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Under the Soviet shadow : the Yili Rebellion of 1944-1949 in Xinjiang : a revolution, nationalism or a power struggle?

posted on 2023-05-27, 15:05 authored by Wang, DD
In 1944 the Moslems in Yili, Xinjiang, rose in rebellion against the GMD, and established the Eastern Turkestan Republic in Yili, Tacheng and Ashan. The ETR existed until 1949 when it rejoined China under the CCP' s regime. This study deals with the Soviets' part in this event; the ETR's role in postwar Asia; it's influence on Xinjiang's political developments and the central Chinese government's policy in Xinjiang. Chapter 1 discusses existing studies on the Yili Rebellion. While this Moslem Rebellion is interpreted by scholars in mainland China and the former Soviet Union as \a part of the Chinese democratic revolution\" scholars in Taiwan claim that the Soviets intended to annex Xinjiang by helping this rebellion. In the West no one has examined in detail the Soviets' role in the Rebellion though some scholars tend to deny the Soviets' part in the event. Chapter 2 outlines the geographical and historical background of this Moslem movement. Chapter 3 presents the domestic and international situation in which the Yili Rebellion occurred. In the early 1940s the Soviet Union reluctantly withdrew its personnel from Xinjiang. In order to re-gain its privileges in East Asia and to counter-balance the penetration of the American-British influence in Xinjiang the Soviets encouraged this Moslem movement. When Stalin was maldng a deal with Roosevelt on some East Asian questions the Moslems in Yili had won a decisive battle at Yining. In the negotiation with the Chinese government's representatives in Moscow in August 1945 the Xinjiang question became a trump card for Stalin. In order to free his hand from Xinjiang to cope with the CCP Chiang Kai-shek had to come to terms with Stalin's demands on Outer Mongolia and Manchuria under the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1945. Detailed accounts of the Soviets' part in the Yili Rebellion are given in Chapters 4 5 and 6. While the misrules of Sheng Shicai and the GMD were the internal cause of the Rebellion Soviet interference in the affair played a significant and decisive part in propaganda and preparation for the Rebellion. The Xinjiang Turkish-Peoples' National Liberation Committee (XTPNLC) in Alma-Ata was the body for the preparation for the Rebellion. The Soviet Union provided military training and arms supplies to the rebels. The Soviet Consulate in Yining was in charge of the rebels' Liberation Organizations. When Sheng Shicai had just been removed and before the GMD government could establish its authority in Xinjiang the Yining Uprising occurred. Soviet military personnel entered Xinjiang and the Soviet advisors' mission became the real power of the ETR. With the assistance of the Soviets the ETR took over the Three Districts of Yili Tacheng and Ashan by September 1945. Chapter 7 is an analysis of the Xinjiang situation between September 1945 and October 1949. The confrontation between the Yili Regime of the Three Districts and the GM]) authorities of the Seven Districts was only one aspect of the event. Behind it was the antagonism between the pro-Soviet Moslems supported by the Soviet Union and the pro-US-UK pan-Islamic and pan-Turkist Moslems supported by the pro-US-UK GM]) government. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with the Chinese policy in Xinjiang. The purpose of Chiang Kai-shek in sending pro-Soviet Zhang Zhizhong to Xinjiang was to stabilize Xinjiang. Under Zhang's pro-Soviet peace policy the Coalition Government was formed. Under the Yili Regime's political offensives however the Coalition collapsed and Zhang Zhizhong resigned in 1947. Even under the Coalition the Yili Regime remained independent of the Chinese central government. The de facto independence of the Yili Regime which is described in Chapter 10 was a useful tool for the Soviet Union in counter-balancing the US influence in Xinjiang. Chapter 11 analyzes the Soviets' as well as Zhang Zhizhong's roles in the peaceful solution of the Xinjiang question and how through their actions the Chinese Communist Party without any roots in Xinjiang was able to take over Xinjiang peacefully."


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Copyright 1993 the author Thesis has been published as: Wang, David D. Under the Soviet shadow : the Yining incident : ethnic conflicts and international rivalry in Xinjiang, 1944-1949 Hong Kong, Chinese University Press, 1999 Please source the published book for access to thesis content. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1994. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [364]-404). Bibliography in English, Chinese and Russian

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