Unmistakable US hand in Xinjiang

China Daily
Chen Lufan
2020-03-23 01:32:38
Flower grower Ruz and his wife Tajinisa make rose sauce at a village in Hotan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 6, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

True or not, nearly everything that appears in Western media accounts of China's Uygur Muslims is the product of a carefully conceived media campaign generated by an apparatus of right-wing, anticommunist Uygur separatists funded and trained by the US government.

A central part of Washington's new Cold War against China, this network has a long history of relationships with the US national security state and far-right ultranationalists.

At the heart of this movement is the World Uyghur Congress, an international Uygur organization that considers China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to be "East Turkestan", and sees its Uygur Muslim inhabitants not as Chinese citizens but instead as members of a pan-Turkic nation stretching from Central Asia to Turkey.

The WUC is not a grassroots movement, but a US government-backed umbrella for several Washington-based outfits that also rely heavily on US funding and direction. Today, it is the main face and voice of a separatist operation dedicated to destabilizing the Xinjiang region of China and ultimately toppling the Chinese government.

While seeking to orchestrate a color revolution with the aim of regime change in Beijing, the WUC and its offshoots have forged ties with the Grey Wolves, a far-right Turkish organization that has been actively engaged in sectarian violence from Syria to East Asia.

From its inception, the WUC has been backed by the National Endowment for Democracy. With millions in US taxpayer money, the NED and its subsidiaries have backed opposition parties, "civil society" groups, and media organizations in countries targeted by the US for regime change.

The NED has provided the WUC with millions of dollars in funding, including $1,284,000 since 2016 alone, and millions of dollars in additional funding to WUC-affiliate organizations. Unsurprisingly, the WUC is tightly aligned with Washington's foreign policy agenda and hostile new Cold War strategy, which seeks to contain and impede the rise of China. The WUC regularly meets with and lobbies US and Western politicians, urging them to isolate and "increase the pressure on China".

Behind its carefully constructed human rights brand, the Uygur separatist movement emerged from elements in Xinjiang which view socialism as "the enemy of Islam," and which have sought Washington's support from the outset, presenting themselves as eager foot-soldiers for US hegemony. In recent decades, the Uyghur separatist movement has deepened its connections with Washington and the US national security state. The WUC and its affiliate organizations-including the Uyghur American Association, Uygur Human Rights Project, and Campaign for Uyghurs-are made up of individuals with direct ties to the US government, military, and regime change establishment.

Rebiya Kadeer began to act as WUC president in 2006 and during her tenure, she met with then-US President George W. Bush on several occasions and "expressed gratitude for President Bush's demonstrated commitment to promoting freedom and democratic reform in the PRC."

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