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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 16, 1956


This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Yolbars Khan reports on the conditions of refugees from Xiniiang in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kashmir, and Pakistan, including the rival groups led by Isa Yusuf Alptekin and Emin Bugra.
    "Report and Recommendations by Yolbars Khan on Uighur and Kazak Refugees in the Middle East," July 16, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 11-04-01-11-02-030, “Xinjiang sheng zhengfu ji Zhongguo huijiao xiehui zhi guomin waijiao huodongi," West Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Archives of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica. Obtained by Justin Jacobs and translated by Caixia Lu.
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July 16

45th Year of the Republic [1956]

1. Since your humble servant [I] returned from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in the 42nd year of the Republic [1953], I have called on you to present my report once, and it has been two years since I have presented myself in front of you to receive your instruction. On 13 January this year, I was summoned to see you but I happened to be ill thus I was unable to present myself for the meeting. I could only request to call on you in mid-June when I recovered. I wish to report and give suggestion on matters concerning the general conditions of and assistance to Xinjiang refugees overseas over the past year. But I was unable to do so as I had a relapse recently, which has gradually caused me to feel weary. I am afraid that this will be a lingering illness that will not permit me to call on you in the near future, which may delay your decision. Therefore I have compiled my reports and suggestions in writing for your reference and decision.

2. I am a junior official in a remote place and have neither learning nor skill. My only virtue is the determination to serve the party and the country, and I take it upon myself to fulfill Your Excellency’s long-cherished wish. Your Excellency is deeply aware that I have twice given up all my family possessions in aid of the country, and this time round I have even fled thousands of miles to Taiwan without anything. Our family has no choice but to depend on you for everything. Moreover, I have been in ill health all these years and am in constant need of medication. My health has taken a turn for the worse early this year, and I have been bed-ridden for seven months. I spent so much money that I find myself in serious debt, which I am unable to cope with. [For five nights, I wondered in shame?] Your Excellency’s loyal servant is shamelessly abasing himself to receive the charity of others. I would rather be honest with you to demonstrate my wholeheartedness. I urge Your Excellency to report the requests to...[meaning of following part of sentence unclear]

3. I plan to submit my request to call on you when my health improves slightly.

4. I hereby append four items of report, four items of suggestions and two items of requests for your instruction and approval. 

Yours respectfully,

Yolbars [Khan]

Outline of Report and Suggestions

A. Items of Report:

1. General conditions of Xinjiang refugees living abroad:

i. General conditions:

Fellow countrymen who are seeking refuge overseas are mainly based in places such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kashmir, and Pakistan. As for the number of refugees in each place, there are about 8000 or so in Saudi Arabia, about 1000 or so in Turkey, about 200 in Kashmir, about 400 in various areas in Pakistan, and about a few dozen people in Cairo. In all, there are about 11,000 people or so. In addition, there are also Xinjiang refugees in various Middle East countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, but there has been no accounting of their numbers, thus it is unclear how many people there are. Among the refugees listed above, the economic conditions of those living in India and Pakistan are the worst, followed by those in Turkey. Those in Saudi Arabia have been there longer, thus most are able to engage in some petty business or sell small handicrafts to lead a more stable life. As for the political environment for the refugees in these various places, because we have no diplomatic relations with India and Pakistan, while the bandit gang has formal diplomatic relations with both of them and has established embassies, thus the two countries have pro-Communist tendencies, and the bandit gang is greatly aided in its activities. This makes the situation very unfavorable to the refugees who have undivided loyalty to our beloved motherland. But few of the refugees in these two countries have wavered all these years, and they have been in close contact with me, and there should not be any fundamental changes to this situation in the future. Refugees in Turkey have obtained citizenship from that country, and their circumstances are special. But based on the relationship that the various chiefs such as Qali Beg and Hamza have with me and their past allegiances to the government, it would not seem difficult to get them back into our fold. The refugees in Saudi Arabia are the most numerous and their makeup, the most complex, thus they also have a greater impact. As that country is anti-Communist and have official diplomatic relations with us, the political environment for the refugees over there are better. Circumstances have been rather favorable ever since we have reestablished our embassy in that country. Even if there are major changes internationally, that country will not go the way of Egypt and the circumstance should be more optimistic.

ii. On the activities of the so-called “East Turkestan Independence Movement” led by Emin and Isa.

