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A key Uighur leader speaks out on China, an "unbearable" situation and what President Obama should be doing about all of it.
In fact, I am not surprised for being targeted probably because I have been targeted for so long. The Chinese government always finds a scapegoat to blame and divert the attention of the Chinese people from its own political failure. I think it is a shame. Demonizing His Holiness or me in China and before the international community is not going to resolve China's fundamental problems in Tibet or East Turkestan.
What should China do to prevent further outbreaks of violence among ethnically diverse people?
China has never done any educations programs or discussions to promote knowledge or awareness between different ethnic groups. If China has done it, we would not have seen the Chinese mob attack and killing of Uighur workers at Shauguan toy factory and the ensuing protest in Urumchi a week later. In order to prevent further outbreaks of violence, the Chinese government should tone down Chinese nationalism, stop inflaming and manipulating Chinese people's sentiments to target a particular ethnic group as it did after the July 5th protests, and start educating the Chinese people to respect other groups' culture, language, religion, traditions, and way of life. Furthermore, the Chinese government should stop demonizing Uighurs, Tibetans and others, calling them "barbaric, violent, backward, superstitious, dirty, lazy, ungrateful, separatist and terrorist." Such education and change of policy on the part of the Chinese government will facilitate an atmosphere of reconciliation.
Do you believe the situation for Uighur people in China will improve or worsen following these incidents?
It has already worsened to an unbearable point. For many Uighurs, East Turkestan is like a big prison. It is a police state for them. The region has already been flooded by the Chinese security forces. An additional 130,000 will be deployed before October 1st, China's national day. Now it is like a war zone.
How do you assess President Obama's response to the Xinjiang protests?
It would have been great if President Obama issued a stronger statement and demanded the Chinese government respect the fundamental human rights of the Uighur people. But I am pleased that President Obama asked the Chinese government to respect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in his speech this week in the beginning of theU.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. I certainly want to see more from the U.S. government as China takes the U.S. position on Uighurs, or any issues, more seriously.
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