Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 2 No. 3

Published by Eastern Turkestan Union in Europe

Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 2 No. 3 (June 1992)

Eastern Turkestan is a rich country in uranium, platinum, gold, silver, iron, copper, sulphur, tin, mica, emeralds, coal and petroleum. Eastern Turkestan, which is rich in non-ferrous mineral resources, boasts about 600 confirmed mineral deposits. According to geologist's reports, Eastern Turkestan has coal deposits of 1,600 billion tons. Following some 20 billion tons of forecast oil deposit have been discovered in Junggar, Tarim and Turfan basins in Eastern Turkestan in recent years, the Chinese are transferring its oil development strategy from the eastern coastal areas to Eastern Turkestan. Eastern Turkestan has grasslands with a total of 760 million mu, which can feed 60 million head of livestock. The number of livestock in Eastern Turkestan is estimated about 37 million.
Despite Eastern Turkestan's natural wealth, the Turkic people live at a bare subsistance level. Almost 80 percent of the Turkic peoples in Eastern Turkestan live below the poverty line, 45-50 dollars per person per year.
The new economic reform which allows Turkic peoples to trade on free market, is a measure, not to provide jobs for them, but to eliminate them from the job market. The first private business were all contracted out to Chinese who quickly prospered.
The Chinese have monopolized not only official ranks of authority and influence, but positions in almost all walks of the life in Eastern Turkestan. Only 800 of the 12 thousand workers of a textile plant near Kashgar are Turkic. There are 2,100 workers in a tractor factory near Urumchi, but only 13 of them are Turkic. All of the 2,200 workers of a petro-chemical factory in the city of Poskam are all Chinese. Throughout Eastern Turkestan the same situation exists.
Another reason for the poverty in Eastern Turkestan is that the Chinese are transporting to mainland China all resources of this country, including uranium, petroleum, gold etc. The exploitation of the natural resources, are under the strict monopoly of the central government in Beijing. Besides, the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan have no access to the information about the amount of profit the central government is making from the natural wealth in their motherland. Thus, the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan have no chance to benefit from their own wealth.
Just to cite an example, in the first quarter of 1989, Eastern Turkestan sent 7.68 million bbl of crude oil, 906 thousand tons of coal and 444 thousand tons of raw salt to China.
Last year, 70 per cent of Eastern Turkestan's cotton was transported to Shanghai, Xian and Beijing.
Until 1949, Eastern Turkestan was famous for its carpets. The carpets woven on Hotien, Yarkand and Kashgar were exported throughout the world. After 1949 the quality of Eastern Turkestan's carpets gradually declined. The reason was that the high quality wool produced in Hotien was sent to China. The Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan did not have the means to import high quality wool.
Chinese Communist leaders claim that since the land leasing system was introduced the living standards of farmers in Eastern Turkestan has risen tremendously.
Almost 80 percent of Eastern Turkestans population consists of farmers. It is true that after the introduction of land leasing system the life standards of some of the farmers have risen, but the majority of farmers endure a miserable situation.
***For example, according to the new system one and ten mu of land have been leased to each person in a .family. In some places this figure goes up to 25 mu. One mu is equal to 667 sq. meters. Under normal conditions a farmer in Eastern Turkestan gets almost 250 kg. grain from 1 mu land. According to 1991 figures 100 kg. grain cost 40 yuan. Roughly, a farmer earns about 100 yuan gross from 250 kg. grain. His total cost for one mu land is about 65 yuan (leasing, water, tractor, seeds etc.) Thus a farmers net income from 1 mu land is about 35 yuan. If he has 10 mu land, his net income is about 350 yuan. With this income a farm family of 5 people consumes 750 kg grain every year. The price of 750 kg grain is about 300 yuan in the free market. If a farm family spends 300 yuan annually to buy grain from his 350 yuan net income it is impossible for this family to live on the 50 yuan in the rest of the year. One kg. cooking oil costs 5 yuan, and consumption of cooking oil of a family of 5 is 200 yuan annually. One kg. meat costs 15 yuan. The family also needs clothing, fruit, vegetables etc.
Thus, it has been reported by farmers in Eastern Turkestan, that the land leasing system has brought nothing but misery to hundreds of thousands of farmers in Eastern Turkestan. At present thousands of farmers have returned their land because they could not pay their leasing costs. According to a recent report to the Urumchi government by Eastern Turkestan Public Relations office only in the city of Hotien there are 1,700 farmers who do not even have a house to live in. Specially, in the southern part of Eastern Turkestan people are dying of starvation. Today 80 per cent of the Turkic children in Eastern Turkestan grow up poor.
