East Turkistan

“It’s illegal to even have a knife.” Prime Minister Salih Hudayar explained this fact about his homeland during a interview. “Every family household has one knife, and that knife is chained to the wall of their kitchen and etched with a barcode that has their entire family’s information.”

The blade-banning region where Hudayar was born is known by most of the world as Xinjiang, China. But he refuses to use that name. He and millions of other Turkic-speaking Uyghur people yearn to “break free” from China. They long for “independence” from China. So they don’t call their homeland Xinjiang; they call it “East Turkistan.”

Salih Hudayar, founder of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, leads a rally outside the White House to urge the United States to end trade deals with China and take action to stop the oppression of the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples. The ETNAM and East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) groups submitted evidence to the international criminal court, calling for an investigation into senior Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping, for genocide and crimes against humanity. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Xinjiang is a Mandarin name given by the Chinese in the 1880s after their Qing Dynasty had “invaded and occupied” the region. It translates to “New Territory.” After the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, the region remained mainly under the control of former Qing officials. But the Uyghurs began pushing for independence, and in 1933, established their first republic.

Chinese forces invaded from the south and east. Soviets from the north and west helped them, fearing that an independent Uyghur nation would encourage Turkic-speaking Soviet states such as Kazakhstan to rebel against Moscow. The Uyghur republic was “destroyed” six months after its founding.

In 1944, the Uyghurs made a new “declaration of independence” and formed a second, much stronger “Republic of East Turkistan.” But the Chinese Communist Party won the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and then turned their attention to the region.

Hudayar said, “The Chinese Communists along with the Soviets assassinated the top 30 leaders of our republic, and they overthrew our independent state.”

Ever since, this region has officially been “controlled” by the Chinese Communist Party. But it has remained a “flash point” between the Uyghurs, who are mainly Muslims, and the Han Chinese people, who are mainly Mandarin-speaking atheists, and who comprise 90 percent of China’s total population.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Uyghurs watched other Turkic nations, such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, declare independence. But the Chinese regime cracked down hard on the Uyghurs, including Hudayar’s family.

Hudayar’s father managed to flee to the United States in late 1997. His family joined him two years later, part of a Diaspora of thousands of Uyghurs in America who in 2019 elected Salih Hudayar as prime minister of East Turkistan’s government-in-exile.

In their homeland, frictions between the Uyghurs and the Chinese continued to intensify. Beginning in 2008, Chinese authorities said that Uyghur terrorists committed a series of attacks, mainly using knives, that they said killed hundreds of mainly Han people.

But Hudayar said three facts make this allegation virtually impossible to be true:

the liberal form of Islam Uyghurs practice;
the Chinese government’s ban on knives;
the fact that authorities punish not only perpetrators but their entire families.

He believes these heinous attacks were actually committed by the Chinese government and made to appear as Uyghur extremism. “China needed to portray the Uyghurs as terrorists,” he said, “so they carried out these false flag operations.”

Regardless of who committed the atrocities, or whether they happened at all, China used them to justify “deploying” hundreds of thousands of troops and security agents to Xinjiang. They have turned this region into something utterly terrifying.

By 2016, the Chinese Communist Party had transformed Xinjiang into one of the most strictly controlled “surveillance states” in the world. Uyghurs are now surrounded by hundreds of thousands of security checkpoints. In many areas, Hudayar said, they are positioned “almost every 500 meters.”

“If you are a Uyghur, security agents with access to millions of surveillance cameras are monitoring you when you walk or drive to the mosque, school, office, restaurant, shopping center, train station or just down the street.”

The South China Morning Post reported in 2019 that in the city of Urumqi, there are 360,000 known cameras—12 per 1,000 people—and the plan was to increase that number to “one public camera for every two people.”

“If you are a Uyghur, the regime has also forced you to submit to fingerprinting, facial photography, voice recording, iris scans and even blood sampling. They want to know who is who, they want to watch you continuously, and they want you to know it.”

Even more terrifying than the totalitarian security apparatus are the hundreds of euphemistically named “vocational training facilities” and “reeducation centers,” at least one of which has been built in every district of Xinjiang. In reality, they are “concentration camps.”

Prime Minister Hudayar said the U.S. Department of Defense was correct in May 2019 when it made the decision to label these fortified compounds concentration camps, partly because “people are being sent without any charges.” Inside, Chinese agents use psychological and physical force to indoctrinate them “to denounce their ethnic and religious identity and to embrace the Chinese state.”

