Combating terrorism, we have no choice
18 December 2003
China's Ministry of Public Security Monday issued a list of the first batch of identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorist organizations and 11 members of the groups.
The identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorist organizations are: the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Eastern Turkistan Liberation Organization (ETLO), the World Uygur Youth Congress (WUYC) and the Eastern Turkistan Information Center (ETIC).
The 11 identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorists are: Hasan Mahsum, Muhanmetemin Hazret, Dolqun Isa, Abudujelili Kalakash, Abudukadir Yapuquan, Abudumijit Muhammatkelim, Abudula Kariaji, Abulimit Turxun, Huadaberdi Haxerbik, Yasen Muhammat, and Atahan Abuduhani.
This is the first time China issued a list of terrorist organizations and terrorists.
"East Turkistan" committed countless crimes
"East Turkistan" terrorist organizations pose a grave threat to people's lives and property, and are an important part of international terrorist forces.
Incomplete statistics show that from 1990 to 2001, the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces inside and outside Chinese territory were responsible for over 200 terrorist incidents in Xinjiang, resulting in the deaths of 162 people of all ethnic groups, including grass-roots officials and religious personnel, and injuries to more than 440 people. Among these alarming terrorist activities much is contribution from the four terrorist organizations identified this time-
From early 1998 to late 1999, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) set up many secret workshops in the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang. They made 5,000-odd bombs and recruited 1,000-strong members, and committed a series of major violent crimes, killing six innocent people. On June 18, 1999, they shot policemen in Hotan County.
In May 1998, the East Turkistan Liberation Organization (ETLO) committed the "5.23" arson case in Urumqi, and then carried out bombings in the Osh area of Kyrgyzstan; in May 2000, ETLO elements attacked Chinese officials who came to Bishkek to help investigate a fire case, killing one and injuring another; the killers fled to Hazakhstan, and killed in September the same year two Hazakhstan policemen who were performing duty; on June 29, 2002, they killed Chinese diplomat Wang Jianping in Bishkek.
The "East Turkistan Youth Alliance", a terrorist organization affiliated to the "World Uygur Youth Congress" (WUYC), since its founding in 1993, has engaged in plans of assassinating Party, government and military leaders of the autonomous region, damaging railroads and bridges, bombing, attacking Chinese agencies in foreign countries and disrupting China's borders with India, Tadzhikistan and Afghanistan. The organization also masterminded two bombings in Xinjiang's Kashi and Shache, killing two and injuring 22 altogether.
The "East Turkistan Information Center" has long been engaged, through various means of media, especially the Internet, in spreading, preaching and instigating terrorism, extremism and splittism, calling for "jihad" (holy war) by violent and terrorist means. They openly called on Muslins in China to stage terrorist events targeting kindergarten, school and government building of the Han nationality by means of bombing and poisoning1. In March 2003, they schemed a bombing on the railway linking Gansu's Lanzhou and Xinjiang's Hami.
Among the 11 terrorists identified this time, three were already subjects of Interpol red notices and Chinese police had requested Interpol issue red notices on the other eight. Colluding with international terrorist organizations is another characteristic of these people.
ETIM has a coexistence relationship with bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization, and receives support from Taliban and al-Qaeda for training terrorist fighters. ETIM sent its men to bases in Afghanistan for military training, and then dispatched them to slip into Xinjiang to set up gangs for terrorist activities including bombing, assassinating and poisoning.
Under the support of Taliban, ETLO sent batches of newly recruited youngsters of Xinjiang to special bases in Afghanistan, where they were spoon-fed extremist thoughts and received military training. In 1997 the organization sent its men to fight the Chechen war, with the Chechen side providing munitions and military officers; in 1998, Bin Laden gave ETLO and ETIM several million dollars to fund their extremist religious and terrorist activities.
WUYC is closely connected with other terrorist organizations, its sub-organization "East Turkistan Youth Alliance" for more than one time asked terrorist groups in West Asia to help purchase weapons and explosives.
ETIC is also closely linked with other international terrorist groups.