Another major problem facing the farmers of Eastern Turkestan is rhasher or forced labor. Every year the Party Committee asks each citizen in Eastern Turkestan to work for 45 days without being paid. But the ethnlc-Chinese dominated Party Committee makes the Turkic people of East Turkestan work more than the period required by law. Sometimes they are forced to work for 6 months without pay. Thus, spending most of their time in the hasherr or forced labor, the Turkic farmers have no time to work in the fields leased to them.
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Witnesses who have fled across the border to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhistan since March 1992 report that pro-independence demonstrations have taken place in Kashgar, Yarkent and Hotien.
The largest incident is said to have taken place on March 8, 1992 in Kashgar, a major city in the west of Eastern Turkestan. Almost 10,000 people demanding democracy, respect for human rights and self-determination gathered in front of the Idgah Mosque in Kashgar. The city had been surrounded by troops of the People's Liberation Army who, witnesses said, opened fire. Witnesses reported nearly 100 people were killed and 400 arrested.
After the demonstration in Hotien, on April 7,1992, bodies of 4 slain Chinese have been found. In their search for murderers, Chinese Communist authorities declared a curfew in the city and staged a house-to-house search.
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It has been reported that Chinese Communist authorities continue to make arbitrary arrests in Eastern Turkestan. Since June 4, 1990, 6,400 Uygurs accused of being counter-revolutionary, splittist and conspirators have been arrested and convicted.
Xinjiang Daily, in its April 13, 1992 issue writes that three young Uygur boys named Name Abdumet, Ubul Emil and Alat Niyaz were sentenced to 3 to 15 years imprisonment after being found guilty of putting up counter-revolutionary posters on the streets of Hotian on April 4, 1992.
The Hoten ClJ court convicted them of being anti-communist, separatist and anti-China's family planing policy in Eastern Turkestan.
Abdul Malik, an Uygur, in his January 10, 1992 dated letter from the city prison of Keriya to his brother living abroad writes:
..On August 10, 1990, around 3 p.m., 10 policemen arrested me in the shop I was working in. On October 10 1990, the Hotien city court sentenced me to 5 years imprisonment. I was convicted of overthrowing the socialist regime and dividing the great motherland. I hope this one sentence will explain why I have been arrested.
In an article published in the May 30, 1992 issue of the Turkish newspaper ZAMAN, Mehmet Emin Hezret, an Uygur scholar who defected to Turkey recently, listed 15 Uygur scholars, religious personalities and intellectuals, well-known to the people of Eastern Turkestan, who have been arrested on "counter-revolutionary" charges. Their names are:
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Since 1980, about 3 million unemployed Chinese migrants have been pouring into Eastern Turkestan for hunting, gold mining and digging for medical herbs. This has been catastrophic for the country's environment. Ecological destruction has reached its highest levels since Chinese Communist occupation of Eastern Turkestan.
There are 15 preserved zones for wild animals in Eastern Turkestan, 12 species of Grade I protected animals and 77 species of Grade II protected animals. However, fully-armed Chinese poachers are killing all kinds of animals for food and hunting rare animals in Eastern Turkestan to earn money. The Chinese government has adopted a laissez-faire attitude towards this massacre and supports the underground market in illegal animal profits from hides, bones, kidneys, sexual organs, blood and antlers etc.
A report released recently by the Chinese forest administration said that in the early 1980s, there were more than 135,000 red deers living in Eastern Turkestan, but that the population dropped to less than 3,000 by the end of 1990. All the missing red deer were killed by illegal Chinese hunters.
In the Ili district, in the north-western part of Eastern Turkestan, a government-owned medical materials company collected more than 2,000 kilograms red deer's kidney in the first eight months of 1989. Experts say that to obtain one kilogram of kidneys, at least six or seven deer have to be killed. In the same district, the Import and Export Company collected 3,179 pieces of snow leopard's hides in 1979, one of the most protected animals in the world, but was approaching extinction by the end of 1980s. The report verified that there were more than 20,000 illegal Chinese hunters in only one mountain area to the north of Eastern Turkestan, this area used to be one of the richest flora and fauna zones in the world. There used to be more than 425 varieties of rich birds, but only 250 remain. The 12 species of Grade I and 68 species of Grade II protected birds have completely vanished.
The civilized world should not allow this massacre of animals in Eastern Turkestan to continue. If no action is taken immediately to stop the destruction, which is being carried out by the Chinese government, what is happening today in Eastern Turkestan will bring incurable calamity not only to the people in this country but to the people all over the world.
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A source from Eastern Turkestan, who did not want to identified has reported that the Chinese Communist authorities embarked on a harsh coercive birth control system in 1989 and continue to practice it, especially in southern parts of Eastern Turkestan, in an inhumane manner.
