Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

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Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 01 Jan 2016 02:44

Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not? Does anyone here have more detailed information about the distinctions between Mongolia and Xinjiang during this time?

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 01 Jan 2016 05:58

Indeed, is a notable distinction between Mongolia and Xinjiang in 1911 the fact that Xinjiang was already an actual province of China back then whereas Mongolia was not an actual province of China during this time?

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by South » 01 Jan 2016 09:53

Good morning Futurist,

(Happy New Year to all)

Rather than directly address your question........wouldn't say that Mongolia left China in 1911.........I would recommend that you spend some time researching:

- Tacheng Treaty of 1864 where China ceded it's Great Northwest Area to Russia. Note that the Palmirs were secretly divided between the UK and Russia in 1896. This includes the current Afghanistan's Wakkan Corridor.

All above relates to what China calls the "Unequal Treaties".

Hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Bob

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 03 Jan 2016 00:03

Futurist wrote:Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not? Does anyone here have more detailed information about the distinctions between Mongolia and Xinjiang during this time?

Any thoughts on this?
Futurist, I have quite a bit of information about this, such that it is hard to write a concise answer. The shortest explanation that I can give is that Outer Mongolia seceded (and became just plain "Mongolia") while Xinjiang did not, because, from the earliest part of the Qing Dynasty, the Qing monarchs (who were ethnic Manchus) granted the Outer Mongolian nobles a high degree of autonomy and heavily restricted ethnic Han migration into the Outer Mongolia territories. However, the Qing began to reverse these policies in the early 1900s, as part of an effort to more thoroughly integrate the peripheral regions of the empire, culminating in a 1910 imperial decree that permitted largely unrestricted Han immigration into Outer Mongolia. The Qing administrator for Outer Mongolia was working on laying the groundwork for starting large-scale relocation of Han to the territories when the Chinese Revolution broke out, which created an opening for the Mongolian nobles to declare independence and thereby prevent the ethnic Mongolian population from being swamped by Han Chinese immigrants. (This risk wasn't entirely hypothetical: ethnic Manchus had been reduced to a minority in the Manchurian provinces after the Qing lifted restrictions on Han immigration there.) Conversely, Xinjiang was only conquered by the Qing in the mid-1700s and then was reconquered in a brutal campaign in the 1870s following a major uprising, after which Xinjiang was officially made a province of China and substantial garrisons of provincial troops were established in key locales. Xinjiang was thus still in many ways "occupied territory" when 1911 came around. Xinjiang also contained a far wider and more mutually antagonistic range of ethnic groups during this period than Outer Mongolia did. Thus, there was no group that could credibly purport to organize on behalf of all of Xinjiang to near the degree that was possible in Outer Mongolia.

Unfortunately, I'm not at home at the moment so I don't have my library handy, but if you're interested, when I get back, I'll post a suggested bibliography.
Last edited by Stephen_Rynerson on 03 Jan 2016 18:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 03 Jan 2016 05:58

Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not? Does anyone here have more detailed information about the distinctions between Mongolia and Xinjiang during this time?

Any thoughts on this?
Futurist, I have quite a bit of information about this, such that it is hard to write a concise answer. The shortest explanation that I can give is that Outer Mongolia seceded (and became just plain "Mongolia") while Xinjiang did not, because, from the earliest part of the Qing Dynasty, the Qing monarchs (who were ethnic Manchus) granted the outer Mongolian nobles a high degree of autonomy and heavily restricted ethnic Han migration into the Outer Mongolia territories. However, the Qing began to reverse these policies in the early 1900s, as part of an effort to more thoroughly integrate the peripheral regions of the empire, culminating in a 1910 imperial decree that permitted largely unrestricted Han immigration into Outer Mongolia. The Qing administrator for Outer Mongolia was working on laying the groundwork for starting large-scale relocation of Han to the territories when the Chinese Revolution broke out, which created an opening for the Mongolian nobles to declare independence and thereby prevent the ethnic Mongolian population from being swamped by Han Chinese immigrants. (This risk wasn't entirely hypothetical: ethnic Manchus had been reduced to a minority in the Manchurian provinces after the Qing lifted restrictions on Han immigration there.) Conversely, Xinjiang was only conquered by the Qing in the mid-1700s and then was reconquered in a brutal campaign in the 1870s following a major uprising, after which Xinjiang was officially made a province of China and substantial garrisons of provincial troops were established in key locales. Xinjiang was thus still in many ways "occupied territory" when 1911 came around. Xinjiang also contained a far wider and more mutually antagonistic range of ethnic groups during this period than Outer Mongolia did. Thus, there was no group that could credibly purport to organize on behalf of all of Xinjiang to near the degree that was possible in Outer Mongolia.

