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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.)

  • August, 1949

    Karsky to Cde. Miklashevsky

    Moscow will assist Deng Liqun, a member of the Chinese Communist Party, with establishing radio contact after arriving in the East Turkestan Republic.

  • September 02, 1949

    Cable No. 3582 from Flilippov [Stalin] to Cde. 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 12, 1949

    Ciphered Telegram No. 58986 from Kovalev to Filippov [Stalin]

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

  • October 14, 1949

    Ciphered Telegram No. 4159 from Filipov [Stalin] to Kovalev

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

  • October 20, 1949

    Ciphered Telegram No. 32616 from Savel'yev in Urumchi

    PLA troops arrived in Urumchi in Xinjiang.

  • October 25, 1949

    Cable, Mao Zedong to Comrade Filippov [Stalin]

    Mao shares a detailed report on the arrival of the PLA in Xinjiang with Stalin.

  • October 25, 1949

    Letter from Cde. Mao Zedong to Cde. Filippov [Stalin] via Kovalev

    Detailed report on the arrival of the PLA in Xinjiang, including the local population's reaction. Mao reports that the PLA was greeted warmly except for activities of some "reactionary elements and propaganda units of the Kuomintang."

  • November 11, 1949

    Cable No. 59976, Kovalev to Cde. Filippov [Stalin]

    Request for grain from the Chinese government for the PLA in Xinjiang.

  • November 16, 1949

    Cable No. 21039, Gromyko to Cde. Kovalev

    The Soviet government agrees to deliver 10,000 tons of wheat to the PLA in Xinjiang.

  • December 29, 1949

    Report of Cde. Peng Dehuai about the Situation in Xinjiang

    Peng reports on the situation in Xinjiang following the takeover of Xinjiang by the People's Liberation Army.