In one town of 200,000, there were 35,000 child-bearing women who were subject to government checks. Of that number, 686 women were forced to undergo a curettage; 953 women were forced to discontinue their pregnancies; 10,708 women were forced to undergo sterilization.
This birth control system has led to the deaths of many women and children according to the source.
In another town, which had a population of 180,000, only 1,000 women were allowed to give birth to their children. ln other words, only one out of 35 women in the city were allowed to deliver a child.
In the same town, 40 civil servants were fired from their jobs because their wives were illegally pregnant.
According to the source, the same situation exists throughout the country.
Previously, while the Chinese were restricted to one child per family, no birth control restrictions were enforced among the Turkic peoples. However, as of July 1 1988 the Chinese Communists embarked upon a policy of coercive birth control among the Turkic peoples, under the pretext of ensuring a steady growth in the minority population, or improving the quality of the population, and eliminating economic inequalities.
According to this birth control policy, the Turkic peoples living in cities are allowed two children and those in smaller towns and rural areas were allowed three children. Actually, this directly contradicts China's stated policy of implementing special, preferential population policies for nationalities.
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Eastern Turkestanis living in the CIS, Middle East and Europe commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Ili Massacre.
Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the leader of the Eastern Turkestanis, in a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 29th, 1992, said that, this massacre which was ordered by Deng Xiaoping will forever remain as a national mourning for the people of Eastern Turkestan. He said that those who persecute the legal rights of people will become a victim of their own terror.
In February 1962, tens of thousand of Eastern Turkestanis, asked permission to leave the country in order to flee persecution by Chinese Communists, but the authorities refused permission. To press for the permission, Eastern Turkestanis staged peaceful demonstrations throughout the country. Major demonstrations took place in the city of Ili. On May 29, 1962, in order to disperse the demonstrators in Ili and to set an example for demonstrators in other cities, units of the People's Liberation Army opened fire on peaceful demonstrators. Five hundred people were killed, thousands of others were wounded and tens of thousands were arrested and sentenced to 10-20 years imprisonment.
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Song Hanliang, Eastern Turkestan Party Committee Secretary, in a recent speech in Urumchi, admitted that separatists in the country bordering Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are still active and they were responsible for much violence. He also acknowledged that the countries stability has been upset by the independence of neighboring Turkic republics.
Meanwhile, the Xinjiang Daily, in its April 4 1992 issue, published an article urging a crackdown on separatists. "In recent years separatist activities have increased" the paper said. "Counter-revolutionaries have been provoking trouble and committing acts of sabotage" the paper said. "Only methods of dictatorship can preserve the socialist system. Profound lessons were learned during the June 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, which had been encouraged by the laxity in fight against criminals" the paper said.
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The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun quoted a diplomatic source in Beijing in reporting that Uygurs have been intensifying anti-Chinese propaganda movement since March 1992. Chinese authorities keep strict watch against the Uygur movements, reinforcing troops in major cities and border areas neighboring the independent Turkic republics. The Beijing government is very nervous about the growing nationalism among the 9 million Uygurs. The Chinese authorities have continued to blame Islamic countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey for supporting the separatists.
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At the invitation of General Gao Huanchang, commander of the Chinese Forces in Eastern Turkestan, General Netvelovsky, Commander of the CIS Eastern Border District recently led a delegation on a goodwill visit to Eastern Turkestan. During the visit, General Gao said: in The Uygur Autonomous Region and the CIS share a common border of 3,000 km. We are willing to develop good-neighborly and friendly relations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and we attach great importance to efforts in this.
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China and the republic of Kazakhstan have reached a preliminary agreement on reopening the Ili river to international navigation after a closure of more than 30 years. The river, linking Ili in Eastern Turkestan and Kapchagey, in Kazakhstan, will be re-opened soon to promote not only bilateral trade with Kazakhstan, but also with other Central Asian countries.
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Erkin Alptekin, the chairman of the Eastern Turkestan Cultural Center in Europe was invited by The Institute For Asian Democracy in Washington D.C. to brief both the members of Senate and the House of Representatives on the human rights situation in Eastern Turkestan.
Alptekin, who was in Washington D.C. between March 25-29 1992, met with the US Comgressional Human Rights Commission members, gave them extensive information on the human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan by the Chinese Communist regime.
Alptekin also raised the question of the importance of including the Uygur language broadcasts in the Radio Free Asia, which is hoped to be established soon.
Erkin Alptekin, who is also the vice-president of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) gave a speech at the Stanford University and the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California, organized by the UNPO coordination office in San Francisco.
