The East Turkistan Government in Exile, which represents the oppressed Uyghur and other Turkic communities under Chinese communist rule, condemned Palestinian leaders on Wednesday for meeting with dictator Xi Jinping and endorsing the genocide of Muslims in the region.
East Turkistan, which China calls the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” or XUAR, is a Central Asian region that was once a sovereign state, prior to its seizure by mass murderer Mao Zedong in 1949. The majority of its residents are ethnic Uyghurs, though many also have Kazakh and Kyrgyz backgrounds. Islam is the predominant religion in the region.
Chinese Communist Party authorities have violated the human rights of East Turkistanis for decades, but, under Xi, Beijing launched a far more advanced campaign of genocide against the indigenous population. Xi ordered the construction of concentration camps, believed to house up to three million people at their peak, to imprison Uyghurs and force them to abandon their faith and worship Xi. Survivors say they endured communist indoctrination, were forced to eat pork, and were subject to extreme torture, such as beatings, electrocution, gang rapes, forced abortions, forced sterilization, and experiencing the killing of their children.
Outside of the camps, Chinese authorities have flooded East Turkistan with ethnic Han people loyal to the Party, forcing local families to take them in. In many cases, the government forced the men of the households into concentration camps and forced the women to sleep with Han men in their beds as part of the “Become Family” program. The Han infiltrators are tasked with ensuring the families do not practice Islam or respect local traditions. Chinese authorities have also demolished Uyghur mosques, cemeteries, and other sites of historical significance, replacing them with communist bureaucracy and, in at least one case, toilets.
Many Arab governments and leaders, despite being at the heart of the Muslim world, have supported China’s genocide campaign against fellow Muslims. This week, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, met with Xi in Beijing to upgrade Palestinian ties with China. Abbas, according to the Chinese government, explicitly endorsed the Muslim genocide as a legitimate “counter-terror” operation.
“Palestine upholds the one-China principle and supports all efforts made by the Chinese government to achieve national reunification … and condemns external interference in China’s internal affairs including Hong Kong and Xinjiang-related affairs,” Abbas affirmed, according to China’s state-run Global Times newspaper.
“The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) strongly condemns the recent strategic partnership between Palestine and China, which shamelessly supports China’s ongoing colonization, genocide, and occupation campaign in East Turkistan,” the organization said in a statement published on Wednesday, following the meeting between Xi and Abbas.
The ETGE advocates for the world to acknowledge East Turkistan as an occupied state, not a province of China, and to address the Uyghur genocide as an international conflict, rather than a domestic Chinese matter.
The group described the Palestinian leadership’s description of the Uyghur genocide as a “counter-terror” operation and an “internal” Chinese issue as “a grotesque distortion of reality” that “aids Chinese imperialism.”
“The East Turkistani people strongly condemn Palestine’s support for China’s colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan,” President Ghulam Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government in Exile said in a statement, adding:
The recent strategic partnership between Palestine and China, coupled with the Arab world’s alarming support for China’s ongoing genocide and colonization in East Turkistan, has exposed the problematic hypocrisy prevalent in Palestine, the Arab world, and the Muslim world.
The group’s prime minister, Salih Hudayar, also issued a statement emphasizing that the Uyghur genocide is “an international conflict between two distinct nations,” urging the world to recognize East Turkistan as an occupied state.
“It is imperative to exert unwavering diplomatic and economic pressure on China and support the East Turkistani people in order to end China’s ongoing colonization, genocide, and occupation of East Turkistan,” the group’s statement concluded.
Aside from Abbas’ support for China’s genocide, his meeting with Xi largely focused on what Chinese leaders dubbed “Chinese wisdom” to help Palestine in its struggle against Israel. China has recognized “Palestine” as a country since 1988 and has expanded its presence in the region through dozens of alleged infrastructure projects, the Global Times, paraphrasing Xi, reported.
“Facing unprecedented changes in the world and the new developments in the Middle East, China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Palestine, and work for a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the Palestinian question at an early date,” Xi reportedly said.
Among the concrete agreements the two leaders signed this week were several deals to cooperate on technology and the establishment of Ramallah and Wuhan as “sister cities.”
The Arab world generally, beyond the Palestinian Authority, has done little to condemn China’s ongoing genocide of Muslims in East Turkistan. On the contrary, many leaders in the Arab world have endorsed the operation to exterminate the indigenous peoples of the region. In January, a group of Islamic “scholars” representing the World Muslim Communities Council visited occupied East Turkistan and applauded the elimination of Islam and repression of Muslims there.
“We congratulate China on the completion of the counter-terrorism plan in Xinjiang,” WMCC chairman Ali Rashid Abudula Ali Al Nuaimi said in a statement at the time. “The relationship between Islamic civilization and China is historical and characterized by friendship, cooperation, and alliance. Reasonable people all over the world need a safe, stable, and prosperous China.”