Masud Sabri

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Masud Sabri
Masʿūd Ṣabrī.jpg
Inspector-General for Xinjiang Province
Governor of Xinjiang
In office
June 1947 – 1949
Preceded by Zhang Zhizhong
Succeeded by Burhan Shahidi
Personal details
Born 1886
Ili, Xinjiang
Died 1952
Nationality Uyghur
Political party CC Clique of Kuomintang party
Alma mater Istanbul University
Religion Islam
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the Republic of China Republic of China

Masud Sabri (1886–1952), also known as Masʿūd Ṣabrī (Uyghur: مسعود صبري‎), (simplified Chinese: 麦斯武德·沙比尔; traditional Chinese: 麥斯武德·沙比爾; pinyin: Màisīwǔdé·Shābì'ěr), was a Uyghur political leader in Xinjiang and Governor of Xinjiang during the Ili Rebellion. He received education at Kulja and Istanbul and was a pan Turkist.


After attending Istanbul University and learning medicine, Sabri returned to Xinjiang to become a pharmacist.


Governor of Xinjiang Yang Zengxin jailed Masud Sabri for pan turkist activities and then deported him from the province.[1]

Masud supported the First East Turkestan Republic while based at Aqsu with Mahmud Sijan. After it was crushed by the 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) Masud fled to British India and then to Nanjing, where he joined the Kuomintang Republic of China government.

In 1942, Masud Sabri was serving on the 36 seated State Council (Chinese National Political Council), the only other Muslim member was the Chinese Muslim General Ma Lin.[2]

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, who was pro Kuomintang and anti-Soviet. He replaced Zhang Zhizhong. Ehmetjan Qasim, the Communist Uyghur Ili leader, repeatedly demanded that Masud Sabri be sacked as governor.[3]

Masud Sabri was an opponent of the Soviet puppet Uyghur regime in Ili during the Ili Rebellion, opposing all efforts to negotiate with Ehmetjan Qasim along with others like Wang Tseng-shan, a Chinese Muslim, who was the KMT commissioner of Civil Affairs in the Xinjiang Coalition Government from 1946–47, and was associated with the CC Clique. Masud Sabri was also a CC Clique member, as was the Tatar Burhan Shahidi and the KMT-general and Han-Chinese Wu Zhongxin.[4] He led the Xinjiang coalition government from 1948-1949[5] Masud Sabri formed a group of pan turkists with Muhammad Amin Bughra and Isa Yusuf Alptekin to join the Kuomintang Republic of China coalition government in Xinjiang, opposing the Uyghur Communist Ili regime in the Second East Turkestan Republic. Ehmetjan Qasim attacked Masud Sabri, Alptekin, and Muhammad Amin Bughra as imperialist puppets and supporters of the Kuomintang.[1]

Masud Sabri and fellow Pan-Turkic Jadidist and East Turkestan Independence activist Muhammad Amin Bughra rejected the Soviet imposition of the name "Uyghur people" upon the Turkic people of Xinjiang. They wanted instead the name "Turkic ethnicity" (Tujue zu in Chinese) to be applied to their people. Masud Sabri also viewed the Hui people as Muslim Han Chinese and separate from his own people.[6] The names "Türk" or "Türki" in particular were demanded by Bughra as the real name for his people. He slammed Sheng Shicai for his designation of Turkic Muslims into different ethnicities which could sow disunion among Turkic Muslims.[7]

In January 1949, Burhan Shahidi succeeded Masud Sabri as the chairman of Xinjiang Provincial Government.[8]

In 1948 Sabri turned down the offer of being appointed ambassador from China to Iran. The Communist Party placed him under arrest and imprisoned him, in 1952 he died, still incarcerated.[9]


  1. ^ a b David D. Wang (1999). Clouds over Tianshan: essays on social disturbance in Xinjiang in the 1940s. NIAS Press. p. 28. ISBN 87-87062-62-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. ^ Howard L. Boorman, Richard C. Howard, Joseph K. H. Cheng (1970). Biographical dictionary of Republican China, Volume 3. Columbia University Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-231-08957-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  4. ^ 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. 376. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  5. ^ Hsiao-ting Lin (2010). Modern China's Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West. Taylor & Francis. p. 101. ISBN 0-415-58264-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  6. ^ [1] Wei 2002, p. 181
  7. ^ [2] Millward 2007, p. 209
  8. ^ Benson 1990: 155
  9. ^ 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. 247. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 

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