The undeclared nuclear War in Eastern
In 1959 on the densely populated territory of the ancient cultural center of Eastern Turkestan's Lop
Nor region, China's top secret nuclear testing site was founded. Lop Nor is about 265 kilometers
southeast of Urumchi, the capita;; of Eastern Turkestan, mostly known in the West as Xinjiang
Uigur Autonomous Region.
China's nuclear test in Eastern Turkestan for more than three decades have produced an ecological
disaster, not only endangering human life but also polluting drinking water, food supplies and
affecting millions of animals throughout the caountry.
There are also no official figures of the nuclear victims in Eastern Turkestan. But it has been
reported by Eastern Turkestani living in avriuous parts of the country that more than 200.000
people in Eastern Turkestan have died because of the radioactive fallouts. A Chinese official
released on March 13, 1990 claim that a six year study in Eastern Turkestan has founded no
significant radiation harm to residents or environment. On the other hand, Qien Xuesen, the
consultant for National Defence committe for scientific and Technological Industry, has admitted
that "some deaths" had occured over the years in the build up of China's atomic weapons arsenal.
But the fact is that there is no helathy person in Eastern Turkestan today, The radioactive fallout
from the nuclear testing site at Lop NOr is causing an increase in human cancer. It is claimed that
one in 10 are ill with cancer. Befor the nuclear tests the rate of cancer mortality in Eastern
Turkestan was rather low. Between 1975 and 1985 the rate of leukemia increased 7 times in
comparison with the previous 10 years. The rate of mortality from oesophagus cancer is 7-8 times
higheer tahn the rest of China. Almost 40 percent of adults suffer from various forms of nervous
disorder, while 70 percent of women have pathology which provoke compliactions during
pregnancy and birth. 70% of women have pathology which provoke complications during
pregnancy and birth. 70% ofwomen suffer from vaginal cancer, and 85% percent suffer from
Acoording to a report released by the Registry of Peoples Hospitals in Urumchi in 1993, the rate
of fatal cancer was only several cases per year in the 1960s and tens of cases per month inthe
1970s. Now reports of cancer im this hospital numbers at least 70 per day out of an average 1.500
daily sick visits.
As a result
- In 1987 almost 800 people died in the cities Lop, Charkilik, Cherchen, Keriya and Hotan
of an unknown disease
- in 1988 World Health Organization said in a reportthat 3.961 people died in the cities of
Hotan, Yarkent and Kashgar from an unkonown disease.
- In 1988 the Mingbao Daily published in Hong KOng released a report stating that within
and around the nuclear testing site there were 20.000 deformed children.
- In 1990 in the city of Kashgar 5.000 youths were paralyzed in theirarms and legs and lost
- in 1991 160 kids were born in the city of Chatan had cataracks in thier eyes.
- Until 1970 life expentancy in Eastern Turkestan was 65 years. But now it is 40-45 years.
- The infant mortality rate in Eastern Turkestan is 200 per thousand.
- Since 1987 sevral countries, including Hong Kong , stopped improting vegetables, fruits
and meat produced in Eastern Turkestan.
- Most important: persons living in the polluted districts bordering the nuclear test site did
not even receive lementary medical treatment; doctors who did check the victims were
forced to lie to the people about their deadly illnesses; no medical investigations were
carried out; the people living in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear testing site were
never informed about the dangers of radio active fallout.
- At presnt, almost 85.000 people still live in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear test site,
eat polluted food and drink poluuted water. At the beginning of the nuclear tests, the
people living in the immediate vicinity of Lop Nor were never evacuated. In later stages,
when they were evacuated they were returned only after a few days to the polluted areas.
Animals were never evacuated, People those who came back ate thier meat and drink thier
Nuclear and Military Industry in Eastern Turkestan
Inspite of its limited production in terms of total gross national product, Eastern Turkestan occupy
an important place in the military industrial structure of the People's Republic of China. This
explains the exceptional role played by the region in the nuclear missile program.
The nuclear industry of the region is complex, from mining atomic ore to the production and
testing of nuclear equipment. In terms of uranium ore, Eastern Turkestan Eastern Turkestan is in
the first place in China.Uranium is mined in Urumchi, Shihezi, Gulja, Kashgar, Altay, Choechek,
Koektuga and Tashkorgan. The factories processing this ore plays an important role for the whole
country. the uranium enriching plant in the city of Urumchi began operating in 1959; its capacity
is 300.000 tons of ore annually. A similar plant is is locted in the city of Chapchal, producing
from 230.000 to 250.000 tons of ore per year. In 1967, the Jumin Plant for producing platinum-
239 was completed. The total amount of nuclear grade fuel produced by this plant annually runs
from 200 to 300 kilograms. Installations also exist in Shahyar, on the banks of Tarim River.
China's medium range rocket test site is near the city of Hotan. Nuclear weapons are stationed
along the Eastern Turkestans border with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afganistan and
In Eastern Turkestan, four nuclear reactors are operational. Two of them are locate in the city of
Urumchi, one in Hotan and one in Altay.
Anti nuclear demonstrations
Since 1985 the peoples of Eastern Turkestan are staging demonstrations demanding the closure of
the Lop Nor Nuclear testing site. In Mid-March 1993, almost 1.000 Eastern Turkestanis gathered
in front of the Lop Nor test site demanding its closure. When units of the Peoples Liberation Army
opened fire to disperse the demonstrators fighting broke out between the army units and the
demonstrators. Demonstrators then broke into the complex damaging equipment and setting fire to
miltary vehicles, tanks and airplanes. Three and a half kilometers of electrical wiring put up to
protect the complex was totally torn down. Chinese authorities rushed reinforcements to the area to
put down the clashes which resulted in several casualties, including deaths, and the arrests of
The chinese language newspaper, Singtao, in its March edition, quoted a Chinese Defence Ministry
spokesman saying that hundreds of "barbarians" had attacked a Chinese nuclear testing site in
Northwest China causing severe damage to the complex. The paper said that attackers had stolen
radioactive material and three tons of gun powder.
The peaceful demonstrations of the peoples of Eastern Turkestan living at home and abroad
demanding the closure of the nuclear testing site have so far achieved no results. Thus, we urge the
international community to show the same sensitivity to chinese nuclear testing in Eastern
Turkestan as it has shown to the French nuclear testing in French Polynesia. We urge the Chinese
government to allow an independent fact-finding mission to go to Eastern Turkestan to assess the
enviromental and health impact of its nuclear testing in that country. We also urge the CHinese
government to immediately stop the Undeclared Nuclear War against the peoples of Eastern