Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 4

Published by Eastern Turkestan Union in Europe

Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 4 (November 1991)

In 1911 the feudal regime in China came to an end., and the National Chinese Republic was established.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of Nationalist China, in Article Four of the National Development Program which he presented to the first Congress of the Kuomintang Party in 1924, admitted that there were Turkic peoples living in China, and that these peoples were aboriginal inhabitants of Eastern Turkestan. He stated that these peoples had the right to self determination and that this right should be recognized.
After the death of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, however, power passed into the hands of Chiang Kai Shek and his clique. This group not only abrogated Article Four, but also pursued a policy actively dividing and assimilating the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan, in order to create a "Great Chinese Nation."
The theory of the Great Chinese Nation was created by Prof. Li Dung Fang. According to his theory, all nations living within the frontiers of China, originally descended from a single nation and should, therefore, be reunited within the framework of a Great Chinese Nation. Prof. Li Dung Fang argued that the Uygurs were descended from the Huns who in turn were descended from the ancient Chinese, thus sharing a common ancestry.
Chiang Kai Shek and his clique were enthusiastic supporters of the theories of Prof. Li Dung Fang. In his book, Chin's Destiny, Chiang Kai Shek explicitly stated that all nations in China were descended from a single Chinese nation (Zhunghua) and belonged to the same race, and that these nations, united in race, differed from each other only in minor ways such as habit, tradition, religious belief and geographical barriers. Basically, according to this theory, they are members of a single stock, race and nation.
When measures taken by the Chinese governors of Eastern Turkestan, such as Yang Tsen Hsin (1911-1928), Chin Shu Jen (1928-1933), Shen Shi Tsai (1934-1944) and Wu Chung Hsin (1944) are reviewed, it becomes apparent that the administrative policies they enforced were in total accord with the views of Chiang Kai Shek.
The Nationalist Chinese did not change these views in the slightest, even after being defeated on the mainland and being obliged to seek refuge in Taiwan.
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Soon after the recent Parliamentary elections in Turkey Isa Yusuf Alptekin, leader of the Eastern Turkestanis, met in Ankara with the country's political leaders including the leaders of Turkey's main political parties. Alptekin met newly elected Turkish Prime Minister Suleiman Demirel, Deputy Prime Minister Erdal Inonu, head of the Motherland Party Mesut Yilmaz, head of the Salvation Party Necmettin Erbakan, head of the Nationalist Working Party Alparslan Turkes and other parliamentarians, in an effort to inform them on the recent developments in Eastern Turkestan.
During the briefing, Isa Yusuf Alptekin said, "while many Turkic republics in the USSR have started to declare their independence, holding democratic elections, and moving toward market oriented economies, the people of Eastern Turkestan are faced with the danger of total assimilation. At present seven thousand Chinese settlers are moving into Eastern Turkestan." Alptekin explained that "in l953 Uygurs made up 75 percent of the total population of Eastern Turkestan. This percentage had dropped to 53 percent in 1982 and 40 percent in 1990. On the other hand, the Chinese population, which had been six percent in l953, had increased to 40 percent by 1982 and 53 percent by 1990. The sudden growth of Chinese population has brought unemployment, hunger and disaster to the Turkic peoples."
"The steady flow of Chinese settlers, mixed marriages and the coercive birth control among the Turkic peoples pose the biggest threats to the survival of the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan," Alptekin said.
"Unless Turkey takes immediate protective steps, the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan will disappear from the historical scene in the coming decades," the Eastern Turkestani leader warned.
Prime Minister Suleiman Dermirel, Deputy Prime Minister Inonu and other party leaders and parliamentarians pledged support and said that they would "not allow the Chinese to assimilate their ethnic brothers in Eastern Turkestan," and would "take the matter to the UN and other international institutions."
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Eastern Turkestanis living in the Middle East, Europe and the United States organized gatherings to celebrate the founding of their short-lived independent republics in 1933 and 1944.
