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February 1, 1970

Letter, Isa Yusuf Alptekin, President of the National Center for the Liberation of Eastern Turkestan, to President Richard Nixon

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

[page 1]


The National Center

For the Liberation of Eastern Turkestan




I / Febr. / 1970


Mr. Richard Nixon

The President

The White House



Dear President:


I beg to be forgiven for my direct approach to Your Excellency on a matter which is both embarrassing and urgent.


The subject in question concerns a great menace which the whole world as led by the United States of America is confronting. This menace is now in the process of evolution to engulf the earth. If time is allowed, it can upset the balance of the world to the disadvantage of the free nations. With my country now being a base for such a potentially horrid preparation, and, with my people subject to yet untold types of atrocities, I feel an urge to illuminate what is our real cause.


The whole world has reason to be apprehensive of Red China, for it is likely to be an irresistible [sic] threat on earth. But what the majority of the mankind has as yet no inkling is the bitter fact that Red China is almost solely dependent on the territory of its New Dominion, Sinkiang, to carry out her expansionist design. If rightly evaluated, the land of Eastern Turkestan, which is being introduced to the outside world by the colonialistic [sic[ attribution of ‘Sinkiang’ possesses all the necessary elements as a potential base for world wide expansion, not only in terms of its mineral wealth but also of its strategically unique position.


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As a land in the very heart of Asia, being encompassed geographically by such a different lands as China proper to the east, Siberia to the north, Western or Soviet Turkestan to the west, Afghanistan to the southeast, Pakistan and India to the south and Tibet to the southeast, my country has been the home of Turkic people from very early times. The natives are entirely different from the Chinese and this distinction is marked sharply by an over-all dissimilarity in every respect, such as language, race, culture, tradition and religion.


China today is erroneously represented abroad to be a homogeneous nation, regardless of the fact that it is a state where more than 100 different nationalities with their respective territorial bases are still existing. The mere presence of Turkic people, Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans, the Yi, the Mio, the Chuang, the Tai and many other non-Chinese nationalities is the vivid proof of the imperialistic and colonialistic structure of China. If the highly elaborated Chinese skill of assimilating other nationalities, which is now being complemented with terror and coercion, is acknowledged as a verified fact, not to speak of the enormity of the Chinese population itself, the hard ordeal that the different nationalities under the Chinese rule has undertaken for survival deserves the highest remark as a good example of perseverance. China today is one of the biggest nations in the world where the Marxist teaching has been implemented to attain the objectives of big power chauvinism. With its enormous multitude and with its frantic effort to acquire technical and military supremacy, China may prove to be a greater menace to all the world, and this menace is likely to cause a total destruction to the free nations if they are not prudent and fore-sighted.


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The Chinese imperialism intends to use Eastern Turkestan as a principal base of operations for carrying out its expansionist designs. The preparations, already under way for this purpose, have been speeded up lately so that any day the territory of Eastern Turkestan may come into the picture as the key point for the outbreak of Chinese war of world conquest. Precedences [sic] of similar events occurred many a time in the history when Eastern Turkestan as a base and outlet provided the raiding deluges with a passage toward western Asia and Europe. History repeats itself. It is no wonder if the contemporary Chinese imperialism once again stages its desparate [sic] attempt for expansion from the land of Eastern Turkestan. Therefore, we must acknowledge it as an unquestionable fact that Eastern Turkestan is the foremost rampart for the security of the two hemispheres alike, for it has always been the bulwark in defense against the Chinese expansionism throughout the history.


