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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 10, 1950


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    "Material on the Conspiratorial Activities of US Vice-Consul in Dihua," January 10, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-00005-02, 1-9. Translated by Stephen Mercado.
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 10 January 1950

(From Xinjiang)

Material on the Conspiratorial Activities of US Vice-Consul in Dihua [Urumqi]

(I.) We have found out the whereabouts of the US Vice-Consul [Douglas Mackiernan] in Dihua after his flight, have put some of the information in order (this material is attached) to report to the Central Committee, and ask that you consider the following:

1. Would it be possible to publish it via the New China News Agency and expose the US imperialist activities in Xinjiang? After the New China News Agency published it, Xinjiang could develop propaganda against the US imperialists and US special organs.

2. Persons of the Ili side [i.e., the East Turkestan Republic (ETR)] are requesting to borrow utensils of the US consulate building in Dihua. Please affirm or deny.

(II.) The British Consulate in Dihua sent a message stating that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the 6th would recognize us and sever ties with the government of the Nationalist Party. In the absence of Foreign Ministry instructions, we have sent back the original document.

The attached material is as follows:  

Conspiratorial activities in Xinjiang of former US Vice-Consul in Dihua [Douglas] Mackiernan:

On 25 and 26 September 1949, the Nationalist Party’s Xinjiang Garrison Command and the Xinjiang Provincial Government announced the immediate severing of ties with the Guangdong Nationalist Party’s reactionary government and the changing to the side of the camp of people’s democracy. At noon on 28 September, a party of five persons, led by former US Vice-Consul in Dihua Mackiernan and including the US scholar Frank Bessac, as well as the White Russians Vasili Zvansov, Leonid Shutov, and Stephan Yanuishkin, left Dihua by jeep. Mackiernan at the time of his departing Dihua, other than leaving with the former British Consul in Dihua a case and keys and various documents of the former US consulate, did not contact the local government of Xinjiang Province. Nor did he conduct any diplomatic procedures for a foreign national to leave the country. The local government of Xinjiang Province, although showing surprise regarding Mackiernan’s action – which went beyond the usual diplomatic practice – was still responsible for the protection of foreign nationals. Conducting searches from all sides, it was unaware of their whereabouts as of mid-December.

In mid-December, Lie-suo-fu Sai-min, An-fei-luo-feiy-fu Ye-fu-ti, and Qie-lie-wu-fu Pa-wai-qin, three persons under the command of the White Russian Samoilov, a member of the Osman (also rendered as Wussman) bandit gang, voluntarily separated from the Samoilov bandit gang, came to Dihua, and surrendered before the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Xinjiang Military District. According to their statements to the People’s Liberation Army, the five-man party of Mackiernan in the company of Bessac, Vasili Zvansov, Leonid Shutov, and Stephan Yanuishkin, traveling by jeep from Dihua, on 29 November 1949 reached Fuyuan, east of Dihua, meeting at once with the local White Russian bandit gang. Following the meeting, Mackiernan discarded the vehicle in the mountains near Fuyuan (the vehicle was later discovered by some Uighur youths). His party rode horses and went with the White Russian bandit gang to the location of the Osman bandit gang. Among the three White Russians who accompanied Mackiernan, Leonid Shutov and Stephan Yanuishkin had both long resided in Dihua. As for Vasili Zvansov, he was the bandit chieftain Osman’s closest accomplice. He was sent by the White Russian bandit chieftain Samoilov to Dihua, where he established contact with the US Vice-Consul [Mackiernan]. From February 1949, he learned secret radio communication from Mackiernan.  Mackiernan’s  five-man party and the White Russian bandit gang on 30 September reached Sa’erbianmuxi, north of Gucheng [Qitai] and linked up with the Osman bandit gang. There they stayed for four days. On 3 October, again gathering together each bandit gang, he continued to flee towards Zhenxi [Barkol], went to Moli, and met up with over 100 of Janimhan’s men, who were hiding in the mountains. Over the course of 21 days, on either 24 or 25 October they reached Zhenxi. Mackiernan had with him two transmitter-receivers, along the way using these transmitter-receivers to communicate with US special organs. After reaching Zhenxi, his transmitter-receivers never ceased to stay in contact. The time for his transmitter-receivers to make contact was commonly every afternoon. Mackiernan stayed a week in Zhenxi. In Zhenxi, with Osman, Samoilov, Janimhan’s son Dalilkhan, and others, he discussed various issues. Over multiple days, they also spent most of the time discussing various issues that threatened the interests of China’s various ethnic minorities and the Chinese people. According to the three White Russian fighters who had surrendered, Mackiernan mainly spoke of the imminent outbreak of a third world war. Before its eruption, no matter what, it would be necessary for Osman and the other bandit gangs to preserve their strength. If necessary, they could even feign a position of recognizing and supporting the Xinjiang Provincial People's Government and strive for opportunities to consolidate their position. He also declared to Osman and others that after the outbreak of the third world war, the United States would certainly give Osman and others a great amount of help, allowing them to completely control Xinjiang Province and attack the Soviet Union. Before Mackiernan left Zhenxi, he called a general meeting of the various gangs and bid them farewell. At the meeting Vasili Zvansov spoke for Mackiernan, telling them that Mackiernan would never forget them and would always help them. He also indicated that the third world war would certainly erupt in 1950, so he hoped that they would be able to wait patiently for a while. Finally, Vasili Zvansov again explained to them that Mackiernan was going to the Lop Nur area to investigate the roads for the various bandit gangs to prepare for their retreat. On departing, Mackiernan suggested that Osman, Janimhan, and Sultan Sherif each send a son to the United States to study, train, and wait for the third world war to erupt, when they would be sent back to Xinjiang. However, Osman and the others did not want to send their own sons. Instead, they found three Kazakh youths to go with Mackiernan in place of their sons. The bandit chieftain Osman, in order to help Mackiernan, at their parting gave him 14 horses, dispatched Sultan Sherif to guide him, and sent Mackiernan and the others to villages in the Lop Nor region where Uighurs, Qiang, and Sai lived. When Mackiernan was in Zhenxi, seeing how the region’s White Russians bandit gangs were living in hardship, he made a special gift of 25 taels of gold to the bandit chieftain Samoilov as a subsidy to the bandit gang. He also instructed them that they must continue cooperating with Osman.

A total of 8 persons went with Mackiernan to Lop Nor, including the US scholar, the three White Russians, three Kazakh youths, and one guide. It has been reported that they intended to climb the mountains and cross the border into India. They will then return to the United States. The White Russian fighters who surrendered to our People’s Liberation Army at the same time confessed that, previously, the US Consul in Dihua [John Hall] Paxton, between March and July 1949 had been to a number of places to see the Osman bandit gang. Each time he stayed for one or two days, giving the Osman bandit chieftain various instructions. At that time he was accompanied by the Ashan Muslim Abdulla’s son, You-nu-si You-yue-zhang. Under the alias “Omar,” he interpreted for US Consul Paxton.