After Dr. Sun Yat Sen replaced Manchu rule in China by a republic in 1911 the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan sought to free themselves from the foreign domination as well. They staged several uprisings against Chinese rule during this period. Twice, in November 12, 1933 and again on November 7, 1944, they were successful in setting up independent republics in Eastern Turkestan. Both these republics, however, were overthrown by the military intervention and political intrigue of the Soviet Union.
On November 12 the Eastern Turkestan Cultural Organization in Kayseri, Turkey held a conference at Erciyes University to commemorate the founding of the republics.
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Lord Avebury, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group, in a November 17 letter to the Chinese Government accused Chinese leaders of conducting ethnocide against the peoples of Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan.
"In Tibet, Inner Mongolia and East Turkestan, ethnocide is being attempted, by means of the immigration of large numbers of Han, plus attempts to encourage intermarriage between Han immigrants and local people" the letter said.
Lord Avebury's letter went on, "your Government should withdraw the large occupation forces which are maintained in these territories--itself a proof that no freedom exists there--and allow the peoples to govern themselves, in accordance with the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 of 1960)."
"In Eastern Turkestan, under Communism there has been a determined campaign against Islam, Vaqif land and property has been confiscated under the pretext of 'land reform'; schools operating under the auspices of the Mosques were closed; many thousands of Mosques were converted to other uses, and a large number of Imams were arrested, tortured and forced into degrading occupations," the letter said.
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The official Xinjiang Daily, in its November 18 issue, said that 25,000"professional religious personnel " were examined by officials to ensure their political allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.
Nearly one-tenth of them did not meet political and religious standards set by authorities, the newspaper said. It did not say what happened to them.
The paper said that private classes set up in recent years to teach the Koran, the Islamic holy book, trained religious personalities who "were influenced by illegal religious activities and became the hidden problem of the turmoil", in an apparent reference to anti- Chinese riots in April 1990.
The schools were "cleaned up" or disbanded in the past year while training "young patriotic religious personnel" was stressed, the paper said.
The rectifications were part of instructions handed down from the Central Government and Communist Party leadership in Beijing, the Xinjiang Daily said.
The instructions called for using "various ways to propagate the Party's line, policies, and principles and carry out... education on maintaining the unity of nationalities and the unity of our motherland."
The Daily said the aim of the religious policies was to "strengthen the administration of places of religious activity, put religious activities onto a normal track and promote social stability" and to raise the "ideological consciousness" of religious figures.
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In a meeting with a national delegation of minority nationalities from autonomous regions, Ismail Ahmet, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) vice chairman and minister of the State Nationality Affairs Commission, pointed out that changes in the international situation could have some effects on China but these effects would not be great. He said that in terms of work on ethnic affairs, the changes would not effect the nationality relations in China nor the stability of frontiers region.
Ismail Ahmet also stressed that it was necessary to be vigilant and deal severely with hostile forces attempting to split the motherland.
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Five organizers of a horn-blowing, traffic-snarling taxi drivers' protest in Urumchi, the capital of Eastern Turkestan, were sent to labor camps for one to three years.
Other participants in the protest were detained by police for up to 15 days.
The taxi drivers were protesting the high proportion of their fares taken by city authorities in Urumchi. The five taxi drivers were ordered to undergo so-called "Education Through Labor", a punishment given without a trial. The "Education Labor Camps" are the same as prisons except that they are run outside the judicial system.
The taxi drivers' protest occurred on October 1, China's National Day and a major holiday, when traffic would have been light.
The swift, severe punishment was clearly intended as a warning against any kind of public protest in Eastern Turkestan. The Chinese have been jittery about unrest in Eastern Turkestan since West Turkestan (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) in USSR began agitating for independence.
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Soviet Uygur Newspaper Yengi Hya t (New Life), in its November 5 issue, writes that the newly found Uygur Liberation Organization in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, has appealed to the UN to take immediate action on Chinese human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan.
