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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 concerns 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, among other topics. The majority of the records in the collection were obtained by Jamil Hasanli for his 2015 book Sin'tszyan v orbite sovetskoy politiki: Stalin i musul'manskoye dvizheniye v Vostochnom Turkestane: 1931-1949: monografiya (Xinjiang in the Orbit of Soviet Politics: Stalin and the Muslim Movement in Eastern Turkestan, 1931-1949). See also the Digital Archive collection on "The Yi-Ta Incident, 1962." (Photo: Governor of Xinjiang Sheng Shicai, date unknown.)

  • November 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.

  • September 10, 1947

    Telegram from Cde. Fedotov to Cde. V.M. Molotov

    Cde. Fedotov suggests that General-Major Vladimir Stepanovich Yegnarov be dispatched to Xinjiang to led support to the rebels associated with the East Turkestan Republic (ETR).

  • September 10, 1947

    Proposals of the Economic Research Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers in connection with the Situation in Xinjiang

    The Soviet Council of Ministers offers four proposals to support the rebels in the East Turkestan Republic (ETR) and prevent the Chinese Guomindang from reclaiming territory in northern Xinjiang.

  • 1948

    Appeal to the Peoples of Xinjiang

    The Association for the Defense of Peace and Democracy in Xinjiang issues a twelve point list of demands for political and social change.

  • April 24, 1948

    Excerpt on Xinjiang from Minutes No. 63 of the VKP(b) CC Politburo Meetings

    The Central Committee of the CPSU announces measures to increase Soviet support of the East Turkestan Republic (ETR), a rebellion in northern Xinjiang.

  • February 01, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai

    Anastas and Zhou Enlai discuss Muslims in China, Chinese policy in inner Mongolia, the Guomindang navy, Guomindang forces, characteristics of Guomindang leaders, PLA arms, PLA military requests, PLA intelligence, and the organization of the war ministry. (Evening)

  • February 04, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss the independence of Mongolia, the independence movement in Xinjiang, the construction of a railroad in Xinjiang, CCP contacts with the VKP(b), the candidate for Chinese ambassador to the USSR, aid from the USSR to China, CCP negotiations with the Guomindang, the preparatory commisssion for convening the PCM, the character of future rule in China, Chinese treaties with foreign powers, and the Sino-Soviet treaty.

  • February 06, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss Outer Mongolia, the Sino-Soviet treaty, the situation of the national minorities in China, the economic policy of the CCP, the structure of state power, the head of the Chinese government, the "new situation" and the cadres, the Soviet loan to China, the CCP CC plans for February-March, and the youth movement.

  • June 27, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Stalin and CCP Delegation

    Stalin and the CCP delegation discuss the Soviet loan to China, the specialist the Soviets are to send to China, the occupation of Xinjiang, and the Chinese fleet.

  • July 18, 1949

    Cable, Liu Shaoqi to Mao Zedong

    A committee to write up a preliminary draft for a loan from the USSR to China is created. Stalin meets with a delegation of the CCP and answers several of their questions, including: the CCP's policy towards the Chinese national bourgeoisie, the matter of people's democratic dictatorship, Chinese foreign policy issues, Sino-Soviet relations, Xinjiang, Dalian, a Chinese University in Moscow, a railway from outer Mongolia to Zhangjiakou, and a naval school. Stalin and the CCP delegation also discussed the possibility of a war breaking out between the USSR and the US.

  • September 02, 1949

    Cable with Message from Stalin to Mao Zedong

    A delegation of democratic organizations of Xinjiang crashed on its way to Beijing. The delegation included Uyghur political leaders Abdulkerim Abbas and Ehmetjan Qasim.

  • September 26, 1949

    Cable with Message from Mao Zedong to Stalin

    Request for assistance from the Soviet Union with air transport for troops and supplies into Xinjiang.

  • October 11, 1949

    Cable with Message from Mao Zedong to Stalin

    Mao requests assistance with shipments of fuel, troops, and aircraft to Urumchi.

  • October 14, 1949

    Cable with Message from Stalin to Mao Zedong

    Stalin agrees to send one division from Lanzhou to Urumchi and to ship aviation fuel to Urumchi and Hami.

  • October 20, 1949

    Cable from Urumchi to Savel'yev

    PLA troops arrived in Urumchi in Xinjiang.