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Ili Rebellion
Date 1944–1949
Location Xinjiang
Status Ceasefire, Coalition Government and eventually Incorporation of Xinjiang into the People's Republic of China
Belligerents
Taiwan Republic of China Flag of the Soviet Union (1924–1955).svg Soviet Union

Second East Turkestan Republic Second East Turkestan Republic

Mongolia Mongolian People's Republic

Commanders and leaders
Taiwan Chiang Kai-shek

Taiwan Bai Chongxi
Taiwan Ma Bufang
Taiwan Zhang Zhizhong
Taiwan Ma Chengxiang
Taiwan Ma Xizhen
Taiwan Han Youwen
Taiwan Liu Bin-Di
Taiwan Ospan Batyr (1946-1951)
Taiwan Yulbars Khan
Taiwan Masud Sabri

Soviet Union Joseph Stalin

MongoliaKhorloogiin Choibalsan
Second East Turkestan RepublicEhmetjan Qasim
Second East Turkestan Republic Soviet Union Ishaq Beg
Second East Turkestan Republic Russian Empire A. Polinov
Second East Turkestan Republic Russian Empire F. Leskin
Second East Turkestan Republic Ospan Batyr (1944-1946)

Strength
National Revolutionary Army
  • Flag of the Republic of China Army 100,000 Han Chinese and Chinese Muslim (Also known as Hui or Tungan ) infantry and cavalry[1]
    • Flag of the Republic of China Army Han chinese 2nd army (4 divisions)
    • Flag of the Republic of China Army Chinese Muslim 5th Cavalry Army
    • Flag of the Republic of China Army Chinese Muslim 42nd Cavalry Army
    • Flag of the Republic of China Army Chinese Muslim 14th Cavalry regiment[1]:215
    • Flag of the Republic of China Army Pau-an-dui (Pacification Troops made out of Kazaks, Mongols, and White Russians loyal to the Chinese regime)
Flag of the Soviet Union (1924–1955).svg Soviet Union Thousands of Soviet Red Army troops

Mongolia Mongolian People's Army
Second East Turkestan Republic Ili Army (Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim insurgents)
Russian Empire White Russians
Russian settlers in Xinjiang

Casualties and losses
Total casulaties unknown, many Chinese civilians killed in Ili Total casulaties unknown; heavy losses among Russian settlers fighting for the East Turkestan Republic

The Ili Rebellion (Script error) or (Script error) was a Soviet-backed revolt by the Second East Turkestan Republic against the Kuomintang Government of the Republic of China from 1944-1949.

FightingEdit

Liu Bin-Di was a Hui Muslim Kuomintang officer and was sent by Urumchi to subdue the Hi area and crush the Turkic Muslims, who were prepared to overthrow Chinese rule. His mission failed due to being long overdue.[1] Several Turkic cavalry armed by the Soviets crossed into China in the direction of Kuldja. In November 1944 Liu was killed by Turkic Uyghur and Kazakh rebels backed by the Soviet Union. This started the Ili rebellion, with the Uyghur Ili rebel army fighting against Republic of China forces.

The Soviet Army assisted the Ili Uyghur army in capturing several towns and airbases. Thousands of Soviet troops assisted Turkic rebels in fighting the Chinese army.[2] In October 1945 suspected Soviet planes attacked Chinese positions.[3] Non communists Russians like White Russians and Russian settlers who had lived in Xinjiang since the 19th century also helped the Red Army and the Ili Army. They suffered heavy losses.

As the Soviet Red Army and Turkic Uyghur Ili Army advanced with Soviet air support against poorly prepared Chinese forces, they almost succeeded in reaching Urumqi, however, the Chinese military threw up rings of defences around the area, sending Chinese Muslim cavalry to halt the advance of the Turkic Muslim rebels. Thousands of Chinese Muslim troops under General Ma Bufang and his nephew General Ma Chengxiang poured into Xinjiang from Qinghai to combat the Soviet and Turkic Uyghur forces.

Much of the Ili army and equipment originated from the Soviet Union. The Ili rebel army pushed the Chinese army across the plains, and reached Kashgar, Kaghlik, and Yarkand, however, the Uyghurs in the oaseses gave no support to the Soviet backed rebels. Due to this, the Chinese army expelled the rebels. The Ili rebels then butchered livestock belonging to Kirghiz and Tajiks of Xinjiang.[4] The Soviet backed insurgents destroyed Tajik and Kirghiz crops and acted aggressively against the Tajiks and Kirghiz of China.[5]

The Chinese Muslim General Ma Bufang was sent with his Muslim Cavalry to Urumqi by the Kuomintang in 1945 to protect it from the Uyghur army from Hi.[6][7][8][9] A cease-fire was declared in 1946, with the Second East Turkestan Republic in control of Ili and the Chinese in control of the rest of Xinjiang, including Urumqi.