Unfortunately, I'm not at home at the moment so I don't have my library handy, but if you're interested, when I get back, I'll post a suggested bibliography.
OK; frankly, all of this makes sense. Also, though, I wonder what exactly Xinjiang's ethnic demographics were in 1911; indeed, do you have any data in regards to this?

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 04 Jan 2016 05:06

Futurist wrote:OK; frankly, all of this makes sense. Also, though, I wonder what exactly Xinjiang's ethnic demographics were in 1911; indeed, do you have any data in regards to this?
The closest thing I have temporally to 1911 is the 1940-41 census. The major populations were calculated as:

Uighur: 2,900,173
Kazakh: 318,716
Han: 202,239
Hui: 92,146
Kirghiz: 65,248
Mongol: 63,018
Taranchi: 41,307
Russian: 13,408

Plus six other ethnic groups with populations less than 10,000 each. (I'm specifically looking at Owen Lattimore's Pivot of Asia: Sinkiang and the Inner Asian Frontiers of China and Russia, page 110 (1950) for this information, but the census data has been reproduced, whether in whole or in part, in other sources as well.) It's difficult to say how the relative composition of the population in 1911 might have varied, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Han and Hui populations were a somewhat larger share of the population simply because those ethnic groups were particularly victimized in the conflicts of the 1930s in the province.

It's also worth noting that, while the Uighurs undoubtedly made up the majority of the population in 1911, there likely would not have been near the same degree of Uighur ethnic identification as there came to be later on. The Uighur population identified more on the basis of the specific towns, oases, etc. that they lived in. Thus, Uighurs from Yarkand, Kashgar, and Khotan, for example, would not necessarily have considered each other to be "fellow countrymen" as it were. The Uighur ethnic identity as transcending specific local divisions really built up over the first half of the 20th Century, and especially between the early 1930s to late 1940s. Andrew D.W. Forbes' Warlords and Muslims of Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang, 1911-1949 (2010) is probably the best single English-language source for information on Uighur nationalism during this period.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by The 51st Division » 27 Apr 2016 01:25

Well, adding on to all the other great comments, the Hui-Muslim Ma Clique, the most prominent warlord in northwestern China and de facto ruler of the provinces of Qinghai, Ningxia and Gansu, was pro-KMT and anti-secession. The Ma family, as a warlord faction, originally was anti-KMT and successfully defeated Chiang Kai-shek's invading KMT forces. But later on the Ma family supported Chiang and the idea of an unified China. The Ma forces helped the KMT to quite literally obliterate the Communist Western Route Army (西路军) in 1936. When the USSR instigated the Yili Incident in 1947 (in an attempt to break Xinjiang from China), the Ma forces once again stood on the Chinese side (despite the fact that its command was predominantly Muslim) and moved into Xinjiang to suppress the Uyghur separatists (with the help of Xinjiang Kazakhs). After that the Ma Clique "sort of" struck a truce with the Communists and the PLA moved in, and Xinjiang was basically secured for the Chinese (well "secured" in the sense that there weren't any more wars).
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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 29 Apr 2016 21:35

The 51st Division wrote:The Ma family, as a warlord faction, originally was anti-KMT and successfully defeated Chiang Kai-shek's invading KMT forces. But later on the Ma family supported Chiang and the idea of an unified China.
What exactly caused the Ma family to eventually change their minds in regards to this?

