Uyghurs urge Committee to use the proper term East Turkistan and not “Xinjiang“
WASHINGTON – October 27, 2020 – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a bipartisan resolution on Monday to designate human rights abuses perpetrated by the People‘s Republic of China against the Uyghur people and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan as a genocide.
Menendez and Cornyn were joined by Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
The resolution would hold China accountable under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and begin the process to coordinate an international response to bring these abuses to a halt.
The East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM) has been actively engaged with Congressional members and urged them to recognize China’s atrocities against Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan since June 4, 2018.
“Working with the people of East Turkistan, ETNAM has been actively pushing for a genocide resolution for over two years,” said ETNAM’s Founder and President Salih Hudayar. “It is our hope that the U.S. Government and the international community take immediate and stronger action to bring an end China’s prolonged colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.”
The press statement made by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee incorrectly described the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan as “ethnic minorities.” ETNAM had made it very clear in its draft resolutions handed to over 100 Congressional Members that the Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples constitute the majority of East Turkistan’s population and that it is the Chinese colonists who are the “minorities.”
Furthermore, there seems to be a double-standard on the issue of East Turkistan when compared to the Occupation of Tibet, which China renamed Xizang Zizhiqu.
ETNAM urges the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to use the proper term East Turkistan when describing the homeland of the Uyghur and Turkic peoples. The name “Xinjiang” is a colonial terminology meaning “the New Territory,” which was imposed on East Turkistan. However, East Turkistan’s people intensely hate it. Furthermore, it wasn’t until 1955 that East Turkistan was designated as the so-called “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”
ETNAM has also been pushing a resolution since June 4, 2018, to formally recognize East Turkistan as a country occupied by China. To truly bring an end to the genocide and the decades of the endless suffering of the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan, the world must acknowledge the root of the problem. East Turkistan, like Tibet, was an independent country that was invaded and occupied by China in late 1949. The independent East Turkistan Republic was overthrown on December 22, 1949, making East Turkistan a country occupied by China.
The overwhelming majority of East Turkistan’s people believe that with our restoring East Turkistan’s independence, there is no way to truly ensure the freedoms, human rights, and the very existence of the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. Thus, we urge the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Government, and the international community to help the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan regain our independence.
About the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement
Formed in 2017, the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM) is an international movement striving for the restoration of East Turkistan’s independence as an open, pluralistic Republic guaranteeing Human Rights and Freedoms for all. The original East Turkistan National Awakening Movement was established in 1921.