Kazakh exodus from Xinjiang

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The Kazakh exodus from Xinjiang occurred in waves during the 1950s and 1960s after the victory of the Communist Party of China in Xinjiang.

In 1936, after Sheng Shicai expelled 20,000 Kazakhs from Xinjiang to Qinghai, Chinese Muslims led by General Ma Bufang massacred their fellow Muslim Kazakhs, until there were 135 of them left.[1][2][3]

The Kazakhs had settled in the western frontier of China, called Xinjiang, long before the communists took full control in 1949. The initial exodus began in 1950 or the Year of the Tiger, when the victorious Chinese Communist Army took control, not guaranteeing nor overtly denying the Kazakh way of life: tribalism and Islam. Families voted at Barkol and set out to preserve their way of life in the steppes of Kashmir, exiled from their homeland.

This initial journey to Kashmir was opposed by the victorious Chinese Red Army as they passed through Chinese territory. The first attack happened at Barkol in Kumul Prefecture and the second near Timurlik. The Kazakh groups that survived fled into Tibet to survive. The victory by the Chinese Red Army was not the only thing that hindered the initial Kazakh exodus; they also suffered illness which killed countless individuals. It took three months for the Kazakhs to cross Tibet and arrive at Srinagar, Kashmir. Of the 400 families that fled China, only 350 arrived at Srinagar in the initial exodus.

In 1962, the Kazakhs embarked on another exodus from Xinjiang. This time the Kazakh and members of other ethnic groups fled to the Soviet Union due to mass riots and communist reforms that again were imposed on the Kazakhs' traditional way of life.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ American Academy of Political and Social Science (1951). The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 277. American Academy of Political and Social Science. p. 152. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. ^ American Academy of Political and Social Science (1951). Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volumes 276-278. American Academy of Political and Social Science. p. 152. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  3. ^ American Academy of Political and Social Science (1951). The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 277. American Academy of Political and Social Science. p. 152. Retrieved 2012-09-29. "A group of Kazakhs, originally numbering over 20000 people when expelled from Sinkiang by Sheng Shih-ts'ai in 1936, was reduced, after repeated massacres by their Chinese coreligionists under Ma Pu-fang, to a scattered 135 people." 

Sources[edit]

  • Kazak Exodus, by Godfrey Lias, London: Evan Brothers Limited (1956)
  • Clark, Milton J. "How the Kazakhs Fled to Freedom." National Geographic Magazine. Nov. 1954, pp. 621–644.
  • Harris, Lillian C. "Xinjiang, Central Asia and the Implications for China's Policy in the Islamic World." The China Quarterly, no. 133 (March 1993), pp. 111–29.
  • Moseley, George. Nichols, J. L. (Review Author). "A Sino-Soviet Cultural Frontier: The Ili Kazakh Autonomous Chou." The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 27, no. 3 (May 1968), pp. 628–29.