The Uygur Liberation Organization in its appeal said "Fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Uygur people, including civil, political, economic and cultural rights, continue to be violated by the Chinese Communists. Uygurs seeking only to live with dignity continue to be killed, tortured and imprisoned on political grounds. Every nation has a right to self-determination. The UN has an important role to play in this matter of ultimately finding a just and lasting solution to the problem of Uygurs.
Besides the UN, the appeal has been sent to United Sates, European and Middle East Governments. According to the Soviet Uygur Newspaper President Gorbachov, President Karimov of Uzbekistan and President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan responded positively to an earlier appeal of the Uygur Liberation Organization.
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The International development Association (IDA) has approved a credit of 125 million dollars for China to finance the Tarim Basin Project.
The Tarim Basin Project is mainly designed to increase agricultural production and rural income in the area through increased productivity on existing low-yield farmland, efficient development of unused wastelands and increased livestock production.
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Britain will provide China with a loan of 170 million dollars with a 20 year re-payment term, to build an ethylene project in Eastern Turkestan.
The ethylene project, with a yearly capacity of 140,000 tons, is a joint venture between Eastern Turkestan and China Oil and Gas Corporation.
Total investment in the huge project will come to 2.5 billion Yuan. Foreign funds are expected to reach 390 million dollars for the import of equipment from Britain, Spain and Italy.
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The Karamay oil field, the first major oil filed explored and developed in Eastern Turkestan, is now being reinvigorated. Last year, its output of crude oil reached 6.8 million metric tons, leaping to fourth place in China. This year, the crude yield at Karamay is expected to exceed 7 million metric tons.
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Malaysian Supreme Head of State Sultan Azlan Shah and his wife ended their visit to Eastern Turkestan. During their stay in Urumchi, the visitors toured a folk customs exhibition and inspected a carpetmill. In Kashgar, they admired East Turkestan's biggest Idgah Mosque.
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According to statistics provided by the Public Security Department, a total of 5,421 criminal cases were solved were solved across Eastern Turkestan in the first half of 1991, including 1,496 major cases. It was also reported that 6,427 criminals of various types were arrested, 303 illicit gambling dens were destroyed and over 1,400 grams of narcotics were seized.
It may be noted that the Chinese authorities claim that there are no political prisoners in China.
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Well-known Soviet Uygur scholar, Prof. Gojahmet Sadvakkasov, died in Alma Ata, capital of Kazakhstan, on November 15, 1991. Uygurs living in the USSR, Eastern Turkestan and abroad are grieved by his unexpected death.
Prof. Sadvakkasov was born in Chong Aksu county, mostly populated by Uygurs, near Alma Ata, on November 15, 1929. After graduating from Abai Pedagogical Institute in 1950, Sadvakkasov joined the Academy of Science in Alma Ata. After completing his dissertation in 1972, Sadvakkasov began to concentrate his work on the Uygur language. Prof. Sadvakkov had published more than 200 works on the Uygur language, including six monographs. His works won several awards. One of them, entitled "The language of Ferghana Uygurs", was awarded the "Chokan Velihanov" prize. His name was inscribed in the "Golden Book" of Kazakhstan in 1976.
His devotion to the Uygur cause, made him one of the most prominent figures in the USSR. He became the head of the Uygur Institute in the Kazakhstan Academy of Sience, he was elected chairman of the Uygur Cultural Association in Kazakhstan, and to the membership of USSR Orientalists' Council.
Prof. Sadvakkos also organized several national and international conferences concerning Uygur matters. The last conference he organized was held in Alma Ata in June of this year. Many guests from the United States, Europe and the Middle East attended the conference.
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ETI is published by the East Turkestan Cultural and Social Association, Nanga-Parbat Str. 17A, 8000 Munich, Germany, Asgar Can, Editor. All inquiries and contributions should be addressed to the editor.

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Last updated 06/29/99