The below statement is attributed to the Executive Council of the East Turkistan Government in Exile
Seventy-two years ago today, the People’s Republic of China violated international law, the norms by which modern countries engage one another, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its western neighbor East Turkistan when it invaded Qumul.
On 13 October 1949, the People’s Liberation Army’s Second and Sixth Corps, commanded by General Wang Zhen, under the instruction of PLA General Peng Dehuai, the commander of the PLA’s First Field Army, launched their invasion of East Turkistan from Gansu and entered into East Turkistan’s Qumul region.
Declassified communications show that on 12 October 1949, Mao Zedong had sent a telegram [ciphered telegram no. 58986] to the Soviet Union’s leader Joseph Stalin requesting fuel, aircraft, and personnel to assist the Chinese occupation of East Turkistan.
Stalin responded on 14 October 1949 with a telegram [no. 4159] agreeing to help airlift a PLA division into Urumchi, East Turkistan, while also providing fuel and supplies for other PLA troops to be airlifted from Lanzhou into Qumul.
On 22 December 1949, the People’s Republic of China, using the People’s Liberation Army, forcibly overthrew the independent East Turkistan Republic leading to the formal military occupation of East Turkistan by the PRC, which continues to this day.
The invasion of East Turkistan on 13 October 1949 by the People’s Republic of China, established twelve days prior, marked the beginning of prolonged colonization, occupation, and genocide, which continues today.
The People’s Republic of China shamelessly calls East Turkistan’s invasion and subsequent occupation a “peaceful liberation.” However, the historical record shows that China’s invasion and subsequent occupation of East Turkistan were not peaceful. The People’s Republic of China faced fierce resistance from the people of East Turkistan.
According to a broadcast by Urumchi Radio (present-day Xinjiang Radio and Television Station) on 1 January 1952, a total of 120,000 ‘enemies of China’ had been ‘eliminated’ in East Turkistan. Another report from Urumqi Radio in March 1954 stated that some 30,000 ‘local counter-revolutionary insurgents’ were eliminated in East Turkistan, making at a total of at least 150,000 East Turkistanis killed by Chinese invaders during the first few years of initial occupation.
Despite facing a brutal campaign of colonization and genocide, East Turkistan and its people relentlessly continue to resist the Chinese occupation of East Turkistan, as they have from the beginning of the Sino-East Turkistan conflict.
On this somber anniversary, we reaffirm a simple truth: East Turkistan is an independent country occupied by the People’s Republic of China; it is not “Xinjiang (New Territory).”
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, for the applicability of the international law of occupation, it makes no difference whether an occupation has received Security Council approval, what its aim is, or indeed whether it is called an “invasion,” “liberation,” “administration” or “occupation.”
We urge the international community, especially nations who themselves have been victims of colonization, occupation, genocide, and other violations of their national and territorial integrity, to stand in solidarity with East Turkistan and its people.
We urge states worldwide to formally recognize China’s illegal military occupation of East Turkistan and assist East Turkistan through diplomatic, legal, political, and all other means available to restore its national sovereignty and preserve its territorial integrity.
East Turkistan and its people do not and will never recognize China’s occupation of East Turkistan as “liberation,” nor will East Turkistan ever submit to Chinese rule. We will continue to resist China’s prolonged campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan and actively fight to restore our independence.
We firmly believe that the Chinese Empire’s end is near. Like the Soviet Empire, the evil Chinese Empire too will fall, and East Turkistan will regain its rightful independence as a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Republic that contributes to the greater good of humanity.