View Full Version : RED CHINA: Troubles in Sinkiang (East Turkestan) 1959

11-10-11, 12:15

Among Peking's suffering subjects, special torments are visited on those who live in Red China's own Wild West, the twice-Texas-sized, rugged but rich Sinkiang province. On one side it abuts Russian Kazakhstan, on the other Tibet, to which it is linked by the disputed Ladakh Road through Indian-occupied Kashmir. In Sinkiang as in neighboring Tibet, the Chinese are an invading minority. Half a million Chinese are outnumbered by 4,500,000 hard-riding, xenophobic Moslem herdsmen, the Uighurs and Kazakhs, who pledge friendship by daubing their foreheads with lamb's blood. The literal meaning of Kazakh is "man without a master."
With only 65,000 Uighur and Kazakh party members today, the Chinese Communists from the beginning relied not on persuasion but on the People's Liberation Army to lead Sinkiang through what the party called its "difficult period of rehabilitation." In that difficult period, landowners were dispossessed and shot, tight food rationing imposed and 12,000 "incorrigibles" shunted into six big forced-labor camps near Kuldja, Nilki and Kunes.
When Peking proclaimed its Great Leap Forward (TIME cover, Dec. 1, 1958), Sinkiang, normally a pastoral land, was marked out for a big coal and steel center at Kuldja. While grain rotted in the fields and neglected herds died, farmers were dragooned into factories, construction sites and 451 communes.
Joan of Arc. Early in their occupation, the Chinese Reds wiped out Sinkiang's original Moslem leaders. Looking for someone else to lead them, the restive Moslems turned to one Abraim Aysaev, an Uighur regional official who had been thinking dangerous thoughts since returning from a Communist-sponsored junket to the Middle East in 1958. Discovered by the secret police early this year, Aysaev was summoned to party headquarters. That night, according to the Communists, he returned to his hotel and killed himself. Fearing public outcry, the Reds buried him without a funeral.
Since then, according to refugees from Sinkiang who have made it to Hong Kong, Moslem resistance has flickered across Sinkiang. In the Altai mountains, tribesmen fought Red troops for two months. From Kara Kash came word of a 23-year-old Moslem woman called Pashakhan, who, waving a star-and-crescent flag, led a crowd from a mosque to sack the local police station and to fight on with captured weapons for two weeks before being taken and shot.
Sharing the Bed. Peking's answer has been to throw in youth brigades of Chinese. The Communist Sinkiang Daily claimed that natives "voluntarily gave up their houses and beds to these young people." Last month, in a special meeting, the Sinkiang party organization decided the opposition of "a small number of demobilized servicemen and commune members" has become "the main obstacle to a further strengthening of the people's communes," decreed that, beginning this week, "the stubborn resistance of a few rightist opposition elements who attempt to carry out underground activities should be promptly corrected."
As winter snows and 20-below winds whistled down over Sinkiang's reed huts, refugees report that, despite party and army, the Kazakhs have not yet acknowledged their masters.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,811601,00.html#ixzz1aUTLdDfZ