Regarding the story “Activist calls on Japan to highlight the persecution of China’s Uighurs” in the June 29 edition, countless ancient adages warn about the ceaseless hunger of dragons. Despite having overwhelming power and strength, the dragon always craves more. They can live in seas and palaces of gold, but their hunger never ends. While imagery of the dragon is regulated to the realms of myth and legend, there is a nation today that embodies the dragon’s hunger and desire for power. And these traits should cause many in the international community to take pause and stand up in defiance against its will.
The mountainous nation of Tibet was ruthlessly and sadistically invaded by the forces of the People’s Republic of China in 1951. Thousands of Tibetan civilians were massacred, and thousands of ancient monasteries were reduced to ashes. Once fully entrenched in the land, the Chinese government undertook a monstrous purge that sought to eliminate Tibetan culture. And they have been quite successful in this endeavor. The Dalai Lama, the head of the Tibetan community, remains in exile. Basic civil rights are denied to the Tibetan people. And most insidious of all, the government in Beijing has flooded the area with ethnic Han migrants in an attempt to make Tibet ethnically Chinese. And while the plight of the Tibetan people is well-known, the world has hardly lifted a finger to help them. And as a result of this, the nation of Tibet continues to suffer.
The Chinese government is now aiming to eradicate another people and nation from their midst, this time the Uighur of East Turkestan. For the last several years, the Chinese government has implemented martial law in East Turkestan. Resistance against Chinese authorities has been widely reported, but the international community has turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Uighur people. Houses of worship have been destroyed, people have been arrested without justification and everyday life has been severely infringed upon. But the nightmare continues to grow worse: Reports have exposed a network of concentration camps scattered throughout East Turkestan. Some report that over a million Uighur civilians are housed in these prisons. It is clear that the Chinese government wants to once again delve into the policy of ethnic cleansing. The global community must not let this occur once again.
The Tibetan nation was ravaged and decimated decades ago. The Chinese dragon has awakened once more and is now targeting the people of East Turkestan. The leaders of the free world must not let history repeat itself. If left unchallenged, the dragon will continue to attack, oppress and destroy any and all ethnic minorities it deems intolerable.
There is no excuse for inaction in today’s day and age. There is no justification for silence. The world must not be complacent in yet another tragedy of epic proportions. Enough is enough.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.