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Strategies of Attrition (IV)

GermanForeignPolicy.com [1]
[See also
Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I) [2], Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II) [3] and Strate­gies of Attri­tion (III) [4].]

BERLIN/URUMQI/MUNICH/BEIJING
(Own report) — Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy mak­ers, are upping their polit­i­cal pres­sure on Bei­jing, and hold­ing talks with a Chi­nese sep­a­ratist. As the Munich based “World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC)” announced, its pres­i­dent, Rebiya Kadeer will also be received by the for­eign min­istry. The Uyghurs, a Mus­lim minor­i­ty from the autonomous region Xin­jiang (West­ern Chi­na), are seek­ing the seces­sion of their region “East Turkestan” from the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na. Rebiya Kadeer’s appear­ance in the Ger­man cap­i­tal has been care­ful­ly stage man­aged for high pro­file in con­junc­tion with US activ­i­ties. Fol­low­ing the Dalai Lama’s Ger­man Chan­cellery vis­it, Berlin has been esca­lat­ing its anti-Bei­jing seces­sion­ist offen­sive. For decades, Ger­many — includ­ing for­eign intel­li­gence cir­cles — has been cul­ti­vat­ing rela­tions to Uyghur exile politi­cians.

Prece­dent

Rebiya Kadeer is vis­it­ing Berlin short­ly after the Dalai Lama end­ed his Euro­pean tour that pro­voked strong protest from Bei­jing. In Sep­tem­ber, the head of the self pro­claimed Tibetan exile gov­ern­ment vis­it­ed the Span­ish province Cat­alo­nia that, after hav­ing gained exten­sive auton­o­my rights, is seek­ing secession.[1] He con­tin­ued his trip to Por­tu­gal and Aus­tria, meet­ing with the head of the Vien­nese gov­ern­ment. In Berlin, the would-be god king was received for the first time by the Ger­man Chan­cellery. Short­ly there­after, the US gov­ern­ment cre­at­ed anoth­er prece­dent: in a pub­lic cer­e­mo­ny, Pres­i­dent Bush pre­sent­ed the Dalai Lama the Con­gres­sion­al Medal of Hon­or, the high­est civil­ian award bestowed by Amer­i­can law­mak­ers. Now it is Rebiya Kadeer, who is mak­ing a tour. Com­ing from the USA, where she lives in exile, her first stop-over was Lon­don, where she had talks with MPs, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the for­eign min­istry and mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment. She then pro­ceed­ed to Berlin, where she is at present.

Pol­i­cy Advi­sor

Cur­rent transat­lantic activ­i­ties pro­mot­ing anti-Chi­nese sep­a­ratism and weak­en­ing Bei­jing, are based on decades of Ger­man-US coop­er­a­tion. Erkin Alptekin, a Uyghur liv­ing in exile, is one of the pro­tag­o­nists. His father, Yusuf Alptekin had already par­tic­i­pat­ed in the 1930s seces­sion­ist move­ment in West­ern Chi­na. From 1933 — 1934 he was Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary of the pro­vi­sion­al gov­ern­ment of the “Turk­ish Islam­ic Repub­lic East Turkestan”. The Uyghurs are still call­ing the region they inhab­it in the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na, “East Turkestan”, because they con­sid­er them­selves to be of eth­nic Turk­ish descent. Some of them are striv­ing for a pan-Turk­ish fed­er­a­tion com­bin­ing regions in Cen­tral Asia with Turkey. After fin­ish­ing his stud­ies in Istan­bul, Erkin Alptekin, whose fam­i­ly is held in high esteem in Uyghur cir­cles, moved to Munich in 1971, where he became “Senior Pol­i­cy Advi­sor” to the direc­tor of the US sta­tion “Radio Liberty”.[2]

CIA

It was at that time, that the CIA began to estab­lish con­tacts to Uyghurs seek­ing seces­sion. “Some, like Erkin Alptekin, who have worked for the CIA’s Radio Lib­er­ty, are — in the mean­time — on the fore­front of the seces­sion­ist move­ment” writes ana­lyst B. Raman, the for­mer Indi­an gov­ern­men­t’s cab­i­net secretary.[3] In Munich, Alptekin found­ed the “East Turkestan Union in Europe” in 1991 and in April 2004 the “World Uyghur Con­gress” and was named its found­ing pres­i­dent. From Ger­man ter­ri­to­ry, the con­gress is steer­ing numer­ous Uyghur exile orga­ni­za­tions around the world, of which some must be clas­si­fied as being in the ter­ror­ist milieu, accord­ing to Chi­nese gov­ern­ment information.[4]

