Nations around the globe continue to sever ties with Russia following Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Yet, while most countries are decrying Putin in an act of unified international consternation, China recently called Russia its “most important strategic partner.”
After the invasion, Russia has reportedly even asked China for military and economic assistance. While it’s unclear where these purported conversations will go, the alleged ask is certainly noteworthy.
Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast 👇
China has held back from wading too deeply into the ranks of either camp, though warm relations with Russia and a refusal to issue an outright condemnation of Russia’s assault persist.
Amid the confusion, a reality seems unmissable: both Russia and China have faced similar accusations of late. And China’s alleged atrocities are still under investigation and are of concern by the U.N., the U.S., and other bodies — even if they have largely fallen out of the headlines.
While news from the Russian conflict continues to fixate on death, violence, and the droves of Ukrainian refugees fleeing, just weeks ago, China’s alleged atrocities against the Uyghur Muslims sparked international condemnation and negative headlines before, during, and after the Beijing Olympics.
As the world turns its collective attention to Russia and Ukraine, Salih Hudayar, prime minister for the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile, is among those continuing to shed light on the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Uyghurs.
Hudayar is one of the international representatives of East Turkistan (an area the Chinese government refers to as Xinjiang). He recently explained the region’s history and the purpose of a “government-in-exile” to Faithwire.
“East Turkistan is a country that is currently occupied by China,” Hudayar said. “In 1949, China invaded East Turkistan and overthrew the independent East Turkistan Republic.”
Listen to him break down the history — and his views on China’s treatment of the Uyghurs:
Hudayar is one of the leaders outside East Turkistan who has been elected to take on the region’s representation.
He explained the home base for the East Turkistan government-in-exile is in Washington, D.C. With leaders not officially present in the Chinese-dominated region, this external government is the “democratically elected official body representing East Turkistan and its people.”
It includes a democratically elected Parliament throughout the East Turkistani diaspora, which chooses leaders like Hudayar as representatives.
He is among those who decried the “shameful “decision to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
“It was shameful,” he said. “The fact that the International Olympic Committee awarded China, knowing that multiple governments across the world, including the U.S. government and parliaments of nine different other countries, have officially designated China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkestan as a genocide.”
He said it’s a well-known fact China has engaged in “mass internment and mass atrocities against.” Despite the U.S. and others implementing diplomatic boycotts of the Olympics, Hudayar said it wasn’t enough.
“The ‘Genocide Olympics’ have ended, but the genocide in East Turkestan is continuing,” he said.
Hudayar is hoping to see the U.S. hold China accountable for the ongoing persecution of Uyghurs. One way this could be done is to bring the issue before the U.N. Security Council. Even if China vetoes that effort, the move, he argued, would be notable.
There are other ways to keep up the pressure, he said. On the celebrity and corporate level, Hudayar said businesses and individuals who speak out on the issue are having a positive impact.
“Many people … follow these celebrities and look up to them,” he said. “If these celebrities, if these corporations are silent, this is only going to embolden China to continue engaging in further atrocious acts.”
But Hudayar said he believes the danger of silence extends well beyond China and its communist government.
“Not only is it going to embolden China; this will embolden other regimes like the Chinese Communist Party in other parts of the world where are like, ‘Oh, OK, if China is able to get away with this … then we should be able to get away with you know, engaging in genocide against other groups.'”
Find out more about Hudayar and the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile here.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***