Salih Hudayar

China aids Hamas while falsely accusing Uyghurs of terrorism

Beijing's strategy is calculated to divert attention from its campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan
Hamas weapons discovered by IDF troops in a school in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, December 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Hamas weapons discovered by IDF troops in a school in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, December 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A recent exposé in The Telegraph has brought to the world’s attention a massive arsenal of Chinese weapons seized from Hamas in Gaza. This revelation forces us to confront the glaring double standards within Beijing’s global strategy: How China unabashedly uses the false pretexts of “anti-terrorism” to wage a genocidal campaign against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan while actively providing support to Hamas, an organization widely recognized as a terrorist group.

China’s actions follow a disconcerting pattern: On one hand, it perpetrates what can only be termed as state-sponsored terrorism and systematic genocide against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan. Under the guise of countering “Islamic extremism” and “terrorism”, China justifies its colonial and genocidal policies, which encompass operating more than 1,200 mass internment concentration camps and enslaving millions of Uyghurs and Turkic peoples through forced labor. This genocidal campaign also involves the deliberate erasure of our cultural, religious, and linguistic heritage, the forced sterilization of hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women, state-sponsored rape, the separation of over a million Turkic children, the prohibition of religious practices, greetings, and names, and the demolition of over 16,000 mosques and cultural sites.

Simultaneously, China extends its support to Hamas – an Islamist organization that has a well-documented history of employing terrorism against innocent civilians as part of its campaign to wipe out Israel. Most recently, the world witnessed such acts on October 7, 2023, when Hamas unleashed attacks against Israel.

This perplexing contradiction is not an inadvertent oversight but a calculated component of China’s overarching geopolitical strategy. By arming Hamas, be it directly or indirectly through others like Iran, and bolstering its activities, China effectively diverts global attention from its ongoing campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan. China’s covert and overt support for Hamas, encompassing weaponry, technology, media manipulation, diplomatic support, and financial assistance, serves as a tool to expand its influence within the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East.

What compounds the gravity of this situation is the stark disparity between China’s actions and its propaganda on combating “terrorism” and “Islamic extremism.” China’s history is replete with instances of supporting Islamist groups and regimes, including, the Taliban, the Iranian government, and Hamas among others. This glaring hypocrisy fundamentally refutes China’s false claims to be “combating terrorism” and “Islamic extremism” in Occupied East Turkistan while actively abetting Islamist organizations and regimes engaged in acts of terror and extremism.

For the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples of East Turkistan, China’s support for Hamas is a bitter reminder of the formidable challenges we face in our struggle to regain our independence. East Turkistan’s struggle to restore its independence is deeply rooted in a history marred by decades of Chinese colonization and occupation. We endure wholesale genocide at the hands of the Chinese government, which unjustly accuses us of terrorism. In reality, our struggle is about preserving our culture, identity, and nation – a stark contrast to any agenda promoting acts of terrorism.

It is imperative to distinguish between the aspirations of the Uyghurs and the objectives of Hamas. While Hamas openly advocates for the destruction of Israel and all Jews, the Uyghurs seek nothing more than the restoration of their independence and the reclamation of their homeland, East Turkistan. We harbor no intent to obliterate China from existence and are more than open to coexisting as two distinct and independent nations, as has historically been the norm throughout human history.

Furthermore, allegations of violence against civilians attributed to the Uyghurs warrant scrupulous examination. While a few violent incidents have occurred, they are largely suspected of being Chinese false-flag operations designed to demonize Uyghurs and justify the Chinese government’s genocidal campaign. Genuine East Turkistan independence activists have consistently directed their efforts toward Chinese state and occupation forces, refraining from targeting civilian populations in our pursuit to restore our freedom and independence.

In conclusion, the revelation of China’s support for Hamas while simultaneously accusing Uyghurs of terrorism underscores the hypocritical nature of China’s foreign policy. It underscores the urgent need for the international community to hold China accountable for its actions and provide unwavering support to the Uyghur people in our struggle for justice, independence, and the preservation of our existence.

The world must not turn a blind eye to these injustices committed by China and must recognize the true nature of China’s actions in East Turkistan and beyond, including in the Middle East. Sadly, none of this is likely to happen any time soon, as many international organizations are too busy scrutinizing only Israel.

About the Author
Salih Hudayar is the leader of the East Turkistan National Movement and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Security of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. A refugee and tireless advocate, he champions the rights and self-determination of Turkic peoples in East Turkistan.
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