Con­nect­ed

The Munich based exile move­ment seeks to merge the Uyghur seces­sion­ist move­ment with the Tibetan and the Mon­go­lian move­ments, to break up the Chi­nese nation from sev­er­al of its periph­er­al regions. In 1985, for­mer CIA advi­sor Alptekin par­tic­i­pat­ed in the foun­da­tion of the “Allied Com­mit­tee of the Peo­ples of East Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mon­go­lia”. He sup­port­ed in 1998, an inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence in New York, orga­nized by this Com­mit­tee, where rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the US gov­ern­ment were in atten­dance. The strat­e­gy of eth­nic move­ments is shared by the Dalai Lama. In his mes­sage of greet­ings to the con­fer­ence in New York, he wrote: “Geog­ra­phy, his­to­ry and cur­rent­ly Chi­nese occu­pa­tion is con­nect­ing our three peo­ples. I remain opti­mistic that the true aspi­ra­tions of the peo­ples of East Turkestan, Inner Mon­go­lia and Tibet will be ful­filled in a not too dis­tant future.”[5]

Pub­lic Rela­tions

Rebiya Kadeer, cur­rent­ly in Berlin for polit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions, is con­tin­u­ing Alptek­in’s activ­i­ties — and is also receiv­ing Ger­man-US Amer­i­can sup­port. At the end of the 1990s, Rebiya Kadeer, — at the time the wealth­i­est busi­ness woman in the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic — ran into con­flict with Bei­jing, because of her sep­a­ratist activ­i­ties, pro­vok­ing her arrest. Through pres­sure from the US, she was able to leave Chi­na for the Unit­ed States in March 2005, where she joined her hus­band. He is still work­ing for Radio Free Asia, the Asian coun­ter­part to Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty, also said to have close links to the CIA. Rebiya Kadeer has been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly groomed as the uni­fy­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Uyghures. She has been nom­i­nat­ed sev­er­al times a can­di­date for the Nobel Peace Prize. A Ber­tels­mann Cor­po­ra­tion pub­lish­ing house recent­ly pub­lished her biog­ra­phy — in Ger­man. The book has been receiv­ing wide acclaim in the Ger­man media. In June 2007, short­ly after her audi­ence with US Pres­i­dent Bush, it was pre­sent­ed at the Fed­er­al Press Con­fer­ence in Berlin with inter­est­ed Green par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in atten­dance.

Esca­lat­ing

Rebiya Kadeer vis­it­ed Berlin for the first time in Novem­ber 2006, dur­ing her trip to Ger­many to be elect­ed pres­i­dent of the “World Uyghur Con­gress” in Munich. Her cur­rent Berlin vis­it fol­lows on the heels of a res­o­lu­tion passed by the US Con­gress, call­ing for Bei­jing to grant Uyghurs new rights of auton­o­my and to lib­er­ate incar­cer­at­ed sep­a­ratists, includ­ing two of Rebiya Kadeer’s sons. She will be received not only by the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry, but will also have con­sul­ta­tions with the Fed­er­al Par­lia­men­t’s Human Rights Com­mis­sion as well as with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of par­ty affil­i­at­ed Foun­da­tions. This clear­ly shows that Berlin is esca­lat­ing its Uyghur pol­i­cy.

Petra Kel­ly Prize

This is being aid­ed by the “Unrep­re­sent­ed Nations and Peo­ples Orga­ni­za­tion (UNPO)” found­ed at the begin­ning of 1991 and based in The Hague. The Dalai Lama and the Uyghur seces­sion­ist Alptekin are among the co-founders. 69 “nations” are cur­rent­ly mem­bers of this orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing “East Turkestan”, Tibet and Inner Mon­go­lia. The orga­ni­za­tion is demand­ing the “right of self-deter­mi­na­tion” for these regions of sov­er­eign nations. In the mean­time, six for­mer UNPO mem­bers, among them Esto­nia, Latvia and Geor­gia have obtained the state­hood, they had been demand­ing. The UNPO has a “coor­di­na­tion office” in Wash­ing­ton and has sev­er­al “peo­ples” in reserve for use in the polit­i­cal strate­gies of West­ern pow­ers. Among the UNPO mem­bers are Kur­dish sep­a­ratis
ts from Iraq and Iran as well as seces­sion­ists form Ser­bia (Koso­vo), who have long since been brought into posi­tion against their cen­tral gov­ern­ments, but also col­lec­tives in Rus­sia and Myan­mar seek­ing auton­o­my, who can be deployed when­ev­er it becomes polit­i­cal­ly fea­si­ble.

The UNPO was hon­ored with the “Petra Kel­ly Prize” by the Ger­man, Green Par­ty affil­i­at­ed, Hein­rich Boell Foun­da­tion.

Please read also: Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I) [2]
, Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II) [3] and Strate­gies of Attri­tion (III) [4]).

[1] see also Lan­guage Strug­gle [5] and Eth­nic Europe [6]

[2] Erkin Alptekin; www.tibet10march.net/web/redner_alptekin.htm [7]

[3] B. Raman: US and Ter­ror­ism in Xin­jiang; South Asia Analy­sis Group, Paper No. 499, 24.07.2002

[4] Chi­na Seeks Int’l Sup­port In Counter-Ter­ror­ism; Peo­ple’s Dai­ly Online 16.12.2003

[5] B. Raman: US and Ter­ror­ism in Xin­jiang; South Asia Analy­sis Group, Paper No. 499, 24.07.2002