China's Deception On Terrorism
The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, brought with them a new strategic order that would change many balances in the world. The United States began a global war against international terrorism, which sees that country as its main target. Some countries, however, took advantage of that struggle and hoped to use it for their own ends. The most important of these was China.
China tried to portray the United States' reaction to terrorism as "a war against Muslims," and issued a message in October, 2001. That message said, in essence, that China wanted to "cooperate with the Western world against the Islamic terrorists in East Turkestan."
Yet that statement by China is a clear contradiction. The people of East Turkestan are waging an entirely justified struggle to protect their own values and culture, live according to their own religion, and speak their own language. For many years now, that struggle has been waged on a purely democratic platform, thanks to the good sense of the East Turkestan leaders. There may be individuals or groups in East Turkestan who are inclined to the use of violence, just as in any other society, but that does not change the fact that the struggle of East Turkestan is justified. The real terrorist force in the region is the Chinese regime, which is waging a long-term campaign of genocide against the innocent Muslims of East Turkestan.
Western commentators were not slow to express this fact. Former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms was one of these. An example is an article titled "Beware China's Ties to the Taliban" in the October 14, 2001, edition of The Washington Times, just after China's propaganda initiative. Helms had served for many years as Republican party senator for North Carolina, and had been a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In his article, he described how deceptive China's move to gain the support of the United States and the West really was. He stated that there were close links between China and the Taliban regime, and that China was hostile both to Islam and to the West:
As we have seen, Americans are aware of what is happening in Red China and of the terrible oppression of the Muslims of East Turkestan, and therefore regard China, not as a "part of a solution to terrorism," but as a part of terrorism itself.
That view has now come to be shared by many in the West. Various figures are warning of the need to be careful in the face of moves by certain countries that hope to take advantage of the US's fight against terrorism. In a November 5, 2001 article, Thomas Beal, one of the editors of The Asian Wall Street Journal stressed the following:
Later in the article, Beal turned to the Chinese regime's oppression of the people of East Turkestan, and stated that it was still going on. He concluded his article with these words:
For its part, Turkey needs to keep these facts in mind in its relationship with China, and to use diplomatic channels to support the rightful struggle of its fellow Turks and co-religionists in East Turkestan.