Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 3 No. 3
Published by Eastern Turkestan Union in Europe
Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 3 No. 3 (June 1993)
NUCLEAR TEST SITE ATTACKED
in Lop Nor was severely damaged when it came under attack from almost one thousand Eastern Turkestanis. For almost four decades the site has produced an ecological disaster not only endangering human life but also polluting drinking water, food supplies and millions of animals throughout the country.
The reports say the heavily guarded Chinese nuclear testing site was attacked in mid-March 1993. Almost one thousand Eastern Turkestanis gathered in front of the test site demanding its closure. when units of the Peoples Liberation Army opened fire to disperse the demonstrators fighting broke out between the army units and the demonstrators. Demonstrators then broke into the complex damaging equipment and setting fire to military vehicles, tanks and airplanes. Three and a half kilometers of electrical wiring put up to protect the complex was totally torn down. Chinese authorities rushed reinforcements to the area to put down the clashes which resulted in several casualties1 including deaths, and the arrest of hundreds.
The Chinese language newspaper, Singtao, in its March edition, quoted a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman saying that hundreds of "barbarians' had attacked a Chinese nuclear testing site in Northwest China causing severe damage to the complex. The paper said the attackers had stolen radioactive material and three tons of gun powder.
China's top secret nuclear testing facility was set up in 1959 on the densely populated territory of Eastern Turkestan's ancient cultural center in the region of Lop Nor. Lop Nor is about 800 kilometres southeast of Urumchi, the capital of Eastern Turkestan.
Thirty-eight nuclear tests, 22 atmospheric and 16 underground, have been detected there since 16 October 1964. The most recent test was detected on 21 May 1992. The first Chinese test did not exceed 20 kilotons. That could be compared to the U.S. bomb dropped over Hiroshima. The last earth-shaking detonation had the power of 1,000 kilotons.
The first Chinese hydrogen bomb was tested on 17 June 1967. The strength of this explosion was close to three megatons Ca megaton is equal to 1,000 kilotons). Chinese thermo-nuclear explosions of 27 June 1973 and 17 June 1974 caused considerable radioactive pollution throughout the world during the years of 1974 and 1975. The strongest atmospheric hydrogen explosion. 17 November 1976, was 4 megatons. The last atmospheric test took place an 16 October 1980. Despite the 1963 nuclear test ban treaty China continued nuclear testing in Lop Nor for 16 years.
According to experts. nuclear tests, whether surface, low altitude or underground, heavily pollute areas around the testing site and high altitude tests spread radioactive material over wide areas. This radioactive material forms clouds and, according to the climatic conditions, can contaminate the world for years.
There are no official figures on the number of nuclear victims in Eastern Turkestan. But it has been reported by our countrymen living in various parts of the country that almost 210,0O0 people in Eastern Turkestan have died because of radio active fallouts. An official Chinese report released on 13 March 1990 claimed that a six year study in Eastern Turkestan had found no significant radiation harm to residents or the environment. However, Qien Xuesen, a consultant for the National Defense Committee for Scientific and Technological Industry, admitted that "some deaths' had occurred over the years in the build up of China's atomic weapons arsenal.
But the fact is that there is no healthy person in Eastern Turkestan today. The radioactive fallout from the Lop Nor site is causing an increase in human cancer. It is claimed that one in 10 are ill with cancer. Before the nuclear tests the rate of cancer deaths in Eastern Turkestan was rather low. Between 1975 and 1985 the rate of leukemia increased seven times in comparison with the previous ten years. The death rate from esophagus cancer is seven to ten times higher than in the rest of China Almost 40 percent of adults suffer from various nervous disorders while 70 percent of women suffer from complications during pregnancy and birth. Seventy percent of women suffer from vaginal cancer and 85 percent of the population suffer from leukopenia. Since 1970 life expectancy has decreased by two years.
Babies are born with horrible deformities, for example, two-headed, without kidneys. mentally retarded and even mutants who cannot be recognized as human beings.
It was reported that during February and March 1987 in the cities of Lop, Charkalik. Cherchen, Keriye, Chira and Hoten almost 800 Uighurs died of an unidentified disease. Similar deaths have been reported in other parts of Eastern Turkestan. The World Health Organization said, in a report released in 1988, that 3,961 people in the cities of Hoten, Yarkent and Kashgar had died of an unknown disease. In July and August 1990, the arms and feet of over 5,000 youths near Kashgar were reported paralyzed and their eye blinded. In the city of Chatan 160 children were born in August 1991 with cataracts on their eyes.
Most important, the polluted districts bordering the nuclear test site did not even receive elementary medical aid. Doctors visiting the areas to check the victims were forced to lie to the people about their deadly illnesses. During the almost 30 years of nuclear testing in Eastern Turkestan. no medical investigations were carried out. Moreover, at the beginning of the nuclear tests, the people living in the immediate areas of Lop Nor wore never evacuated. In later stages, people evacuated from the polluted areas were returned after only a few days. Animals were never evacuated and people who returned ate their meat and drank their milk.
