Xinjiang and the Expansion of Chinese Communist Power: Kashgar in the Early Twentieth Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Xinjiang and the Expansion of Chinese Communist Power

Kashgar in the Early Twentieth Century, 1st Edition

By Michael Dillon


252 pages | 37 B/W Illus.

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Xinjiang, China's far northwestern province where the majority of the population are Muslim Uyghurs, was for most of its history contested territory. On the Silk Road, a region of overlapping cultures, the province was virtually independent until the late nineteenth century, nominally part of the Qing Empire, with considerable interest taken in it by the British and the Russians as part of their Great Game rivalry in Asia. Ruled by warlords in the early twentieth century, it was occupied in 1949-50 by the People's Liberation Army, since when attempts have been made to integrate the province more fully into China. This book outlines the history of Xinjiang. It focuses on the key city of Kashgar, the symbolic heart of Uighur society, drawing on a large body of records in which ordinary people provided information on the period around the communist takeover. These records provide an exceptionally rich source, showing how ordinary Uyghurs lived their everyday lives before 1949 and how those lives were affected by the arrival of the Chinese Communist Party and its army. Subjects covered by the book include Eastern Turkestan independence, regional politics, local government, the military, taxation, education and the press.


"Dillon (formerly, Univ. of Durham, UK), a specialist on contemporary China, provides a detailed history of the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang Province in the first decades of the 20th century, arguing that it was key to Xinjiang’s incorporation into the People’s Republic of China. Dillon’s previous published works on Islam in China and Xinjiang, such as China: A Modern History (CH, Jul'11, 48-6451), naturally culminate in this city history. Readers should be especially intrigued with the many photographs of 1930s Kashgar taken by Swedish missionaries, which provide a nice visual counterpoint to Dillon’s appropriately complex narrative describing the swirl of personalities and states involved in the last phase of the “great game” at that far corner of China. China specialists and advanced students will be particularly grateful for Dillon’s extensive use of important Chinese primary sources on Xinjiang, and for his attempt to see Kashgar in that turbulent period from several perspectives. All readers will find his description of key personalities helpful. For background and comparison, instructors should review earlier works on the history of the province and on this period, such as Andrew D. W. Forbes's Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia (1986) and James A. Millward's Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (CH, Feb'08, 45-3349)." --M. C. Brose, University of Wyoming

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above - CHOICE

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Silk Road City in the Land of Mountain and Desert 2. Kashgar and the Chinese Republic 1911-1949 3. Kashgar and the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Republic 1933-4 4. The view from Chinibagh 1: Britain’s Consulate-General in Kashgar and Xinjiang under Governor Jin Shuren 5. The view from Chinibagh 2: The Consulate-General and the 1933-4 Revolt in Southern Xinjiang 6. Communist Activists in the Kashgar Region during the 1930s and 1940s 7. Border Security and the Battle against the British and Smugglers: Hu Dong in Tashkurgan 8. Tax and Currency Reform in Kashgar 9. Education and Running a County: Li Yunyang in Kashgar and Maralbashi (Bachu) 10. Educating Girls and Working with Women: Wu Naijun in Kashgar and Maralbashi 11. Kashgar Newspaperman: Wang Mo and Xinjiang Daily 12. Honest and Public-Spirited Official: Xu Liang 13. Political Commissar on the Frontier: Zhou Chunlin 14. Abudukerimhan Mehsum 15. Entry of the PLA into Kashgar and the ‘Peaceful Liberation’ of Xinjiang 16. Liberating Khotan: Bai Chushi in Southern Xinjiang 17. Colonising Kashgar in the Name of the People

About the Author

Michael Dillon is a frequent commentator on Chinese affairs for the BBC and other broadcasters. He was formerly Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Durham, UK, where he taught Chinese and Chinese History. His previous publications include China: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary, Contemporary China - An Introduction, China's Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects and Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Far Northwest (all published by Routledge and RoutledgeCurzon). He has visited Xinjiang and carried out fieldwork throughout the region since 1991.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism & Socialism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies