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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 16, 1944


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    Yasnovsky reports on developments in Xinjiang since the arrival of a new governor, Wu Zhongxin.
    "Information Letter from Yasnovsky to Cdes. Petrov and Plyshevsky," October 16, 1944, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI f.17, op.128, d. 992, l.158-160. Obtained by Jamil Hasanli and translated by Gary Goldberg.
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[three pages of handwriting]

to Cde. Petrov

[handwritten across the upper left-hand corner: to Cde. Pl[y]shevsky


15 November 1944]

Information letter

During August-September 1944, the process of an increase of economic and financial difficulties continues in Xinjiang simultaneously with a further aggravation of the domestic political situation in the province. The economic devastation in the province is growing uncontrollably.  

The inflation and high prices, a shortage of goods, poverty, and impoverishment have taken on threatening dimensions. The speed with which the economic situation of the province is worsening demonstrates the lack of any means in the hands of the ruling clique capable of averting the coming catastrophe.

The catastrophic consequences of the implementation of the anti-Soviet policy have provided an object lesson. Now it is indubitable for both the leaders of Xinjiang and for Central China that the further they continue this policy the more disastrous will be the consequences for them, especially as it will be difficult to recover the damage caused to the economy and, the main thing, to preserve the dominant position of the Chinese in the province.

This has also caused the need for a complete reorganization of the Xinjiang government. However, all the important officials and members of the Xinjiang government are appointed by the Central Government of China.

In his 5 October speech at a general meeting of Xinjiang officials Wu Zhongxin, newly-appointed Chairman of the province, said, "Special attention ought to be paid to the fact that China and the Soviet Union have a common state border several thousand kilometers long and that these two great peoples are connected a traditional, historical friendship. Xinjiang is an important means of communication between the USSR and China and therefore an enormous responsibility rests on them, on the basis of the principles of friendship, humanity, and good-neighborly relations.

On the basis of the instructions I have received from the Center about strengthening the friendship and cooperation between China and the Soviet Union I express a hope that you will apply all your efforts to implement this principle".

One can see from the speech of Wu Zhongxin that the ruling clique of China understood the suicidal nature of the anti-Soviet policy they were pursuing. It became obvious to them that the political and economic crisis of the province had reached its extreme limits, and that only the restoration of friendship with the Soviet Union could lessen the pain created in the province.

Recently the world press has devoted great attention to the question of strengthening the friendship with the Soviet Union. The holiday of the 33rd anniversary of the Chinese Revolution did not pass without these watchwords.

the policy of the local authorities Meanwhile the local authorities of Xinjiang are not able to [alleviate] the political urgency by this means.

The uprising of the Muslim population in [one word illegible, possibly Altai] Chuguchak [Tacheng or Qoqek], Ghulja [Yining], and other regions is not ceasing, but the reverse, there is a tendency toward an increase.

This gives us grounds to suppose that the Muslim population has the firm intention of liberating itself from the Chinese colonizers. It is hard to say whether the Muslim population be able to accomplish this serious task by themselves. But the solution of this task is made considerably easier if they are given outside aid.


[Ye]rmolenko reported that according to agent information he had received he knows: for some time before leaving the Governor received instructions from the Center about exterminating people having ties with the Soviet Union.

The extermination was conducted by three means: killing, hanging, and beheading. He does not know whether there were nomads among those exterminated. One thing is known, that there are nomads in the second political prison for political prisoners. There is information that the security [rezhim] is not so strict.


At the same time I am sending you a survey of the local press for May through August, that is, from the moment of taking over matters from Cde. Levin.

I am working at the present time as a trade [Translator' note: torg…, the remainder of the word is illegible] economist. Inform [me] whether the subsidy previously established for you is being extended to me right now.

16 October 1944 with Communist greetings, Yasnov[sky]


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