East Turkestan: China to Begin ‘Pre-Emptive Attacks’
China will conduct a "re-education" drive against Uyghur Muslims in East Turkestan with its Party chief vowing preemptive attacks, Reuters said.
Historical records show that the Uyghurs have a history of more than 4000 years. Throughout the history the Uyghurs developed a unique culture and civilization and made remarkable contribution to the civilization of the world.
Wang Lequan, the hardline Communist Party boss, told officials that a sweeping propaganda campaign was needed in East Turkestan, where mostly Muslim Uyghurs have suffered under Chinese religious controls, the Xinjiang Daily reported on Wednesday [17 September 2008].
Critics of China's policies in the remote region said there would be an official reckoning after the Games, and Wang's fiery words seemed to confirm that prediction.
"We must always maintain a high-pressure strike-hard posture, adhering to a policy of taking the offensive, striking when they show their heads and making preemptive attacks," he told a meeting on Tuesday [16 September 2008], according to the report also carried by the China News Service.
"This winter  and next spring  we will launch a concentrated anti-separatist re-education across the whole region."
East Turkistan has 8 million Uyghurs.
The government points to big investments in the region's economy and resources, which include oil and gas, and efforts to lift living standards. But critics say too few decent jobs and benefits flow to Uyhurs.
Wang spelt out measures to tie the region more closely to the rest of China and to Communist Party control - measures that are sure to draw criticism from advocates of an independent "East Turkestan" homeland for Uyghurs.
The re-education campaign will seek to enhance "identification with the Chinese nation and Chinese culture", Wang said, adding measures to spread teaching in Mandarin Chinese among Uighur children.
Religious activities must also be carefully policed, he said.
The Uyghurs [have practiced] Islam [since] 934, during the reign of Satuk Bughra Khan, the Kharahanid ruler. [...]
After embracing Islam the Uyghurs continued to preserve their cultural dominance in Central Asia. World renowned Uyghur scholars emerged, and Uyghur literature flourished.[...]
East Turkestan was occupied by the communist China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955. The communist China has been excersizing a colonial rule over the East Turkestan since then.