Modern history of East Turkistan

Modern history of East Turkistan

1705: The Turkic State of Yarkent (Yarkent Khanate) which governed over East Turkistan and large parts of Central Asia is abolished after Junggar (Mongol) invasion of East Turkistan (what is currently known as the Junggar Basin). [1]

1705-1759: southern East Turkistan (Tarim Basin) is governed by the Khojas and northern East Turkistan (Junggar Basin & Kengsu) is governed by the Junggars. [2]

In the Junggar Genocide of the 1750s, the Manchu Qing empire killed up to one million Buddhists in Jungharia, the north of East Turkistan, and repopulated it with Han Chinese and other migrants, including Chinese Muslims (Tungans). The Qing celebrated the victory over Junggars with a series of drawings and etchings, including this one of the Massacre of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, in which General Zhao Hui attacked at night in present-day Wusu. This is a Parisian etching commissioned by the Qing and executed by Jacques Philippe Le Bas in 1770 from an original less detailed drawing done between 1765 and 1769 in China. (Image from Metropolitan Museum of Art)

1759: The Manchu Qing Empire launches an invasion and conquers East Turkistan, turning it into a vassal state. [3]

1759-1862: The Turkic peoples of East Turkistan rebelled some 42 times against the Manchu Qing Empire. [4]

1863-1864: The Turkic peoples of East Turkistan rebel against the Manchu Qing Empire under the leadership of Yaqub Beg. Yaqub Beg expels the Manchus and declares total independence and reign over East Turkistan. [5]

1865-1877: East Turkistan’s independence as Kashgaria is recognized by the British Empire, Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. East Turkistan maintains its total independence under the leadership of Yaqub Beg until the Manchu Qing invasion in 1877. [6]

1884: The Manchu Qing Empire gains total control over East Turkistan and officially incorporates into the Manchu Qing Empire as “Xinjiang” which translates as ‘New Territory’ in the Chinese language. [7]

1884 – 1911: East Turkistan is governed by the Manchu Qing Empire. [8]

1911: The Chinese revolution overthrows the Manchu Qing Empire. [9]

1911-1931: Parts of East Turkistan is ruled by Uyghur & Turkic warlords and other parts are ruled by Chinese warlords under the influence of the Chinese Nationalists (Guomindang). [10]

1931: Uyghurs revolt against Chinese rule in Qumul and rebellion spreads all across East Turkistan. [11]

1931-1933: Uyghurs revolt in southern East Turkistan and declare an independent government in Khotan. [12]

1933: Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples join together in Kashgar to declare total independence of all of East Turkistan from Chinese rule and establish the First East Turkistan Republic on November 12, 1933. [13]

1934: East Turkistan loses its independence after the First East Turkistan  Republic is dissolved on April 16, 1934 following Soviet intervention and Chinese invasion led by Chinese Muslims (Huis) under the Chinese Nationalists (Guomindang). [14]

1934 – 1944: East Turkistan is ruled by the Chinese warlord Sheng Shicai, during his reign over 200,000 Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are brutally killed. [15]

1937: Military officers of the 6th Uyghur Division revolt against Chinese rule once again, only to be brutally massacred after Soviet intervention. [16]

1944: Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tatars, and Uzbeks join together and rebel against Chinese rule and re-establish an independent state of East Turkistan. Second East Turkistan Republic (ETR) is declared in Ghulja on November 12, 1944. [17]

1945: The ETR government announced a 9-point declaration on January 5, 1945 re-affirming the ETR as an independent secular republic which embraces democracy and rejects totalitarianism. [18]

1949: August 27 – The charismatic leaders of the ETR : President Exmetjan Qasimi, Interior Minister Abdulkerim Abbas, General of the Armed Forces Delilqan Sugarbay, Deputy Commander in Chief Ishaq Beg and 7 others are executed by Stalin for refusing to dissolve the East Turkistan Republic and end the independence of East Turkistan. [19]

October – Mao’s People’s Liberation Army begins its invasion East Turkistan with the support of the Soviet Union in October 12, 1949. [20]

December – The East Turkistan National Army was merged into the People’s Liberation Army as the Fifth Army. The East Turkistan Republic was officially abolished on December 22, 1949, ending East Turkistan’s independence and starting Chinese Communist occupation. [21]

1950: Stalin and Mao sign the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance on February 14, 1950 which promises the Soviet Union economic concessions in exchange for Soviet support of Chinese rule in East Turkistan. [22]

1951: The Kazakh leader Osman Batur who continued to lead the people of East Turkistan to struggle against Chinese Communist occupation is captured and executed on April 29, 1951. [23]

