Inside the World Uyghur Congress: The US-backed right-wing regime change network seeking the ‘fall of China’
While posing as a grassroots human rights organization, the World Uyghur Congress is a US-funded and directed separatist network that has forged alliances with far-right ethno-nationalist groups. The goal spelled out by its founders is clear: the destabilization of China and regime change in Beijing.
by Ajit Singh
Part 6 - Preparing for a color revolution, WUC offshoots staff up with national security state operatives
Established in 1998, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) is a Washington D.C.-based affiliate of the WUC. A long time grantee of the NED, the UAA has received millions of dollars in funding. According to its publicly available tax filings, the group works closely with the US government, particularly the US State Department, Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), and US Congress’s Human Rights Commission.
“The National Endowment for Democracy has been exceptionally supportive of UAA,” stated Nury Turkel, former UAA President, “providing us with invaluable guidance and assistance” along with “essential funding.”
Turkel credited the NED with enabling the UAA increase its credibility and expand its influence. Among the top achievements he cited was a meeting with the new Krygyzstan government “within weeks of [the former government’s] fall from power” following the US-engineered Tulip “color revolution” which brought a pro-Western regime to power.
Speaking at the 5th Congress of the UAA, in 2006, Turkel confirmed the regime change agenda of the UAA, UHRP and broader Uyghur separatist movement, stating that “as we witnessed the ‘Tulip Revolution’ and the toppling the former government of Kyrgyzstan, our hopes were again reinforced.”
The UAA’s leadership consists of US national security state operators including employees of the US government, Radio Free Asia, and military-industrial complex.
Kuzzat Altay, the nephew of Reibya Kadeer, is the current president of the UAA. Altay is also the founder of the Uyghur Entrepreneurs Network, which claims to offer Uyghur Americans with guidance to “start their own business”.
In 2019, his business network has organized an event in collaboration with the FBI, the federal law enforcement agency notorious for its surveillance of Muslim Americans and ensnaring countless mentally troubled young Muslim American men in manufactured terror plots.
Past presidents of UAA include Kadeer; Alim Seytoff, a former Radio Free Asia correspondent and current Director of RFA’s Uyghur Service; and Ilshat Hassan Kokbore, who has worked at Booz Allen Hamilton since 2008.
Booz Allen is a notorious private US military and intelligence contractor that rakes in billions of dollars in contracts with American intelligence agencies. Edward Snowden was employed at the firm when he decided to blow the whistle on the National Security Agency’s invasive, all-encompassing system of mass surveillance.
The main project spun out of the UAA and the NED is the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP). The UHRP was founded by the UAA in 2004 with the NED as the principal source of funding. The NED granted the UHRP a whopping $1,244,698 between 2016 and ’19.
The UHRP is staffed by WUC leaders like Omer Kanat and Nury Turkel, along with former US government officials and senior members of the NED.
Dr. Elise Anderson serves as UHRP’s Senior Program Office for Research and Advocacy. In 2019, Anderson served as the Liu Xiaobo Fellow, occupying a position at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China named for the far-right Chinese dissident who supported colonialism, US militarism and the “Westernisation” of China.
Anderson states that from 2012 to 2016, she was “based out of Ürümchi, the regional capital of Xinjiang,” conducting research for her doctorate. The extent of her activities in the region are unclear, as Anderson’s CV indicates that during this time she was also working for the US government as “Ürümchi Warden for the US Embassy in Beijing, China, 2014–16.”
Louisa Coan Greve, the former vice president of NED, today serves as UHRP’s Director of Global Advocacy. Greve formerly worked as Vice President of the NED.