It is difficult to confirm all the information reported by our countrymen and China has never released any objective information. Conducting private research in Eastern Turkestan is impossible. but independent scientists relying on the information reported by Eastern Turkestanis ought to be able to make an objective conclusion.
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CHINESE BRUTALITY IN TIBET DEPLORED
At a press conference in Istanbul on May 28 Isa Yusuf Alptekin, Chairman of the National Centre of Eastern Turkestan, deplored brutality used by Chinese authorities to crush a peaceful demonstration by Tibetans in Lhasa in May, 1993.
In a press release, Isa Yusuf Alptekin said that Eastern Turkestanis, Inner Mongols and the Tibetans have had a close relationship throughout history and share the same destiny today under the Chinese Communist yoke.
The press release said that Eastern Turkestanis accept the fact that any injustice to the people of Tibet and Inner Mongolia is felt by the Eastern Turkestani people as well.
In the press release Eastern Turkestanis called upon Chinese authorities to end their inhuman policies and arbitrary arrests, and release all political prisoners in Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan immediately.
It also called upon authorities immediately to stop transferring Chinese settlers to Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan, which is aimed at the sinocizing these countries and their peoples.
The press release also called upon the Free World to support the struggle of the Tibetan, Inner Mongol and Eastern Turkestani peoples in attaining their rights of self-determination.
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H.H. THE DALAI LAMA GIVEN WARM WELCOME
Eastern Turkestanis living in Munich gave a warm welcome to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, during his visit to that city on June 10. The Dalai Lama met with each of the Eastern Turkestanis gathered to welcome him with banners like "Eastern Turkestanis Welcome H.H. the Dalai Lama", "Free Tibet, Free Inner Mongolia and Free Eastern Turkestan" and national flags of Eastern Turkestan and Tibet.
Erkin Alptekin, Chairman of Eastern Turkestan Cultural Centre in Europe, during a private audience, briefed the Dalai Lama on recent developments in Eastern Turkestan and with this opportunity thanked H.H. the Dalai Lama for his staunch support for Eastern Turkestan and for not forgetting to mention the plight of Eastern Turkestanis during his meeting with President Clinton on April 28. AIptekin was also invited to a private lunch given in the honor of H.H. the Dalai Lama.
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DEMONSTRATION IN KAZAKHSTAN
Almost 5,000 Eastern Turkestanis staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy in Almaty. Kazakhstan on April 28 to protest the planned visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng. Li Peng's visit was later canceled for unknown reasons. Li Peng was supposed to visit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. The Eastern Turkestani demonstration was widely covered by the Kazakh press, and some foreign observers praised the Kazakh government of President Nursultan Nazarbayev for showing courage in allowing the Eastern Turkestanis to organize an anti-chinese demonstration in Kazakhstan, which borders Chinese Communist ruled Eastern Turkestan.
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TURKESTANI MARTYRS REMEMBERED
The Eastern Turkestan Refugee Committee organized a Martyrs' Day observation in Istanbul on May 15 to remember the Eastern Turkestanis who were killed by the Chinese during the struggle for the independence of their motherland. Eastern Turkestanis living in Turkey, Turkish politicians, scholars and journalists attended the meeting. Eastern Turkestani leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin noted in a speech that between 1950 and 1972 Chinese Communists executed some 360 thousand Eastern Turkestanis for trying to defend their dignity, uphold their culture and preserve their national identity. More than 200 thousand were forced to flee to neighboring countries, and more than 500 thousand were driven into 29 hard-labor camps in Eastern Turkestan. Alptekin said it was a moral duty for every Eastern Turkestani to remember his martyrs, because a nation which does not remember. respect and honor its martyrs, has no right to independence.
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BORDER TRADE THRIVES
The small town of Choechek in the northwest part of Eastern Turkestan is thriving on trade since the nearby border with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been open. Last year the city garnered 50 million US dollars worth of barter trade. It was also visited by a large number of tourists from the CIS. The city. 8 kilometres from the Kazakhstan border, has a population of 50 thousand. Since the Chinese approved it as one of Eastern Turkestan's open border cities last June the city has stepped up construction of public works to meet the demands of the new border trade. It has invested a total of five million US dollars to build an economic cooperation zone on 6.5 sq. km. of land. The city has also accelerated construction of an airport and a building to be equipped with five thousand computer-controlled telephone lines, which will link the area with other parts of the world. Since the independence of the central Asian Turkic republics, the Chinese have opened nine frontiers markets in Eastern Turkestan.
