Terrorism is a big public hazard in the world today, posing an enormous threat to the peace, security and order of the international society.
Over a long period of time—especially since the 1990s—the "East Turkistan" forces inside and outside Chinese territory have planned and organized a series of violent incidents in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China and some other countries, including explosions, assassinations, arsons, poisonings, and assaults, with the objective of founding a so-called state of "East Turkistan." These terrorist incidents have seriously jeopardized the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups as well as social stability in China, and even threatened the security and stability of related countries and regions.
Then how did the "East Turkistan" issue come about? What terrorist activities have the "East Turkistan" forces engaged in?
The term "East Turkistan" first appeared at the end of the 19th century. Here, "stan" means "place" or "region." However, "East Turkistan" is not merely a geographical concept, but a political concept first put forward by old colonialists with the aim of dismembering China.
Originally, the term "Turks" referred to people of an ancient nomadic tribe. In the fifth century, the Turks wandered about the region of the Altay Mountains. From the mid-sixth century to the mid-eighth century, they appeared frequently on the grasslands of north China, and conducted exchanges with people in China’s Central Plains during the Western Wei (535-557), Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, through various channels and at many levels. In 552, the Turks founded a khanate, which, at the height of its prosperity, ruled quite a vast area. In the Sui and early Tang dynasties, the Turks became a major force in north China. Later, they split into eastern and western branches, which engaged in constant struggles for dominance of the khanate. In the mid-eighth century, the eastern and western khanates of the Turks declined and went out of existence one after the other, and their descendants gradually merged with other ethnic groups. After the 11th century, the "Turks" mentioned in foreign history books embraced all the ethnic groups who spoke the Turkic language, which is a branch of the Altay language family. At the end of the 19th century, some people proposed to unite all the ethnic groups speaking the Turkic language from the Strait of Bosporus to the Altay Mountains to form a political state. In fact, throughout history there has never been a unified country consisting of all the Turkic-speaking peoples, despite claims to the contrary.
To split Xinjiang from China and bring it under their domination, some of the old colonialists gave Xinjiang the name "East Turkistan" (correspondingly, they called the countries in Central Asia "West Turkistan"), fabricating the fallacy that Xinjiang was the home of "Eastern Turks."
After the establishment of a frontier command headquarters (duhufu) in the Western Region by the Han Dynasty in 60 B.C., Xinjiang became a part of Chinese territory. From that time on, the central government has never ceased jurisdiction over Xinjiang. But in the beginning of the 20th century, a handful of fanatical Xinjiang separatists and extremist religious elements fabricated the myth of "East Turkistan" in light of the sophistries and fallacies created by the old colonialists. They claimed that "‘East Turkistan’ had been an independent state since ancient times," and that the ethnic group in that state had a history of nearly 10,000 years. They incited all ethnic groups speaking the Turkic language and believing in Islam to unite to form a state featuring the "integration of religion and politics." They denied the historical fact that all China’s ethnic groups have joined their efforts to create the great motherland, and called for "opposition to all ethnic groups other than the Turks," and for the elimination of "pagans."
Since the formation of the "East Turkistan" theory, separatists of every description have conducted activities in the name of "East Turkistan," in an attempt to set up a political state called "East Turkistan."
From the early 20th century to the late 1940s, the "East Turkistan" forces instigated riots on many occasions with the connivance and support of foreign forces. In November 1933, Sabit Damolla and others founded the so-called "East Turkistan Islamic State" in Kashi—an attempt of the separatists at putting their separatist theory into practice. But, thanks to the opposition of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, it collapsed within three months.
Since the peaceful liberation of Xinjiang, the people of all ethnic groups have united as one, worked hard and built their fine homeland with joint efforts. Xinjiang’s society is stable, its economy has kept developing, the local people’s living standard has rapidly improved, and the situation as a whole is good. But the "East Turkistan" forces, not to be reconciled to their failure and in defiance of the will of the people of all ethnic groups, have been on the lookout for every opportunity to conduct splittist and sabotage activities with the backing of international anti-China forces.
In the 1990s, under the influence of extremism, separatism and international terrorism, part of the "East Turkistan" forces inside and outside Chinese territory turned to splittist and sabotage activities with terrorist violence as the main means, even brazenly declaring that terrorist violence is the only way to achieve their aims. The programs of the "East Turkistan Islamic Party" and of the "East Turkistan Opposition Party" seized by the police clearly point out that they will "take the road of armed struggle," and "conduct various terrorist activities in densely populated regions." In the booklet What Is the Hope for Our Independence compiled by them, they openly declare that they will create a terrorist atmosphere at kindergartens, hospitals and schools at any cost. The "East Turkistan" terrorists have engineered a series of bloody terrorist incidents, leaving many blood-soaked chapters in the historical annals.
