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Conversation with Prime Minister Salih Hudayar on Colonialism, Terminology, and the Media: Prime Minister, East Turkistan – Government-in-Exile (5)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/08/01


PM Salih Hudayar is the Prime Minister of East Turkistan (Government-in-Exile) and the Founder of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. He discusses: colonialism.

Keywords: China, Chinese, colonialism, East Turkistan, government-in-exile, Prime Minister, Salih Hudayar, Uyghurs.

Conversation with Prime Minister Salih Hudayar on Colonialism, Terminology, and the Media: Prime Minister, East Turkistan – Government-in-Exile (5)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

*Interview conducted October 20, 2020.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When we look at some of the historical records of settler colonial societies, in particular some of the European based or enacted settler colonial societies, these include Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and South Africa. These countries have come to work towards some marginal reconciliation, to some extent of reconciliation with the indigenous population. The most prominent people that come to kind of public consciousness would be people like Nelson Mandela. However, there are numerous other individuals who have worked on non-indigenous and indigenous alike towards that form of reconciliation and independence for those peoples, those ethnic and cultural groups who were colonized and then settled in East Turkistan.

This action of the Chinese government is explicitly a colonial effort. So, if the reaction of the international community is strong against historical and current settler colonialism in other societies, in terms of working towards the need towards to work towards reconciliation, why is there not necessarily silence, but a dampened response, towards this form of colonialism ongoing in East Turkistan, occupied East Turkistan?

Salih Hudayar[1],[2]: Many people are one misinformed. Because many people aren’t even aware that we were an independent country or that we were occupied. You still have the media portraying us, as I stated, as Muslims, therefore, making a change in internal affairs issues. You still have what they hear about, the Chinese, they automatically think, “Oh, it’s just a part of China.” They must have this Muslim problem, especially post 9/11. Being Muslim, they had negative complications, including the war on terror. A lot of different governments, including the Muslim governments, used the excuse of counter-terrorism to take out its opponents, some more legitimate. There are legitimate counter terrorism concerns. But others like those being done by China.

It was the much needed excuse that China needed to effectively carry out its final solution, which we are seeing at this point. By portraying us as just a bunch of Islamist terrorists, even though our movement is a national movement, even though it’s largely a secular movement, that doesn’t matter. Because when you have a majority of the population being Muslim, and you have negative perceptions on Muslims across the world, it’s the narrative. In fact, this is another issue. The Chinese prior to 2001 would never refer to Uyghurs as terrorists. Because prior to that, that term wasn’t really known or prominent, let’s say.

However, two weeks before 9/11 happened, China’s puppet the secretary, the Communist Party secretary in East Turkistan. He had a large press conference with international media. He was trying to seek international foreign investment. So, he said, ‘Everything is peaceful here. People get along very happy. There have been no acts of violence.’ Some journalists act upon the actions like other people advocating for East Turkistan. We heard that there was a republic here before. He’s like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, that’s just a few things made up by Western imperialists. There is no East Turkistan. The people here, they’re happy. Everybody’s happy, there’s no resistance of any sort.’

Then 9/11 happened. Then within 48 hours of 9/11 happening, China claimed, president at that time, that China was a victim of East Turkistani terrorism. That China supports the global war on terror. Then in November of 2001, on November 11, the day before Independence Day of November 12, China submitted a document to the UN Security Council stating that since 1990; several thousand East Turkistan terrorist attacks have occurred. They listed various different groups. All of them East Turkistani groups. The majority of them, we don’t even know existed. We’ve never heard of those names. But one of them was the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. This is the first time that it was mentioned. Before that, you can’t find any record of anything.

Whether from China, whether from others referring to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, China claimed that it was the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. They were pushing for East Turkistan independence and that they were a terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaida. They began to lobby the U.S., the U.N. to recognize this group as a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, the U.S., the U.N. recognized this group as a terrorist organization in 2002 and 2003, in order to get many people to think that there was a quid pro quo, in order to secure China’s support for the Iraq invasion or the war in Iraq. The way that China portrayed it in our media in East Turkistan at that time. It’s not our media, but in the Chinese media in East Turkistan, at that time, was that the US and the UN declared East Turkistan independence as a terrorist movement.

Because the acronym ETIM, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, also happens to have the same acronym as the broad East Turkistan Independence Movement; there is no organization calling itself the East Turkistan Independence Movement, but it’s a very broad term. Using that, China has been able to put out this narrative. So, there’s two reasons for this. People are informed in the worst about East Turkistan. The media, they continue to spread and to write reports on what’s happening with the human rights abuses that are in a more favorable terms in the Chinese narrative, using the Chinese narrative to write it down. Because at the end of the day, China’s biggest fear is to expand independence.

And in order to prevent that from happening, human rights abuses happen all across the world. Every country in the world, whether it’s the United States or Canada the E.U. or Japan; there will always be human rights issues. This is something that is a reality. In many cases, under international law, it’s like a so-called internal affairs issue. So, China, its biggest fear is East Turkistan as independent. So, in order to prevent that, it’s okay to have some human rights issue backlash, so long as it maintains the control. By using this influence, they have misinformed the world. To this day, that media, most of the media, not all of them, most of the media continues to label us, as, Chinese Muslims or Muslims in China or ethnic minorities almost always exclusively using the Chinese term in the new territory without even giving interpretation or translation of what that term means. So, that’s why many people are uninformed about this. I think that’s why, to get into your question; and I think that’s why we’re seeing this effort.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Prime Minister, East Turkistan (Government-in-Exile); Founder, East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM).

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2021:


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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