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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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The Yi-ta Incident, 1962

During the “Yi-Ta Incident” (the Yili-Tacheng Incident or Ili-Qoqek Incident) of spring 1962, 60,000 Kazakhs and Uyghurs fled from Xinjiang in China's northwest into the Soviet Union. The incident both revealed and exacerbated tensions between China and the Soviet Union, leading to angry accusations on both sides. In the wake of the incident, China waged a fierce struggle against Soviet "revisionism" within Xinjiang and expelled all Soviet diplomats from the Uyghur Autonomous Region. This collection mostly consists of translated Chinese records from the Foreign Ministry Archives in Beijing (PRC FMA). See also the Digital Archive collection "China and the Soviet Union in Xinjiang, 1934-1949." Image: Mao Zedong greets representatives of various ethnic groups from Xinjiang, "Chairman Mao Is the Red Sun in Our Hearts," Gong Jianxin, 1964.

  • August 23, 1962

    Report and Request for Instructions on the Reply to the Memorandum Submitted by the Government of the Soviet Union on the Massive Illegal Exodus of Residents from Xinjiang dated 9 August

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivers a draft reply to a Soviet Union memorandum, as requested by Zhou, regarding illegal border crossings.

  • September 25, 1962

    Certain Materials about Xinjiang Carried in Soviet Newspapers (Issue II)

    An Uyghur newspaper carries a feature commemorating a revolutionary poet, and summaries of related articles are included in this memorandum.

  • September 27, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Please Report on the Specifics of the Inflammatory Materials Carried in Soviet Newspapers and Broadcasted on Soviet Radio'

    Radio broadcasts and newspapers report on weakening Uyghur culture, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests information regarding these incitements.

  • September 29, 1962

    Cable from the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Department, 'The Actual Situation of Seditious Material against China in Soviet Newspapers and Journals'

    After the publication of seditious materials in Soviet Kazakhstan, the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Department updates the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on information related to the materials.

  • August 01, 1963

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Our Efforts Against the Subversive Activities of the Soviet Union in Xinjiang'

    Report on Soviet activities in Xinjiang and countermeasures undertaken by the Chinese government.

  • September 28, 1963

    Mao Zedong, 'Xinjiang Must Do Its Economic Work Well and Strengthen Amity among the Nationalities'

  • November 05, 1963

    Report from the Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture People’s Committee to the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Department

    Report on materials prepared for border defense with request for review.

  • November 29, 1963

    Cable from the Department of Consular Affairs, Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'On Anti-Revisionist Propaganda'

    Brief report on the status of the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan, including mention of aggressive anti-Chinese propaganda.

  • December 08, 1963

    Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Response on the Problem of Counterattacking the Rumors and Slander against China in Soviet Radio Broadcasts, Newspapers, and Magazines'

    Update on Party request to respond to slander against China by the Soviet Union, including plans for future strategies.

  • July 04, 1964

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign and Public Security Ministries, 'Response to Work Arrangements and on Opinions on the Closure of the Soviet Consulates'

    Report on closure of Soviet consulates, worrying activities of the consulates, and plans for the exit of Soviet nationals from China.

  • April 28, 1965

    Record of Telephone Conversation, 'Xinjiang’s Plan to Hold an Exhibition of Evidence against the Soviet Revisionists'

    Chinese officials decide not to lend "original evidence" of the Soviet Union's subversive activities to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

  • April 28, 1965

    Cable from the Department of Consular Affairs, Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Xinjiang’s Plan to Hold an Exhibition of Evidence against the Soviet Revisionists'

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry weighs in on whether or not Xinjiang should hold an anti-Soviet exhibit during the 15th anniversary celebrations of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.