Incomplete statistics show that from 1990 to 2001, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces inside and outside Chinese territory were responsible for over 200 terrorist incidents in Xinjiang, resulting in the deaths of 162 people of all ethnic groups, including grass-roots officials and religious personnel, and injuries to more than 440 people. The main terrorist incidents include:
Like most terrorist groups in the world, the "East Turkistan" terrorists are keen on directing explosions at innocent people, in order to create an atmosphere of terror and to extend their influence.
On February 28, 1991, an explosion engineered by the "East Turkistan" terrorist organization at a video theater of a bus terminal in Kuqa County, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang, caused the death of one person and injuries to 13 others. On the same day, the terrorists also planted a bomb at a private store in the county seat, which, fortunately, did not explode.
On February 5, 1992, while the Chinese people were celebrating the Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival, the terrorists blew up two buses (Buses No. 52 and No. 30) in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, killing three people and injuring 23 others. Two other bombs they planted—one at a cinema and the other in a residential building—were discovered before they could explode, and defused.
From June 17 to September 5, 1993, the "East Turkistan" terrorist organization was responsible for ten explosions at department stores, markets, hotels and places for cultural activities in the southern part of Xinjiang, causing two deaths and 36 injuries. Among them, the June 17 explosion at the office building of an agricultural machinery company in Kashi demolished the building, killed two people and injured seven others. The August 1 explosion at the video theater of the Foreign Trade Company in Shache County, Kashi Prefecture, injured 15 people, and the August 19 explosion in front of the Cultural Palace in the city of Hotan injured six people.
On February 25, 1997, directing its terrorist activities to the capital of Xinjiang again, the "East Turkistan" terrorist organization blew up three buses (Buses No. 2, No. 10 and No. 44) in Urumqi. Nine people died and 68 others were seriously injured in the incidents, among whom were people of the ethnic Uygur, Hui, Kirgiz and Han origins.
Between February 22 and March 30, 1998, the "East Turkistan" terrorist organization set off a succession of six explosions in Yecheng County, Kashi Prefecture, injuring three people and causing a natural gas pipeline to explode and start a big fire. The direct economic losses came to over one million yuan.
Early in the morning of April 7, 1998, the same terrorist organization engineered eight explosions one after another at places such as the homes of a director of the Public Security Bureau of Yecheng County, a vice-chairman of the Yecheng County Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and a deputy commissioner of Kashi Prefecture. The explosions injured eight people.
To sabotage national unity and create an atmosphere of terror, the terrorists have targeted their attacks at officials, ordinary people and patriotic religious personages of the Uygur ethnic group, as well as the ethnic Han people, killing them as "pagans."
On August 24, 1993, two "East Turkistan" terrorists stabbed and seriously injured Abliz Damolla, an executive committee member of the CPPCC Yecheng County Committee in Kashi Prefecture and imam of the Great Mosque there.
On March 22, 1996, two armed and masked terrorists broke into the home of Hakimsidiq Haji, vice-chairman of the Islamic Association of Xinhe County, Aksu Prefecture, and assistant imam of a mosque, and shot him dead.
Early in the morning of April 29, 1996, a dozen armed-to-the-teeth terrorists broke into the homes of Qavul Toqa, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and deputy to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region People’s Congress at Qunas Village of Alaqagha Township in Kuqa County, and three local Uygur grassroots officials, creating bloody terrorist incidents by means of explosion, shooting and stabbing. The terrorists threw two bombs into Qavul Toqa’s home, seriously injuring him and his wife. Avul Toqa, Qavul Toqa’s younger brother, was stabbed to death with seven wounds, and his wife was first stabbed then shot to death. Anvar Qavul, Qavul Toqa’s son, died of nine stab wounds and a shot to the head, and his wife died of eight stab wounds and two shots to the head. Javup Muhammatman, a village official, received serious stab wounds.
The "East Turkistan" terrorist organization plotted the assassination of Arunhan Aji, executive committee member of the Islamic Association of China, vice-chairman of the CPPCC Xinjiang Regional Committee and chairman of the Kashi Islamic Association, on May 12, 1996. Early on the morning of that day, Arunhan Aji and his son were on their way to the Aitga Mosque to worship when four terrorists attacked them. Both of them were seriously injured, Arunhan Aji with 21 stab wounds and his son with 13 stab wounds.
