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The Uygur ethnic minority (6)

(People's Daily)

11:16, August 08, 2011

Contemporary History

In 1933, when China was at a crucial point in history, the Chinese Communist Party began revolutionary activities in Xinjiang aimed at peace, democracy and progress. Sheng Shicai had to take some progressive steps, and declared six major policies -- anti-imperialism, amity with the Soviet Union, national equality, honest government, peace and national reconstruction. In the same year, the "Anti-Imperialist Association of the People of Xinjiang" was formed, and the journal, "Anti-Imperialist Front," was published. Part of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army went to Xinjiang in 1937. Later Sheng Shicai turned to the Kuomintang, persecuting the Communists, progressive people, patriotic youth and workers.

The Kuomintang began to rule Xinjiang in 1944, forcing sharper contradictions on the Uygurs and other ethnic groups. It exacted dozens of taxes under all kinds of pretexts. One example was the taxation on land. An average peasant had to pay well over 15 per cent of annual income for it. The amount of taxes in terms of money was eight times the sum in 1937. Local industry and commerce virtually went bankrupt, and the situation for rural Uygurs was even worse.

Uprisings took place in Ili, Tacheng and Altay to oppose Kuomintang rule. They served to accelerate the liberation of the region in the national liberation war.

Tao Zhiyue, the Commandant of the Kuomintang Xinjiang Garrison, and Burhan Shahidi, Chairman of the Kuomintang Xinjiang Provincial Government, accepted Chinese Communist Party's peace terms, and revolted against the Kuomintang government in Nanjing, and Xinjiang was peacefully liberated in October, 1949.

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  1. The Uygur ethnic minority
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