There is, however, a possibility to give a halt to frenzied Chinese adventurism. It can be done by way of speeding up the process of dismemberment of the Chinese empire, which, having enslaved more than 100 different nationalities and subjecting them to the severest measures of sinofication [sic], is now showing the signs of decadence. This process can be exhilarated by lending an attentive ear to the grievance of the nationalities subjugated by China and also by extending tangible assistance to their cause. The people of Eastern Turkestan, being one of those nationalities subject to a base oppression, expect support for their righteous cause from the free nations of the world in generation and the United States of America in particular. What they aspire to attain is in conformity with the principles of the modern age of human civilization. Their entreaty is so basic and logic as follows:


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1. Denunciation of Chinese atrocities: It is a humanitarian obligation for the free world to sponsore [sic] the independence cause of the nationalities dominated by Red China, especially of Eastern Turkestan, because their freedom and independence can be a firm assurance for the perpetual peace and justice on earth. Denunciation of the Chinese atrocities and submission of the Question of Eastern Turkestan to the United Nations General Assembly are imperative as retaliative [sic] measures against the Red Chinese fanaticism and imperialistic ambition threatening the whole world.


2. Declaration of independence of Eastern Turkestan: Nationalist China practically has no control over China Mainland except for the seat it occupies at the United Nations Organisation as the sole representative of a single Chinese nation. Ironically, the Government of Nationalist China is disinclined to declare independency [sic] for Eastern Turkestan although this country is no longer in its jurisdiction, but on the contrary, Eastern Turkestan is directly under the domination of Peking regime – a staunch enemy of Nationalist China. Refusal of independence of Eastern Turkestan by the Government of Nationalist China may be interpreted as the approval of Red Chinese policy aiming at the annihilation and assimilation of non-Chinese peoples in the mainland China. It is, therefore, requested that the United States of America use its good office before the Government 0f Nationalist China to obtain its consent to declare the independence of Eastern Turkestan.


3. Preventative action: Necessary measures must be taken to save the territory of Eastern and Western Turkestan from being a target of a possible nuclear warfare.


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4. Assurance of the status: Important is the protection of both parts of Turkestan, Eastern and Western, against an alternative occupation by either one of these two big Communist powers as a result of a possible Sino-Soviet war.


5. Organisational undertakings: It is necessary to set up an institute of academic structure to conduct research work for the purpose of studying every aspect of the non-Chinese nationalities living in present-day China and also to operate a radio network beaming at these peoples in their respective languages.


6. Mobilisation of potentialities: In any event the rightful owners of the territories concerned may prove to be a major potential force on the side of free world. It is, therefore, very essential to devise a plan to secure their collaboration and also to train the children of the non-Chinese exiles abroad.


7. Centralization: Sharing a common problem at least for the present time, it is imperative for the various non-Chinese nationalities dominated by Peking to work hand in hand. It is, therefore, necessary to re-organize their movement within a centralized solid bloc.


8. Preservation of national heritage: The official name now widely used with reference to Eastern Turkestan is "Sinkiang" - a century-old colialnialistic Chinese attribution meaning “New Dominion”. The designation of Sinkiang is still preferred by the Peking regime as it can conceal the fact that one fifth of the territory of the present-day Chinese empire belongs to the Eastern Turks. The use of such colonialistic designation in the free world is an unforgivable fallacy.


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9. Material Support: The people of Eastern Turkestan, desparate as they are, count on the good-hearted people of the United States of America for material support in their continued struggle for freedom.



These are the aspirations of my people both at home and abroad, who cherish only one ultimate goal – independence for which they fought and are still fighting. The free world as led by the United States of America is therefore called upon to be attentive and prompt to consider the entreaty of my people. Eastern Turkestan has every reason and right to be independent. However, the probability of its falling under the Soviet domination in the event of Russian victory in a possible armed clash with China is still another problem causing disappointment and dismay.


My people join me to express heart-felt regards to Your Excellency and to the good people of the United States of America.


Thanking you in anticipation,


Very Faithfully Yours




Isa Yusuf Alptekin


President of the National Center for the Liberation of East Turkestan

Formerly secretary general of the Government of Eastern Turkestan




Isa Yusuf Alptekin writes to President Nixon to explain the plight of his people and to request assistance.


Document Information


National Archives and Records Administration. Facsimile copy available through GALE U.S. Declassified Documents, CK2349523279.


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