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                                              "Why Are We Fighting?"

                                                  (Early Rebel Pamphlet)

Note: This pamphlet is reproduced by Linda Benson as in the original translation made for the U.S. Consulate in Urumqi, notes included.

Our fathers and our fathers’ fathers called the place where we are living "East Turkistan."

From ancient time there have lived in this place Uighurs, Taranchis, Kazaks, Uzbeks, and Tatars; at the present time also it is the place of their habitation.

In this territory there are counted to be four million people; more than three million of them are of these nations (that we have named); for that reason the area–East Turkistan–was called the heart of the Turkish nations. Our nearest blood relations are Kazaks, Kirghiz, Uzbeks, and Tatars. In the Soviet Union each of these races has organized its own Government and its members are living free and joyful lives. Let us listen to the white bearded old men among us while they tell us, as they alone can, what was the beginning of the history of our East Turkistan nations, and how it began.

Who are we? Who and where are our near and far relations? Where are the burial grounds–so so dear to us–of our beloved and renowned ancestors?

In answer to these questions, any man who seeks the truth and whose heart is right can not fail to say that the root of our nation and soul is not in China, but in Central Asia, in Kazakistan, Kirghizistan, Uzbekistan, and Tataristan. Our native place is East Turkistan; we are the eastern branch and part of the race–bound to us by blood relationship–the other parts of which lie within the Soviet Union; we are the part that is fighting.

Two hundred years ago from Astrakhan and the borders of the Caspian Sea there came to our East Turkistan several Kalmuk families and from that time forward they lived among us as friends without friction. Thus we see that their roots also not in China but sprung from the Russian Kalmuks. If they are asked they themselves with confirm this.

The (White) Russians now resident in East Turkistan can also make the same statement about themselves [i.e., that they came not from China but from Russia].

Of the fourteen nation living in East Turkistan, the ten nations accounted the most numerous have had no national, racial, or cultural relationship nor any community of blood with the Chinese, nor did any ever exist.

But through the sands of the desert from remote China there came Chinese to our East Turkistan. With the help of sabers and whips and taking advantage of our love of peace, the whiteness of our hearts, and our trustfulness, they took into their hands the control the whole government; they exacted from us heavy taxes and many kinds of contributions; they oppressed us until we had no more rights than animals. And they were at that time the least enlightened people in the world; they could not give to us brighter lives, they could not increase our knowledge or culture, they could not improve the ordinary living conditions of the people; instead they robbed us of light, held us in slavery, kept us illiterate and plunged us in darkness. From that time forward our territory was called "West China" or "Sinkiang" and it was forbidden to pronounce the name "East Turkistan" which the land had borne for years without end throughout history.

Our fathers and grand fathers were for hundreds of years oppressed by the savage Chinese. To understand the nature of that oppression, we need only regard the way in which our people are being oppressed by the Chinese at the present time.

Many times in the past our people have been unable to further to endure this oppression; their patience exhausted, they have turned on their savage oppressors and fought with great heroism. These battles are known to history. The beloved names of our heroic grandfathers who died in these struggles should serve us as banners calling us forward to do battle against the Chinese who enslave us!

In the year 26 and 27* the savage policies of Sheng Turpan began to be put in operation, at the time same time that fascism started.

In the same way that fascism counts as its enemies all people who love peace and freedom, thus did Sheng Turpan and savage Chinese who surrounded him count us, the native people of East Turkistan, as their enemies and as an inferior race. They oppressed us with every kind of cruelty. In 26 and 27 and subsequent years Sheng Turpan arrested Ha Jeeneeya, Sherif Jan, and over four thousand others of vanguard, of those who were most liked, of those who knew the most, of those who were most clever, of those who were outstanding for leadership. Can we forget them?

After he had arrested them, Sheng Turpan put them in torture cells, beat them until their bones were broken, strangled them and poisoned them, until they were dead. Their crime in the eye of the Turpan was that he accounted them our representatives, who sought for our people freedom and good fortune.

Very few of these men who were arrested at that time are still alive. Those few are in dark prisons waiting for the coming of death to end their tortures at the hand of the Tupan’s executioners. Their condition is so pitiful that their best friends would not know them if they saw them, and their mothers, wives, or children would go mad at the sight of them.

These helpless, unfortunate people are Uighurs, Taranchis, Kazaks, Kirghiz, Uzbeks, and Tatars. But they are more than representatives of the races to which we belong: they are our fathers, our elder brothers, our younger brothers and our relatives.

Hai, people! Let all men know well:

That these helpless, unfortunate people in the prisons of Sheng Turpan, drawing their last breaths of life before dying, turn upon us the eyes of their souls and in their moaning say to us: "For the suffering which we have endured at the hands of savage Chinese, you must avenge us. We are pouring forth our blood and yielding up our souls for our people: for this also you must avenge us."