Early in the morning of March 23, 1997, a gang of terrorists, led by Tursun Turdi, gatecrashed into the home of Omarjan, manager of the Jinyinchuan Reclamation Area of Aksu Prefecture, killing him and his wife. Early in the morning of July 3 of the same year, the same gang stormed into the home of Turdi Niyaz, a village official of Bashereq Township in Avat County, killing him and his wife.
Early in the morning of November 6, 1997, a terrorist group headed by Muhammat Tursun, at the order of the "East Turkistan" organization abroad, shot and killed Yunus Sidiq Damolla, a member of the Islamic Association of China and of the Islamic Association of Xinjiang, chairman of the Islamic Association of Aksu and imam of the Mosque of Baicheng County, while he was on his way to the mosque to worship. On January 27, 1998, the same terrorists shot and killed Abliz Haji, executive committee member of the CPPCC Yecheng County Committee and imam of the county’s Great Mosque, while he was on his way to the mosque to worship.
On June 4, 1997, four terrorists broke into the home of Muhammat Rozi Muhammat, an official of Huangdi Village of Aqik Township in Moyu County, Hotan Prefecture, and killed him with 11 stab wounds.
On August 23, 1999, a dozen of terrorists led by Yasin Muhammat broke into the home of Hudaberdi Tohti, political instructor of the police station of Bosikem Township in Zepu County, Kashi Prefecture, killing Hudaberdi Tohti with 38 stab wounds and his son with a shot to the head. Then the terrorists set Tohti’s home on fire, causing serious burns to his wife.
On February 3, 2001, a gang of terrorists broke into the home of Muhammatjan Yaqup, an official at the People’s Court of Shufu County, Kashi Prefecture, killing him with 38 stab wounds.
3. Attacks on Police and Government Institutions
On August 27, 1996, six terrorists in combat fatigues drove to the office building of the Jangilas Township People’s Government, Yecheng County, where they cut the telephone lines and killed a deputy head of the township and a policeman on duty. Afterwards, they kidnapped three security men and one waterworks tender in a village of the same township, and later killed them in the desert 10 kilometers away.
Early in the morning of October 24, 1999, terrorists attacked the police station in Saili Township, Zepu County, with guns, machetes, incendiary bottles and grenades. They shot one member of a local security guard dead and wounded another, wounded a policeman and killed a criminal suspect in custody. After that, they burned ten rooms, one jeep and three motorbikes belonging to the police station.
4. Crimes of Poison and Arson
From January 30 to February 18, 1998, members of the "East Turkistan Liberation Organization" were responsible for 23 poisoning cases in Kashi City. One innocent person died as a result, and four others suffered serious effects. In addition, thousands of domestic animals died or suffered badly.
On May 23, 1998, members of the "East Turkistan Liberation Organization" who had sneaked into Xinjiang after receiving special training abroad, committed 15 cases of arson with some 40 chemical comburents in the busiest areas of Urumqi, such as the Huadu Plaza, Daximen, the Hetan Road Clothing Materials Wholesale Market, the Changzheng Hotel Wholesale Market, the Hongshan Timber Market, the Urumqi Hotel, and the Business and Trade Center. They threatened to "make Urumqi a sea of fire and cause losses of hundreds of millions of yuan." Thanks to prompt action by the authorities, no serious damage was caused.
On October 11, 1999, three terrorists put three ignition devices in cotton heaps at the cotton purchasing station of the Hotan City Cotton and Hemp Company. One of them exploded, causing the loss of two tons of cotton. The other two devices were removed in time.
5. Establishing Secret Training Bases and Raising Money to Buy and Manufacture Arms and Ammunition
In order to train hardcore members and enlarge their organization, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces secretly established training bases in Xinjiang, mainly in remote parts of the region. In 1990, the "Shock Brigade of the Islamic Reformist Party" established a base to train terrorists in the remote Basheriq Township, Yecheng County. Three training classes were run there, with more than 60 terrorists having been trained, mainly in the theory of religious extremism and terrorism, explosion, assassination and other terrorist skills, and physical strength. Most of the trainees later participated in the major terrorist activities, such as explosions, assassinations and robberies, from 1991 to 1993 in various parts of Xinjiang.
