e o p o l i t i c s of E a s t e r n T u r k
e s t a n
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
Eastern Turkestan has diverse ground relief. The region is surrounded by several
mountain systems: in the north - Altai, in the south - Karakorum, Kunlun,
Altyntahg. Tian-Shan (Tangritahg) montain ridge 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 depression 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
includes more than 120 kinds. Different crops are grown there.
Despite 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 Thaïs. 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). More than 100 years Eastern Turkestan was a semi-colony
of the Chinese Qin Empire and became its colony in 1876.
According to the apparent underestimated official statistics 16-million people
live in 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 representatives 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 Manchus, etc.
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) into the region. 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 history with the Uighurs . Their present national revival
strengthens hopes of the Uighurs for self-determination, free and equal
coexistence with all other nations.
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