Frontier soldiers of the armed police force hold an anti-terrorism drill in Kashi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: cnsphoto
“It is a ridiculous and absurd farce!” Xu Guixiang (Xu), spokesperson of the regional government of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, commented on the assembly of the “World Uyghur Congress” (WUC), a violent, terrorist and separatist organization, held from November 12-14 in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
During an exclusive interview with Global Times reporters Liu Xin and Fan Lingzhi (GT), Xu pointed out the nature of the WUC as a US-based terrorist organization which is seeking to split the Xinjiang region from China, and also revealed how the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of the US has funded and colluded with the WUC in guiding it to incite violence within China.
GT: The WUC claims that it invited “international experts,” “observers,” “NGOs,” and “political figures” from a number of governments and international institutions to participate in the assembly. What is your assessment of the nature of this rally?
Xu: The WUC is an organization manipulated by overseas violent, terrorist, secessionist forces of the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” (ETIM), and a political tool for the anti-China forces in the US and the West to interfere in Xinjiang affairs and contain China’s development.
In recent years, the WUC, under the inspiration and support of anti-China forces in the US and the West, has maliciously smeared and attacked Xinjiang. This assembly is an entirely ugly act of collusion and aggregation of anti-China forces in the US and the West, and is a ridiculous and absurd farce.
We strongly condemn any country or person supporting or participating in the WUC or attending its activities, and firmly oppose interfering in Xinjiang-related issues or China’s internal affairs in any way.
GT: How is the WUC related to terrorism? One of its main leaders, Rushan Abbas, is active in Western media. What are the real faces of these people?
Xu: The WUC has numerous links with terrorist organizations. It has been fabricating Xinjiang-related rumors and lies for a long time, spreading religious extremist ideas, and inciting violent, terrorist and separatist activities. It is a thoroughly anti-China, violent, separatist and terrorist organization.
A large number of facts have showed that the WUC had played a part in most of the latest violent terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang region.
For example, in February and May of 2017, Dolkun Isa, head of the WUC, identified as a terrorist by the Chinese government, held a “strategic seminar” in Berlin, planning to consolidate overseas terrorist forces to establish armed forces to prepare for the incitement of violence in Xinjiang.
On March 10, 2018, Seyit Tumturk, one of the former leaders of the WUC, rallied 400 separatist members, wearing military uniforms and brandishing guns to record a violent terrorist video, threatening to launch a terrorist attack in Xinjiang. In March 2019, Rebiya Kadeer, the former head of the WUC, posted an audio message online saying that the “East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA)” works with the ETIM terrorist group to send jihadists to Syria. In addition, the WUC has also joined forces with ETESA to carry out similar activities.
As a main leader of the WUC, Rushan Abbas has long worked for US intelligence agencies and military institutions. Anti-China forces in the US even transformed her name into a so-called “human rights activist.” Similarly, Dolkun Isa, and Rebiya Kadeer, and other terrorists with criminal records became members of the WUC. They are vying to act as a front against China in the US to attack China’s Xinjiang region, and are the absolute mouthpieces of terrorism.
Footage of violent terrorists setting fire to a public place in Xinjiang Photo: Screenshot of a documentary on anti-terrorism in Xinjiang
GT: What kind of help have the US and some Western countries offered to the WUC after its establishment? What are the US and Western countries’ role in the farce in the Czech Republic?
Xu: The US and other Western anti-China forces are the main supporters and manipulators of the WUC. They have been actively promoting the expansion of the WUC to use it as a “strategic tool” against China in a long-term contest, and increasing their support to overseas separatist forces including the WUC, trying to make it a trump card against China.
For instance, it actively manipulated the leaders of the WUC, cultivating a backbone, and elaborately making it the most influential overseas separatist organization. Several US politicians have met with the leaders of the WUC and showed their support. The US intelligence agencies and NGOs have made great efforts to maintain the “young generation,” and meticulously plan the future of the WUC.
In particular, the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been an important channel between the WUC and anti-China forces in the US government. In recent years, NED has fully intervened, supported, and guided anti-China activities.
NED, for example, provided the strategic guidance for WUC’ activities, demanding the organization seek for the support of the international society and promote the internationalization of Xinjiang topics by non-violent means and in the name of “democracy and human rights.” It also demanded the WUC focus on its work in China and launch mass riots such as “street revolutions.”
NED is the main source and insurance for WUC’s funding and has provided huge amounts of financial support. From $90,000 in 2006 to $405,000 in 2019, the support has only seen an increasing trend. It is known that from 2016 to 2019, NED provided more than $1.28 million to the WUC.
Moreover, NED also provided special funds to projects such as “training classes” and “seminars.” They also paid salaries to the main leaders of the WUC, making them “professional anti-China activists.”
The US independent news website The Grayzone released a report in March 2020, unveiling the truth about WUC’s funding, showing the WUC was guided by the US and that the NED, the WUC, and “Radio Free Asia” colluded in order to contain China.
GT: Why did the WUC choose to hold the assembly in Prague, the Czech Republic? What do you want to say to the Czech Republic?
Xu: For a long times, a few countries have pointed their fingers at China’s policies in the Xinjiang region and continued to make provocations on the topic. Regardless of the truth, they smeared and attacked China. The WUC held this meeting in Prague of the Czech Republic, which unveiled their attempt at winning some support from these countries, and also showed the Czech Republic’s nod at anti-China forces.
We must point out that matters regarding China’s internal affairs are just that and no outside forces have the right to interfere. Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion, or human rights, but about counter-terrorism, anti-filtration, anti-separatism, and anti-interference.
In facing terrorism, the Xinjiang region has taken a series of firm and effective measures on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, which have curbed the momentum of frequent terrorist attacks and have protected the human rights of all ethnic groups to the fullest extent. We firmly oppose to the politicization of topics on human rights in Xinjiang.
We urge the Czech Republic and a few other countries to know the anti-China essence of the WUC, to abide by the basic code of international relations, to respect the truth and abandon ideological bias, and not to engage in political manipulation by hyping Xinjiang-related topics or interfering in China’s domestic affairs.
GT: The WUC has unleashed a wave of slurs against Xinjiang on overseas social media platforms, fueling the spread of disinformation. What do you think about this? In the face of the overseas proliferation of false information about Xinjiang, does the Xinjiang regional government have any measures to deal with it?
Xu: It is necessary to have authentic and reliable sources of information to make correct assessments and judgments on Xinjiang-related affairs.
The WUC has maliciously distorted the facts, and has been making use of fake witnesses, pictures, and data to fabricate so-called “evidence” and spread a lot of “information” overseas, which is extremely absurd and has severely marred the Xinjiang-related public opinion environment.
People from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have the final say on what the government of Xinjiang has done. People who have lived in and visited Xinjiang are the real and direct sources of any Xinjiang-related information.
However, anti-Chinese forces in some countries, ignoring these reliable sources of information, only believe in the lies. This only proves that they do not care about what is the truth, but are looking for excuses to meddle in Xinjiang-related issues and interfere in China’s internal affairs.
In response to the WUC and other anti-China forces spreading rumors about Xinjiang, we will continue to hold press conferences on Xinjiang-related affairs, support people from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to tell their personal experiences in the form of real-life stories, invite people from all walks of life in the international community to visit Xinjiang, and produce and broadcast TV documentaries on Xinjiang, to convey the real voice and story of Xinjiang, introduce the truth about Xinjiang and show a credible, lovely, and respectable Xinjiang to the international community.