vocational training, not for providing assistance or cooperation,” he said.

    Conflicting views

    An earlier report published in August on the Xinjiang News website quoted an order given to judges from inner China by judicial authorities at a work meeting in the XUAR to “make haste with cases that had been pushed along by local judges and to set priorities on cases earmarked by local judges.”

    Officials at the work meeting revealed that Beijing began transferring judges from inner China to the XUAR immediately after the July 5, 2009 ethnic violence in the capital Urumqi, which left some 200 people dead, according to the Chinese government’s tally.

    Behtiyar Omer said disagreements between local Han Chinese judges and those from outside the XUAR on how to decide cases had derailed earlier trials in the region.

    “The judges from other provinces may be more impartial while making their decision than local Han judges, because they don’t harbor animosity toward the Uyghur people, while the local Han judges were more motivated by the ethnic tension in the region,” Behtiyar Omer said.

    “This is what led to a divergence in decision-making in the cases.”

    For ethnic Uyghurs, justice may not be well served by Han Chinese from within or outside the autonomous region, some Uyghur experts said.

    A former Uyghur judge from Urumqi, who now lives in Washington and asked to remain anonymous, said the relocation of judges from inner China to the XUAR will dampen the prospects of a fair trial for Uyghur detainees.

    “The transfer of judges from other provinces is a not good thing for Uyghur detainees because the judges can’t speak the local language and don’t understand the traditional life and culture of the Uyghurs,” he said.

    Debate on numbers

    On March 7, XUAR governor Nur Bekri reported that 197 Uyghurs had been charged on 97 counts related to the riots, and that the number of trials would increase as investigations continued.

    Rebiya Kadeer, the outspoken leader of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, has claimed that as many as 10,000 Uyghurs “disappeared” after the event, though Chinese officials say 1,400 Uyghurs were detained for their role in the violence as of August this year.

    Chinese authorities have only published information about dozens of related cases and the names of just over 50 detainees, while the fate of others remains unknown due to a lack of transparency in the trial process.

    Uyghurs living outside of China say that cases against Uyghurs in the XUAR have been further complicated by simmering tensions in the region.

    They say that the families of Han Chinese victims of the riots have been pressing officials to exact a swift and harsh punishment to the Uyghurs involved in the incident, but the courts fear that to do so might spark further ethnic unrest.

    World Uyghur Congress spokesman Dilshat Raxit said that discrimination against Uyghurs is inherent in the system of Chinese rule in the XUAR and would continue to undermine the judicial process there.

    “The cause of the problem is rooted in the system, and until the authorities accept peaceful demonstration as a human right and accept international standards of justice, inequality and unrest in the region will continue, regardless of whether judges are local or from inner China.”

    Reported by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur service. Translated by Shohret Hoshur. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

    Copyright © 1998-2010 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved.


  11. Free Eastturkistan! says:


    Parhat Tursun was born in a school teacher family in Artush on January 1, 1969 and grew up in small town there. After he finished high school in 1984, attended the former central institute of nationalities in Peking, where he studied Turkology and literature. While at the institute he organized an enlightenment group of Uyghur students and a small group of writers and began to edit a students periodical gazette known as Sparkle. After his graduation in 1989, he worked at The Massess Art Centre of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as an academic researcher of folklore. From 1991 till 1993, he organized literary salons in Urumchi. In 2005, he entered the central university for nationalities in Peking, specialize in classical Uyghur culture and ancient documents in Uyghur language. After receiving master degree by Chagatai language in June 2008, subsequently he won a fellowship to continue toward the PhD in that university.
    He published his first poem at the age of eleven when he was a middle school student. And at the age of twenty, he attracted public attention by his first novella, Collapse. He studied lots of ancient Buddhism and Manichean scripture in old Uyghur language at the period he was a college student, in addition to became familiar with modern western literature also learned psychology and philosophy, particularly psychoanalysis and ancient Greek philosophy. He began to work on his first novel Art Of Suicide in 1987 and finished in 1996. After the publication of his novella Desolation Of Messiah in 1992, he became recognized as the most talented of his generation of Uyghur literature, indeed as the voice of a new generation. His first book, One Hundred Poems Of Love, published by Xinjang people’s press In 1998, and collection of novella Desolation Of Messiah published by nationalities press of Peking in 1998, novel Art Of Suicide published by Xinjang people’s press in 1999. Four screenplays has been made into films, The Star Fall From The Sky ( 2000), Collapse (2001), Beautiful Patima (2001), Dark Mountain (2001). After his works for some years, since 2006 he began to publish his articles and short stories at local magazines, such as Fiction And Metaphysical Reality ( Tarim Monthly 2006), Perfectness And Deficiency ( Tarim Monthly 2007), Knock On a Door ( Tarim Monthly 2007) Angry Man Tudek Shatur ( Tarim Monthly 2007), novella The Star Fall From The Sky ( Aqsu literature 2009), long poem Vanish Away ( Qizilsu literature quarterly, 2009). He also translate poems of Uyghur classic poets, such as Alshir Nawayi, Baba Rehim Mashrab, Hoja Jahan Arshi, into Chinese (selected into unified textbook College Literature, Published by Jejiang people’s press). His Chinese poem Kafka In The Desert selected into an anthology named The Earth To The West (Published by Xinjiang people’s press), his Chinese articles Narrative Strategy In The Hamidian History, Research on Old Uyghur Words In The Modern Uyghur Spoken Language both issued in the Uyghur online.
    Parhat tursun lives in Urumchi with his wife Hajigul Mutellip and son Uweys Tursun.

    Selected Bibliography

    Art Of Suicide. Peking and Urumchi: 1987- 1996, Urumchi: Xinjang people’s press, 1999;
    Big City. Urumchi and Peking: 1990 – 2006, Website, Uighuronline, 2008;

    Collapse. Peking: 1987, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, January 1989; selected into anthology Happy Night. Peking Nationalities Press 1991, and another anthology An Incident Related To Mustache. Qashqar Uyghur Press 1992.
    Icing Window. Turpan: 1988, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, 1990. selected into anthology Mysterious Beggar. Peking Nationalities Press 1993;
    Collapse ( translate into Chinese by Su Yongcheng). Urumchi: Writers of Nationalities monthly, may. 1989;
    Desolation Of Messiah. Urumchi: 1989, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1992;
    Sickness. Urumchi: 1992, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1997;
    Chinar. Urumchi: 1997, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1998;
    The Star Fall From The Sky. Urumchi: 1999, Aqsu: Aqsu bimonthly, 2009.

    The Testimony Of Love. Xinjang Culture bimonthly ( 1985);
    The Star Fall From The Sky. Urumchi: 1999, Urumchi: Xinjang audiovisual publishing house, 2000;
    Collapse. Urumchi: 2001, Urumchi: Nationalities audiovisual publishing house, 2001;
    Beautiful Patima. Urumchi: 1999, Urumchi: Xinjang audiovisual publishing house, 2001;
    Dark Mountain. Urumchi: 1999, Urumchi: Xinjang audiovisual publishing house, 2001;
    Knock On A Door. Peking: 2007, Uighuronline, 2007.

