Reference Material on Eastern Turkestan
Eastern Turkestan (at present - Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of Peoples Republic of China) is located in the northwest of China. Its territory is more than 1,7 million sq. km. It borders on Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Tibet, Peoples Republic of China and Mongolia.
The relief of Eastern Turkstan is diverse. The region is surrounded by several mountain systems: in the north - Altai, in the south - Karakorum, Kunlun, Altyntahg. Tian-Shan (Tangritahg) divides Eastern Turkestan into two parts: the southern and the northern ones. There is desert Takla-Makan in the central part of the south of Eastern Turkestan. Its territory is about 320,000 sq. km. The Turpan hollow is 154 m below the sea level. The climate of Eastern Turkestan is continental; in arid zones the precipitations are less than 100 mm per year.
Eastern Turkestan has rich reserves of natural resources. The pastures account more than 50 million hectares, ploughed fields - more than 3.5 million hectares. There are more than 120 kinds of minerals deposited in ground of the territory. The explored reserves of coal account 1700 billiard ton. The fauna of the region encompasses more than 120 kinds. Different crops are grown there.
Despite of all these infinite natural resources, the native people, the Uighurs, live in poverty. China takes more than 80 % of oil, 70 % of coal into internal regions. Almost all executives, experts and workers are the newly arrived Hans and the Tha´s. The rapacious operation of natural resources of Eastern Turkestan allows receiving huge profits and using them for militarization but not for the boon of the native population.
The Uighurs have more than 3000-year history. Their ancestors have created: Great empire of the Hunnus (220 BC - 556 AD), Empire of the Blue Turks (551 - 754), the Orkhon-Yenisei kaganat (646-845), the Uighur Idiqut (850-1335), State of the Qarakhanids (850-1212), the Saidiya-Uighur kaganat (1504-1678). Later the Uighurs created State of Yettishar (1863-1876), the Ili sultanate (1864-1871), Eastern Turkestan Islam Republic (1933-1934) and Eastern Turkestan Republic (1944-1949). Eastern Turkestan within more than 100 years has been semi-colony of the Chinese Tsin Empire and became its colony in 1876.
According to the obviously underestimated official statistics 16-million people populate Eastern Turkestan. The Uighurs account 8,5 million. In 1949 the Uighurs constituted 96 % of the population, the Hans accounted less than 300 thousand people. Today virtually the Hans account more than 50 % of the population. Eastern Turkestan is populated by the represents of more than 40 ethnic groups: the Kazakhs (1,2 million), the Kirghizes (120 thousand), the Tajiks (29 thousand), the Uzbeks (14 thousand), the Mongolians (120 thousand), the Dungans, the Tartars, the Manjurs, etc.
The demographic policy of China in Eastern Turkestan is determined by a significant reduction of birth rate of the native population, mass resettlement of the Hans (70-100 millions by 2000). The purpose is a diminution of a share of the Uighurs and their full assimilation.
Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) is artificially divided into 5 autonomous districts, 6 autonomous micro districts, 38 national rural districts. The purpose of this is to oppose national minorities to each other and to accelerate their assimilation.
Beijing has placed a nuclear testing area in Eastern Turkestan. 41 nuclear tests have been made since 1964 in Lobnor. The consequences of explosions threaten not only of Eastern Turkestan lands and population but also of all Asia. Nowadays due to nuclear testing and rapacious exploitation of the region's natural resources, the ecological catastrophe is approaching. The genofund of the people of Eastern Turkestan is under threat.
The Uighurs of Eastern Turkestan have never been part of China, have not anything common with the Hans in the genetic, ethnic, religious and territorial aspects. The Uighur people have always been close to the peoples of Central Asia, first of all Turkic, who are genetically related, close to origin and have long and common with the Uighurs history. Their present national revival strengthens hopes of the Uighurs for self-determination, free and equal coexistence with all other nations.
The Uighurs want independence for their Motherland.