1947 unrestEdit

The unpopular governor Wu Zhongxin was replaced with Zhang Zhizhong after the ceasefire, who implemented pro minority policies to placate the Uyghur population. Bai Chongxi, the Defence Minister of China, and a Muslim, was considered for being appointed Governor of Xinjiang. The position was then given to Masud Sabri in 1947, a pro Kuomintang Uyghur who was anti-Soviet.[10] Masud Sabri was close to conservatives in the CC Clique of the Kuomintang and undid all of Zhang Zhizhong's pro minority reforms, and his appointment set off revolts and riots among the Uyghurs in the oasises like Turfan.

Mobs of Uyghur Muslims in Urumchi on July 11 attacked houses belonging to Han Chinese who married Uyghur Muslim women. The wives were abducted, some forcibly remarried to elderly Uyghur men. In response curfew placed at 11 p.m. to restore order.[11]

Ma Chengxiang, a Kuomintang Chinese Muslim General, and the nephew of Ma Bufang, allegedly used his Chinese Muslim cavalry to butcher Uyghurs during an uprising in 1948 in Turfan.[12] Ma Chengxiang led the 5th cavalry army which was stationed in Xinjiang.

Ehmetjan Qasim, the Uyghur Ili leader, repeatedly demanded that Masud Sabri be sacked as governor.

All races in the Ili region, including White Russians and Tungans (Chinese Muslims), even though some of them were hated by the Uyghurs, were forcibly conscripted into the Uyghur Ili army. The Uyghurs and Soviets massacred Han living in Ili and drove them from the region.

The Salar Muslim General Han Youwen, who served under Ma Bufang, commanded the Pau-an-dui (pacification soldiers), composed of 340 man battalions, of which he had three. They were made out of many troops, including Kazaks, Mongols, and White Russians serving the Chinese regime. He served with Osman Batur and his Kazakh forces in battling the ETR Ili Uyghur and Soviet forces.[13]

Riots against white Russians in the oaseses occurred, with Uyghurs calling for White Russians to be expelled along with Han Chinese.[10]

"Pei-ta-shan Incident"Edit

The Mongolian People's Republic became involved in a border dispute with the Republic of China, and so a Chinese Muslim Hui cavalry regiment was sent in response by the Chinese government to attack Mongol and Soviet positions.

As commander of the First Cavalry Division, Major-General Han Youwen was sent to Beitashan by the Kuomintang military command to reinforce Ma Xizhen with a company of troops, approximately three months before the fighting broke out.[14] At Pei-ta-shan, Major General Han Youwen was in command of all the Muslim cavalry defending against Soviet and Mongol forces.[15][16] Han Youwen (Han Yu-wen) said "that he believed the border should be about 40 miles to the north of the mountains" to A. Doak Barnett, an American reporter.[17]

Chinese Muslim and Turkic Kazakh forces working for the Chinese Kuomintang, battled Soviet Russian and Mongol troops. In June 1947 the Mongols and the Soviets launched an attack against the Kazakhs, driving them back to the Chinese side. However, fighting continued for another year, with 13 clashes taking place between 5 June 1947 and July 1948.[18]:215

Elite Qinghai Chinese Muslim cavalry were sent by the Kuomintang to destroy the Mongols and the Russians in 1947.[18]:214

Political accession of Xinjiang to Chinese Communist RuleEdit

The conflict ended with the arrival of the Chinese Communists in the region in 1949. On August 19, 1949, Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communists invited the leaders of the Three Districts to attend the Inaugural Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference to be held in Beijing.[19] On August 22, five leaders of the Three Districts, Ehmetjan Qasimi, Abdulkerim Abbas, Ishaq Beg, Luo Zhi and Delilhan Sugurbayev boarded a Soviet plane in Almaty and were headed for Chita but were said to have perished in a mysterious plane accident near Lake Baikal.[20] On September 3, three other former ETR leaders including Saifuddin Azizi arrived in Beijing by train and agreed to join the People’s Republic of China, which was founded on October 1. The deaths of the other former ETR leaders were not announced until December after the Chinese Communists' People's Liberation Army (PLA) had control of northern Xinjiang and had reorganized the military forces of the Three Districts into the PLA.[21] Several former ETR commanders joined the PLA.

