East Turkistan Government in Exile

Restoring Freedom and Independence to East Turkistan and its People

White Paper: East Turkistan Was Never A Part of China

Press Release – For Immediate Release
9 January 2023
+1 202 599 2244, Ext: 1

Earlier today, the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) and the East Turkistan National Movement (ETNM) held a press conference at the National Press in Washington DC to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the U.S. Government’s official designation of China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan as well as to release the Executive Summary of a White Paper on East Turkistan.

The White Paper, East Turkistan Was Never a Part of China: Restoring its Independence is the Only Way Forward, concludes that restoring East Turkistan’s independence is required to end the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) ongoing genocide in East Turkistan and to ensure the fundamental freedoms, human rights, and survival of the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and other ethnically Turkic peoples of Occupied East Turkistan. According to the White Paper, the root cause of China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnically Turkic peoples in East Turkistan is Chinese colonization and occupation of the country.

The press conference began with a speech from East Turkistan Government in Exile President Ghulam Yaghma, who stated, “At the time of the publication of this report, East Turkistan has been occupied by the PRC for exactly seventy-three years. China’s obsessive efforts to whitewash historical facts and spread disinformation about East Turkistan have only intensified as it seeks to eradicate the country’s cultural, ethnic, historical, religious, and national identity through colonization and genocide.”

“This report aims to provide a tool to bolster the fight against disinformation on East Turkistan. The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), as the representatives of the East Turkistani people, must use every available platform to set the record straight whenever and wherever possible,” President Ghulam added.

Following President Yaghma’s remarks, ETGE Acting Foreign Minister Dr. Aziz Sulayman gave a brief overview of East Turkistan, its people, and the population.

“Despite the PRC’s illegal claims of “ownership” over East Turkistan “since ancient times,” actual Chinese control and integration of East Turkistan began after the PRC invaded and occupied East Turkistan in late 1949, according to Dr. Aziz Sulayman.

“Based on historical population figures and other data, East Turkistan’s overall Turkic population may have exceeded well over 40 million people prior to China’s formal start of genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in 2016,” he added, emphasizing the population section of the report.

According to Chinese state media Xinhua, the Chinese government collected DNA samples from 36 million people in East Turkistan between 2016 and 2017.

ETGE Strategic Advisor Dr. Mamtimin Ala stated on the ongoing Uyghur Genocide, “the international community is failing to take real meaningful action against China’s ongoing mass internment, genocide, and enslavement of millions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan.”

ETGE Prime Minister Salih Hudayar emphasized Chinese intelligence operations aimed at East Turkistanis. “The Chinese government has long pursued a co-optation and denial strategy to undermine the people of East Turkistan’s efforts to re-establish their independence,” he said. 

He also urged the international community to back East Turkistan’s independence, saying, “the ETGE calls on all governments worldwide to recognize East Turkistan’s status as an occupied country and to support the East Turkistani people’s right to exist as a free and independent nation.”

Mr. Ben Lowsen, a retired US Army officer who previously served as an Assistance Army Attache in Beijing, concluded the press conference by explaining why East Turkistan is important to the US and other democratic nations. He emphasized the importance of recognizing East Turkistan’s status, saying that “the United States Congress, as well as Parliaments and legislators throughout the democratic world, must recognize that East Turkistan is a captive nation.”

Mr. Lowsen went on to say, “Let us provide support to East Turkistan, similar to what we give Tibet, in the hope that one day they might recover their homeland.”


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