White Paper: Development and Progress in Xinjiang
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VII. Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability
The development and progress of Xinjiang are achieved in the People's Republic of China, a unified multiethnic country, and in a stable social environment, and are the results of concerted efforts of the people of all ethnic groups. All these achievements would have been impossible for Xinjiang without national unification, social stability, or ethnic unity. For years, the "East Turkistan" forces in and outside Xinjiang, without any regard for the wellbeing of the diverse peoples of Xinjiang, have been trumpeting national separatism, and plotted and organized a number of bloody incidents of terror and violence, seriously jeopardizing national unification, social stability and ethnic unity, thus seriously disrupting Xinjiang's development and progress.
Over a long period of time, the "East Turkistan" forces have unremittingly instigated separatist activities. The term "East Turkistan" first appeared in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, a tiny number of separatists and religious extremists in Xinjiang further politicized the term "East Turkistan," and fabricated an "ideological and theoretical system" about the "independence of East Turkistan." Separatists of different shades in Xinjiang raised the banner of "East Turkistan" and formed "East Turkistan" forces, trying to establish a so-called "East Turkistan" separatist regime. From the early 1930s to the mid-1940s, with the instigation and support of hostile foreign forces, the "East Turkistan" forces shouted slogans like "killing the Han and annihilating the Hui" and "opposing and expelling the Han," creating many disturbances and even wantonly slaughtering innocent people in their attempt to split the motherland and set up an illegal regime. What they did met strong opposition from people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
Since the founding of the PRC, Xinjiang has entered a new stage, enjoying ethnic unity and social stability. However, the "East Turkistan" forces have persisted, carrying out clandestine actions. Supported by hostile foreign forces, the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China created many riots and launched armed insurrection in their attempt to split the country. In the 1990s, influenced by terrorism, separatism and extremism, the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China turned to terrorist violence as the chief means of their separatist activities. The terrorist nature of the "East Turkistan" forces was eventually recognized by the whole world. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council added the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)" to its sanction list of terrorist groups. In recent years, the "East Turkistan" forces have continued separatist activities under the banners of "democracy," "human rights" and "freedom," trying to escape strikes against them or to clear themselves of the name of terrorism. In 2004, the "East Turkistan" forces patched together the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) outside China. Since then, they have plotted and organized a number of separatist and sabotage actions. On the one hand, they have stepped up infiltration to the ideological field by preaching separatism and "holy war"; on the other, they have intensified their efforts in the acts of terror and violence, organizing and instigating some individuals within China to go abroad to receive training in religious extremism, separatism and terrorist skills, and openly calling on extremists inside China to create terrorist incidents, including bombings and poisonings aiming at kindergartens, schools and the government institutions, or attacking China's military forces and government departments.
Since 2008, the "East Turkistan" forces have started a new round of sabotage activities, and created a number of bloody incidents of terror and violence aimed at the Beijing Olympics. In particular, the seriously violent incident of July 5, 2009, which erupted in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, was masterminded by terrorist, separatist and extremist forces both inside and outside China. The violence caused great damage to the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups, seriously jeopardizing the normal order and social stability of the region. After the eruption of the riots, the central government and the government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, relevant departments of the central and state organs, the military and armed police relied firmly on the cadres and masses of all ethnic groups to safeguard social stability, the socialist legal system and fundamental interests of the people, and took decisive and powerful measures to stop the violence in accordance with the law, to quickly bring the incident to an end and restore social stability in Urumqi.
The "East Turkistan" forces pose a severe threat to the development and stability of Xinjiang.
The "East Turkistan" forces have seriously violated the basic human rights to life and development of all the peoples of Xinjiang. Since the 1990s, the "East Turkistan" forces have organized large numbers of acts of terror and violence, seriously jeopardizing the security of lives and property of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. According to incomplete statistics, from 1990 to 2001, the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China created more than 200 bloody incidents of terror and violence in Xinjiang, by means of explosions, assassinations, poisoning, arson, attacking, riots and assaults. As a result, 162 citizens, including people of various ethnicities, cadres at the grass-roots level and religious personnel, lost their lives, and over 440 were wounded. In 2002 they again organized several bloody incidents of terror and violence in Xinjiang. The most recent "July 5" riot in Urumqi caused huge losses in lives and property of the people of various ethnic groups. By July 17, 2009, 197 people died (most being innocent victims) and over 1,700 were injured, with 331 shops and 1,325 motor vehicles destroyed or burned, and many public facilities were damaged.
The "East Turkistan" forces have seriously interrupted the economic development of Xinjiang. Firstly, they have seriously undermined the environment for investment, as evidenced by the drastic reduction in investment from other parts of the country. From 1997 to 1998, when crimes of terror and violence were frequent, the economic development of Xinjiang witnessed a remarkable slowdown. Primarily, outside investment declined as foreign investors withdrew their funding one after another, thus depriving Xinjiang of many development opportunities. After the eruption of the "February 5" riots in Yining in 1997, the economy of Ili Prefecture suffered a prolonged slump, with a depression in the real-estate market and drastic reduction in tax revenues. Many investors began to have doubts about Yining's investment environment, and the newly developed Yining Economic and Technological Zone grinded to a half-standstill. Secondly, tourism suffered as a result. Tourism is an important industry in Xinjiang. The "July 5" riot in Urumqi produced a serious adverse impact on Xinjiang's tourism, causing a sudden drop in both the number of tourists and revenue of tourism. Thirdly, precious resources have been dispersed. Plenty of human, material and financial resources have had to be put to guard against and combat crimes of terror and violence in order to safeguard the security of the country and social stability. Fourthly, exchanges between Xinjiang and foreign countries have been interrupted. The development of international thoroughfares and foreign trade in Xinjiang has been seriously affected.
In addition, the "East Turkistan" forces pose a threat to regional security and stability. The "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations, with ETIM as representative, have carried out actions in Central and South Asia over a long period of time, creating many bloody incidents of terror and violence, including assassinations, arson and attacks on police. They also secretly participated in terrorist activities plotted by international terrorist organizations, posing a threat to the peace and stability of all countries concerned.
Terrorist activities organized by the "East Turkistan" forces aimed against the various ethnic groups of Xinjiang pose an open challenge to the Constitution and laws of China, and are serious crimes of violence against society and humanity. National unification is in the fundamental interests of all peoples of Xinjiang; social stability is a prerequisite and guarantee of Xinjiang's development; and ethnic unity is the life-blood of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Ethnic unity is a blessing for all peoples, while separatism would be disastrous. The Chinese government has, in accordance with the law, combated the sabotage activities of the "East Turkistan" forces to create a stable and peaceful social environment for Xinjiang's development. It is in keeping with the common aspirations of all peoples of Xinjiang and therefore has won their genuine backing and active support.