In February 1998, Hasan Mahsum, ringleader of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" abroad, sent scores of terrorists into China. They established about a dozen training bases in Xinjiang and inland regions and trained more than 150 terrorists in 15 training classes. In addition, they set up large numbers of training stations in scattered areas, each of them composed of three to five members, and some of them being also workshops for making weapons, ammunition and explosive devices. The Xinjiang police uncovered many of these underground training stations and workshops, and confiscated large numbers of antitank grenades, hand-grenades, detonators, guns and ammunition.
On December 30, 1999, the police discovered an underground hideout in Poskam Township, Zepu County. In this hideout, which was 3 meters from the ground and measured 3 meters long, 2 meters wide and 1.7 meters high, they found tools for making explosive devices, such as electric drills and electric welding machines, as well as blueprints and antitank grenades.
On February 25, 2000, the police arrested seven terrorists in the No. 3 Village, Kachung Township, Shache County, and discovered a tunnel leading to an underground bunker beneath the house of one of them, which was equipped with ventilation devices and water supply and sewage systems. The tunnel was 7 meters long and 2.5 meters high and the bunker was 12 meters long, 3.8 meters wide and 2 meters high. The police seized 38 antitank grenades, 22 electric detonators, 18 explosive devices, 17 kilograms of explosive charges and more than 20 fuses from the bunker.
In August 2001, police discovered a four-meter-deep tunnel under the house of a terrorist in Seriqsoghet Village, Uzun Township, Kuqa County, and confiscated 61 explosive devices from the tunnel, which also contained various kinds of equipment for making arms and ammunition.
6. Plotting and Organizing Disturbances and Riots, and Creating an Atmosphere of Terror
In order to create an atmosphere of tension and fear, and extend its political influence, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces plotted and organized riots and disturbances many times, by engaging in terrorist acts of beating, smashing, looting, arson and murder, which seriously endangered social stability, people’s lives and property.
On April 5, 1990, a group of terrorists, aided and abetted by the "East Turkistan Islamic Party," created a grave terrorist incident in Barin Township, Akto County, Xinjiang. They brazenly preached a "holy war," the "elimination of pagans" and the setting up of an "East Turkistan Republic." The terrorists tried to put pressure on the government by taking ten persons hostage, demolished two cars at a traffic junction and killed six policemen. They shot at the besieged government functionaries with submachine guns and pistols, and threw explosives and hand-grenades at them.
From February 5 to 8, 1997, the "East Turkistan Islamic Party of Allah" and some other terrorist organizations perpetrated the Yining Incident, a serious riot during which the terrorists shouted slogans calling for the establishment of an "Islamic Kingdom." They attacked innocent people, destroyed stores and burned and otherwise damaged cars and buses. During this incident seven innocent people were killed, more than 200 people were injured, more than 30 vehicles were damaged and two private houses were burned down. The terrorists attacked a young couple on their way home, knifing the wife to death after disfiguring her and severely injuring the husband. A staff member of a township cultural station was stabbed to death and then thrown into a fire.
Besides engaging in terrorist violence within China’s borders, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces have also been involved in violent incidents beyond the borders.
In March 1997, "East Turkistan" terrorists opened fire at the Chinese embassy in Turkey, and attacked the Chinese consulate-general in Istanbul, burning the Chinese national flag flying there.
On March 5, 1998, they launched a bomb attack against the Chinese consulate-general in Istanbul.
In March 2000, Nighmet Bosakof, president of the Kyrgyzstan "Uygur Youth Alliance," was shot dead in front of his house by members of a terrorist organization named the "East Turkistan Liberation Organization" because he had refused to cooperate with them.
In May 2000, members of the "Uygur Liberation Organization" beyond the boundaries extorted US$100,000 as ransom after kidnapping a Xinjiang businessman, murdered his nephew, and set the Bishkek Market of Chinese Commodities on fire. On May 25, 2000, terrorists attacked the work team of the Xinjiang People’s Government which went to Kyrgyzstan to deal with the above case, causing one death and two injuries. The culprits then fled to Kazakhstan, killing two Kazakhstan policemen who were searching for them in Alma-Ata in September the same year.
The ironclad details of these bloody facts are irrefutable proof of the nature of the "East Turkistan" forces as a terrorist organization that does not flinch from taking violent measures to kill the innocent and harm society so as to achieve the goal of splitting the motherland.
There is plenty of evidence to show that most of the terrorist and other violent incidents which have occurred in Xinjiang were directly plotted and engineered by the "East Turkistan" organization beyond China’s borders, with the collusion of a handful of people within the borders.
