The ever-increasing Chinese population in East Turkestan has brought about widespread unemployment amongst the Uyghur population. The Chinese have taken control of most political and economic platforms. As a result, there is very little unemployment among the Chinese, but Uyghurs unemployment is growing at an alarming state. Despite East Turkestan’s natural wealth, the Uyghur people live more or less at mere subsistence level with almost 80 percent living below the poverty threshold.
According to a report released by the “Xinjiang Provincial Government” on October 2004, the average income of the Chinese settler in East Turkestan is four times higher than that of a Uyghur. Almost 85 percent of the Uyghurs are farmers. According to the same official report, the average annual income of a Uyghur farmer is 820 Yuan (US$100) whereas a Chinese farmer in East Turkestan earns an annual income of 3.000 Yuan (US$ 400). Most private businesses are contracted to the Chinese. The rich resources of East Turkestan, including oil, gas, uranium, gold and silver reserves are transported to mainland China. The exploitation of these natural resources is strictly controlled by the Chinese Central Government. The Uyghurs have no control over these resources; they have no access to information on profits generated by these resources and have no chance to benefit from their own wealth.