General situation:

Regarding the independence movement led by those such as Emin and Isa, I tried to talk sense into them and counsel them earnestly and sincerely, and have made repeated reports on what transpired. Now Imin is now a naturalized citizen of Turkey, and Isa has also submitted his application for processing. Yet they have not given up on their conspiracy and they are now using Istanbul and Cairo as their centers for planning and propaganda, with the Xinjiang refugees in Saudi Arabia and Turkey as their main targets. Aside from exploiting their advantage of being near to these people, they also often use both temptation and coercion, as well as distribute publications regularly to sway the minds of men and influence international opinion. This is even more worrying than the activities of the Communist bandits. Our international position in the Middle East has become increasingly unfavorable ever since the Egyptians recognized the Communist bandits. It seems that we should quickly come up with effective countermeasures to remedy the situation.

 2. On the relief given to Xinjiang refugees living overseas over the past year:

 i. Collective relief:

Over the past year, the collective relief given to Xinjiang refugees living overseas consists of relief to 1) 166 people in Kashmir and 2) 486 people in Pakistan and Bombay, with each individual given 15 US dollars in aid, amounting to 10,780 US dollars in total. These were disbursed last June and this March after my request to the Chinese Mainland Relief Association to take charge of the matter.

ii. Individual relief:

Four individuals Abdullah [sic] in Iraq and Yousuf [sic] in Lebanon, A-bu-du-ai-ze-zi [sic] in Turkey, A-bu-du-re-he-man-sha-bai-er in Peshawar, Pakistan. Apart from Yousuf [sic] who received 20 US dollars from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, the rest were aided by the Chinese Mainland Relief Association at my request.

iii. Relief give to Xinjiang Kazakh refugees in Turkey:

As early as the 42nd year of the Republic [1953] when this group of 1300 or so Kazakh refugees were still living in Pakistan, we have received permission for the Chinese Mainland Relief Association to offer 4000 US dollars to aid them. Later, Communist bandits and the necessities of living drove these Kazakh refugees to head west to take up citizenship in Turkey, and the money was returned. Later, these Kazakh refugees have repeatedly written letters myself to disburse this money, as its political significance was greater than its economic significance. Thereafter, there were repeated discussions with the foreign ministry and our embassy in Turkey on the technicalities of disbursing the money, which went on for almost four years. Last year [the  44th year of the Republic), the Executive Yuan ordered the Interior Ministry to gather all the relevant departments for discussions, where it was decided that the Kazakh refugees had to be given assistance as soon as possible, and they drafted a resolution to temporarily obtain 27,000 dollars from the US currency deposited by the former Xinjiang provincial government in the central bank or for the Executive Yuan to raise 66,9060 New Taiwan dollars to render assistance. But this has yet to be implemented and when I put up a request for it to be processed, the response from the Executive Yuan was that the discussion had been shelved, and this is deeply regrettable indeed.

3. On the situation in Xinjiang after its fall to the bandits:

As the Xinjiang province is in the inaccessible and remote frontier area, it is difficult to know the real situation behind the Bamboo Curtain apart from sporadic reports coming from Kashmir and Pakistan. Little news is being leaked out, except that in July last year [44th year of the Republic], local residents in Hotan were forced by hunger to stop the Communist bandits from transporting food supplies, and a large-scale bloody rebellion ensued. Similar incidents have also occurred in places such as Kashgar. It is proof of how the bandit gang is oppressing the Xinjiang compatriots and shows how the people are unhappy with Communist rule that they have risen in bloody rebellion. Thereafter, the bandit gang had announced the establishment of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region last year, with measures such as giving autonomous rule to the Uighurs in Southern Xinjiang. Based on the reactions of various parties, the compatriots of Xinjiang are very aware of the deceptive ways of the Communist bandits and this has not reduced their enmity toward the Communist bandits in the slightest bit.