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KAZAKH-CHINESE RELATIONS SOURING
The Kazakh government has moved to stop the illegal influx of Chinese into Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has begun deporting Chinese who stay in the country even after their visas expire. Meanwhile the government has also closed the so-called Chinese Market in Almaty because of unhygienic conditions. Kazakh police are reportedly investigating 23 Chinese on criminal charges.
After the independence of the Central Asian republics China concluded bilateral agreements with the new republics for the exchange of delegations an the establishment of joint ventures, opening the way for flow of Chinese into Central Asia. In the beginning, the republics welcomed Chinese economic help, but the subsequent settling of Chinese in the republics has begun to cause concern. It has been reported that since 1991 almost 320,000 Chinese have settled in the republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The issue has become a major topic in the Central Asian press and the Kazakh government felt the need to halt the Chinese influx and deport Chinese who were illegally in the country.
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EASTERN TURKESTAN CAMPAIGN AT VIENNA CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
With the support of other Turkic organizations, the Eastern Turkestan Cultural Center in Europe started a major campaign at the UN Human Rights Conference in Vienna which opened on June 14. Erkin Alptekin, chairman of the center, met with foreign ministers of several Islamic countries, UN undersecretary Ibrahim Pal, Secretary General of Amnesty International Pierre Sane, several Nobel Peace Prize laureates and NGO representatives. He briefed them on the human rights situation in Eastern Turkestan and distributed materials concerning the plight of Eastern Turkestanis under Chinese Communist rule. The Eastern Turkestan Cultural Center in Europe will continue its campaign until the end of the conference on June 25.
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) set up a booth at the Vienna conference to provide services to its members and to serve as an information desk for UNPO members and observers. The stand was also intended to allow members to exhibit their own materials to the public and press.
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NEW NEWSPAPER IN UIGHUR LANGUAGE
A new newspaper in the Uighur language, called Eastern Turkestan Youth appeared in Istanbul in June of this year. The newspaper is published by Eastern Turkestani youth living in Turkey. Most of them are recent arrivals who were forced to leave their country after the Baren uprising on 5 April 1990.
The six-page newspaper is intended to inform and enhance the patriotic aspirations of Eastern Turkestani people who read only Uygur. The paper focuses on current developments at home and abroad.
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AIRSPACE VIOLATION ALLEGED
Reports appeared on June 12 saying that a Chinese aircraft had intruded into the airspace of Kazakhstan. The Chinese aircraft was then chased away by a warplane belonging to Kazakhstan. On June 17 the official Chinese news agency Xinhua denied the incident calling the earlier reports "totally groundless."
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The following article appeared in La Nouveau Quotidien, one of the largest French newspapers in Switzerland, on May 20. The English translation follows:
Turkestan, Another Victim of the Han
In the Middle Kingdom, Tibet is not the only one struggling against the Chinese presence. To its north frontier, Xinjiang, the largest province of China, has suffered under the domination of the Han Chinese since 1949. In this region, which spreads across the Gobi Desert, about 38% of the population are Han Chinese. The Turkic minorities, predominantly Muslims, share about 56% of the rest of the population. In this region revolts against the Chinese are also episodic. In the last year alone demonstrations took place in six cities in this province.
The Malan base, which extends more than 1,500 km2 and where the Chinese have been carrying out nuclear tests for 33 years, has become the target of more and more frequent attacks. According to the Minbao Daily of Hong Kong, thousands of people have penetrated into the testing tone early this year with tractors and camels to sabotage the installations.
"this was the first attack of such importance against the existence of this testing zone,' commented Anwar Rahman. The Turkestani diplomat, who escaped from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan after the Spring Massacre in Peking, has been settled in French Switzerland for three years. 'Having lived near this base I know that only an extremely well organized militia would be able to penetrate it, because it is very well guarded.'
According to the diplomat, a secret Chinese document published in 1988 indicates that nuclear tests in this region have already cost several thousand lives. More than 20,000 children have been born deformed and the rate of cancer is considerably higher than the rest of the country. 'At that time,' explained Anwar Rahman, " peasants received minimum compensation in exchange for the nearby nuclear experiments. Happy and unaware they accepted the risks."
If the situation of Turkestan is comparable to that of Tibet, the latter has the advantage, thanks to the Dalai Lama, of easier contact with the rest of the world. The Islamism of Turkestan adds even more to the tensions with the Chinese population. --Corinne Eloch
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The aim of the Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin is to disseminate objective current information on the people, culture and civilization of Eastern Turkestan and to provide a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics and complex issues. ETIB is published bi-monthly by the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe(ETUE), established January 11, 1991 in Munich, Germany. Neither ETIB nor ETUE claim or accept responsibility for views otherwise identified within our pages. We hope that those using information from our publication in published works will be courteous enough to cite its source. All inquiries and contributions should be addressed to Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin, Asgar Can, Editor, St. Blasien Str. 2, D-80809 Munich, Germany.
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Last updated 06/29/99