    How To Manage To Publish Your Writings. Peking: 1984, Korla: Bostan Quarterly 15 (1990);
    Beed Sheet. Urumchi: 1990, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1991;
    Realistic Crowd. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1992;
    Omen. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1994;
    Emptiness. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1995;
    Knock On A Door. Peking: 2007, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, 2007;
    Sweet Memory. Urumchi: 2001, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, may 2009;
    Oleaster Tree. Urumchi: 2002, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, january 2008;
    White And Black. Urumchi: 2002, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, 2007;
    Angry Man Tudek Shatur. Urumchi: 2006, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, january 2009;
    Famous Person. Urumchi: 2006, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, march 2009;
    Young Poet. Urumchi: 2006, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, march 2009;
    Trailer. Urumchi: 1994, Atush: Qizilsu literature quarterly, 2007;
    Home Education Of Abdusemet Mamut. Peking: 2007, Atush: Qizilsu literature quarterly, winter 2008;
    Robber. Peking: 2006, Khotan: New jade Bimonthly, 2008;
    Five Minutes. Peking: 2005, Urumchi: Tangritagh Bimonthly, 2007;
    A Little Boy Believe In Fairytales. Urumchi:1990, Urumchi: Workers Times, 2009;
    When The Last Bus Start Off? Peking:2008, Urumchi: Workers Times, 2009;

    One Hundred Poems of Love. Atush, Peking, Urumchi: 1980 – 1994, Urumchi: Xinjang people’s press, 1998;
    11 poems. Atush, Peking, Turpan 1984 – 1988, Turpan: Turpan bimonthly, 1988;
    Poems. Atush, Peking, 1984 – 1988, Urumchi: Tarim monthly, 1988;
    Kafka On The Desert. Urumchi: 2003, selected into an anthology in Chinese The Earth To The West, Urumchi: Xinjiang people’s press, 2006;
    Poems. selected into an anthology in Chinese The Flying Stone, Urumchi: Xinjiang people’s press, 2001;
    Poems. Urumchi, Peking, 2000 – 2006, Ili: Ili River bimonthly, 2008;
    Poems. Atush, Peking, 1984 – 1988, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1991;
    Vanish Away (long poem). Makit Qashqar: 1991, Qizilsu literature quarterly, spring 2009.

    An Introduction To The New Wave Movement In The Cinematics. Urumchi; 1991, Urumchi: Tangritagh Cinema 1991;
    An Introduction To Psychoanalysis. Urumchi: 1999, Urumchi: Xinjang Art bimonthly, 2000;
    Sexuality And Culture. Urumchi: 1999, Peking: China Nationalities monthly, 2007;
    Fiction And Metaphysical Reality. Urumchi: 2004, Urumchi: Tarim Monthly, 2006;
    Perfectness And Deficiency. Urumchi: 2003, Urumchi: Tarim Monthly, may 2007;
    New Kind Of Symbol. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1992;
    Vanish Of The Man. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1992;
    Tragic Aesthetics. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1992;
    Complicit Between Sivilization And Darkness. Urumchi: 2000 – 2005, Diyarim website, may 2006;
    Research On Old Uyghur Words In The Modern Uyghur Spoken Language. Peking: 2006, Uighuronline. 2008.
    Narrative Strategy In The Hamidian History, Peking: 2006, Uighuronline. 2008.

    Reminisce About My Grandmother. Urumchi: 2004, Urumchi: Tarim Monthly 2006;
    Deaf Person. Pekingi:2007, Urumchi: Workers Times, 2008;
    Notes On The Novella Sickness. Urumchi: Urumchi: 1992, Urumchi: Tangritagh bimonthly, 1997;
    To The Emptiness. Urumchi:1991, Urumchi: Workers Times, 1992;
    Is There No Beauty In The World. 1991, Qizilsu literature quarterly, 1991.

    Mamatsalih Matrozi, A Donkey In The Rain: An Interview. Ürumchi, 1991, Qizilsu literature quarterly, 1998;
    Mamat Aysa, Art Of Suicide And Art Of Fiction: An Interview. Ürumchi, Tarim Monthly, may 2001.

    Flower, Telephone and a Girl. By Calos Drummond de Andrade, Ürumchi: World Literature, 1993;
    Selected Poems by Charles Baudelaire. Urumchi: Workers Times, 1996;
    Selected Poems by Western poets. Urumchi: Economic Weekly, 1998;
    Poems By American poets. Turpan: Turpan bimonthly, 1998;
    Poems by Pushkin. Aqsu: Aqsu bimonthly, 2009,
    Poems by Harold Pinter. Peking: Echo, 2006.



  12. Free Eastturkistan! says:

    Tarim Mummies of China, bringers of Buddhism to Asia?

    • Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 19:00

    In the late 1980′s, perfectly preserved 6,400-year-old mummies began appearing in a remote Chinese desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European features and didn’t appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people. Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient civilization of Aryans that existed in the east.
    The mummies had long noses and skulls, blond or red hair, thin lips, deepset eyes, and other unmistakably Caucasian features. Dr. Victor H. Mair of the University of Pennsylvania said, “The Tarim Basin Caucasoid corpses are almost certainly representatives of the Indo-European family”.
    Ancient Greek and Chinese historians had long referenced a unique cultural and ethnic group on its western frontier with red hair and blue eyes, a group that settled ancient Afghanistan and forged a vibrant Buddhist empire that spread Buddhism to much of the the world through China and India. But when 4,000-year-old mummies were unearthed in the early 20th century in the Tarim Basin of the western Chinese desert with blatant “white” physiognomy and clothing of apparently European origin, historians, anthropologists, and archeologists were awestruck. The tenuous ethnocultural issue made this a serious issue:
    Europeans emphasized the role of “Europeans” in creating an ancient frontier civilization that brought a world religion to Asia; Chinese scholars refused to believe that significant foundations of their history were “imported,” and the modern residents of the Tarim region (Xinjiang) — the Muslim Uyghurs — insist that they were the original natives of the region.
    The Europoid Tarim mummies are some of the oldest and best preserved corpses in the world, protected by the extremely dry climate of East Turkestan. Blatantly related to one of the races of European origin, they give us one of the earliest looks yet at the migratory movement, culture, and civilization of early European peoples.
    A number of cultural or ethnic groups lived in the same area as the ancient Caucasian mummies and may have moved southward to Afghanistan. Some had red hair and blue eyes as shown on Chinese artwork. The Tocharians are identified as this European-featured bringer of Buddhism. But are they related to the blatantly genetically European mummies, or did the Chinese merely see another racial group like the Iranians with recessive features? Tracing these peoples’ history allows us to better determine whether or not it was this ancient white European culture of mummies that forever shaped the evolution of Asia or not.
    Some major physical evidence we have to determine whether these Buddhist missionaries were related to the mummies is from Chinese frescoes, imagery, and literature depicting their strange western neighbors bringing them a new religion. Chinese sources depict what they call the Yuezhi and what Greeks called Tocharians as quite foreign in their dress, culture, and appearance. Chinese art shows pale-skinned, red-headed, blue-eyed monks with beards obviously from a race and culture very different from the Han Chinese. Sporting partially-shaved heads, dangling earlobes, and the lotus-shaped hand posture, these white Europoids are obviously Buddhist monks bringing the new faith to the Chinese along commercial and migratory routes that they had followed when they left the Tarim Basin for Afghanistan. The entire facial appearance of the white Buddhist missionaries is different: the original artists did not simply depict humanoids in general or Chinese men with red hair. They were portraying a very foreign racial group.
    Their graveyard, known as Small River Cemetery No. 5, lies near a dried-up riverbed in the Tarim Basin, a region encircled by forbidding mountain ranges. Most of the basin is occupied by the Taklimakan Desert, a wilderness so inhospitable that later travelers along the Silk Road would edge along its northern or southern borders.
    In modern times the region has been occupied by Turkish-speaking Uighurs, joined in the last 50 years by Han settlers from China. Ethnic tensions have recently arisen between the two groups, with riots in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. A large number of ancient mummies, really desiccated corpses, have emerged from the sands, only to become pawns between the Uighurs and the Mungulen.
    The mummies in the Small River Cemetery are, so far, the oldest discovered in the Tarim Basin. Carbon tests done at Beijing University show that the oldest part dates to 3,980 years ago. A team of Chinese geneticists has analyzed the mummies’ DNA.
    Despite the political tensions over the mummies’ origin, the Chinese said in a report published last month in the journal BMC Biology that the people were of mixed ancestry, having both European and some Siberian genetic markers. The team was led by Hui Zhou of Jilin University in Changchun, with Dr. Jin as a co-author.
    As the Chinese archaeologists dug through the five layers of burials, Dr. Mair recounted, they came across almost 200 poles, each 13 feet tall. Many had flat blades, painted black and red, like the oars from some great galley that had foundered beneath the waves of sand.
    At the foot of each pole there were indeed boats, laid upside down and covered with cowhide. The bodies inside the boats were still wearing the clothes they had been buried in. They had felt caps with feathers tucked in the brim, uncannily resembling Tyrolean mountain hats. They wore large woolen capes with tassels and leather boots. A Bronze Age salesclerk from Victoria’s Secret seems to have supplied the clothes beneath — barely adequate woolen loin cloths for the men, and skirts made of string strands for the women.
    Within each boat coffin were grave goods, including beautifully woven grass baskets, skillfully carved masks and bundles of ephedra, an herb that may have been used in rituals or as a medicine.
    In the women’s coffins, the Chinese archaeologists encountered one or more life-size wooden phalluses laid on the body or by its side. Looking again at the shaping of the 13-foot poles that rise from the prow of each woman’s boat, the archaeologists concluded that the poles were in fact gigantic phallic symbols. Arthur Wolf, an anthropologist at Stanford University and an expert on fertility in East Asia, said that the poles perhaps mark social status, a common theme of tombs and grave goods.
    Dr. Mair said the Chinese archaeologists’ interpretation of the poles as phallic symbols was “a believable analysis.” The buried people’s evident veneration of procreation could mean they were interested in both the pleasure of sex and its utility, given that it is difficult to separate the two. But they seem to have had particular respect for fertility, Dr. Mair said, because several women were buried in double-layered coffins with special grave goods.
    The language spoken by the people of the Small River Cemetery is unknown, but Dr. Mair believes it could have been Tokharian, an ancient member of the Indo-European family of languages. Manuscripts written in Tokharian have been discovered in the Tarim Basin.
    The Small River Cemetery people lived more than 2,000 years before the earliest evidence for Tokharian, but there is “a clear continuity of culture,” Dr. Mair said, in the form of people being buried with felt hats, a tradition that continued until the first few centuries A.D.

  13. Could China become the next Egypt?

    Beijing officials are keeping a close eye on the revolt sweeping through the Middle East.

    By Andrew Higgins and Keith B. Richburg

    The Washington Post



    Could the popular revolt against authoritarian regimes of the Middle East ever spread to China, the world’s most populous nation? And if so, does the United States have a policy to deal with it?

    The ticklish question has been hovering in the background since the “Jasmine Revolution” street uprising toppled the president of Tunisia two weeks ago. It has only gained in urgency as the demonstrations spread to Yemen, Jordan and then Egypt — threatening President Hosni Mubarak’s near-30-year-grip on power.

    A Chinese blogger first posed the query to President Obama’s chief Asia expert during a videoconference from the White House Situation Room with eight Mainland bloggers.

    “In my view, many Chinese netizens and intellectuals believe that China’s future is Tunisia-ization,” noted the Beijing-based blogger, 2Keqi, in the Web chat with Jeffrey Bader, the National Security Council’s (NSC) senior director for Asian affairs. “Does the American government make this same assessment and does it have a policy plan” in the event that China takes such a turbulent path?

    Bader and another official, Ben Rhodes, deputy NSC adviser for strategic communications, declined to answer directly, instead repeating the administration’s oft-stated position about the importance of human rights and the need to let people “realize their own aspirations.”

    The question came up again last Friday at the White House news briefing, posed to press secretary Robert Gibbs — who similarly declined to engage.

    But at a time when many Americans have come to view China — with its double-digit economic growth and huge investments in infrastructure and energy technologies — in terms of the challenges it poses to the United States’ position as the world’s pre-eminent economic power, many here see the country’s closed political system as unsustainable and a key vulnerability restricting its leaders’ grand ambition.

    “America’s understanding of China is very limited,” the blogger, 2Keqi, told Bader and Rhodes. Many Chinese, he added, find it “extremely difficult to accept the idea that the 21st century is China’s century.”

    It is an issue the Chinese authorities clearly care about, too. Chinese Internet users have been largely barred from making comments about the ongoing popular revolt in Egypt, as Beijing’s Communist rulers tread a fine line between allowing generally unfiltered news reports of the protests while also discouraging the idea that the uprising may bring democracy to the Arab world’s largest country.

    Online news sites typically allow readers to have comments and form discussion groups after articles are posted, but that service has been disabled since the Egyptian protests began.

    Also, the search engines on some of the most popular micro-blogging sites turned up no results for the words “Egypt,” “Cairo,” “Tunisia” and “Jasmine Revolution.” Users instead received a message saying the search result could not be displayed “because of the relevant law, regulations and policy.” Even searches for the word “jasmine” turned up no results.

    The main Chinese newspapers all carried front-page stories about the protests, including photographs, but largely without any analysis or editorial comment. Much of the recent coverage has focused on the looting and the breakdown of order in Egyptian cities, without much explanation of the root causes of the unrest.

    In the only official commentary on the uprising, the Chinese foreign minister spokesman, Hong Lei, said on Sunday, “Egypt is a friend of China and we hope Egypt will return to social stability and normal order as soon as possible.”

    One editor of an online news site said the Party’s Propaganda Department, China’s main censorship organ, asked his outlet only to use news from Egypt provided by Xinhua, the official government news agency.

    Still, some local micro-blogging sites — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — have been following events in Egypt closely, often finding ways around the official controls. “The Netizens are quite excited by what’s happening in Egypt,” said Zhang Lifan, a historian who has studied the history of the Chinese Communist Party.

    Zhang said he was able to browse through photographs from Egypt and found “those scenes are very similar to what happened in Beijing 20 years ago” — a reference to the Chinese army’s crackdown on pro-democracy students and demonstrators at Tiananmen Square.

    He said he was particularly struck by the image of a young Egyptian protester standing in the street to block an armored vehicle, a pose similar to a Chinese protester, Wang Weilin, whose dramatic stance in front of a tank became one of the iconic images from the Tiananmen crackdown.

