In the 1950s, the South African government began a campaign to manipulate history by inventing a narrative that black South Africans did not actually come from South Africa. The Chinese government appears to have taken a leaf out of apartheid South Africa’s book, and published a white paper that rejects any notion that Uyghurs may have an identity or a culture that is separate or different from “Chinese civilization.”
History cannot be tampered with and facts are indisputable. Xinjiang has long been an inseparable part of Chinese territory; never has it been the so-called East Turkistan. The Uygur ethnic group came into being through a long process of migration and integration; it is part of the Chinese nation. In Xinjiang, different cultures and religions coexist, and ethnic cultures have been fostered and developed in the embrace of the Chinese civilization. Islam is neither an indigenous nor the sole belief system of the Uygur people. It has taken root in the Chinese culture and developed soundly in China.
- China denies Uyghurs’ Turkic descent and says ‘hostile forces’ trying to split country / Reuters
- Xinjiang Uygurs didn’t choose to be Muslims, China says / SCMP
The South China Morning Post reports:
At a closed-door gathering of diplomats at the Turkish embassy in Beijing last week, Turkish officials said Erdogan’s comments about the troubled region in China’s far west were mistranslated and Beijing refused to correct them.
According to a report by Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Erdogan told Chinese President Xi Jinping during a trip to Beijing on July 2 that people in Xinjiang “live happily”…
But Turkish officials at the embassy meeting last week said the comment was mistranslated by the Turkish side and Beijing refused to correct the statement once the error was detected, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.
Seeking support in Sri Lanka
The Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka has sought the support in that country “as allegations mount on the Xinjiang issue,” reports the Colombo Gazette:
“I can strongly feel the pain of the Sri Lankan people from all ethnic communities. The attacks reminded us once again that terrorism and extremism are common threats for both China and Sri Lanka. We believe that people from all circles of Sri Lanka society can tell what is right from wrong, and can fully understand China’s efforts in fighting terrorism, extremism and separatism,” he said.
The Ambassador called on Sri Lanka to work together with China to enhance cooperation on security and law enforcement, encourage more exchanges between different ethnic and religious groups of the two countries, and uphold peace and safety of the two peoples.
Noted writer Wáng Lìxióng 王力雄 warns of coming trouble in Xinjiang on ChinaChange:
Like many things that undergo a shift from the quantitative to the qualitative, there is a tipping point. Before that, there is still room for recovery. But once that critical point is passed, Xinjiang will descend into a perennial ethnic conflict, like the war between Palestine and Israel to which there is neither a solution nor a foreseeable ending date.
The latest international reactions to the Xinjiang camps:
- The editorial board of the Washington Post asks: Muslim countries joined China in defending its cultural genocide of Uyghurs. Aren’t they ashamed?
- “Several of the leading Democratic presidential contenders told Axios that if elected, they would go further than the Trump administration in confronting China over its imprisonment of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region,” reports Axios.