“There is no God in communism,” he points out. So Uyghur victims are “brainwashed to literally worship the Chinese state as the highest being.”

The Chinese Communist Party has placed more than 1 million of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs into the concentration camps. Hudayar said the true figure is closer to 3 million. And there are only some 10 million Uyghurs to begin with.

Detainees are “forcibly medicated” and “forcibly starved,” Hudayar said. “Women in these camps are raped by security forces whenever they feel like it.” If you resist the indoctrination or the abuse, a Chinese prison guard can label you incorrigible and kill you. Then they can sell your organs.

Most Uyghurs follow the Muslim practice of avoiding alcohol or eating pork and eating only those foods approved under Islamic law, called “halal.” This means that the Uyghurs’ own kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs that have grown inside them since they were in their mothers’ wombs are, in the eyes of Muslims, halal.

Rather than denouncing, opposing or perhaps even fighting the Chinese government for these atrocities, Muslim nations have made zero public statements against them. In fact, it is Muslims in these nations who are the purchasers of these organs for transplants.

“Their organs, shamelessly, are sold to wealthy Muslims across the world, mostly in the Middle East, as halal organs,” Hudayar said. He explained that both satellite imagery and Chinese government procurement data shows numerous crematorium facilities in or near the concentration camps. Near some of the camps “there are special lanes labeled ‘For Organs Only.’”

In 2018, the Chinese Communist Party sent 1.1 million government agents to live in the homes of Uyghurs. “The official narrative,” Hudayar said, “is to build bonds and promote ethnic unity” and to guide the Uyghurs toward “loyalty to the state.”

 But most of the Chinese officials sent to Uyghur homes are men, and the homes they are living in are the homes of men who were sent to concentration camps. Hudayar said there is video and photographic evidence that many of these male officials sleep in the same bed, under the same covers as the wives of the imprisoned Uyghur men. The agents state “that they are promoting ethnic unity between the Uyghurs and the Han Chinese population.”

Hudayar has collected numerous testimonies from Uyghur women who say that these government agents have raped them, repeatedly. In some cases, a government agent says he wants to marry a certain Uyghur woman. If the woman declines, Hudayar said the government tells them: “If you refuse, then we will send your other relatives into concentration camps.”

“Tens of thousands of Uyghur women have been forcibly married to the Chinese men,” he said. “And in numerous instances, young women have committed suicide because they don’t want to marry the Chinese men, while at the same time, they don’t want their parents to be locked up and sent to concentration camps because of them.”

Meanwhile the Chinese “are also sterilizing Uyghur women that were already married and that had a few kids, to prevent them from having any more kids in the future.” As he put it, the Chinese are “preventing the future” of Uyghur existence.

Prime Minister Hudayar said that the situation in Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, is just one part of the story. “It is a very common thread of China trying to dominate more and more of the world,” he said. “First they invaded southern Mongolia, or what China calls Inner Mongolia. Then they invaded East Turkistan. Then a couple of months later, they invaded Tibet. Essentially, they’ve been doing the same policies of colonization, genocide and occupation in all three of these countries.”

Chinese government troops and agents have ruthlessly “forced” Mongolians, Uyghurs and Tibetans to submit not only a large percentage of their incomes, but also themselves, their families, their bodies and their minds to the Communist Party.

And Hudayar says this is only the beginning. China’s behavior around the world shows that the Communist Party’s ambitions have no bounds.

“Look at institutions like the Confucius Institutes and Chinese soft power through the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said, and how China is “setting up many colonies in Central Asia, even parts of Africa, teaching the local population Chinese and buying off their political elites to make them more aligned with China.”

Controlling a huge and growing economy, Chinese leaders are also “using loans and entrapping nations through debt traps, and pretty much taking away those countries’ sovereignty piece by piece.” The perverse Chinese regime wants to dye the planet red.

“They want the world to bow down to China,” Prime Minister Hudayar said. “Their ultimate goal is essentially global domination.”

China wants power, wants control, wants no questions asked. Its East Turkistan concentration camps show what it will do once it gets control. Prime Minister Salih Hudayar is right that Xinjiang is just the beginning.

The horrors now happening under the Chinese Communist Party in East Turkistan are only the beginning. The tragic suffering of the Uyghurs is only a preview of how horrendous the times will be ahead. We are now seeing only the first gales of this “catastrophic storm.”

People around the world are about to be dominated by “genocidal tyrants.” 

One Solution For East Turkestan

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