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Exiled Leader Says Beijing Assimilating Uyghurs

The exiled president of the World Uyghur Congress, Rebiya Kadeer, delivers the opening speech at the 4th World Uighur Congress in Tokyo on May 14.
The exiled president of the World Uyghur Congress, Rebiya Kadeer, delivers the opening speech at the 4th World Uighur Congress in Tokyo on May 14.
The exiled head of the World Uyghur Congress says Uyghurs face a continuing threat to their existence because of repression by Chinese authorities in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang.

Speaking at an annual conference in Tokyo, Rebiya Kadeer accused Beijing of "systematically" seeking to forcibly assimilate Uyghurs.

She called on the international community “to pay attention to the situation around human rights” rather than only pursue trade opportunities in China.

"The Chinese government systematically assimilates the Uyghur people while we're struggling for freedom and human rights and now we are facing existential threats," Kadeer said. "It's like a life-or-death struggle at a time when China is becoming a growing regional power; at a time when the international community is more interested in trade with China than human rights."

Uyghur activists and their supporters from some 20 countries have gathered in Tokyo for a five-day conference to press their case for independence.

READ: An RFE/RL interview with Uyghur leader Kadeer

Uyghurs say Chinese authorities are seeking to marginalize their existence by supporting the migration of millions of Han Chinese to their territory.

The resulting ethnic tensions have led to sporadic flashes of violence Xinjiang province in recent years.

Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking nation of some 8.7 million, are an indigenous population of Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia, India, Russia, and Afghanistan.

Beijing says it has poured money into Xinjiang in a bid to raise living standards and boost the local economy.

Xinjiang authorities have also announced measures to try to spur employment. Reports say one official clause stipulates that all businesses and projects hire more ethnic minority workers. But Uyghurs say such rules are not always respected.

Kadeer said the indigenous population of China’s two other regions -- Tibet and Inner Mongolia -- face problems similar to what is faced by Uyghurs.

"You're witnessing dozens of Tibetan people immolating themselves and you see the Mongolians suffering as well," Kadeer said. "You see the Uyghurs facing extrajudicial killings, oppression, forceful deportations, economic exploitation, and destruction of their own culture."

China considers the World Uyghur Congress a "splittist" organization and has condemned Japan's issuing of a visa for Kadeer, who last visited the country in 2009.

Xinjiang, which in Mandarin means New Frontier, enjoyed a short-term independence twice: in the 1930s and in 1944-1949, under the name of Eastern Turkestan Republic.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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Comments
     
by: Shintaoman from: China-Uber-Alles
May 14, 2012 10:13
She looks like a real Chinese. Turks' origin is half-Mongol, half-Chinese. What is the problem ? İf you dont like Chinese, you can migrate.
In Response

by: Phil from: UK
May 14, 2012 15:27
Shintaoman, what are you talking about?

1) She looks like a real Chinese - no she does not, but fair enough you are entitled to your view

2) Turks' origin is half-Mongol, half-Chinese - No, thats is nonsense, completely diffrent haplogroups

3) İf you dont like Chinese, you can migrate - Why would Uyghurs leave their indigenous lands? Its where they are from and have always been from. If anyone should leave its the Han Chinese who are invading the indigenous uyghur terotory.

Would you also sugest Tibetans leave Tibet and hand over their land to China?

Serioulsy, you need to explain the nonsense your spouting.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
May 15, 2012 04:44
Welcome online Phil, I look forward to more refreshingly clear thinking on this website.
In Response

by: Smasher from: Smash-planet
May 15, 2012 05:49

2500 years ago European Yu-Zhi people were living in that are of Xin-Jang. But great migrations they made to the west.

Turks are migrants, they are Chinese as Mongolian as Austronezian. Your "completely diffrent haplogroups" claim is comic :) Whats the Turks' original haplo-group ?

They are the most mixed people confederation in the world. So then science-men saying "There is no Turkic blood, only Turkic speaking people."

Uighur people, the Tiele confederation is not indegeneous of Xin-jang, as Chinese, as Mongols. They can migrate somewhere, Kazakistan or Uzbekistan...
In Response

by: Phil from: UK
May 15, 2012 14:33
Smasher,

Turkic haplogroups are: J2, R1b, G, E1b1b1, J1, R1a, I, K, L, N, T and Q. The majority ones are J2 and R1b making up about 50% of Turkic people sampled. Uyghur’s are primarily R1b.

Chinese (Han Chinese being the majority) are primarily haplogroups O and its subgroups, which is separated from the major ones noted above by around 10,000 years.

Uyghur presence has been widely documented in the Xinjiang region for over 900 years, as well as archeological evidence suggesting they have been in the region for far longer. Also, the clue to the regions inhabitants is in the name give to it by the Chinese government - Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Also, the Yu-Zhi people you mention, who I assume are those that are generally known as Khitan people (closely related to Mongols), actually invaded the Uyghur territory (Xinjiang) around the 10th century, a fact that is noted as history, upon the fall of their empire were absorbed in to local Turkic populations, one of the reasons historians believe there is not much trace of them left.

Looking forward to you (Smasher) proving your claims.

Good luck with that ;)
In Response

by: Headsup from: US
May 18, 2012 22:15
Good job Phil, I wish people like you spread truth and information like this to reject all those nonsense chinese propaganda.
In Response

by: Neil from: Canada
June 06, 2012 08:41
She does look like some Chinese grandma. There is a large variation of features in Han as it is a collection of multiple groups dialects/customs from vast regions. Anyways it's well documented that the original homeland (and capital) of Uyghurs was in northern Mongolia before they moved into Xinjiang enmasse due to losing to the Kirghiz in 800 AD long after the Great Wall had been built in the region by the then Chinese dynasties designed to keep out the Mongols but not the Uyghurs. Even then Uyghurs were fighting Islam before converting over centuries later. It's been said the Chinese of Gansu province were "more" Uyghur as they have not converted and preserved some of the traditions.

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