Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday that facts have proved the separatist-minded "East Turkistan" terrorists have become a faction in the international terrorist movement.
Zhang made the remarks at a regular press conference in response to a journalist's question, asking her to comment on a report by senior U.S. defense officials that "Chinese Uygur people joined the combat in Taliban troops."
Zhang pointed out that the "Chinese Uygur people" mentioned by U.S. officials "are actually separatist-minded 'East Turkistan' terrorists."
She said that the "East Turkistan" terrorist force has close links with international terrorist forces and "at least several hundred of these separatist-minded terrorists" once received training in Afghanistan.
She reiterated that China is willing to make joint effort with the international community to fight against all manners of terrorism, "including the 'East Turkistan' terrorist force."
What is "East Turkstan", and it's hostorical origin
China's official definition of "East Tujue" element --There are indeed a group of national splittists who attempt to separate Xinjiang from China through terrorist means and set up a so-called "east Turkstan", we call them "East Tujue" terrorists.
With regard to the reason for the emergence of "East Tujue" elements, what academic circle has confirmed is the influence of Islamism and Pan-Turkism in history.
Based on textual research, a scholar pointed out that historically, Tujue (Turk) was a nomadic ethnic group who once set up two Tujue Khan States in areas of Central Asia. East Tujue (Turk) was subjugated by Huihe (direct ancestors of Uygur), and West Tujue was subjugated by the Tang Dynasty.
Since then the Tujue people (Turks) lost the historical chance for developing into a modern nationality. The two tribes of West Tujue moved westward to the Asia Minor Peninsula and settled down there, their descendants established the Otman Islam Empire, brilliant for quite a while. After World War I, Kemal founded the Turkey republic on the ruins of the said Empire.
Turkstan relevant to this concept is a place name, originally referred generally to the birthplace of Tujue people in Central Asia. In the 19th century, European geographers began to use this name and expanded the scope of its affiliated land-Central Asia became West Turkstan in the part of Russia, where Xinjiang of China became East Turkstan.
In the middle part of the 19th century, an Afghan proposed founding a unified Islamic political entity by uniting all Islamic countries, thus beginning the spread of Islamism. Pan-Turk-ism originated from the Tartars who were oppressed by Pan-Slav-ism under the rule of tsarist Russia, it was aimed to establish a unified Turks Empire by uniting all nationalities from Asia Minor to Central Asia under the Turki language system. Manifestation of these two trends of thought in Xinjiang was the "East Turkstan independence movement".
Pan-Islamism and Pan Turk-ism began to spread into Xinjiang in the early 19th century, they began to take shape in the early period of the Republic of China. A Turk named Karmal and a Uygur intellectual named Maiswood who was returned from Turkey after finishing his study there were representatives of these two trends of thought. In the early 1830s, Xinjiang was in a chaotic situation, taking advantage of this opportunity, East Turkstan movement established an "East Turkstan Islamic Republic" in Kashen. This regime existed only three months, but it marked the beginning of the East Turkstan movement, which has been carried on to this date.