Invaded by Communist Chinese forces in 1949, the once sovereign and independent country of East Turkestan had its government overthrown, its people subjugated & scores of people killed. It is only since the onset of Chinese forces some seventy years ago that the people of East Turkestan especially the Uyghurs were unjustly labeled as enemies of the Chinese state and its Chinese people.
In recent times, the fate of East Turkestan’s unique national identity, ethno cultural features and religious beliefs has been seriously threatened by the Chinese government and the basis of its distinctiveness, the Uyghur language faces the scope of extinction. China’s policy of occupation and oppression, in clear violation of international laws has evidently destroyed East Turkestan’s independent identity in the global landscape.
Some interesting facts about East Turkistan:
- East Turkistan has a history spanning some 6,000 years which pre-date the advent of the Han Chinese civilization in the region.
- Chinese archival documents / dynastic histories never refer to East Turkestan as `an integral part’ of China.
- East Turkestan declared independence twice during 1933-34 and 1944-49 but was overthrown by China
- In 1952 China began its campaign of purging all intellectuals, scholars and leaders of East Turkestan.
- In 1954 China established Paramilitary Production and Construction Corps to colonize East Turkestan using forced labour.
- China cheated the East Turkestan negotiators with a false promise of developing the region and abandoning them subsequently.
- In 1955, China officially designated East Turkestan as `Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’.
- In 1959, US Congress declared that it opposed aggression and other illegal use of force against East Turkestan.
- Proof of China’s Genocide against Uyghurs is evident not only from researchers, journalists, scholars and witnesses records but from three sets of Chinese Government’s official documents that were leaked.
- The leaked documents serve as the strongest evidence till date outlining how the Chinese government is actively persecuting and punishing ethnic Uyghurs for practicing normal traditional religious beliefs, in direct violation of its own constitution.
- Chinese policies against Uyghurs constitute a Genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide to which ironically, China itself is a signatory.