the publication of
According to the latest Chinese census, the present population of non-Chinese people in the People's Republic of China is almost 70 million. The non-Chinese people consist of 55 ethnic groups, constituting 6.7 per cent of the total population of China. Although the total number of non-Chinese people is small, they occupy 60 per cent of China's land area. Most of the non-Chinese people inhabit the border areas gradually incorporated into the Chinese territory.
Because of their historical background, cultural and strategic position, the Turkic Muslims of Eastern Turkestan (Uighurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tatars and the Tajiks), the Manchus; the Mongols and the Tibetans are very important. These people were not only independent until recent decades, but they also ruled China for many centuries and contributed to the enrichment of the Central Asian civilisation.
The Turkic Muslims of Eastern Turkestan; the Manchurians, the Mongols and the Tibetans who played an important role in the history of Central Asia for many centuries, are today faced with the danger of total assimilation and annihilation.
Before 1940, there were only 200 thousand Chinese settlers in Eastern Turkestan. Today, there are more than six million. Since 1979, every year, almost 200 thousand Chinese settlers are pouring into this Turkic Muslim land. Prior to 1949 the Uighurs constituted 75 per cent of the total population of Eastern Turkestan. Now their number has dropped to 45 per cent.
The total population of Manchuria is around 35 million. Out only 5 million of this population is Manchu. The rest is Chinese. Only 100,000 of the five million Manchu can speak their mother tongue. Until a century ago, the Manchu rulers of China did not allow the Chinese to settle in Manchuria. Ironically, what was in fact incorporation of China into Manchuria in effect resulted in the incorporation of Manchuria into China because the military victory of the Manchus was not followed by an ethnical, linguistic or cultural victory. But this situation should not give the Chinese the right to deny the existence of a Manchu nation in China. The Chinese still do not accept the Manchus as a separate entity. They do not even have a so-called "Autonomous Region" on paper.
The total population of the so-called Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region is almost 20 million. But only 3.5 million of this population is Mongol. There are more than one million people living in Koke-Khota(Hue-hut), the capital of the so-called Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. But only 100,000 of this population is Mongol.
The situation in Tibet is another tragedy. The total population of Tibetans is six million, including the Tibetans living in the Tibetan territories incorporated into China. There are only 1.8 million Tibetans living in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region. At present, there are over 1.2 million Chinese settlers in this region. Besides this, there are also 500,000 PLA troops in Tibet. In the past two years 60,000 Chinese settlers have entered and many more are on the way. A good example of the proportion of the Chinese influx is to be found in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Until the coming of the Chinese settlers the population was almost entirely Tibetan but, today, the Chinese greatly outnumber the Tibetans. There are already 350,000 registered and 270,000 un-registered civilian Chinese in Lhasa-with more steadily pouring in--whereas the Tibetan population is less than 100,000.
Last year, Hu Yaobang, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, said that the "western frontier regions could easily absorb 200 million Chinese settlers." Most probably these Chinese settlers will be sent to thinly populated areas like Eastern Turkestan and Tibet. This is also the final aim of the Chinese. Now, Peking government is actively encouraging Chinese migration to non-Chinese (Eastern Turkestan) areas by offering them material benefits.
To speed up the sinicisation of non-Chinese people, the Chinese are sinicising the names of their country, language, and following a policy of forced marriage with the Chinese. For example:
Eastern Turkestan is "Xinjiang," Manchuria- became "Heilungjiang", Tibet became "Xizang". In Eastern Turkestan: the city of Urumchi became Tihua; Kashgar became Kashi, Yarkant became Soche, Aksu became Wensu etc.; In Manchuria: Mukden became Shen-yang, Kirin became Yungchi, Shulan became Chaoyangchen etc.; In Inner Mongolia Koke Khota became Hohot, Kalgan became Changchiakow, Jehol became Chengteh etc.; and in Tibet: Shigatse became Xigaze, Chushul became Qiuxu, Yamdrok Yamtso became Yamzho Yamco etc. Whether it is in Uighur, Manchurian, Mongolian or in Tibetan languages, all these cities have their meanings and legends behind them e.g. Tso in Tibetan means lake, whereas the Chinese mispronunciation, "co" has no meaning either in Tibetan or in Chinese. Whether it has a meaning or not the Chinese are only concerned about the sincisation of these people and their culture.
Although the Turkic Muslims of Eastern Turkestan, the Manchurians, the Mongols and the Tibetans have long established and perfectly satisfactory words and expression in their language for every concept, however, as it can be seen from the following examples, they were suppressed and replaced by Chinese words:
|Jun-Yang||Centre or Central Committee|
|Zhu chi||chairman or president|
|da sho||institution for higher education|
|Pin fen||to rehabilitate|
|Pi fang||to denounce a person|
In Eastern Turkestan, until 1979, there was a law in force which forbade the inter-marriages of non-Chinese people and Chinese. After l979 this law was abrogated and intermarriage between the groups was encouraged. To encourage intermarriage the Peking government is offering material bonuses to the non-Chinese people. If, for example, a non-Chinese marries a Chinese, they receive 800 yuan (4000 dollars) each. Chinese girls born in non-Chinese areas who speak the local languages fluently, are sent to remote villages and given a stipend of 300 yuan (1,500 dollars) to try attract a non-Chinese spouse. Young non-Chinese males, who work in remote regions where the majority of the settlers are Chinese, are promised better jobs in the cities if they marry Chinese girls. In addition they are promised 200 yuan (1OOO dollars) if such a marriage takes place. Some non-Chinese people who have married Chinese have tried to divorce their wives, but the Chinese have imposed heavy penalties for divorce. A non-Chinese, wanting to divorce his Chinese wife has to pay 4000 yuan (200 dollars) alimony, and as most come from poorer families, they are not able to meet such payments. Children born of these intermarriages are automatically registered as ethnic Chinese. They are normally educated by the mothers and are sent to Chinese schools.
At present, this policy is effectively practiced in Eastern Turkestan. The Chinese have also established an institute called Chung Tang for the purpose of propagating and encouraging intermarriages between the two groups in Eastern Turkestan.
As for Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Tibet, this practice of encouraging inter-marriages as a means to assimilate and effectively wipe out the national identity had been carried out ever since the Chinese gained control of these countries and has now been strengthened.
Eastern Turkestan is called "Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region", Tibet has been divided into six parts and when the Chinese talk of "Tibet' they only refer to the so-called "Tibet Autonomous Region" which consists of only about half the area of Tibet and has only about one third of the population. The major portion of north-western Tibet--traditionally known as Amdo-has been turned into a new Chinese province called Qinghai. The rest of eastern Tibet have been sub-divided and incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces.
Inner Mongolia is called "Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region" but in reality no right of self-government is granted to the local people of these regions. The reins of government are completely in the hands of the Chinese.
Putting self-rule aside, today, the long promised equality in true sense has not been established among the non-Chinese people of Eastern Turkestan Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Tibet and the Chinese.
Unfortunately the rest of the world knows very little about the real situation in the above mentioned countries. Thus, the representatives of Eastern Turkestan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Tibet who are living abroad, after lengthy discussion have solemnly resolved to unite in their struggle for Independence and the overthrow of the Chinese occupation forces, to establish an Allied Committee and to publish a periodical in order to make the plight of their people known to the world at large. We have also requested H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet to be our guiding spirit and our Spokesman.
This is our first issue. COMMON VOICE, will deal with the history, culture and the current problems of the peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Tibet.