    “The waters of the Nile flow into the Yellow River,” Zang said.

    Still, while some drew parallels between the authoritarian government here in China and those of the Middle East, there remain obvious differences. Most important, the Middle Eastern countries now facing popular unrest all share the same volatile mix of a swelling population of angry youth, widespread unemployment, and governments that lack credibility in the face of economic despair.

    China’s leaders, by contrast, have staked their legitimacy on the country’s double-digit economic growth and three decades of improving living standards. China’s economy recently surpassed Japan’s as the world’s second largest, behind the United States.

    And the Beijing leadership tries to engender patriotic pride and popular support through grandiose national projects, like hosting the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai Expo, building high-speed trains, erecting towering skyscrapers and sending Chinese astronauts into space.

  14. Why a nervous China aims to shield citizens from Egypt news

    By Peter Ford, Staff writer
    February 1, 2011

    Like governments around the world, China’s rulers are watching the unrest in Egypt with bated breath – nervous about the outcome, but powerless to affect it.

    “China is worried about chaos, because that is bad for Egypt and for other countries,” says Yin Gang, a Middle East expert at the China Academy of Social Sciences. “China’s concern is the same as America’s … but China has very little influence in the Middle East.”

    Beijing has been studiously neutral in the face of mass demonstrations in Cairo and other Egyptian cities calling for President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

    Asked on Tuesday for China’s views on the new Egyptian government that has promised economic and political reforms, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei would say only that “we hope that Egypt will return to stability and normal order as soon as possible.”

    The Chinese authorities are even more concerned about preserving stability and normal order at home. Apparently fearing that Chinese citizens be inspired by Egyptian protesters, the government has issued strict orders limiting press coverage of the unrest.

    “All media nationwide must use Xinhua’s reporting on the Egyptian riots,” read a directive issued last Friday, referring to the state run Xinhua news agency. “It is strictly forbidden to translate foreign media coverage,” the order said, warning that websites that did not censor comments about Egypt would be “shut down by force.”

    “One major reason for the censorship is that Chinese officials do not know the direction of the protests,” says Russell Leigh Moses, a political analyst in Beijing. “Reporting depends almost entirely on direction from the leadership and uncertainty never produces consensus in Beijing.”

    “You can see from the media that China is keeping a very low-key tone on this issue, and not giving it a lot of coverage,” says Prof. Yin. “That shows the government’s intentions.”

    “They are nervous,” says Xiao Qiang, who monitors the Chinese Internet at the University of California at Berkeley. “They are more than usually tight, to ensure that only the Xinhua version is there.”

    One Twitter-like microblog site did not return results for a search of “Egypt” on Tuesday, but otherwise the government order appeared to be only erratically imposed. The Hong Kong based Phoenix TV network, for example, which can be seen on the mainland but which is not subject to Beijing’s censorship, has been broadcasting live from Cairo without interference.

    Almost all of the news reports on Internet news portals is coming from Xinhua, which provides straightforward and neutral news stories, often focusing on the plight of hundreds of Chinese citizens trapped at Cairo airport. But reader comments on those stories were not being deleted.

    Many of those comments seemed directed as much at the political situation in China as at events in Egypt. “Don’t look down at ordinary people: history is written by them,” read one comment on the popular Netease portal. “Even though a struggle does some damage for a while, it can make the government cleaner and more transparent in the long run and push democratization,” suggested another.

    Though China does not consider that it has any strategic interests in the Middle East to match US concerns, it does depend on the region for nearly half of its imported oil and is thus anxious that the political upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt should not spread to oil producing nations.

    At the same time, China’s trade with Egypt has increased threefold over the past five years to reach $6.96 billion in 2010, making Egypt China’s second-largest trading partner in Africa and the Middle East, excluding its oil suppliers.


  15. Mummies Of Uyghuristan Caught in Politics


    The Yingpan Man, one of the mummies from the Tarim Basin barred from display at the Penn Museum, at an exhibit in Berlin in 2007.
    Beijing has forced a Philadelphia museum to pull from display mummies and artifacts that are evidence of ancient non-Chinese inhabitants in China’s northwestern Uyghur region.

    The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibit opened on Feb. 5 without its star attractions, three mummies displaying Caucasian features from the Tarim Basin in the Muslim-dominant Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    “The artifacts have been in our storeroom for almost [a month], but the Chinese government suddenly told us – without giving any explanation why – that we are not permitted to open the crates and install the artifacts in the cases we have prepared so exactingly,” said Victor Mair, a University of Pennsylvania professor who helped bring the mummies to museums in the U.S.

    Before arriving in Philadelphia, the mummies were shown without any problems at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California and at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

    The reason why Chinese officials objected to the Philadelphia exhibit remains unclear. Chinese government offices could not be immediately contacted as many of them remain closed for the Lunar New Year.

    A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the Penn Museum was not part of the original plan for the mummies, according to the Washington Post. But no further explanation was given.

    “We are still struggling to overcome the horrible bureaucratic snafu that has derailed the wonderful exhibition we had been working on for nearly two years an on which we had spent over $2 million and mobilized dozens of researchers, designers, etcetera,” Mair said.

    “I know the real reasons for what has happened, but probably won’t be able to reveal them until the exhibition is over,” he said.

    Controversial Features

    The exhibit included the “Beauty of Xiaohe,” a 3,500-year-old mummy of a woman bearing Caucasian features such as a long nose and light hair, raising the prospect that the region’s inhabitants were European settlers and also the question about who first settled in Xinjiang.

    The exhibits’ other elements – including a mummy of a baby and the Yingpan Man, a mummy from the 4th century A.D., as well as clothing, textiles, and personal treasures – also suggest a version of history at odds with China’s official narrative of civilization in the region.

    Chinese officials have stated that the Xinjiang region, where the mummies and artifacts were found, has been “a part of China since ancient times.”

    The region is home to Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim Uyghurs, who are an ethnic minority in China. China also fears a nationalist separatist movement in the region.

    Uyghur groups said the mummies reinforced their contention that their homeland was not part of China.

    Alim Seytoff, spokesman for the Uyghur American Association, said, “The simple question is, if East Turkestan was indeed an inalienable part of China since ancient times, then why were the original and ancient inhabitants of this region not Chinese, but Uyghur-looking Caucasians?”

    He continued, “China has no answer for this question except to fabricate that the Caucasian-looking mummies had nothing to do with Uyghurs.

    “The existence of these mummies simply puts China’s territorial claims that Xinjiang has always been an inalienable part of China since ancient times in serious question, which in turn threatens the legitimacy of Chinese rule over this vast resourceful territory.

    “This is the last thing China wants out of exhibiting these mummies in the U.S. and other countries,” Seytoff said.

    He said the association “strongly objects” to the exhibition, charging that the Chinese government wanted “to hide the truth of these mummies and the real history of East Turkestan.”

    East Turkestan is used by Uyghur groups to refer to the Xinjiang region.

    Ancient Peoples

    Others argue that the mummies from thousands of years ago have little to do with today’s Uyghurs.

    Xie Xuanjun, a scholar of Chinese studies in New York, said, “They’re not the same at all.”