At the present time, in our territory of East Turkistan, all of the ruling power is in the hands of the Chinese alone. We are a people who have lost all human rights. It should be known by every man of knowledge that when the rule is in the hands of the Chinese, there is no equality and no justice. Only when the throats of Chinese fascist oppressors have been cut and they have bled to dead will we come again in to the life of light.

Chinese administrators plan to move from far-away China a million Chinese and Chinese bandits in to our territory. Some of them, in guise of soldier and of refugees, have already come to Tihwa [Urumqi]; they are being dispersed among the several district among the several district and hsien [Xian]. It is the aim of the Chinese to drive us out thereafter from our native East Turkistan and to remove us by force to the east. This thing which the Chinese seek to do us is for us the same thing as the most horrible death: every one should understand this. Our bones will rot unburied on either side of the long road across the Chinese steppe to far away China; Chinese and Chinese bandits will live in our houses, take over our goods, enjoy our riches, be masters in our stead; by force they will go into our wives and our daughters. Because of our fear and our docility and our trustfulness they will mock us with contemptuous laughter.

The progressive, forward looking people among us, who give thought to our future welfare and fortune, have in every place organized illegal groups in order to fight against the savage Chinese, because the Chinese are dragging us toward a bottomless well, into which they mean to fling us.

Our fighters for the people’s freedom will unite our forces in friendship and under right leadership to rise against the Chinese in order to destroy that savage mastery and power; therefore there have been formed in every locality the illegal "National Freedom Groups."

Our aim in forming the "National Freedom Groups" is to free our people from enslavement to the savage Chinese and thereafter to make it so that these people, who have been oppressed by the Chinese, strangled by them, crushed down by them, may arise again as national races in possession of freedom, equality before the law, wealth, culture, and a fortunate life.

Our national freedom groups and all the members of the every group have taken an oath in the name of One God, before the souls of our heroic grandfathers and in the presence of all the people, to achieve, through enthusiasm and heroism, by legal and illegal means, by words and by force of arms, by night and by day and without resting the objectives set forth below.

1. We are fighting to do away with Chinese rule in all our East Turkistan [Sinkiang] and to destroy for all times the root of Chinese tyranny in our territory.

East Turkistan belongs to the real master of the territory, the Uighur, Taranchis, the Kirghiz, the Kazaks, the Tatars, the Uzbek together, with all those who live among them in peace and friendship and who alike suffer Chinese oppression, such as the Mongols and other non-Chinese nations. There is no place in East Turkistan for Chinese colonial government or Chinese colonists.

2. The National Freedom Groups and all of their members are fighting to establish in East Turkistan a real equality of rights between all races one with the other.

3. We are fighting for the organization of National Political Alliance, that is, a Congress composed of elect representatives of the people living in East Turkistan; the representatives comprising this National Political Alliance should be elected in numbers proportionate to the total numbers of their respective races. We should ourselves be the real master of this National Political Alliance and not the Chinese. Thereafter the Chinese will have no way to deride and ill treat us: we will make our own lives and our own happiness according to our own desires and not according to those of the Chinese.

From among the elected representatives to the National Political Alliance we will select the most intelligent, the most just, and those who most love the people, and with them we will organize our own new government.

4. The National Freedom Groups and their members are fighting in the interest of the people of all races except the Chinese so that in the future the district, town, village and small village administrations and organizations will be composed of trusted, energetic, capable, just members elected according to the popular will by the locally resident people themselves.

5. The National Freedom Groups and their members are fighting for the cultural development of every racial nation [in Sinkiang] and for the establishment of lower and middle schools in their respective languages for the Children of every nation, these schools to be supported by the government.

6. The National Freedom Groups and their members are fighting to reestablish the separate national contingents of troops, such as those comprised respectively by Uighurs, Kazaks, Mongols, and members of other national races, which where disbanded by Sheng Turpan because of his fear that they might oppose his political policies.

7. Sheng Turpan running, wild, took all military and civil rule in to his own hands; throughout the entire East Turkistan all rule became military; in the cities martial law was declared, and as soon as it became evening all movement in the streets was absolutely forbidden; it was impossible to leave the city without permission. After nightfall you were prevented not only visiting your friends, but you could not go to see your closest relatives on the most urgent business, because the moment you stepped out your door, a Chinese would seize you and begin: "Where are you going?" "For what reason?" "What have you said?" and [he would ask you] many other questions. Each person was obliged to spy on everyone else and inform the police. At the present time East Turkistan [Sinjiang] has become one vast prison; the nations are captives in it and the Chinese are the executioners. The Chinese themselves account the situation to be on of the happiness and a fortunate life for natives!