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 29 Apr 2016 21:37

Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:OK; frankly, all of this makes sense. Also, though, I wonder what exactly Xinjiang's ethnic demographics were in 1911; indeed, do you have any data in regards to this?
The closest thing I have temporally to 1911 is the 1940-41 census. The major populations were calculated as:

Uighur: 2,900,173
Kazakh: 318,716
Han: 202,239
Hui: 92,146
Kirghiz: 65,248
Mongol: 63,018
Taranchi: 41,307
Russian: 13,408
Who exactly conducted this census in Xinjiang in 1940-1941?
Plus six other ethnic groups with populations less than 10,000 each. (I'm specifically looking at Owen Lattimore's Pivot of Asia: Sinkiang and the Inner Asian Frontiers of China and Russia, page 110 (1950) for this information, but the census data has been reproduced, whether in whole or in part, in other sources as well.) It's difficult to say how the relative composition of the population in 1911 might have varied, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Han and Hui populations were a somewhat larger share of the population simply because those ethnic groups were particularly victimized in the conflicts of the 1930s in the province.
By "victimized," do you mean that they were the targets of Uyghur nationalists and separatists in the 1930s?
It's also worth noting that, while the Uighurs undoubtedly made up the majority of the population in 1911, there likely would not have been near the same degree of Uighur ethnic identification as there came to be later on. The Uighur population identified more on the basis of the specific towns, oases, etc. that they lived in. Thus, Uighurs from Yarkand, Kashgar, and Khotan, for example, would not necessarily have considered each other to be "fellow countrymen" as it were. The Uighur ethnic identity as transcending specific local divisions really built up over the first half of the 20th Century, and especially between the early 1930s to late 1940s. Andrew D.W. Forbes' Warlords and Muslims of Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang, 1911-1949 (2010) is probably the best single English-language source for information on Uighur nationalism during this period.
Understood. Also, though, did the various ethnic groups (Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens, et cetera) in Central Asia likewise not have a unified ethnic identity until the 20th century? After all, just like the Uyghurs, the various peoples in Central Asia were likewise overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 29 Apr 2016 21:42

Also, though, what exactly is the latest year (as in, out of all of the years before 1940 and excluding all years starting from 1940) for which you have demographic data for Xinjiang, Stephen?

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 01 May 2016 04:57

Futurist wrote:
Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:OK; frankly, all of this makes sense. Also, though, I wonder what exactly Xinjiang's ethnic demographics were in 1911; indeed, do you have any data in regards to this?
The closest thing I have temporally to 1911 is the 1940-41 census. The major populations were calculated as:

Uighur: 2,900,173
Kazakh: 318,716
Han: 202,239
Hui: 92,146
Kirghiz: 65,248
Mongol: 63,018
Taranchi: 41,307
Russian: 13,408
Who exactly conducted this census in Xinjiang in 1940-1941?
It was conducted by the provincial government, but I'm not at home, so I don't have a cite at hand. The Lattimore source I mentioned below would presumably confirm that.
Plus six other ethnic groups with populations less than 10,000 each. (I'm specifically looking at Owen Lattimore's Pivot of Asia: Sinkiang and the Inner Asian Frontiers of China and Russia, page 110 (1950) for this information, but the census data has been reproduced, whether in whole or in part, in other sources as well.) It's difficult to say how the relative composition of the population in 1911 might have varied, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Han and Hui populations were a somewhat larger share of the population simply because those ethnic groups were particularly victimized in the conflicts of the 1930s in the province.
By "victimized," do you mean that they were the targets of Uyghur nationalists and separatists in the 1930s?
Yes, that's what I primarily mean (a popular Uyghur slogan at the time was reportedly, "Kill the Han and destroy the Hui"), but it's more complex than that. Jin Shuren, the governor of the province between 1928-1931, purged many Hui from the provincial military. I believe that Ma Zhongying's forces, at least during the 1931-32 invasion, also targeted Han populations and that during both the 1931-32 and 1933-34 invasions Hui were targeted by provincial government forces for reprisals when they recaptured areas from Ma's forces.