    “They are whiter than the Uyghurs. They are white folk with golden hair and blue eyes. The language they spoke was…very close to the languages now spoken in Europe.”

    “This shows us that there was a good deal of movement in the ancient world, far more than we had ever imagined… So this ethnic group has little to do with modern Uyghurs,” he said.

    Exhibit continues

    The Penn Museum’s exhibit has opened without the artifacts from China, featuring multimedia and a recreated excavation site in their place.

    “Even though the opening has been delayed, we have not given up,” Mair said.
    Reported by Kurban Wali and Nabijan Tursun for RFA’s Uyghur Service and Gao Shan for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translation by Luisetta Mudie and Nabijan Tursun. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

  16. Free Eastturkistan! says:

    Chinese Segregation: No Caucasian Mummies Need Apply

    Written by Selwyn Duke

    Monday, 07 February 2011 14:15

    The Chinese exhibition “Secrets of the Silk Road” ran without incident in California and Texas. But now Chinese authorities have decided that parts of it really must be kept secret and have ordered that some artifacts and, most notably, a certain mummy not be displayed. The news came as a blow to the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, which was poised to show the exhibition in toto starting February 5 and was informed of the change just the evening prior. At issue is a 4000-year-old mummy called the “Beauty of Xiaohe.” Remarkably well preserved, she has long eyelashes, half-open eyes and flowing hair. But then there is the distinction that may make her a political liability.
    She’s Caucasian.

    The mummy and other artifacts present the Chinese government with a problem because the remote part of western China in which they were found — the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang province — also has a distinction: It’s oil-rich and home to a separatist movement. And evidence that Europeans were the first to settle the region would weaken the Chinese’s historical claim to it. The Independent elaborates:

    [T]he Chinese authorities…face an intermittent separatist movement of nationalist Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people who number nine million in Xinjiang.

    The government-approved story of China’s first contact with the West dates back to 200BC when China’s emperor Wu Di wanted to establish an alliance with the West against the marauding Huns, then based in Mongolia. However, the discovery of the mummies suggests that Caucasians were settled in a part of China thousands of years before Wu Di: the notion that they arrived in Xinjiang before the first East Asians is truly explosive.

    So the Beauty of Xiaohe has been taken into custody. Will she now become the mummy in the iron mask, a threat so great to the powers that be that her face must be hidden from the world?

    And it seems that an iron muzzle is in place, too. A commenter under the Independent piece who attended the exhibition when it showed at California’s Bowers Museum reports the following:

    A person asked the docent whether these people were Celtic, since everything looked it. The bright colours and plaids, blonde and red hair — everything shouted northern Europe. He stiffened a bit a [sic] recited the party line: All I can tell you is that genetically they are the same as the people on the far northwest coast of Europe, but I am not allowed to use any other designation for them.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual for history and science to be placed in the service of political agendas. The Japanese would at one time censor unflattering facts from their history textbooks. The Nazis did in fact, à la Raiders of the Lost Ark, launch expeditions to the Far East in an effort to prove that they were descended from a race of Aryan god-men. Then, of course, we have contemporary revisionist historians who would have us believe that the Founding Fathers were all ACLU-minded atheists and that, whatever their stripe, we’d be best off forgetting about them anyway because they’re nothing but dead Caucasian males.

    Hmm, come to think of it, the Chinese’s hang-up isn’t so unusual after all.


  17. Chinese crackdown displays anxiety about Middle Eastern protests

    21 February 2011

    Amnesty International today urged the Chinese authorities to stop detaining and harassing more than 100 activists targeted in an apparent attempt to block anti-government demonstrations inspired by protests across the Middle East.

    More than a dozen prominent human rights lawyers were among those detained or placed under various forms of house arrest or surveillance. The crackdown followed an anonymous call that spread via social media to mount a Chinese version of the “Jasmine revolution” in Tunisia.

    “This wave of detentions is deeply disturbing and appears to be a fearful, misguided reaction to events in North Africa and the Middle East,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director.

    “The Chinese government seems to think it can simply flout the law and lock up anyone who might even be thinking about criticizing its policies. This is an unsettling trend, and one that is only getting worse.”

    On 17 February, the US-based news site Boxun reported an anonymous appeal for Chinese to stage protests across the country on 20 February.

    News of the appeal spread quickly via Twitter and blogs, urging protesters to proclaim: “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness.”

    Families and friends of those targeted say they suspect the crackdown is a response to the call to protest, though police have offered no explanation.

    “Arresting people who have committed no crime will only undermine stability by sowing mistrust and spreading fear,” Sam Zarifi said.

    “We hope the Chinese leaders will end this crackdown and begin engaging their citizens in constructive and peaceful debate about how to improve the lives of all Chinese.”

    Some of the targeted lawyers had gathered in Beijing last week to discuss the case of Chen Guangcheng, a former prisoner of conscience who recently released a secretly filmed video describing his family’s ongoing illegal house arrest.

    The lawyers also discussed ways to address the government’s practice of placing released prisoners under illegal house arrest.

    One Beijing lawyer, Tang Jitian, was arrested shortly after the meeting on 16 February and has not yet been released.

    It appears the Boxun report caused authorities to further clamp down on anyone who may have been tempted to speak out.

    Police detained lawyer Jiang Tianyong on Saturday from his brother’s house and his family has had no direct contact with him since. Later that night, police returned to the house and confiscated a computer, as well as some personal belongings.

    Police told the family they were holding Jiang Tianyong in connection with a crime but did not elaborate on his whereabouts or provide any legal documents.

    Beijing legal scholar Teng Biao and activist Gu Chuan were also detained over the weekend, as were Sichuan-based internet activists Chen Wei and Ran Yunfei. None have been released.

    Other prominent human rights lawyers, including Li Fangping and Xu Zhiyong, are under police surveillance.


  18. Eastturkistan Info says:

    MEPs urge China to stop the destruction of cultural heritage

    By Gang Phan | March 11, 2011 7:09 PM HKT

    Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Thursday called on the Chinese government to stop the destruction of cultural heritage in the ancient city and to protect the cultural identity of the Uyghurs.

    View Full ImageREUTERS
    A policeman rides his motorbike as he passes by the spot where a bomb attack took place yesterday morning in downtown Kashgar, Xinjiang province August 5, 2008. China’s tense Xinjiang region announced sweeping security checks of transport on Tuesday after assailants used a truck to mount a deadly attack on police days before the Beijing Olympic Games open.

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    Kashgar is part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region.

    MEPs said Beijing has begun a destructive process of modernization of housing and has been destroying the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar.

    By the end of the urban reconstruction program, 85 percent of the Old City will have been demolished.

    The MEPs called on the Chinese authorities to stop all forced resettlement of Kashgar’s Uyghur population in the region.

    MEPs urged the Chinese government to ”assess the possibility of including the city of Kashgar in the joined application with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the Silk Road’s UNESCO Heritage designation” and to terminate all discriminatory policies towards the Uyghur and Hui population.

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    Furthermore, the murder of Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, the plight of political prisoners in Belarus including Ales Mikhalevich and Natalia Radina, the destruction of cultural heritage in the Silk Road city of Kashgar (China) and China’s policy towards the Uyghur minority were all the subject of urgent debates and resolutions at the European Parliament.