The National Freedom Groups and their members are fighting to overthrow the prison system set up by the oppressor, Sheng Turpan; to wrest the military and civil powers from the rule of one man, and to free unoffending people from captivity.

8. The National Freedom Groups and their members are fighting to give freedom to such among the number of those natives who (because of their interest in the welfare of the people) were arrested and imprisoned by Sheng Turpan as many yet to be still alive and still suffering from the Chinese oppression; these persons are the most trusted of our people, possess naturally the most authority, are the foremost among us and most dear to us.

9. There previously existed friendly trading relations between the people of East Turkistan [Sinjiang] and Soviet Government; this relationship was disrupted by the Chinese administrations; this cessation of trade worked great hardship in our lives, checked the growth of peasant holdings in the villages, and brought to a standstill the trading in the bazaars; for each family the daily life hood became difficult. In every locality those who were starving, who were without clothing, who could not find employment, and those conditions were all together piteous, became more and more numerous. Big merchants became small; the small became bankrupt; the bankrupt became beggars. For skilled workers also there are no jobs because there is no one who needs to employ them. As a result they too have fallen into dire poverty. The number of people who have met this kind of misfortune mounts up higher every day. In the market there are no buyers for cattle, for the various kinds of wool, skins, or grains, or for the other products of the small village holdings, nor for the production of the cattle raisers. The powerful Sovsintorg, a large purchase, went out and away from East Turkistan [Sinjiang] as a consequence of the inside-out political policies of Sheng Turpan. The price of the food supplies and other products of the village holdings and of cattle and sheep husbandry are too cheap: the husbandman cannot buy any of the things he needs for his family’s livelihood with the money he realizes from the sale of his products. From this money the Chinese authorities also forcibly take all kinds of taxes and exactions, for which reason no one can spend for his own needs or as he likes in a carefree way the money he receives. The life of the peasants, of the cattle and sheep herder, of the whole generality of the population, thus becomes progressively more difficult day by day. The people of East Turkistan [Sinjiang] are like an orphaned child, without father or mother or any one heeds his cries. The savage Chinese have torn the child from his mother that bore it (the Soviet Government) and seek to give it to the foster mother (the Three Peoples Principles) for the latter to trample it under foot. For the people of East Turkistan the severance of their mutually friendly relations with the Soviet Union and their subjection to the discipline of the Three People’s Principles by the savage Chinese is the same thing as death by torture.

The National Freedom Group must fight to free all people from the claws of death by hunger, to establish anew strong and truly sincere relations of friendship with our great, freedom-loving friend and neighbor, the Soviet Union, and to develop wide and full trading relations between all our trading men and the Sovsintorg. We are to do away with fixed market prices set by the Chinese by proclamation and to destroy the other systems of regulations harmful to the people.

10. The National Freedom Group must fight to procure the abatement and lightening of the unbearable load of taxes and exactions imposed upon the people by the Chinese. We demand of the Chinese that they decrease the endless and growing number of police and soldiers.

11. The National Freedom Group must fight to secure the freedom of religion and will oppose all restrains placed upon religious practices.

12. The National Freedom Group must offer strong and merciless opposition to the policy of moving Chinese and Chinese bandits in to our East Turkistan and of driving us, the people of the place, by force from our native soil to the East.

Even if the Chinese, with false and sweet words, attempt to receive us, we will not move anywhere at all from our own soil, nor shall the Chinese enter into our land , because we know very well that for us these things would be the same as death.

13. The National Freedom Groups must fight to procure the increase and expansion of irrigated lands, rivers, and(artificial) waterways and must direct the attention of our new government to such useful projects and assist(in their realization).

14. The National Freedom Groups must oppose all of the many kinds of heavy and difficult forced labor imposed on the native peoples by the Chinese(such as the digging of completely useless trenches and so forth) because these things are no benefit to the people and are necessary to no one.

The oppression of the savage Chinese has turned into Fascist rapacity; for this it is not possible to sit with quiet and patience, only watching. Every one must know that the time has come when he must choose one of two lives: to live a really happy life in freedom, or to be crushed in slavery beneath the boot of savage Chinese.

The National Freedom Group and their members give to all people this warning: If because of our fear we improvidently let this moment pass, the Chinese will bring into our land million of Chinese bandits and they will be settled among us. Then we shall be strangled, robbed of all our belongings, and humiliated; then we shall be powerless to liberate ourselves from the claws of the Chinese Fascists.

The National Freedom Group clearly understand this situation and we have sworn an oath not to permit a single moment to pass unused from this time forward, but rather to start now to fight against the rule of savage the Chinese oppressors, for the sake of a bright life for the people, their freedom, their fortune, and their wellbeing.

