January 17, 1958
Memorandum of a Discussion held by USSR Consul-General in Ürümchi, G S. Dobashin, with First Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Comrade Wang Enmao, and Chair of the People’s Committee, Comrade S. Äzizov
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
Consulate-General of the USSR in Ürümchi
20 January 1958
Memorandum on a Discussion
Held by USSR Consul-General in Ürümchi, G. S. Dobashin, with First Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Comrade Wang Enmao, and Chair of the People’s Committee, Comrade S. Äzizov, January 17, 1958.
After the film-screening organized at the Consulate-General, I invited Comrades Wang Enmao and S. Äzizov to my quarters for supper.
On his own initiative, Comrade Wang Enmao told me the following about the work of the expanded plenum of the Party Committee of the Autonomous Region, which is taking place at the present time.
The interventions of the local nationalists at the plenum basically amount to these four: 1) A demand for the separation of the autonomous region from the PRC; 2) A demand for the departure of Chinese from the autonomous region; 3) Speeches against the party leadership; 4) Speeches against the socialist transformation or socialist construction.
Such calls are raised both outside the party, and inside it.
The occurrence of nationalism of the most serious nature manifests in the chief of the Department of Culture, Ziya Sämädi, head of the Department of Internal Affairs Ibrahim Turdi, mayor of the city of Ürümchi Abdurehim Said, and deputy chairman of the People's Committee of the Ili-Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture Abdurehim Äysa. Nationalist expressions also take on a serious form with the special plenipotentiary of the Kashgar Administrative Prefecture Iminov, [special plenipotentiary] of the Korla Administrative Prefecture Tursun Israilov, deputy chair of the department of education Qurbanov, and deputy chair of the Department of Public Security Aliev.
Abdurehim Äysa, deputy chairman of the People's Committee of the Ili-Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, ended his life by suicide (he slit his throat).
This took place in the following way.
On January 15 group discussions were held, and a meeting to discuss errors in the field of local nationalism was expected to convene on the following day. With the permission of his group leader, Abdurehim Aysa headed home for the purpose of preparing his speech, and at home he committed suicide. He left behind a few letters addressed to Comrades Wang Enmao, Säypidin, Iminov, and to his wife. In these letters he admits his nationalist errors, and says that although he was a Communist, who sacrificed his health for the party, he nevertheless wasn't committed to it ideologically.
Wang Enmao informed me that in 1957, Abdurehim Äysa had been in Mecca as a member of the Chinese delegation.
On his way to Mecca he had discussions in Turkey with Isa [Yusuf Alptekin], former head of the chancellery of the Xinjiang puppet regime, as well as his secretary.
While he was in Mecca, he met with a certain Devlet (a Kazakh by nationality, family name unknown), who had fallen captive to the Germans during World War II and had been through espionage training in America.
Abdurehim Äysa praised the American way of life, and American support for Arab countries, declaring that people lived better there than they did in Xinjiang, and that there weren’t any Americans there, while at the same time Xinjiang was filling up with Chinese. On all of these questions Abdurehim confided in his old friend Ismail, deputy director of the Xinjiang Institute of Nationalities, and Ismail spoke about this at the plenum.
Comrade Wang Enmao said that the incident of Abdurehim Äysa's suicide highlighted the fact that his errors had gone a long way indeed.
Participants in the plenum condemned Abdurehim Aysa’s suicide, judging it to be an anti-party act.
Wang Enmao said that it was possible that the expanded plenum of the Autonomous Region would last for the whole of February.
During this discussion vice-consuls Comrades E. A. Ivanov, A. P. Kireev, and A. Ia. Kriazhev were also present.
Dragoman N. G. Natashin took notes on the discussion.
Consul-General of the USSR in Ürümchi
In a conversation with the Soviet Consul-General, Wang Enmao describes "local nationalism" within Xinjiang and open hostility towards Chinese Communist Party rule.
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