The 15 cases of arson caused by chemical comburents in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, in May 1998 were plotted and carried out by members of the "East Turkistan Liberation Organization" from beyond China’s borders who had slipped into Xinjiang.
In February 1998, dozens of members of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" who had received special training in Afghanistan sneaked into Xinjiang and inland provinces and cities, and established 15 secret cells to offer technical training in explosives to 150 terrorists from various regions. They purchased a large amount of chemical raw materials to secretly produce explosives and other devices, according to the formula supplied by the terrorist organization beyond China’s borders. In September 1998, in one search operation alone the Xinjiang police seized more than 300 trunks of over 20 varieties of chemical raw materials, totaling six tons, for producing explosives in the warehouse of the Urumqi North Railway Station.
In 1998, a gang led by Hogaxim Qasim from Hotan County and Muhammatjan Huxir from Bole City, both in Xinjiang, went to Afghanistan to join the "Islamic Holy Warriors," an "East Turkistan" terrorist organization, and received special training in shooting, demolition and assassination. In December the same year, they were secretly sent back to Xinjiang to establish organizations, recruit members, raise funds, collect arms and ammunition, and organize terrorist and other violent activities.
Organized and plotted by terrorists dispatched by the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" outside China in 1999, terrorists in Hotan established an underground organization, which set up dozens of secret cells in seven counties and cities of the Hotan area for terrorist training and production of explosives and other arms and ammunition. The antitank grenades seized from them by the police alone totaled over 4,500, along with 98 guns of various types and tools for producing guns and explosives.
The "East Turkistan" terrorists also smuggled arms into China with the collusion of people both within and beyond the country’s borders to arm fellow terrorists in China. On April 6, 1998, the Chinese customs and frontier checkpost at the Qorghas land port discovered six pistols, one folding submachinegun, over 19,000 bullets and more than 90 antitank grenades in a sheep wool container. The culprits confessed that they had acted under the orders of the "East Turkistan International Committee" and the "East Turkistan Liberation Organization" outside China, and had smuggled arms and ammunition into China 17 times.
The "East Turkistan" terrorists are closely connected with international terrorist forces.
The "East Turkistan" terrorist organization based in South Asia has the unstinting support of Osama bin Laden, and is an important part of his terrorist forces. The "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" headed by Hasan Mahsum is supported and directed by bin Laden. Since the formation of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement," bin Laden has schemed with the heads of the Central and West Asian terrorist organizations many times to help the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces in Xinjiang launch a "holy war," with the aim of setting up a theocratic "Islam state" in Xinjiang.
The terrorist forces led by bin Laden have given much financial and material aid to the "East Turkistan" terrorists. In early 1999, bin Laden met with the ringleader of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement," asking him to "coordinate every move with the ‘Uzbekistan Islamic Liberation Movement’ and the Taliban," while promising financial aid. In February 2001, the bin Laden terrorists and Taliban leaders met at Kandahar to discuss the training of "East Turkistan" terrorists. They decided to allocate a fabulous sum of money for training the "East Turkistan" terrorists and promised to bear the funds for their operations in 2001. Moreover, the bin Laden terrorists, the Taliban and the "Uzbekistan Islamic Liberation Movement" have offered a great deal of arms and ammunition, means of transportation and telecommunication equipment to the "East Turkistan" terrorists.
Bin Laden’s group has also directly trained personnel for the "East Turkistan" forces. Hasan Mahsum chose some criminals, religious extremists and national separatists both from home and abroad for training at bin Laden’s terrorists training camps in Afghanistan, at Kandahar, Mazari Sharif, and other places. After the training, some of the key "East Turkistan" members were secretly sent back to China to set up terrorist organizations, and planned and carried out terrorist activities; some joined the Taliban armed forces in Afghanistan, some joined the Chechen terrorists in Russia and some took part in terrorist activities in Central Asia. In August 1999, "East Turkistan" terrorists bore a part in kidnapping four Japanese scientists and senior local officers of the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Internal Affairs in south Kyrgyzstan, and held them hostage, and in August 2000, they took part in the invasion of Uzbekistan and the mountain area of south Kyrgyzstan, attacking local government forces of the two countries.
Most of the explosions, assassinations and other terrorist incidents that have taken place in Xinjiang in recent years are related to these organizations. So far, the Chinese police have arrested over 100 terrorists who had sneaked into Xinjiang after being trained in terrorist training bases in Afghanistan and other countries. The police of some other nations have also extradited or transferred to China a dozen or so "East Turkistan" terrorists they captured.