    (Photo: REUTERS / Nir Elias)
    A policeman rides his motorbike as he passes by the spot where a bomb attack took place yesterday morning in downtown Kashgar, Xinjiang province August 5, 2008. China’s tense Xinjiang region announced sweeping security checks of transport on Tuesday after assailants used a truck to mount a deadly attack on police days before the Beijing Olympic Games open.

    Read more: http://hken.ibtimes.com/articles/121423/20110310/meps-urge-china-to-stop-the-destruction-of-cultural-heritage-kashgar.htm#ixzz1GhXurGzj

  19. Germany charges alleged Chinese agent for spying on Uighur exiles

    BERLIN – Prosecutors have charged a Chinese national with spying on ethnic Uighur exiles in Germany on behalf of the government in Beijing.

    Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused the 45-year-old, himself a Uighur and identified only as R. in line with German privacy laws, of passing information to Chinese security services from mid-2005 to November 2009.

    Germany is a significant base for activists pushing for greater Uighur rights in China’s far-western Xinjiang region. Many Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), historically Xinjiang’s majority ethnic group, resent heavy-handed Chinese rule.

    Prosecutors say the charged man had been a member the Uighur community in Munich since 2002, and informed China about planned demonstrations and other activities.


  20. Development Could Widen Ethnic Divide


    Uyghurs protest in Urumqi, July 7, 2009

    Beijing plans to stabilize ethnic tensions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by developing the capital Urumqi into a regional financial hub, but experts and exile organizations say the move will further alienate Uyghurs and fuel unrest in the region.

    Nearly two years after bloody ethnic riots rocked the region, China will develop Urumqi into an “international trade center” for Central Asia by 2020 in an effort to win over the residents of the city, the official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday.

    Plans for the city include improved transportation links, two brand-new districts, and possibly a new airport.

    The city’s population is expected to double to nearly 5 million residents by 2020, while its economic output or GDP will rise to 420 billion yuan (U.S. $64 billion) from a predicted 131.1 billion yuan (U.S. $19.9 billion) this year, the report added.

    “Local authorities will build faster and more convenient transportation networks to strengthen links between Urumqi and inland Chinese regions as well as areas in central and west Asia,” Xinhua said.

    Xinhua provided no details on the costs associated with the investment or whether any of the projects would be specifically aimed at the Uyghur population.

    Zhang Chunxian, Communist Party chief of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said earlier this month that the party leadership needs to do more to win the trust and support of Xinjiang’s people.

    “The key is to win people’s hearts and to have people’s support,” he said. “If all the people in Xinjiang support this regime, and they are confident in themselves, then [the region] can become solid as rock.”

    Xinjiang’s eight million Uyghurs say they feel marginalized in their homeland as Chinese families relocate to the area to capitalize on resettlement incentives. They say unwanted Chinese immigrants are stealing their jobs and diluting their traditional culture.

    On July 5, 2009, deadly riots between Uyghurs and Han Chinese in Urumqi left 200 dead and 1,700 injured, according to state media, and two years later, race relations remain uneasy in the capital.

    A broken policy

    Kahriman Ghojanberdi, vice president of the World Uyghur Congress, said Uyghurs, who make up only 20 percent of Urumqi’s population, would feel even less empowered through the development plans.

    “The construction will bring more than 2 million Han Chinese to resettle in the city. Under these circumstances, the city’s traditional Uyghur architecture and culture will disappear. Urumqi will turn into a Chinese city, just like Beijing, Shanghai, or Tianjin,” he said.

    Ghojanberdi said the plans to develop the city and draw new Han migrants to the capital are directly linked to the 2009 violence, which he said had rattled Chinese authorities.

    showed the Chinese that their minority policy in Xinjiang isn’t working. The Chinese aim is to pacify the Uyghurs through social and economic means, but this hasn’t worked,” he said.

    “When the unrest occurred, it pushed the Chinese government to rethink their minority policy and settle more Chinese in Xinjiang to marginalize the Uyghur population even more.”

    He conceded that Uyghurs in the city would see “limited” benefits, but said that helping the minority was not Beijing’s main goal in developing the city.

    “In the last 30 years, China has built many industrial cities and towns in Xinjiang, but in these new towns, Uyghurs make up only three to four percent of the population, the rest are Han Chinese immigrants. That is why I believe the reconstruction and investment in Urumqi will only benefit the Chinese people,” he said.

    “If the Chinese government really wants to help the Uyghur people, they shouldn’t expand Urumqi. They should help Uyghur towns, develop the countryside, and Uyghur cities. They should help to modernize these areas where there are majority Uyghur populations.”

    Developing tensions

    Sean Roberts, director of the international development studies program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, said he sees the rapid development of Xinjiang as “more of an aggravator of the tension between Uyghurs and Chinese than a part of the solution.”

    “The Chinese state, probably for the last decade but increasingly after the Urumqi violence, has really focused on development as being the solution to the ethnic tension in the region,” he said.

    “What worries me is that a lot of the development that’s going into Xinjiang is increasing opportunities for Han Chinese and it is bringing in more Han Chinese which is leading to an aggravation of the relationship between Uyghurs and Han Chinese.”

    Roberts said China’s leadership sees ethnic differences in the region growing out of Uyghurs’ “traditional attachments” such as ethnic identity and nationalism.

    By modernizing Xinjiang, Beijing believes it can “alleviate” those attachments, he said.

    “That being said, I also really don’t think the Chinese government’s main purpose for development in Xinjiang is about alleviating ethnic tension. There are some real economic reasons for China to develop Xinjiang.”

    He noted that Xinjiang acts as a sort of “revolving door” for goods entering and leaving China from Central Asia.

    “Building up Urumqi as a financial center really sends a statement in that sense of the Chinese state as seeing Xinjiang as potentially a real place of engagement with places towards the West.”

    Xinjiang is strategically vital to China. The region contains vast deposits of oil and natural gas and borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Central Asia.

  21. China, Uighurs offer different account of deadly shooting

    By Chi-Chi Zhang, CNN

    December 29, 2011 — Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)

    Chinese Uighurs sell pomegranates in Pishan, Uyghuristan, in a file photo from 2006.

    NEW: The World Uighur Congress says police opened fire on protesters
    NEW: “This incident was not an accident,” says a Congress spokesman
    A Chinese official says the operation killed one police officer dead
    The official says the Uighurs took two local villagers hostage

    Beijing (CNN) — Chinese officials said they killed seven members of the Uighur ethnic group in the restive western region of Xinjiang in order to free two hostages — an account the Uighurs disputed.

    The hostages — local villagers looking for their lost sheep in the rural county of Pishan outside of Hotan city– were kidnapped by a group of Uighurs on Wednesday night, said Hou Hanmin, a spokeswoman for the chief of the regional information office in Xinjiang.

    The operation to rescue them left one police officer dead and wounded another, he said.

    However, Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Stockholm-based World Uighur Congress, said the shooting did not stem from a rescue operation.

    Police opened fire when locals clashed with officers during a demonstration outside the police bureau, he said. The Uighurs were protesting a recent security crackdown in Hotan city.

    “This is incident was not an accident,” he said. “It is a direct result from the Chinese crackdown on Uighurs. It has become unbearable for Uighurs there to accept the oppression and current rule from the Chinese government.”

