Uyghurs and The Xinjiang Conflict

East Turkestan Independence Movement

Kokbayraq flag

This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.

The East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM) is also known as the Uyghur separatists or Uyghur nationalists. The history of the modern ETIM dates back to the early 20th century. (See "History")

Proponents for independence argue: Uyghurs feel that they are slowly being eradicated as an ethnic, cultural group; their existence in Xinjiang and group identity is becoming obsolete. They protest oppression by Han Chinese culture and language, and persecution by the Chinese government. 

Opponents to independence argue: For nearly two thousand years, China has had territorial jurisdiction over the Xinjiang region. Uyghurs arrived later, around 842 AD. 

The ETIM is officially considered a terrorist group by The People's Republic of China, and listed as an extremist group by the U.S. State Department.