Uyghurs excluded from 3rd Taklamakan Desert Forum in their homeland

by Uyghur Times

China’s Deployment of Desertification Prevention Technology in Central Asia and Africa

By Uyghur Times Staff

June 18, 2022

Experts discussed desertification technology at the 3rd Taklamakan Desert Forum in Korla, Uyghurstan (a.k.a. Xinjiang).

Uyghurs excluded from 3rd Taklamakan Desert Forum in their homeland; Photo from Xinhua News Agency

Zhang Yuanming, director of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that over the past 60 years of rooting in the frontiers, Xinjiang Habitat has innovatively proposed the ecological utilization technology of unconventional water resources in arid areas in the field of desertification prevention and control, and created the Tarim Desert Highway Ecological Protection Forest Project and Junggar The desert open channel sand control engineering optimization technology plan has overcome the construction technology of economical sand control barriers in the oases on the southern edge of the Tarim Basin and the high-yield and stable-yield large-scale planting technology of Cistanche deserticola.

The international conference, focused on addressing worldwide endeavors in combating desertification, adopted the name “Taklimakan” to represent a desert located in the southwestern region of the Uyghur homeland. Spanning an expansive area of 337,000 square kilometers (130,000 square miles), the Taklimakan Desert is recognized as the second-largest shifting sand desert globally, with approximately 85% of its terrain composed of dynamic sand dunes.

The meeting took place in Korla, a city located in close proximity to the Taklamakan Desert in the Uyghur region. This region has been predominantly inhabited by Uyghurs for hundreds of years.. However, according to an investigation conducted by the Uyghur Times, no Uyghurs participated in this meeting. Furthermore, the Chinese state media did not mention the names of any Uyghur experts or residents, indicating a deliberate policy of marginalization.

Taklimakan Forum excludes Uyghurs

China has implemented a highly intricate approach to involving Uyghurs in international meetings and conferences, strategically utilizing them for propagandistic purposes to portray an image of benevolence, progress, and diversity to the global community. However, in instances where showcasing the intellectual abilities and cultural distinctiveness of the Uyghurs would be advantageous, China systematically marginalizes and isolates them, preventing their meaningful participation in such international gatherings.

According to the Xinjiang Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the organizer of the forum, Gong Haihua, director of the Asian and African Division of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “The technical achievements of desertification prevention and control carried out by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have already played a demonstration role in Central Asia and Africa.”

The reports by human rights groups reveal that the Chinese government is causing significant and enduring harm to the ecological equilibrium and environment of Uyghurstan. Their actions encompass the deliberate desertification of the Tarim River, conducting nuclear tests, exploiting oil resources to an excessive extent, and decimating natural habitats. These detrimental outcomes are fueled by the unchecked population growth, driven by economic, industrial, and tourism demands, which are further exacerbated by China’s migration policy aimed at the colonization and subjugation of Uyghurstan.

According to a news report by Urumqi Evening News reporter Liang Le, the 3rd Taklamakan Desert Forum and African Green Great Wall Construction Technology Training Course were held in Korla. More than 180 experts and business representatives from 14 countries, including China, Ethiopia, and Mauritania, gathered to discuss and exchange the current situation and challenges in the field of desertification prevention and control in various countries, and share the latest technical achievements and experience in desertification prevention and control.

It is understood that the holding of this forum provides a platform for sharing, communication, and learning for some African countries along the “Belt and Road” that are most affected by desertification, and strengthens cooperation and exchanges between China and African countries in the field of desertification prevention and control. It has promoted scientific and technological cooperation in the prevention and control of desertification along the “Belt and Road”.

During the forum, activities such as the launching ceremony of the “Belt and Road” international scientific organization desertification prevention and control alliance, roundtable dialogues on desertification prevention and control scientific and technological cooperation among countries along the “Belt and Road,” and entrepreneurial dialogues were held. The participants also visited the Taklamakan Desert Research Station, the Tarim Desert Highway Shelter Forest Ecological Project, and the Cele National Field Scientific Observation and Research Station for Desert Grassland Ecosystem, etc., to gain an in-depth understanding of various desertification prevention and control work carried out in Xinjiang.

The news also mentioned that, based on the information from  the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, during the forum, Deng Mingjiang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chairman of the Autonomous Region Association for Science and Technology, and Wang Yongdong, a senior engineer of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made keynote reports respectively.

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