WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden addressed the U.N. General Assembly highlighting a multitude of critical issues across the globe. On the subject of human rights, President Biden stated, “today, in 2022, fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world, from the violations in Xinjiang [East Turkistan] detailed in recent reports by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner,” referencing the recent U.N. Report.
“President Biden’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly was weak; he failed to effectively highlight and condemn China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We plead with the U.S. Government to take stronger actions to end China’s ongoing genocide by bringing East Turkistan to the agenda of the U.N. Security Council and tabling a resolution at the U.N. General Assembly,” he added.
Although “violations” in “Xinjiang” was mentioned, President Biden failed to call out China’s genocide in East Turkistan explicitly. Furthermore, President Biden did not clarify the specific ethnic groups facing genocide and other crimes against humanity, particularly the Uyghurs.
In January 2021, the U.S. State Department under the Trump Administration officially designated China’s atrocities against Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples as genocide. The designation was continued under the Biden Administration, with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirming the U.S. stance on China’s actions in East Turkistan.
“The global East Turkistani diaspora is greatly disheartened by President Biden’s failure to adequately address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in East Turkistan at the U.N. General Assembly,” said President Ghulam Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We call on ALL nations to cease downplaying China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan as mere “human rights violations,” he added.
Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made brief comments on the issue of Uyghurs during his speech addressing the U.N. General Assembly. He stated, “we are sensitive to the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Muslim Uyghur Turks, without harming China’s territorial integrity, understanding of one China and sovereignty rights.”
President Erdogan’s speech supporting the so-called One China policy and so-called “territorial integrity” was perceived as damaging East Turkistan’s struggle to regain independence and was subsequently condemned by the global East Turkistani diaspora. On October 13, 1949, the Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army invaded East Turkistan and overthrew the independent East Turkistan Republic on December 22, 1949.
“We strongly condemn Turkish President Erdogan’s damaging statement at the U.N. General Assembly,” said Vice President Abdulahat Nur of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “East Turkistan is an Occupied Country; restoring East Turkistan’s rightful independence is the only way to ensure the existence, fundamental rights, and freedoms of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples,” he added.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile has long been calling on the Member States of the United Nations, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the U.N. Security Council to intervene and end China’s ongoing campaign of genocide in East Turkistan, which started in May 2014.