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April 9, 1951

Memorandum to Mr. B. Kuniholm from Enver Shakul, 'News from Sinkiang'



[stamp] File Copy


American Embassy, Ankara

April 9, 1951




To: Mr. B. Kuniholm

From: Enver Shakul

Subject: News from Sinkiang [Xinjiang].


TIHWA [Dihua; now known as Urumqi] RADIO can be heard in India at 19.30 over 42 meter band, Shortwave. Most of the news deal with the execution of former Nationalist Government employees who, despite the fact that they had gone over to the Communists, are now being put on trial accused of having been reactionaries.


OSMAN BATUR after his captured over at KOKO-NOR was brought to Tihwa for trial. Recently 20 Kazaks and Tungkans [Dungan; Hui Muslims] were executed. General Li Chu-tang (Chinese Military Commander of Aqsu [Aksu] Garrison) with 13 of his men were accused of reactionism as well as cooperation with the late American Vice Consul D. Mackiernan and were consequently shot in Tihwa.


There is no news yet of Burhan Shahidi’s (Governor of Sinkiang) return from Moscow where he had gone for medical treatment.


Former Nationalist Government Foreign Office representative in Sinkiang, Liu [Zerong] (Ta Pa Yuan) is at present in Peiping [Beiping; now known as Beijing] as assistant to Chinese Communist Foreign Minister Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai].


GENERAL YULBARS [Yolbars Khan] who arrived in India recently is in New Delhi at present – he is intending to leave for Formosa [Taiwan]. Yulbars left Sinkiang in the early part of 1950.




Last year after the plane crash, which resulted in the death of Ili leaders Ahmet Jan Kasimoff [Ehmetjan Qasimi] and General Ishak Jan, was announced there were uprisings in the Ili and Altai zones. The people blamed the Soviets for their deaths. Among the active demonstrators was GANI BATUR (Colonel in the Ili Military court – he was one of the partisan collaborators in the Ili Revolt in 1944). When last heard of, Gani Batur was being taken to Crimea (Russia) supposedly for medical treatment. Some of the people coming to Peiping from Ili in October 1950 were of the opinion that the Soviets had actually had a hand in the plane crash because they (Soviets) thought it was high time they got rid of Ahmet Jan. Ahmet Jan seems to have become too nationalistic and too popular with the people for their liking. Before his departure for the Peiping Conference [editor’s note: the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held in September 1949] Ahmet Jan had been favoring the idea of uniting the whole of Sinkiang and collaborating more with the Chinese. Burhan Shahidi’s son in law, Uighur Sairani (editor of Ili Newspaper) was to have been on the same plane but after having seen Burhan in Tihwa failed to make the plane in the last moment. This gave rise to the suspicion that Burhan knew what was to befall the Ili leaders. Burhan and Syfuddin Azizi [Saypiddin Azizi; Saypiddin Äzizov] finally represented Sinkiang in the Peiping Conference. [Editor’s note: Burhan Shahidi did not, in fact, participate in the People’s Political Consultative Conference.]


Enver Shakul, a Xinjiang exile working at the US Embassy in Ankara, shares the latest gossip from China's northwest.

Document Information


RG 59, Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs, Subject Files, Box 2, Folder: Kashmir Project (1), NND 979039. Obtained by Charles Kraus.


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