During his stay in San Francisco, Erkin Alptekin also met with Orkesh Devlet (Wu Er Kaixi), an ethnic Uygur from Eastern Turkestan, and discussed common problems. Orkesh Devlet, who is the vice president of the Federation for Democracy in China, promised support for the Eastern Turkestani cause.
Jeff Greenwald, correspondent of the Los Angeles Times, interviewed Erkin Alptekin during his stay in San Francisco. The interview was published on April 23, 1992.
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Erkin Alptekin, as an observer for International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic Religious, Linguistic and other Minorities, gave a speech on the present situation in Eastern Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet. Muslims at the UN Commission on Human Rights 48th Session, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on March 3, 1992.
After giving extensive information on Chinese Communist human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet, Alptekin said: Millions of Chinese have been sent or encouraged to relocate to Eastern Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet in an effort to change the demographic composition of those countries and to assimilate their distinct populations, whose identity and very survival as a people is being threatened by China's population transfer policy. Thus the Commission should scutinize the Chinese Communist policy which is directed to assimilate the peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet.
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Uygurs living in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) gave a warm reception to Erkin Alptekin, who was on an official visit to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan between April 4-16, 1992. There are almost 300,000 Uygurs living in the CIS. More than 150,000 of them are in Kazakhstan. Erkin Alptekin, who was also received by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, thanked the Kazakh government for the kindness they are showing toward the Uygurs living in that country. Kazakh State Radio, TV and newspapers gave huge coverage to Erkin Alptekin's visit.
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The Western Press continues to focus on Eastern Turkestan, in the wake of the fall of the USSR and the reemergence of the five Central Asian Turkic republics of Western Turkestan gained their independence.
Asiaweek on April 10 1992 reported the following:
It's quickly apparent that in Xinjiang things are different. The tension between the Chinese and the Uygurs is palpable, even to the most casual visitors. The region has long been a headache for the central government. There can no longer be any doubt that the inhabitants of Xinjiang are gazing with certain longing at the new-found independence of their ethnic brothers and sisters across the border in the states that were once a part of the Soviet Union. Whatever the outcome of the region's quest for a self-definition, there are clearly dangerous new pieces on the ancient chessboard of Central Asia. For Beijing, it could turn out to be a no-win situation.

Andrew Higgins, who met the Uygurs in the CIS, wrote in the April 19, 1992 issue of The Independent: the Eastern Turkestan republic may be dead but its post-mortem has only just begun. The result promises far more than the answer to a historians riddle. It could help decide whether Beijing hangs on to what is rapidly becoming the most restive outpost of the world's last great empire.
The Financial Times in a June 2, 1992 article entitled China Returns To Great Game, reported:
The People's Republic of China is an empire, as any visitor to Xinjiang can steadily observe. Mongolia and three of the five new Central Asian republics, while Chinese citizens of the Uygur, Kazakh, Uzbek andTajik 'nationality' live uneasily under Chinese control. Most members of the 12 main ethnic groups living in Xinjiang are Muslims who look to Turkey and the Middle East as their spiritual home, not to China, ' to lose control over them has always been ruinous. But Xinjiang is enormously valuable to China as a buffer against what it fears is a rising tide of Middle Eastern and Central Asian turmoil. Moreover, the agricultural and mineral resources of the region.
China's economic development. Six million Chinese immigrants, most of them who arrived after 1949, and vast petroleum resources ensure that no Chinese government could consider relinquishing Xinjiang. Chinese officials, political analysts and religious authorities are reluctant to speak about ethnic unrest in Xinjiang or the influence of Central Asia on China's minorities. Pervasive security measures in Xinjiang and the frequent anti-Chinese 'incidents' provide a constant reminder that China faces a growing and long-range problem. Further anti-Chinese demonstrations were reported in several parts of Xinjiang recently.
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Eastern Turkestan Information is published by The Eastern Turkestan Cultural and Social Association (ETCSA), established January 11, 1991 in Munich, Germany. It is intended to offer information on the current situation in Eastern Turkestan, its people, culture and civilization, as well as provide an objective forum for discussion on a wide range of topics and complex issues.
We welcome contributions of news items, features, comments and letters to the editor. We cannot guarantee publication of all submissions; however, we will do our best to accommodate as many as possible. All submissions will be subject to editing for purposes of clarity and propriety. ETI does not accept responsibility for the views expressed in signed articles that appear in its pages. Full acknowledgment should be given to all material quoted from or based on this publication.
All inquiries and contributions should be addressed to Eastern Turkestan Information, Asgar Can, Editor, Nanga-Parbat Str. 17A, 8000 Munich, Germany.

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Last updated 06/29/99