Information from the government of the People's Republic of China has only recently used the term East Turkestan in external documents. This document provides a complete picture of the region and the Uyghur people, a valuable resource to help make sense of the barrage from Chinese Communist Party's propaganda machine.
The Uyghur people have a long and independent history. The 8th century Uighur Empire helped rescue the Chinese Tang Dynasty from a rebellion that that threatened to destroy it and demanded tribute thereafter. When the Great Khan conquered most of Asia, he and his descendants employed the Uyghur people as administrators and advisors, as well as adopting the use of Uyghur script. Contained herein is a short paper entitled, "A Brief Uighur History" for further concise information.
Turkestan represents a geographical region that translates as the 'Land of the Turks.' Uyghurs from East Turkestan are part of the Turkic people of Central Asia, as are the Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks. The region was renamed Xinjiang, or New Domination after the 19th century Manchu invasion. Further general information including the geographical definition is included herein as part of the Frequently Asked Questions List or FAQ.
The people of East Turkestan rose up to create an independent state they named 'Republic of Eastern Turkestan' that lasted from 1944-1949. After the Chinese Communists took power in 1949, they have attempted to portray that struggle as part of their 'Communist' achievement, glorifying the leaders as 'revolutionaries.' When the true nature of the Eastern Turkestan Republic movement could not be changed, Chinese Communist Party leaders decided on a different strategy. Obtained at great personal risk, a copy of Document #7, the Record of the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party concerning the maintenance of Stability in Xinjiang. Hosted by comrade Jiang Zemin on March 19, 1996, it has been translated and included as a glimpse of the evolution of the Chinese government policies. Also included is a translation of Party document on the nature of the 'Xinjiang' freedom struggle.
In the new War on Terrorism, the Chinese government abandoned the previous hidden campaign of quashing dissent and has openly declared war on the people of East Turkestan. The human rights abuses situation went from extremely poor to even worse. Previously, as noted by a thorough 92-page report issued by Amnesty International in April 1999, "These violations include arbitrary detention and imprisonment, unfair political trials, torture and arbitrary and summary executions. The main victims of these violations are the Uighurs, the majority ethnic group among the predominantly Muslim local population in the region." Contained herein is the seven-page Executive Summary of this important document entitled "Gross Violations of Human Rights in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region."
The Uyghur American Association, as the elected representatives of the Uyghur people in the United States, has released statements to the media and these are enclosed in this document as well. The Uyghur American Association has an Internet presence at http://www.uyghuramerican.org/ and is ready to supply speakers for gatherings in Washington DC or New York City.
We also are ready to provide onsite question and answer sessions with the editorial boards of any media outlet.