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Rebiya Kadeer’s Open Letter to India Today Editorial Board

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:20 -- Kanat

Dear India Today Editors,

I recently read India Today Magazine’s July 2017 issue, an issue that has garnered international attention because of its cover and the map detailing the People’s Republic of China. I was disappointed to see that while Tibet and Taiwan were distinctly identified –indicating that they are not permanent parts of China, Eastern Turkistan (the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) was not identified on your map. I’m not sure whether you overlooked this important detail or did not have the courage to publish it, but I must communicate my disappointment. If this error was due to a lack of knowledge, I want to inform you that you do not need to search deep in the history books to discover that Eastern Turkistan is not a part of China. I want to call your attention to five proofs that indicate Eastern Turkistan is not Chinese territory:


1.      The Chinese Wall: Eastern Turkistan lies outside of the Chinese wall – a historical border China created to protect itself from foreign nations – such as the Uyghur’s ancestors, the Huns.

2.      The Term “Xinjiang”: Xinjiang means new frontier or new territory in Chinese. This label was forced upon Eastern Turkistan by the Qing Dynasty in1884. Eastern Turkistan is not Chinese territory but a previously independent nation that is now occupied by Chinese forces.

3.      The Uyghur Nation: Eastern Turkistan’s Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group that practice Islam. The Uyghurs share no ethnic or cultural links with China.

4.      “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region”: Even if only on paper, the official term used to identify Uyghur territory – Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region –indicates that the region is autonomous. This status was not granted by the Chinese government because the Chinese were merciful occupiers but because of the two revolutions that took place in Eastern Turkistan during the last century. China was forced to identify the region as “Uyghur” “and “Autonomous” to appease the Eastern Turkistan army and people because the Uyghurs had experienced two republics and would not surrender their autonomy.

5.      The Current State of Eastern Turkistan: Since 2009, there’s been hundreds of minor and major ethnic rebellions against Chinese authority in Eastern Turkistan.( Menbe: 5-iyul yaki 28-iyul weqesige ait bir ulinish) The objective of these rebellions? To correct the map and revive the Eastern Turkistan Republic. China has concealed most of these events from the world outside its borders and arbitrarily linked those incidents they didn’t conceal to terrorism. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was created for the purpose of suppressing the Uyghur independence movement – to isolate Uyghurs and wipe them off the map.  

With proofs like these, how can a democracy like India and independent media like India Today integrate Eastern Turkistan to a map of China without recognizing its distinctness like it did for Tibet and Taiwan?

The reality, as India author , Foreign Secretary , Shyam Saran  said, while calling itself the People’s Republic the current Chinese government acts as the inheritor to the Manchu and Mongol Empires and their territories and resources. And China is determined to expand. I believe that the India Today who amplified the voice of the Indian people on the injustices they face with the Doklam issue should not ignore the injustices that the Uyghur people have been suffering for the past 68 years.

Today, China is on a mission to wipe the Uyghurs and Tibetans off the map as it did to the Manchu. I plead for the media and academic researchers to refrain from knowingly or unknowingly supporting China’s mission. 






Rebiya Kadeer