Splitting the country---true color of "East Turkistan"
Originally, the term "Turks" referred to people of an ancient nomadic tribe. In 552, the Turks founded a khanate, which, at the height of its prosperity, ruled quite a vast area. In the Sui and early Tang dynasties, the Turks became a major force in north China. Later, they split into eastern and western branches, which engaged in constant struggles for dominance of the khanate. In the mid-eighth century, the eastern and western khanates of the Turks declined and went out of existence one after another, and their descendants gradually merged with other ethnic groups. After the 11th century, the "Turks" mentioned in foreign history books embraced all the ethnic groups who spoke the Turkic language, which is a branch of the Altay language family. At the end of the 19th century, some people proposed to unite all the Mountains to form a political state. In fact, throughout history there has never been a unified country consisting of all the Turkic-speaking peoples, despite claims to the contrary.
To split Xinjiang from China and bring it under their domination, some of the old colonialists gave Xinjiang the name "East Turkistan" (correspondingly, they called the countries in Central Asia "West Turkistan"), fabricating the fallacy that Xinjiang was the home of "Eastern Turks."
After the establishment of a frontier command headquarters (duhufu) in the Western Region by the Han Dynasty in 60 B.C., Xinjiang became a part of Chinese territory. From that time on, the central government has never ceased jurisdiction over Xinjiang. But in the beginning of the 20th century, a handful of fanatical Xinjiang separatists and extremist religious elements fabricated the myth of "East Turkistan" in light of the sophistries and fallacies created by the old colonialists. They claimed that "'East Turkistan' had been an independent state since ancient times," and that the ethnic group in that state had a history of nearly 10,000 years. They incited all ethnic groups speaking the Turkic language and believing in Islam to unite to form a state featuring the "integration of religion and politics." They denied the historical fact that all China's ethnic groups have joined their efforts to create the great motherland, and called for "opposition to all ethnic groups other than the Turks," and for the elimination of "pagans."
Since the peaceful liberation of Xinjiang, the people of all ethnic groups have united as one, worked hard and built their fine homeland with joint efforts.
But the "East Turkistan" forces, not to be reconciled to their failure and in defiance of the will of the people of all ethnic groups, have been on the lookout for every opportunity to conduct splittist and sabotage activities with the backing of international anti-China forces.
In the 1990s, under the influence of extremism, separatism and international terrorism, part of the "East Turkistan" forces inside and outside Chinese territory turned to splittist and sabotage activities with terrorist violence as the main means, even brazenly declaring that terrorist violence is the only way to achieve their aims.
Only firm striking on terrorism can guarantee national security, law orders and human rights
After the "September 11" attacks, the Security Council of the United Nations passed a series of anti-terrorism resolutions, asking all countries to take concrete measures to strike hard on terrorism. Facing threats from terrorist forces, the "East Turkistan" in particular, China has reinforced counter-terrorism efforts since the September 11 attacks in the United States by amending counter-terrorism laws, establishing and improving coordination in counter-terrorism, beefing up entry and exit checks, and enhancing safeguards on airports, ports and other national infrastructures.
China disclosed this time the criteria for identifying a terrorist or a terrorist organization. The criteria for identifying a terrorist organization are as follows:
(I) An organization or organizations that engage in terrorist activities endangering national security or social stability, and harm the life and property through violence and terror (regardless of whether it is based in or outside of China);
(II) Some form of division for organization and leadership work, or system of division;
(III) Meeting the aforementioned criteria and having involved in any of the following activities:
(a) Organizing, masterminding, instigating, staging or taking part in terrorist activities; (b) offering funding assistance or support for terrorist activities; (c) having a base or bases for terrorist activities, or recruiting and training terrorists in an organized way; (d) collaborating with other international terrorist organizations, accepting funding, training of other international terrorist groups, or taking part in their activities.
In the sprit of striking hard terrorism, splittism and extremism, said Zhao Yongchen, deputy director of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau of China's Ministry of Security, the Chinese government has been carrying out work of guarding against and striking "East Turkistan" terrorist forces according to law, and effectively safeguarded the fundamental interests of Chinese people of all nationalities, maintained the rights of life, existence, personal safety and development of vast people in Xinjiang, as well as the safety and stability of border areas.
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