    The Chinese authorities have often blamed militants of Uighur descent for outbreaks of violence in Xinjiang in recent years. Uighurs are ethnic Turks who are linguistically, culturally and religiously distinct from China’s majority Han population.

    Beijing has said Uighur militants are often based overseas and has linked some of them to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement that allegedly trains in Pakistan.

    The clash comes after a two-month security crackdown, which ended in October, against violence, terrorism and radical Islam across the resource-rich region, which borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and numerous unstable Central Asian states.

    The tightened security measures included 24-hour security patrols of troubled areas, identity checks and random street searches of people and vehicles.

    Uighur activists say the crackdowns have only heightened anger among Uighurs who already accuse the government of religious and political repression. Uighurs also say they feel economically disadvantaged as a thriving Han population continues to move into


  22. 100 Tibetan Protesters Held

    More than a week after the protests in a troubled Chinese province, news surfaces about the number detained.

    Photo courtesy of a RFA listener.

    Tibetan protester wounded by gunfire in Draggo, Jan. 23, 2012.
    More than 100 Tibetan protesters who fled the scene of a shooting last week by Chinese police have been taken into custody together with an unknown number of those wounded in the gunfire, according to Tibetan sources.

    The shooting, which took place on Jan. 23 in Draggo county in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) prefecture, set the stage for a series of protests in Sichuan province against Chinese rule and to press for Tibetan rights in which rights and exile groups believe at least six were killed and 60 injured, some critically.

    The other counties where the protests occurred were Serthar (in Chinese, Seda) and Dzamthang (in Chinese, Rangtang).

    Official Chinese media reported only two Tibetans were killed after “mobs” armed with knives and stones “opened fire” on local police.

    But witnesses described the Draggo protests, which called for freedom for Tibet and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, as peaceful.

    “More than 100 Tibetans have now been detained and taken from the Draggo area,” said India-based monk Kalsang, citing sources in the region.

    “They were taken to the Ra Nga Kha prison in Bamei, located between Dartsedo [in Chinese, Kangding] and the Tawu [in Chinese, Daofu] county center,” Kalsang said.

    Identified in photos

    Tibetans show the gunshot wound of a protest victim in Draggo, Jan. 23, 2012.

    “The injured Tibetans were taken ‘for medical treatment’ along with the others, but whether they will really be treated is unclear. Their names and other details about them are unknown,” he said.

    Kalsang said that although he was unable to speak to contacts in Draggo itself, he received word of the detentions from sources in areas nearby.

    “It is certain that 100 Tibetans have been taken to jail in Bamei,” Kalsang said.

    The protest in Draggo began when Chinese authorities insisted that local Tibetans celebrate the Lunar New Year against the wishes of residents saddened by earlier protest deaths.

    The Jan. 23 shooting sparked wider protests and has raised tensions in Tibetan-populated regions of China following a wave of self-immolation protests beginning in March 2011 against rule by Beijing.

    Following the shooting, Draggo town “filled with Chinese police and armed [security forces],” Kalsang said, adding that Chinese authorities had immediately begun to identify protesters with the help of photos and videos taken during the protest.

    “Even schoolchildren who were identified in the photos have been detained,” he said.

    Reported by Sonam Wangdu for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

    Copyright © 1998-2011 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved.


  23. Jailed for Helping Students

    Ten Uyghurs are serving prison sentences for allegedly working against the state through their charity foundation.


    Members of a Tewpiq Foundation soccer team, including Memetjan Abduqadir (left arrow) and Tursunjan Ablimit (right arrow), in an undated photo. Faces of the other players have been blurred to conceal their identity.

    An activist Uyghur doctor and nine fellow members of a foundation they set up to help poor Uyghur students in China’s remote Xinjiang region have been thrown in jail for allegedly working against the state, sources said.

    The jailings were a bid by the Chinese authorities to clamp down on popular social activities aimed at boosting self-reliance among Uyghurs, who say they face increasing persecution in Uyghuristan, a source said.

    Memetjan Abduqadir, a former doctor at an Urumqi medical school hospital, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for “subverting state power” while the other nine from his Tewpiq Foundation received seven to nine years on related charges, the sources told RFA’s Uyghur service.

    Memetjan Abduqadir was detained in October 2009, three months after the July 5, 2009 unrest between Uyghurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi that was China’s worst ethnic violence in decades and provoked a harsh government crackdown.

    He was never released, the sources said.

    The nine others were among 18 detained together with Memetjan Abduqadir but were released briefly and held again in early 2010.

    All of them were held without their families being informed.

    Foundation for students

    The foundation, which Memetjan Abduqadir set up with schoolmate Tursunjan Ablimit in 2002 after graduating from medical school, provided financial assistance for poor or outstanding Uyghur university students in Urumqi.

    It also ran free English classes and organized extracurricular activities such as soccer tournaments.

    The detentions in October 2009 came as a surprise to the community.

    “Memetjan was working at the hospital when this incident happened and Tursunjan was in Shenzhen to deal with a business matter for their computer company Merwayit,” said one source who used to teach English classes for the group.

    The 17 were detained again in early 2010 and held for over a year without their families being informed of their whereabouts until their trial in December 2011, the source said.

    Memetjan Abduqadir was given a 15-year sentence for “subverting state power,” according to the source.

    Nine of the 17 other members, including Tursunjan Ablimit who was given nine years, were sentenced on related charges to between seven and nine years in prison, according to the source.

    “Memetjan’s and Tursunjan’s parents learned the news about the trial date through some of their contacts and went to Urumchi, but were barred from the court. After arguing with the officials, some of their family members were allowed to attend the court session,” the source said.

    “The trial was so short and no verdicts were reached. Their verdicts were mailed to their parents. Later they learned that eight of the 18 were released and 10 of them were sentenced.”

    A former colleague of Memetjan Abduqadir’s at the Xinjiang Medical University No. 1 Hospital said he had not heard from him since he was detained.

    “Yes I did know him. I also heard that that happened to him. But now I do not know what is really going on and what happened was unclear,” he said, adding that he had also heard Memetjan Abduqadir, who was pursuing further study in hepatology at the university, had been jailed.

    Urumqi police contacted by RFA about the case refused to comment.

    ‘Apolitical’ work

    The foundation was legally registered with the regional charity association, the first source said, adding that the organization’s work was not politically oriented and was focused on helping poor students.

    “They did not commit any crimes and they did not do anything against the state—what they did had nothing to do with politics. They were merely helping the minority students to set up goal for their lives and a will to study. All in all it was an apolitical foundation.”

    “We do not know why government politicized their activity and jailed them. I think they were targeted because government felt threatened by their popularity and mission,” he said.

    When the organization was founded on the Xinjiang Medical University campus, the school initially supported them, encouraging students to participate in their activities.

    As their popularity increased, state broadcaster Xinjiang Television made a program about their work.

    But after 2005, authorities from the state security bureau began questioning the founding members of the group.

    Named after Memtili Tewpiq, a prominent educator who set up secular schools in Atush in the 1930s and died in jail after being rounded up along with other Uyghur intellectuals by Kuomintang police, the foundation’s motto was “Tewpiq: the Right Path.”

    Authorities questioned members about the motto, saying “If Tewpiq is the right path, then does that mean ours is the wrong path?” the source said.