We call upon every man who takes thought for the happiness of his own family and of his people, upon all men of learning, of justice and courage, upon our heroes and all our youth, upon our brave soldiers, each and every one of them, not to let a single moment pass, to stand in our ranks as one of us to resist with us the oppressor Chinese. There is no single person who could possibly doubt that the help of the one God is on our side and his kindness is with us.

Brothers! Each of us must rise with the heroic bravery against the Chinese. Our lives and our happiness are for this moment in our hands: If we are afraid we will lose them both.

Enroll yourself as a member of the National Freedom Group! Organize in every separate place a local National Freedom Group! Let all people arise and resist the savage Chinese! The time of our triumph will certainly come!

The National Freedom Group

Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of Strategic Services File XL 32642. "Rebel Objective in Sinkiang," September 25, 1945, enclosure no. 1 to dispatch no. 23, from the American Consulate in Urumqi.

                                       "Struggle for the Motherland"

                                               (Later Rebel Pamphlet)

This pamphlet appears here as the original translation made for the U.S. Consulate in Urumqi.

Originally East Turkistan, our Motherland, was the real territory of the Turkish race. We consist of seven million people. This land is our birthright left by our brave ancestors and it is our duty and responsibility to guard their heritage. The Chinese oppressor and usurpers came to this land two hundred years ago, like savage and bandits, seizing our territory, enslaving us, making our land a colony and dishonoring our holly religion. In brief, we became like men who have eyes but are blind, ears but are deaf, tongues but are dumb, and legs but are lame. Such treachery and barbarous treatment. How can they be endured? ponder over these things. Which of them can be gain said? If you are not a spy or a quisling; if you are born of your mother; if the blood from your umbilical cord wet this soil; if your father owns you as his legitimate son then you cannot deny the truth of what has just been said!

You must not forget how our country flourished of old under the leadership of such heroes of our race as Sultan Sokushbora Khan, Harun Khan, Abdul Raschid Khan, Mohamet Khan, Sudduk Khan, and Osman Khan. During the times of these great men we were master of our territory and maintained the luster of our culture equal to any others. Within the last two hundred years we have lost our bright-right and live like animals under the cruel sway of the Chinese who are filthy and barbarous.

Why did the Ili uprising occur? It was because we have the right to rise up against oppression for the sake of our liberty, the happiness and prosperity of our sons, and the renaissance of our religion. We also believe that the Allah has said to us, "I shall punish all oppressors." We also are fully convinced that the power of the masses is the power of Allah. In this faith we fought and over-throwing the treacherous Chinese sovereignty in the thee districts established a free Muslim East Turkistan State. At the same time we raised the flag that was handed down from our forefathers.

Ho, fellow countrymen, Men of the faith and members of the same blood. Fear not. Strengthen your hearts and courage and consciences.

After an abundance of bloodshed we won a compromise peace which consisted of eleven articles of agreement. In order to preserve this agreement in full, the people must be willing to sacrifice everything.

The crafty foxes, with their swinish snouts, seeking to obtain what is not theirs, the shameless and oppressive Chinese, using these eleven article as a blind, are seeking again to trap us in their net. The cunning Chinese serve us with a wooden plate (which can be used once only and then must be thrown away). "May Allah protect us from falling once more into the Chinese hands." If we do so again the people know how they will be treated. People, you must remember the past. The land is ours and invaders have no claim to it.

Now, the military heads of these oppressors at Urumchi are trying to prolong their already exhausted life. Their aim to reestablish their old barbarous methods. Together with them are a few running dogs, conscienceless fools and sycophants, playing a quisling role with the Chinese. The eleven articles of the agreement will not allow the oppressors any road to regain their former suzerainty if its terms are fulfilled.

Ho, shameless beasts and devils. You must know that you are already caught in Hell. We, people of the same blood, must not let you quislings dance to the Chinese music.

The present is an era of democracy, justice, and liberty–no longer of absolute dictatorship. This is no more a time for slumber but a brightening period of the Twentieth Century. We must struggle unceasingly with our belts still tightened.

Let these oppressors depart quickly from our East Turkistan.
Let these spies, traitors and puppets also leave at once.
Let these running dogs of the Chinese and their coterie get out also.
Long live free East Turkistan.
Long live our Muslim Republican Government.
Long live the great, the heroic warriors. Long live the crescent calling for our thirty days of holly fast.
Long live the star calling for our five daily prayers.
Away with, away with, away with these oppressors, these spies, these pro-Chinese.

If you do not depart there is no room for you above the ground.

The Bubbling Spring

Source: U.S. Department of State, Division of Chinese Affairs, "Signs of Unrest in Tihwa," American Consul J. Hall Paxton to the Secretary of State, Urumqi, January 13, 1947, enclosure no. 2.