1951 -1959: During this period over 14 major armed rebellions calling for the restoration of an independent East Turkistan occurred against Chinese rule. The largest armed rebellion took place in Khotan from December 28th -31st, 1954. [24]

1954:  Mao transfer hundreds of thousands of demobilized Han Chinese soldiers and their families into Eastern Turkistan and creates the Bingtuan (Chinese Paramilitary) force to colonize and control East Turkistan. [25]

1955: On October 1, 1955 the People’s Republic of China designates East Turkistan as the so called “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region”. [26]

1962: Tens of thousands of people in Ghulja (Illi region) riot against Chinese rule in May 29th leading to the mass exodus of nearly 100,000 Uyghurs and Kazakhs into the Soviet Union (present day Kazakhstan). [27]

1964: On 16 October 1964, the People’s Republic of China conducted its first nuclear test in Lop Nur, East Turkistan, making it the fifth nuclear-armed state after the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France. [28] From 1964 – 1996 China has tested over 46 nuclear tests. The nuclear tests killed over 800,000 peoples in East Turkistan and left millions exposed to radiation which resulted in various cancerous diseases. [29]

1968: The East Turkistan People’s Revolutionary Party (ETPRP) was founded in February 1968 with the intent of restoring East Turkistan’s independence, it had central offices and branches offices in every city across Eastern Turkistan and issued over 50 publications before it was disbanded. [30]

1969: On August 20, 1969 several members of the ETPRP led by Ahunov set out near the Soviet border (present day Kyrgyzstan) to establish a base of operations to wage guerrilla warfare against Chinese forces, it was leaked and the ETPRP was forced to go underground. [31]

1981: On May 27th, 1981 an armed uprising against Chinese rule erupts in Kashgar’s Payzawat county. The armed uprising prompted Chinese General Wang Zhen to take hardline approaches to crush any signs of resistance. [32]

1985:  On December 12th dozens of peaceful demonstrations against nuclear testing, forced abortion, and  migration of Han Chinese settlers occurred across East Turkistan, with the largest being a student led protest in Urumchi in which over 20,000 people participated. The demonstrations were violently suppressed by Chinese occupation forces resulting in hundreds of dead and thousands arrested. [33]

1988: On June 15th, thousands of students in Urumchi stage a peaceful demonstration that was brutally massacred by Chinese occupation forces. [34]

1990: On April 5th a peaceful demonstration against Chinese government’s forced abortion and colonization policies was brutally suppressed leading to an armed uprising to restore East Turkistan’s independence in Baren township of Akto County in southern East Turkistan. Thousands of innocent people are killed as Chinese occupation forces brutally crush the uprising by April 11th. [35]

1995: On July 7th, 1995 hundreds of people in Khotan demonstrate against Chinese rule in East Turkistan and Chinese occupation forces opened fire which led to rioting and hundreds were killed. [36]

1997: Thousands of people demonstrate in Ghulja during February 3rd in response to Chinese authorities’ restrictions against Uyghur culture and the execution of over 30 East Turkistan independence activists. Chinese occupation forces brutally massacre the peaceful protestors and kill over 100 protesters and arrest over 1,600 by February 5th. [37]

2002: China begins to justify its repressive colonial policies of genocide in East Turkistan under the guise of “combating against terrorism”. [38]

2009: Thousands of people led by students in Urumchi stage a peaceful demonstration against the brutal massacre of Uyghur workers in a Chinese factory in Shaoguan, Guandong. The demonstration is brutally suppressed and tens thousands of Uyghurs are killed or forcibly disappeared across East Turkistan. [39]

2014: Some 3,000 to 5,000 people in Yarkent township in southern East Turkistan are brutally massacred by Chinese occupation forces. [40]

2015: China passes controversial counter-terrorism law to further legitimize its suppression of expressions of Turkic & Islamic identity in East Turkistan. [41]

2017: China uses its economic leverage to persuade numerous countries such as Egypt to detain and deport all East Turkistanis/ Uyghurs to China where they are subsequently imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. [42]

2018: On August 10th, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination determined that over 3 million people (mostly Uyghurs) are being detained in “political re-education” and “counter-extremism” concentration camps across East Turkistan. [43]

2019: On May 3, 2019, the United States Department of Defense officially used the term ‘Concentration Camps’ to refer to China’s mass internment camps in Occupied East Turkistan. DOD Assistant Secretary Randall Schriver also stated that the number of people in concentration camps might be closer to 3 million. [44]

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