Death on the Silk Road

Room: 116
28.08.2010, Saturday 15.15 - 16.45

Organizer: Dr Enver Tohti, Uighur cancer surgeon in China (1985-1997) discovered the link between the high rates of cancer and the secret nuclear tests, now political refugee (UK)

Speaker: Dr Enver Tohti

Co-speakers: Prof: Masako Ikegami, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University and board member of the Swedish Pugwash Group, Dr. Madjit Husainov, antinuclear activist and founder of the antinuclear movement of Kirgizstan, Prof. Hideshi Takesada, Director of the Japanese National Institute for Defence Studies

The focus of the presentation is exposing the devastating consequences of nuclear bomb testing in the far western part of China to the living and ecological environment of the region. Between 1964 and 1996, the People?s Republic of China (PRC) conducted 46 nuclear tests ? the largest series in the world - in Lop Nor in the south east of Xinjiang province, the homeland of millions of Uighurs. While Lop Nor is far from China?s major population centres there are nonetheless a significant number of people who live in relatively close proximity to the highly toxic test area. The Uighurs is one of China?s ethnic minority group who have historically lived in the region. Some of the tested bombs were 300 times more powerful than the one that exploded in Hiroshima and many of the tests were carried out above ground. Research included analyzing data from a survey commissioned by the state on the disproportionate spread of malignant incurable diseases in the area. Evidence is also based on the author?s personal interviews during his long career as a practising senior surgeon. The Chinese govt has always underplayed the effects of the nuclear tests on the life of the local people and the environment, and rigorously denied any connection with the wide spread of cancer in Xinjiang. However, according to the statistics obtained from the official survey in area, the cancer rate in Xinjiang is 35% higher than that in China proper and the trend has not reversed yet.