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October 25, 1949

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

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CABLE Nº 59442


Copy Nº 1 to Cde. Stalin
Copy Nº 2 to Cde. Stalin
Copy Nº 3 to Cde. Molotov
Copy Nº 4 to Cde. Malenkov


from PEKING Received at 10:10 26 October 1949 Copy Nº 2



[stamp: 1786  subject to return to
the 4
th unit of the VKP(b) CC
Special Department [OS – SIC]
Incoming Nº 3664/shs of
26 October 1949]


I am reporting to you the letter of Cde. MAO ZEDONG and the report attached to it:




I am sending you the first report about the entry into XINJIANG of the lead units of the People’s Liberation Army.


This report was sent from HAMI on 18 October by the Commander of the 2nd Army of the NOA 1st Army Group and the political commissar. At that time our Army had still only reached HAMI, TURPAN, and SHANSHAN.


On 20 October it had already reached URUMCHI and YANQI.


MAO ZEDONG, 25 October 1949”.


“On 12 October our army launched activity along the JIUQUAN-YUMEN-ANXI line and on 18 October the 12th Regiment of the 4th Division of our Army had already entered the city of TURPAN. The 10th Regiment and the command of the division are in SHANSHAN. Part of the 11th Regiment is just moving to SHANSHAN, and part remains in HAMI as before. The command of the Army, the command of the 5th Division, and the 14th and 15th Regiments are in HAMI as before.


Below we are sending the overall report about the state of our Army which has entered XINJIANG:


1. The entry of our Army into XINJIANG was warmly greeted by the national population of XINJIANG.


On 13 October, when our lead units had moved in the direction of HAMI, representatives of various circles of HAMI and national representatives left to welcome then in XINZHUANGZI (10 kilometers from HAMI): on 14 October they again came to this region to greet the troops.


On 15 October the 12th Regiment arrived in QIJIAOJING, and the masses greeted it.


On 16 October this Regiment arrived in SHANSHAN. The chief of the district of SHANSHAN and the population wanted to greet the PLA. The chief of the district was killed by reactionary elements, but in spite of this the popular masses welcomed the PLA as before.


On 17 October, after midnight the 12th Regiment began to move in the direction of TURPAN, and the chief of the district and the masses nevertheless welcomed the PLA at midnight. When the PLA arrived there, the people also warmly welcomed it.


Everyone said, “For a very long time we have looked with hope at the PLA, which we have finally seen and are extraordinarily happy”.


In regions where the PLA has not yet arrived the people are demanding the arrival of the PLA. The popular masses of HAMI demand that the PLA come to each corner of XINJIANG. Only in regions where the PLA has arrived can the people’s lives and property be guaranteed.


The Uighurs and Kazakhs have unanimously declared: with the arrival of the PLA we will come to the light from the darkness, from oppression to freedom. The population of all regions have hastened to bring sheep as a gift to the PLA; the population expressed dissatisfaction if the gifts were not accepted.


2. When we entered XINJIANG, we saw units in XINJIANG which had rebelled.

This was expressed in three versions;


1. The organizations of reactionary elements and propaganda units of the Kuomintang engaged in arson even before the arrival of the PLA. For example, HAMI was plundered and 50 houses (227 rooms) were burned. These incidents ceased after the arrival of the PLA.


2. When the PLA was entering organizations of reactionary elements and propaganda units of the Kuomintang killed people, set fires, and engaged in robbery.


For example, in SHANSHAN Kuomintang units (the 3rd battalion of the 654th Regiment of the 65th Brigade) killed the chief of the district and some of the population which had come out to greet the PLA. This battalion burned two homes, plundered the city for an hour and a half, and even the region of YANGJIA in the northern part of the city, and tried to delay the advance of the PLA.


3. After the insurrection, the units which rebelled completely maintained order at the local level; the lives and property of the population were preserved. For example, the units of WANG CHUANDUO (the 178th Brigade in ZHENXI). The people hated the first two units very much and asked the PLA expel them from XINJIANG (HAMI) faster, or strictly punish [them] (SHANSHAN). The people expressed a feel of sympathy for the latter. We took a different position with respect to these three units and took a different course.


With respect to the first units we welcome their uprising. We are fighting against their plundering and fires. Since with the arrival of the PLA they have stopped the plundering and the fires we will carry out a policy of unity as before, at the same time we are not weakening control and we are conducting the necessary fight in order to guard the interests of the people.


With respect to the second ones, we are following a policy of vigorous suppression, we are arresting the criminals, handing them over to a people’s court and sending [them] for punishment in URUMCHI, disarming the criminal units and handing them over to higher bodies for trial; we are shooting some of the most important criminals, and engaging in education of the majority of the soldiers and the population.


3. [sic] After XINJIANG was peacefully liberated fires and plundering continued to break out in HAMI, YANQI, JINGHUA, SUILAI, TURPAN, SHANSHAN, and AKSU. It has been shown that this was no coincidence. Individual acts show that they were planned, organized, and prepared anti-revolutionary acts.


As we have found out YE [Cheng], MA [Chengxiang], and LU [Shuren] insist on fighting the PLA to the end, and in case of defeat to carry out a policy of plunder, fires, and murders, so as not to let the PLA occupy XINJIANG without battles, and not let XINJIANG fall into the hands of the PLA unless in ruins.


After YE, MA, and LUO were forced to flee the main mass of spies [razvedchiki] also fled after them. But as before there many spies left in XINJIANG. After the peaceful liberation they continue to carry out the policy of YE, MA, and LUO, a policy of plunder, fires, and murders. Therefore we propose increasing vigilance, not slackening in the fight against the elements of the intelligence network and reaction. The liquidation of the elements of the intelligence network and reaction is the main condition of the guarantee of victory in the peaceful liberation of XINJIANG. We received this experience after entering XINJIANG.


4. The national [Translator’s note: national’nyy, that is, ethnic] question in XINJIANG, although it is very complex, but with the current national policy of the Party we are completely confident that we will rally together all the nations of XINJIANG in the fight to build a New XINJIANG. When we agitate for the new Party national policy – the equality of nations, consolidation, friendship, mutual aid, freedom of worship, and respect for the customs and habits of the ethnic minorities, the protection of the interests of the ethnic minorities, all the ethnic groups hearing this exuberantly expressed delight.


5. The discipline of our units finds approval in the popular masses, since on the one hand the Kuomintang Army steals, kills, and commits arson, and on the other, the PLA preserves the life and property of the city, and it stops robberies and murders, puts out fires, and carries out a movement to save food (each person will save two liang of grain a day for a week), and collects meat to aid the suffering population. The masses are extraordinarily grateful.


At the present time only one chief of the quartermaster service of the 15th Regiment has exhibited poor discipline; he struck one Uighur when buying food (he did not understand the language). They are searching for this Uighur right now and so this chief apologizes to him. In addition, educational work is being conducted about this question in the units.


18 October 1949 1200


GUO PENG Chief of the 2nd Army of the 1st Army Group of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Political Commissar WANG ENMAO”.


Nº 241 KOVALEV, 25 October

Deciphered by Prokop’yev at 1230 26 October

Typed [otp.] by Kornyushina at 1330 26 October

Five copies printed. Nº 5 to file

Verified by shift chief [illegible signature, possible Finenko] 1430


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."

Document Information


RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 333, ll. 25-28. Translated by Gary Goldberg.


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