When Donald Trump won the United States presidency in 2016, Uyghur exile and US citizen Erkin Sidick was stunned and disappointed. He and his family had voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, whose style of leadership they preferred over the brash businessman. Now, four years later, Sidick is backing Trump over his Democratic rival Joe Biden. He says the Republican leader is the only candidate strong enough to pressure China to end its repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Sidick hasn't been back to Xinjiang, his homeland in western China, since 2009. He says in recent years his family and friends, 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 US President, and suggestions that his commitment to the Uyghur cause is largely transactional, Trump's administration had taken strong action against China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, including imposing sanctions and banning goods potentially made with forced labor.