On September 25, Nationalist leaders in Dihua, Tao Zhiyue and Burhan Shahidi, announced the formal surrender of the Nationalist forces in Xinjiang to the Chinese Communists. On October 12, the Communist People's Liberation Army entered Xinjiang. Many other Kuomintang generals in Xinjiang like the Salar Muslim General Han Youwen joined in the defection to the Communist People's Liberation Army. They continued to serve in the PLA as officers in Xinjiang. Other Nationalist leaders who refused to submit fled to Taiwan or Turkey. Ma Chengxiang fled via India to Taiwan. Muhammad Amin Bughra and Isa Yusuf Alptekin fled to Turkey. Masud Sabri was arrested by the Chinese Communists and died in prison in 1952.

The only organized resistance the PLA encountered was from Osman Batur's Kazak milita and from Yulbars Khan's White Russian and Hui troops who served the Republic of China. Batur pledged his allegiance to the KMT and was killed in 1951. Yulbars Khan battled PLA forces at the Battle of Yiwu, and fled through Tibet, evading the Dalai Lama's forces which harassed him, and escaped to Taiwan via India to join Republic of China, which appointed him the governor of Xinjiang Province in exile.[18]:225 The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the PRC was established on October 1, 1955, replacing the Xinjiang Province (1884–1955).