4. The various activities of the Communist bandits in the Middle East:

The Communist bandits had originally been shunned by the Middle Eastern countries. For instance during the 42nd year of the Republic, the Hajj delegation sent by the bandit puppet regime to Mecca had already reached Pakistan, but found themselves in the awkward position of having to turn back when Saudi Arabia refused to let them in, which proves the point. But because the various Muslim countries in the Middle East harbor an ethnic hatred against Israel, suffered bitterly under British and French colonial policies, and desire to free themselves from the yoke, this gives rise to a tricky situation in international relations, which is greatly advantageous to the Communist bandits. So apart from Li Dequan and Song Qingling who have made repeated visits to Pakistan to beguile them, this year, Burhan Shahidi had also led delegations to visit various Middle Eastern countries and they have sent more than a hundred people under the Hajj delegation, Beiping Theatre Group, and cultural delegation to places such as Cairo and Mecca to actively engage in their work. It goes to show how much they desire to get the various Middle Eastern countries and the Xinjiang refugees on their side.

B. Items of Suggestion:

1. Organizing and gaining control of the Xinjiang refugees in various Middle Eastern countries:

Our international position in the Middle East is becoming increasing untenable ever since Egypt recognized the bandit puppet regime. But the shift in diplomatic position of Egypt and other countries seems to be the result of delicate relations caused by Arab-Israeli rivalry and British and French colonial policies, and not because they favor the Communist bandits while being prejudiced against us. Thus, it is not yet impossible to remedy the situation and prevent it from worsening. And we must not allow the conspiracy of Emin and Isa to gain traction. I think that in order to win over the Middle Eastern countries, we must first win over the compatriots in these countries, because they are all Muslims and have the same way of life and the same beliefs as the people in these countries, thus they are able appeal to their emotions and influence their minds. As for the activities of Emin and Isa, if we are to prevent them from achieving anything, our foremost task should also be to fight for the support of our compatriots. Thus it seems necessary to organize and gain control over the Xinjiang refugees in the Middle Eastern countries as soon as possible.

Method of implementation: propose to have the security bureau of the Supreme Defense Council look into and execute this.

2. Step up on publicity and pacification work in the Middle East:

Before we are able to effect measures to organize and gain control of compatriots in the Middle East, in order to achieve timely results, I propose that we should send Hajj pilgrimage and visiting delegations this year in order to prevent compatriots in these countries from feeling
doubtful and hesitant.

Method of implementation: The Hajj pilgrimage delegation proposal has been sent to the party central for implementation suggestions on May 23, may Your Excellency please appraise and make a decision, and [I will respectfully submit the original proposal?]

3. Building of a mosque in Taipei:

The mosque is a place where Muslims pray to Allah, and wherever there are Muslims in the world, there will be magnificent and stately mosques. Since the bandit gang occupied the Mainland, there have also been mosques of significant scale built in Beiping, and they have also set up Islamic institutes in places such as Beiping, Dihua  [Urumqi], and Lanzhou, so as to gain popularity by deceiving the people. Since the government shifted to Taipei, there have been many Muslim compatriots who have followed suit. Although there have also been mosques established here, they are all located in civilian homes and are cramped in scale. It is already inconvenient for ordinary Muslims to pray in these places, but when there are dignitaries
from Muslim countries and overseas nationals requesting to see or pray at Taipei’s mosques, I fear that they might find them too simple and crude, which will make us a laughing stock. I had to make excuses that the better mosques were too far away or under renovation and it pains me to do this. I suppose that such incidents will become increasingly common. Thus I think it is necessary to build a mosque of a sufficient scale. The Muslim compatriots in Taiwan have been thinking about this from very early on but are limited in their financial ability and cannot afford to do so.  

Method of implementation: I propose that the government fund the building of a mosque that is comparable in scale to the Shih Chien Hall on Kwei Yang Street in Taipei, in the usual style of a mosque, which will boost our international stature and make it easier for Muslims to pray.  It will also show the government’s goodwill towards Muslims.

