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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and the Soviet Union in Xinjiang, 1934-1949

This collection of Soviet records documents the political and military turmoil in Xinjiang in the 1930s and 1940s. The records provide considerable details on the insurrection led by Ma Zhongying, Governor Sheng Shicai's relationship with Stalin, the establishment of the East Turkestan Republic (1944-1949) in northern Xinjiang, and Sino-Soviet relations in Xinjiang, among other topics. (Photo: Governor of Xinjiang Sheng Shicai, date unknown.)

  • June 22, 1945

    Exceprt on Xinjiang from Minutes No. 46 of the VKP(b) CC Politburo Meetings

    The CPSU Central Committee announces various measures to support the rebels in Ili, Xinjiang, and the East Turkestan Republic (ETR).

  • July, 1945

    Telegram from Cde. Yegnarov for Cde. Beria

    Cde. Yegnarov reports on his meeting with "Sadyk," noting his persistent requests to begin military operations against the Chinese and for "Sadyk" to lead the operation against the Chinese in the South of Xinjiang. Yegnarov also describes military maneuvers in the Ili District and requests permission to transfer Red Army detachments in order to liberate the Tarbaghatai District.

  • July 03, 1945

    Report from L. Beria to I.V. Stalin of the State Defense Committee and V.M. Molotov of the Council of People's Commissars

    Beria reports on a Chinese offensive against the Dungan rebel battalion in the Ili District of Xinjiang, noting the Chinese and rebel losses.

  • July 09, 1945

    Record of a Meeting Between T. V. Soong and Stalin

    Dr. Soong reports Chiang Kai-Shek's response to the stalemate on the question of Outer Mongolia to Stalin and Molotov. Chiang insists on preserving the territorial integrity of China vis a vis Outer Mongolia and Manchuria, and that China's sovereignty in Manchuria should be reinforced by Chinese administration of Port Arthur and Dairen. Stalin asks to think over his decision before responding to Chiang.

  • July 11, 1945

    Telegram from L. Beria to the Cde. Stalin of the State Defense Committee and Cde. Molotov of the Council of People's Commissars

    Beria reports that, in June 1945, Chinese aircraft conducted reconnaissance and bombed Ili rebel positions in the region of Yun-Dzhikho.

  • July 13, 1945

    Report from Cde. Yegnarov to Cde. L.P. Beria

    Yegnarov notes that he is sending Stalin and Molotov a copy of a report of Cde. Yegnarov describing his conversation with "Sadyk."

  • July 17, 1945

    Telegram from Cde. Yegnarov for Cde. Beria

    Yegnarov reports on a rebel battle against Chinese forces in Manas and Chinese troop movements in the Barlik Range, announcing the troop movements he ordered in light of these developments.

  • July 18, 1945

    Coded Message from Cde. Sergey to Cdes. Pavel and Petrov

    Cde. Sergey reports on a battle in Yamatu between Chinese troops and a rebel detachment from Tarbagatai [Tacheng] District and advises the Red Army to send a detachment led by Sufy Akhum Surbayev to the region of Bay-Aksu [Akesu] to conduct partisan operations.

  • August, 1945

    Telegram from Acting Chief of the USSR NKVD Troops Stakhanov to Cde. Beria

    Stakhanov reports on the internment of approximately 1100 Chinese citizens in the Arkarly Mountains following the rebels' occupation of the city of Dorbiljin.

  • August 07, 1945

    Report for Cde. I.V. Stalin and Cde. Molotov

    Stakhanov reports on developments in Xinjiang and the operations of the rebels of the Ili District from the end of July to the first week of August 1945, focusing on the rebels' seizure of Mopan, Dorbiljin, and Chuguchak; the detention of approximately 1000 Chinese citizens in Chuguchak; and an uprising by the Manas rebels.

  • August 23, 1945

    Report from Cde. Yegnarov to Cde. Beria

    Yegnarov reports on recent military developments in the Ili District, describing Chinese and Soviet troop movements and a failed attempt (led by Firsov) to seize a fortress.

  • August 27, 1945

    Report from Cde. Yegnarov to Cde. Beria

    Yegnarov reports on several successful Red Army military operations in the Ili District at the end of August, including Firsov's seizure of Chinese supply trucks and the forced retreat of a Chinese brigade by Leskin's cavalry brigade. He also notes a raid on Kobuk by Chinese aircraft, which killed four Soviet soldiers.

  • September 05, 1945

    Report from L. Beria to Cde. I.V. Stalin, V.M. Molotov, and Cde. G.M. Malenkov

    Beria reports on the progress of the rebel movement in Xinjiang at the end of August, including information on the locations of the rebels' active operations, their armed forces, Chinese prisoners of war, and recent rebel casualties. He also describes the Chinese Armed Forces' likely responses to recent rebel advances in the Ili District.

  • September 15, 1945

    The Situation in Xinjiang

    The Central Committee of the CPSU reports that the rebels in the East Turkestan Republic (ETR), or northern Xinjiang, have requested that the Soviet Union mediate between the Chinese Nationalist Government and the ETR.

  • December 03, 1945

    Telegram from Cde. Yegnarov and Cde. Langvang to Cde. Beria

    Yegnarov forwards to Stalin a letter from Alihan Tore Shakirjan, in which he describes Chinese oppression of the people in Eastern Turkestan and requests Soviet assistance with their "revolutionary struggle."

  • June 26, 1946

    Letter from Cde. M. Suslov to Cde. A.A. Zhdanov

    Cde. Suslov offers suggestions for Soviet policy toward the rebellion in northern Xinjiang and the East Turkestan Republic (ETR).

  • February 24, 1947

    Excerpt on Xinjiang from Minutes No. 57 of the VKP(b) CC Politburo Meetings

    The CPSU Central Committee announces measures "directed against" Ospan Batyr (Osman Batur).

  • July 12, 1947

    Letter from Ahmetjan Qasimi and Rahim Jan Sabri to Mr. Savel'yev, Consul General of the USSR in Urumqi

    Ahmetjan Qasimi and a colleague asks for Stalin's and the Soviet Union's support in protecting the interests of Muslims in Xinjiang.

  • August 19, 1947

    Letter from T. Skvortsov to Cde. Baranov

    Cde. T. Skvortsov forwards letters from Zhang Zhizong and Ahmetjan Qasimi concerning the situation in Xinjiang.

  • August 19, 1947

    Letter from Zhang Zhizhong to Mr. Savel'yev, Consul General of the USSR in Urumqi

    Zhang Zhizhong, the leading Guomindang official in Xinjiang, expresses his hope that China and the Soviet Union can cooperate in Xinjiang in maintaining Chinese sovereignty over the entire province.