    But the final crackdown on the group came after the July 2009 unrest, which authorities blamed on Uyghur separatists.

    “After the 2009 incident many intellectuals were targeted. I think they were part of this,” the source said.

    He added that neither Memetjan Abduqadir nor the other members had participated in the protests that rocked Urumqi.

    As many as ten thousand Uyghurs, according to exile rights groups, were rounded up and forcibly disappeared amid the crackdown, which also included a 10-month Xinjiang-wide internet blackout.

    Reported and translated by Mamatjan Juma for RFA’s Uyghur service. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

    Copyright © 1998-2011 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved.


  24. The Emerging ‘Eastphalian’ International System

    Stanley Weiss
    (Founding Chairman, Business Executives for National Security)

    LONDON — In global affairs, nothing can be so hard to see as the obvious, if it is big enough. Nowhere is this truer than in the transformation of the international diplomatic and security system now underway. Before our eyes — if not yet in strategic planning — the map of the world is rearranging itself.

    Some have said that we are in a period of strong, rising states, like China, determined to push their claims for territory and influence, challenging norms about honoring established borders and territorial sovereignty. Others insist that multi-state groupings like the European Union will determine the future, creating a new system of peaceful, pacifistic players. Still others point to non-state actors motivated by politico-religious ideology or narco-profits as pushing states aside.

    The truth is that one state after another is facing a crisis as provinces and populations seek greater autonomy or even try to break away. With that change, the three-and-a-half century old international system that emerged from 1648’s Peace of Westphalia is changing, too, and a new system — call it “Eastphalia” — is coming to life.

    Recent news out of a particularly weak nation — Pakistan — shows this alteration in operation. It concerned an American drone strike that killed a Taliban commander in South Waziristan. According to multiple press accounts, the Pakistani military classified the commander as a “good Taliban,” meaning he waged war against Americans in Afghanistan, not against Pakistan itself. Fighting at least five separatist movements in three of the country’s four provinces and two of its territories, including Waziristan, Pakistan considers anyone “good” who stays out of those battles.

    For decades, westerners saw Pakistan as having emerged spontaneously from India as three centuries of British rule ended. But recently Pakistan has come to be understood as the final creation of British imperial policy, a Cold War buffer between the Soviet Union and Soviet sympathizing India. As with most British colonial creations, incompatible tribal groups were stuffed into a single political entity. Over nearly half a century, Cold War imperatives held Pakistan together. Now, with those geopolitical pressures nearly two decades past, ancient forces are reemerging and nearly every section of the country except the core Punjab province has spawned rebellion.

    In its factiousness, Pakistan may be extreme, but it is not alone. Throughout Asia, as well as in the Middle East, Africa and even Europe, global forces that began emerging three centuries ago and climaxed with the Cold War and that produced most of today’s troubled states are now reversed. Many of those states are unraveling.

    From the Westphalian settlement through 1900, first Europe and then (through European colonialism) much of the world underwent political consolidations. States formed: the United Kingdom (with the 1707 union of England and Scotland), modern France, modern Spain, unified Germany and Italy, Russia, even the United States. Empires grew: British, French, German, Italian, Belgian, Austro-Hungarian, Russian.

    In the 20th century the imperial process slammed into reverse. First, the new empires, plus the old Ottoman one, broke up. After World War I, League of Nation mandates took over former German and Ottoman-controlled territories. In mid-century, the British and French divested their global holdings. And in the 1990s, the Soviet (formerly Russian) empire was thrown on the ash heap of history.

    The end of the Cold War inaugurated a new “country” stage of deconsolidation.

    It started in Europe, more than a decade ago, when Czechoslovakia broke in two — creating the Czech Republic and Slovakia — and Yugoslavia broke in four. Then Kosovo broke from one of the four, Serbia. Today Belgium grapples with secessionists in Flanders, Spain with the Basque County and Catalonia. Italy has confronted similar, though less extreme, discontent in Venice and Lombardy, Germany in Bavaria, Denmark in Greenland. In the United Kingdom just a few months ago, Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to an independence referendum for Scotland in 2014.

    But Europe is the least of the story.

    In the former Soviet Union, Russia has struggled with Chechnyan secession. Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have their own would-be breakaway provinces.

    In Africa, we read almost daily of deadly regional rebellions — including in the Congo, Somalia, Mali, Zambia and Nigeria. In the Middle East, post-Gaddafi Libya is grappling with the Toubous of the south. If successful, Syria’s current national uprising may produce, in a turnaround, an Alawite secession. Turkey, Iraq and Syria are all resisting Kurdish independence. Israel (perhaps the most humane country in countering violent separatists) struggles with the Palestinians. Sudan (among the least humane) fights to hold Darfur. Oman, Yemen and Morocco struggle with separatists, too.

    In Asia, in addition to Pakistan, India has at least seven secessionist movements, Bangladesh two, Sri Lanka one. The Philippines appears to have reached a peace agreement with the breakaway Moro Islamic Liberation Front, at least for the moment. But in China, from Tibet to Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia, many, perhaps all, western provinces would secede, given the chance. Meanwhile, Myanmar (also known as Burma) faces rebellions on a scale comparable to Pakistan’s, fighting five secessionist movements, one of which has been called the world’s longest running civil war (it started in 1948 at the country’s independence from the British Empire).

    Outside of Europe and the constitutional democracies of Israel and India, weakened states go hand in hand with the world’s worst human rights abuses and economic stagnation for both rebelling and non-rebelling populations. Some of these states — China, Russia, Pakistan, for example — are showing new belligerence in international affairs, perhaps in part to shore up domestic support. Others — among them Mali, Sudan and Yemen — are too weak to prevent global terrorist organizations from finding safe haven within their borders. Weakened countries are proving themselves potential threats to global security.

    For that reason, in at least one way the emerging “Eastphalian” system is destined to be very different from the old Westphalian one. The new system must take greater interest in the internal affairs of states. This shift has already begun.

    In the 1970s the democracies embraced the global human rights movement, not just for countering the Soviets but in relations with all nations. A decade ago, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, western forces entered Afghanistan to root out the non-state al Qaeda organization, and have since done the same in other nations, Somalia in particular.

    It is not hard to imagine that an Eastphalian system will also involve international intervention in the governance of struggling nations before a crisis of violence. For example, Canada may rank as the world’s most successful country at dealing with a secessionist crisis. French-speaking Canada’s grievances were largely resolved without violence. High levels of autonomy had already been given not just to Quebec but to all provinces. Canada also embraced bilingualism nationally. Similarly, at least for governance, Britain has moved toward greater autonomy within the union for Scotland and Wales, making them more like Canadian provinces. Russia, China and Myanmar, among many others, could benefit from Canadian diplomats explaining how their country devolved power and became stronger as a result.

    But the most critical challenge the transformation of the international system presents us is just to see and understand it. The changes are epochal and driven by epochal forces. We must grasp those forces and where they are leading not in terms of old facts and old standards, or of our current obsessions, but as they are and as they will be. Then we can deal with them.

    Stanley Weiss is founding chairman of Business Executives for National Security (a non-partisan organization of senior executives who contribute their expertise in the best practices of business to strengthening the nation’s security). This article is a personal comment.

    From:Huffington Post

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