American telegramsEdit

Multiple telegrams between the Chinese government, the Mongolians, the American government, the Uyghur Ili regime, and the Soviet Union were exchanged. There were preserved by the American agents and sent to Washington, D.C. They can be seen here:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (1982). Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volumes 4-5. King Abdulaziz University. p. 299. http://books.google.com/books?ei=rs-PTPXyL4G0lQf-s5zcDw&ct=result&id=4J0uAAAAIAAJ&dq=Liu+Bin+di%27s+mission%2C+however+was&q=Liu+Bin+di%27s+mission%2C+hi. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. "Red Troops Reported Aiding Sinkiang Rebels Fight China". 22 Oct 1945. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/baltsun/access/1684503592.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Oct+22%2C+1945&author=&pub=The+Sun+(1837-1985)&desc=Red+Troops+Reported+Aiding+Sinkiang+Rebels+Fight+China&pqatl=google. 
  3. "Sinkiang Truce Follows Bombings Of Chinese in 'Far West' Revolt; Chungking General Negotiates With Moslem Kazakhs--Red-Star Planes Are Traced to Earlier Soviet Supply in Area". 22 October 1945. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70E10F63F5C10728DDDAB0A94D8415B8588F1D3. 
  4. Eric Shipton, Jim Perrin (1997). Eric Shipton: The Six Mountain-Travel Books. The Mountaineers Books. p. 488. ISBN 0-89886-539-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=aY9ImH3Vna8C&pg=PA488&dq=china+tajik+turki&hl=en&ei=3WXYTKj9CIa8lQfImY2OCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CFwQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage&q=china%20tajik%20turki&f=false. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  5. Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 204. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=IAs9AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=warlords+and+muslims&hl=en&ei=OPUbTPitH8OBlAenmNj-DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=tajiks%20antagonised&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  6. Paul Preston, Michael Partridge, Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN 1-55655-768-X. http://books.google.com/books?id=a4yQAAAAMAAJ&q=In+September+1945+he+and+his+Moslem+cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend+Urumchi+against+the+advance+of+the+Moslem+rebels+from+Hi.+He+has+considerable+influence+with+the+Chinese+Moslems+and+his+appointment+was+designed+to+check+any&dq=In+September+1945+he+and+his+Moslem+cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend+Urumchi+against+the+advance+of+the+Moslem+rebels+from+Hi.+He+has+considerable+influence+with+the+Chinese+Moslems+and+his+appointment+was+designed+to+check+any&hl=en&ei=itm0TJmWOcGB8gbT_P2VCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. Paul Preston, Michael Partridge, Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN 1-55655-768-X. http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend+Urumchi+against+the+advance+of+the&btnG=Search+Books. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  8. Paul Preston, Michael Partridge, Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN 1-55655-768-X. http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=In+September+1945+he+and+his+Moslem+cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend&btnG=Search+Books. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  9. Paul Preston, Michael Partridge, Antony Best. British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1946 through 1950. Asia, Volume 1. University Publications of America. p. 63. ISBN 1-55655-768-X. http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=In+September+1945+he+and+his+Moslem+cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=bks%3A1&q=In+September+1945+he+and+his+Moslem+cavalry+moved+into+Sinkiang+to+defend&aq=f&aqi=m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=c295382bce16bc53. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO RESEOLVE POLITICAL PROBLEMS IN SINKIANG; EXTENT OF SOVIET AID AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO REBEL GROUPS IN SINKIANG; BORDER INCIDENT AT PEITASHAN
  11. Linda Benson (1990). The Ili Rebellion: the Moslem challenge to Chinese authority in Xinjiang, 1944-1949. M.E. Sharpe. p. 74. ISBN 0-87332-509-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=suuXIhetjZcC&pg=PA74&dq=inauspicious+start+evening+mobs+attacked+chinese+married+provincial&hl=en&ei=VllrTLzdNIP78AaelozoBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=inauspicious%20start%20evening%20mobs%20attacked%20chinese%20married%20provincial&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  12. Jack Chen (1977). The Sinkiang story. Macmillan. p. 263. ISBN 0-02-524640-2. http://books.google.com/books?ei=w1dKTJ-yNcT68Aauo8Qy&ct=result&id=Ka6GAAAAIAAJ&dq=the+sinkiang+story&q=ma+chin-shan. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  13. Royal Central Asian Society, London (1949). Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society, Volumes 36-38. Royal Central Asian Society.. p. 71. http://books.google.com/books?ei=2haaTcWtLo_4gAeDx5HUCA&ct=result&id=gL7iAAAAMAAJ&dq=han+youwen&q=han+you-wen. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  14. David D. Wang (1999). Under the Soviet shadow: the Yining Incident : ethnic conflicts and international rivalry in Xinjiang, 1944-1949. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. p. 274. ISBN 962-201-831-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=XeBxAAAAMAAJ&q=han+youwen&dq=han+youwen&hl=en&ei=2haaTcWtLo_4gAeDx5HUCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBDgK. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  15. Royal Central Asian Society, London (1949). Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society, Volumes 36-38. Royal Central Asian Society.. p. 67. http://books.google.com/books?id=gL7iAAAAMAAJ&q=The+commander+of+the+Moslem+cavalry+units+who+are+responsible+for+the+defence+of+the+Pei-ta-shan+area,+Major-General+Han+You-wen,+received+us+with+great+cordiality+and+talked+frankly+about+the+military+situation&dq=The+commander+of+the+Moslem+cavalry+units+who+are+responsible+for+the+defence+of+the+Pei-ta-shan+area,+Major-General+Han+You-wen,+received+us+with+great+cordiality+and+talked+frankly+about+the+military+situation&hl=en&ei=ER-aTZPoNIPDgQeiu-DQDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  16. Royal Central Asian Society (1949). Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society, Volume 36. Royal Central Asian Society.. p. 67. http://books.google.com/books?id=oDAUAQAAMAAJ&q=The+commander+of+the+Moslem+cavalry+units+who+are+responsible+for+the+defence+of+the+Pei-ta-shan+area,+Major-General+Han+You-wen,+received+us+with+great+cordiality+and+talked+frankly+about+the+military+situation&dq=The+commander+of+the+Moslem+cavalry+units+who+are+responsible+for+the+defence+of+the+Pei-ta-shan+area,+Major-General+Han+You-wen,+received+us+with+great+cordiality+and+talked+frankly+about+the+military+situation&hl=en&ei=HheaTauEJ4rZgAfpss2uCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAQ. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  17. Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 215. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=IAs9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA215&lpg=PA215&dq=%22that+he+believed+the+border+should+be+about+40+miles+to+the+north+of+the+mountains%22&source=bl&ots=KAeMeWaplL&sig=HUbNSjDQwZoEgCGbLUHxAgZhJ4E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZtpGUJXKHMrq0gHop4FQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22that%20he%20believed%20the%20border%20should%20be%20about%2040%20miles%20to%20the%20north%20of%20the%20mountains%22&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Forbes
  19. (Chinese) "历史资料:新疆和平解放" Accessed 2010-11-08
  20. Donald H. McMillen, Chinese Communist Power and Policy in Xinjiang, 1949-1977 (Boulder, Colorado:Westview Press, 1979), p. 30
  21. Opposition politique, nationalisme et islam chez les Ouïghours du Xinjiang Rémi Castets

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