Daily US Times: When Donald Trump won the 2016 election, many Uyghurs, including exile Uyghur and US citizen Erkin Sidick was disappointed and stunned.
He and his family had voted for Hillary Clinton, whose style of leadership they preferred over the brash businessman.
Four years later, now Sidick is backing the Republican President Trump over his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
He says Mr Trump is the only candidate strong enough to pressure China to end its repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Sidick hasn’t been back to his homeland in western China, Xinjiang, since 2009. He says in recent years his friends and family, as well as hundreds of students he recommended for overseas study, have vanished in mass detention centers.
Sidick said that, despite his initial misgivings over the Republican President, and suggestions that his commitment to the Uyghur cause is largely transactional, the current administration had taken strong action against China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, including banning and imposing sanctions on goods potentially made with forced labor.
He said: “To deal with China requires a very strong leader. Donald Trump is such a leader”
“Joe Biden is better diplomatically (at) making friends around the world but his softness will not work for China,” Sidick added.
Earlier in his Presidency, the Trump administration took little action about reports of China’s alleged abuses, but began to attack Beijing on the Uyghur issue as relations soured between the two countries.
The US State Department said in December 2018 that as many as two million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities had been taken to huge detention centers in Xinjiang.
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