It's also worth noting that, while the Uighurs undoubtedly made up the majority of the population in 1911, there likely would not have been near the same degree of Uighur ethnic identification as there came to be later on. The Uighur population identified more on the basis of the specific towns, oases, etc. that they lived in. Thus, Uighurs from Yarkand, Kashgar, and Khotan, for example, would not necessarily have considered each other to be "fellow countrymen" as it were. The Uighur ethnic identity as transcending specific local divisions really built up over the first half of the 20th Century, and especially between the early 1930s to late 1940s. Andrew D.W. Forbes' Warlords and Muslims of Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang, 1911-1949 (2010) is probably the best single English-language source for information on Uighur nationalism during this period.
Understood. Also, though, did the various ethnic groups (Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens, et cetera) in Central Asia likewise not have a unified ethnic identity until the 20th century? After all, just like the Uyghurs, the various peoples in Central Asia were likewise overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims in the 19th and 20th centuries.
I think that's also correct (certainly with regard to the Kazakhs; I haven't made much of a study of the others). I just mentioned the Uyghurs specifically because, as the largest single ethnicity in the province, their internal divisions were much more consequential in terms of your question about why Xinjiang did not secede. Other than possibly the Kazakhs in the northern part of the province, none of the other ethnic groups were sufficiently predominant in any region for there to have ever been a serious risk of them detaching any large part of the province, let alone bringing about secession of the entire province.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 01 May 2016 05:01

Futurist wrote:Also, though, what exactly is the latest year (as in, out of all of the years before 1940 and excluding all years starting from 1940) for which you have demographic data for Xinjiang, Stephen?
I'm pretty sure that I've seen it said that the 1940-41 census was the first census conducted in the province's history. I'd be happy to be corrected on that point by one of our Chinese commenters, but the 1940-41 census is certainly the earliest one I've seen cited in any English-language works..

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 01 May 2016 06:09

Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:Also, though, what exactly is the latest year (as in, out of all of the years before 1940 and excluding all years starting from 1940) for which you have demographic data for Xinjiang, Stephen?
I'm pretty sure that I've seen it said that the 1940-41 census was the first census conducted in the province's history. I'd be happy to be corrected on that point by one of our Chinese commenters, but the 1940-41 census is certainly the earliest one I've seen cited in any English-language works..
I wasn't only talking about censuses here, though. Rather, I was talking about any demographic data--including estimates--here.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 01 May 2016 12:02

Futurist wrote:
Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:Also, though, what exactly is the latest year (as in, out of all of the years before 1940 and excluding all years starting from 1940) for which you have demographic data for Xinjiang, Stephen?
I'm pretty sure that I've seen it said that the 1940-41 census was the first census conducted in the province's history. I'd be happy to be corrected on that point by one of our Chinese commenters, but the 1940-41 census is certainly the earliest one I've seen cited in any English-language works..
I wasn't only talking about censuses here, though. Rather, I was talking about any demographic data--including estimates--here.
I'll look, but I don't think there's anything granular for the earlier estimates.

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Re: Why did Mongolia secede from China in 1911 while Xinjiang did not?

Post by Futurist » 01 May 2016 20:22

Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:
Stephen_Rynerson wrote:
Futurist wrote:Also, though, what exactly is the latest year (as in, out of all of the years before 1940 and excluding all years starting from 1940) for which you have demographic data for Xinjiang, Stephen?
I'm pretty sure that I've seen it said that the 1940-41 census was the first census conducted in the province's history. I'd be happy to be corrected on that point by one of our Chinese commenters, but the 1940-41 census is certainly the earliest one I've seen cited in any English-language works..
I wasn't only talking about censuses here, though. Rather, I was talking about any demographic data--including estimates--here.
I'll look, but I don't think there's anything granular for the earlier estimates.
OK. Also, for the record, I have previously seen an estimate for around 1800 which indicated that about one-third of Xinjiang's total population during this time were Han Chinese. Indeed, if true, then this would certainly be very interesting considering that Han Chinese made up less than 10% of Xinjiang's total population in 1953.

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