As the appeal for international cooperation in curbing terrorism is becoming increasingly stronger following the "September 11" terrorist attacks in the United States, the "East Turkistan" forces that bear evident marks of terrorism have found themselves in an extremely embarrassing situation. While they are distressed by the destruction of the bin Laden terrorist forces and Taliban terrorist training bases by US missiles, they cannot but "take the initiative" to express their support for the US military retaliation, attempting to distance themselves from the bin Laden terrorist forces. To erase their terrorist marks and conceal their label as a terrorist organization, they have demanded that their members not publish radical remarks for the time being, in order to avoid being linked with terrorist organizations by the countries in which they are located. The terrorist organizations in South Asia lost no time in conducting a secret strategic shift, evacuating their members in Afghanistan to the surrounding South and Central Asian and Middle East regions to preserve and accumulate their strength. Meanwhile, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces have employed the tactic of mounting attacks as a means of defense. Once again, under the banner of protecting "human rights," "religious freedom" and "the interests of ethnic minorities," they claim that the Chinese government "has taken the opportunity to crack down on ethnic minorities," in an attempt to mislead the public and deceive international opinion, and thus dodge the international crackdown on terrorism.
To achieve their aim of splitting China, in recent years the handful of the "East Turkistan" terrorists within and outside the territory of China have carried out a series of sabotage activities by means of terrorism and violence. It is only natural that this has been firmly opposed by people of all ethnic groups in China, including the Uygur people in Xinjiang. In order to protect the lives and property and common interests of the people of various ethnic groups, maintain the stability of China’s Xinjiang and the surrounding regions, safeguard national unity, social stability and the smooth progress of the modernization drive, the Chinese government has resolutely cracked down on the violent activities of the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces in accordance with the law. However, the Chinese government targets only a few core members and criminals who have schemed, directed and participated in violent terrorist incidents. Toward the majority of the people involved, who have been hoodwinked into bearing a part in some of the activities of the "East Turkistan" terrorist organization, the Chinese government adopts the attitude of educating and helping them, and welcomes them back to the true path. The ethnic groups in Xinjiang have always had the glorious tradition of loving and safeguarding national unity, and Islam is a peace-loving religion. The Chinese government’s crackdown on the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces is not directed at any particular ethnic group or any particular religion, but at criminal activities of violence and terrorism, in order to better protect the common interests of the country’s various ethnic groups and safeguard normal religious activities. All the people in the country, including the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, have given wholehearted support to the Chinese government’s policies. Over the past few years, the situation in Xinjiang has been stable, and the people’s peaceful living and working environments have been effectively safeguarded. The people there have been living and working in peace and contentment.
After the September 11 incident, terrorist activities have become discredited worldwide and the "East Turkistan" terrorists in Xinjiang have gone underground temporarily. The situation in Xinjiang is stable, and the people there live and work as usual. The Chinese government has not taken advantage of any opportunity to institute "suppression," nor does it deem it necessary to do so. It is obvious that the “East Turkistan” terrorist organizations are brazenly peddling rumors out of ulterior motives.
China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region exercises regional ethnic autonomy, and carries out the policies of ethnic equality and freedom of religion. It fully respects and protects the various rights of ethnic minorities and the citizen’s freedom of religious belief. With the wholehearted support of the people all over the country and the common endeavors of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the various undertakings in Xinjiang have advanced by leaps and bounds. The people of different ethnic groups, the various religions, and religious believers and non-believers respect each other and treat each other equally, co-exist in peace and harmony, and pursue common development. The region presents a scene of prosperity. Although there are still a handful of "East Turkistan" terrorists both at home and abroad, it is impossible for them to fundamentally affect Xinjiang’s excellent situation, in which the society is stable, the people of all ethnic groups are united, the various undertakings are making progress and people’s lives are constantly improving.
The Chinese government opposes terrorism in any form; at the same time it opposes the application of double standards concerning the anti-terrorism issue. Any tolerance or indulgence toward the “East Turkistan” terrorist forces will not harm China and the Chinese people alone. Today, as the international community becomes more clearly and deeply aware of the harm brought about by terrorism, we hope that all peace-loving people throughout the world, regardless of ethnic status or religious belief, region or country, political or social system, will fully recognize the nature of the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces and the serious harm caused by them, see through all their disguises, and jointly crack down on their terrorist activities, leaving not a single opportunity for them to exploit to their advantage.
(Source: Information Office of State Council)
(china.org.cn January 21, 2002)