4. Selection of exemplary young Muslims to further their studies in Taipei and relax the restrictions to enter Taiwan.

Education and culture not only helps to build a pool of talent for the country, but also play an important role in fostering a sense of mutual trust and unity. Although the government had spoken of grooming talented administrators for the border regions in the past and stipulated preferential rules for young people living in border regions wishing to further their education, attitudes have been a little passive, and those implementing it have not been able to understand the substance of such a policy. Thus good intentions have not had the desired effect. Furthermore, the barriers to entering Taiwan are high, and the paperwork cumbersome. Thus, even if they are full of patriotism and wish to imbibe the culture of the motherland, it is not easy to enter the country and they can only sigh from across the ocean and outside the gates. For example, in the 41st year of the Republic when 400 or so Xinjiang Kazakh youths living in Pakistan requested to return to the country to study, there was no agreement after years of negotiation. These patriotic youths had no choice but to move west to gain Turkish citizenship, thus representing a big loss to the country’s future

Method of implementation:

i. I propose that the education ministry can draft detailed measures to stipulate that Taiwan’s universities, middle schools, and elementary schools must set aside a number of places for youths from the border regions in order to make it easier for them to study.

ii. Proposal to advise and urge youths from the border regions living overseas to come to Taiwan to study and for the government to provide them with travel fees and all living expenses for the period of study.

5. Please consider the setting up of a special fund to provide overseas temporary relief in a timely manner.

On the issue of providing relief to Xinjiang refugees living overseas, I have been putting in requests to the Executive Yuan and the Chinese Mainland Relief Association to do so for years, and most were collectively processed by region. But the official correspondence goes back and forth for years and the waiting refugees are grumbling. There were fewer cases of issuing small sums of temporary relief. It would seem that this is not practical, and I propose to set up a special fund to provide assistance in a timely manner, so as to bring real benefit.

Method of implementation: I propose to have a lump sum of 2,000 US dollars [enough to help about 130 people whose cases have been processed] or to increase the funding under my management with a temporary sum of assistance at 20,000 New Taiwan dollars per month, the surplus of which would be returned, whereas I would claim with receipts if there is a deficit.




一、窃职自四十二年度麦加朝圣归来,一度晋谒告以瞬届两载尚未觐见领训。本年一月十三日,曾蒙召见适值病魔缠身未克趋对前以贱躯稍见痊可乃于六月中旬报请谒见。俾得就一年来新籍海外同乡之一般状况及救济事宜等项有所陈述及建议你来 (贱思)又见复犯驯致惫,不能与,深恐病势缠绵短期内不能晋见有误宸断,谨将时拟报告及建议事项缮成书面已备采择。

二、职、旁鄙下吏不学无术X其矢志党国效忠。钧座之素志当为。钧座所深知讳信惟以两度毁家赴难,此次更万里逃窜抵台之日身无常物,一家所需势不得悉仰于公加以年来体弱多病,常与药石为伍,本年初起更病势加剧缠绵床褥已七个月之久,所费不赀以致债台高筑。无法支应,五夜彷徨深X忝为。钧座矢死不二之臣与覥颜忍辱乞怜于他人,无宁披肝沥胆翰诚扵。钧座谨将请求事项缮具报告伏照矜登 (伏乞矜鉴?)










新籍海外难胞仍以沙地阿拉伯、土耳其、克什米尔、巴基斯坦等地为主要居留地。各该地之居留人数,计沙地阿拉伯约八千余人,土耳其约千余人,克什米尔约二百人,巴基斯坦各地约四百人,开罗约数十人,总计约一万一千余人,此外中东各地如黎巴嫩伊拉克等国,亦有新籍难胞之经济状况,最为难苦,土耳其次之,沙地阿拉伯因迁居时间较久,多以从事小本经营及小手业,故较为安定。各该地难胞之政治环境,因我与印巴无外交关系而匪帮与该两国保有正式邦交,设置使馆,且该两国有媚共情结(原文应为别字)匪帮之活动,占有甚大之便利,故对我倾心祖国,忠贞不二之难胞,情势相当不利,惟该两国难胞,年来绝少动摇。 与职多仍保持密切联系,此后似应不致有基本变化。旅土难胞,因已取得该国国籍,情形特殊,惟根据各该部头目如华礼伯克、哈木扎等与职之关系及其渠等已往效忠政府之历史,似尚不难重入掌握。沙地阿拉伯之难胞,人数最多,份子至为复杂,影响亦较为重大。因该国为反共国家,且与我有正式邦交,故该地难胞之政治环境比较良好,自我在该国恢复领馆后,情形相当有利,苟国际如有重大变化,该国不致步埃及后尘,情形当更可乐观



〈一〉 集体救济
















实施办法:回教朝觐团案已扵五月二十三日送呈中央党部签请    钧座核示谨再抄呈原稿恭呈