How did the status quo of multi-ethnic coexistence in Xinjiang come into being?


250 yrs back, led by Wubashi Khan, the Torghut Mongols selected to leave the Volga River basin exactly where they had lived for approximately one and a 50 % generations. Right after a challenging journey, Torghut managed to return to Yili, Xinjiang, where by they known as “the place in which the sunlight rises”.

The yr 2021 is the 250th anniversary of this major migration throughout Eurasia. A China Information Assistance reporter a short while ago interviewed Ma Dazheng, deputy director of the nationwide Qing Historical past Compilation Committee and researcher of the China Frontier Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Via retrieving and combing the historical past of the migration of quite a few Chinese peoples, which include Torghut Mongol’s return, he place ahead that the development and consolidation of China’s unification as a multi-ethnic state is an inevitable outcome established by background.

A few good reasons for Torghut’s return to China

In this migration, Wubashi Khan led far more than 33,360 homes and in excess of 168,000 people today to return to China. With vivid words, Ma Dazheng described such a scene: At the reduced reaches of the Volga River, the mid-winter season in early January 1771 witnessed hundreds of Torghut women, youngsters, and old people today riding on organized carriages, camels and sleds. Escorted by cavalries, these migrating folks established off a person just after a further, leaving the overseas land. A sonorous voice rang in the air: “Our young children and offspring will never be slaves. Let us go back to the area where the sunshine rises.” In accordance to Ma Dazheng, the explanations of Torghut’s return to the East can be stated in 3 ranges.

The direct explanation is the cultural conflict. In the 1630s, the Torghut moved to the Volga River Basin and lived there for more than a century. Torghut individuals have been accustomed to sustaining their current political system, economic form, language, spiritual beliefs, and customs, which sharply conflicted with the Russian Czar government’s try of controlling and enslaving them.

Homesickness, stuffed with a sense of belonging to a country and place, is one more highly effective trigger for the Torghut’s return to the East. As a unified multi-ethnic state, the Qing Dynasty’s procedure in dealing with Torghut mirrored its ethnic policy of “Benevolence in addition Comfort”.

The deep reason rests upon the cultural identification of the Torghut folks to their ancestral homeland. In the 53rd 12 months of Kangxi (1714), when a delegation despatched by Emperor Kangxi visited the Torghut, Ayuqi Khan questioned the delegation about the political, economic circumstance, and other facets of his hometown, showing good issue for the people today who lived there. He confided to his family from his hometown that the Torghut individuals “shares related apparel with China whilst has distinctive outfits and languages in comparison with Russia.”

Ma Dazheng mentioned that the steadiness and cohesive power of culture can surpass the boundaries of time and house. Cultural identification is usually the “glue” to sustain purchase in a culture. The foundation of political and national identity is the deep basis in cultivating the nationwide unity consciousness of social members. Sturdy political, financial, and armed forces strengths perform crucial roles in unifying a country, but cultural identification is a far more basic, secure, and deep-seated strategic necessary, a “delicate electricity” that are unable to be changed by external material powers.

He pointed out that the brave uprising of the Torghut men and women versus Russia confirmed their determination to return to the motherland. The call in between Torghut Mongolia and the motherland when they have been dwelling in Russia is the proof of the excellent cohesion shaped between Chinese peoples all through its prolonged heritage, and Torghut ‘s return to the motherland is an unavoidable consequence.

The record of garrison reclamation and border defense of Chahar Mongolia’s shifting westward to Xinjiang

In the late 1750s, the Qing governing administration recognized the unification of Xinjiang. Through the 27th year of Qianlong (1762), the Qing federal government established up the “Normal governing Yili and other places” as the highest armed forces and political formal dispatched by the central govt in Xinjiang in buy to ensure the jurisdiction and military services defense of the northwest location. Less than the management of the Common, Du Tong (armed service commander), counsellor ministers and administrative ministers ended up sent to various sites to be in cost of local armed forces and political affairs.

In get to defend and develop Xinjiang, the Qing authorities established a approach to implement border guard immigration. From the 1860s, Manchuria, Sorun, Chahar, Irut and Xibe soldiers were sent to Yili with their family members to make “Manchu camp”, “Sorun camp”, “Chahar camp”, “Irut camp” and “Xibe camp”, which have been in the charge of Yili Typical. Ma Dazheng holds that this border-protection immigration to Xinjiang is a considerable occasion in Chinese history. The great achievements designed by these westward blazers have aroused a wonderful interest in historians and modern peers. In this westward torrent, Chahar Mongolians performed a important role.

Chahar, in the History of the Ming Dynasty, is known as “Cha Han Er”, also acknowledged as “Tribe of Cha”, an old identify of Mongolia. In the 26th 12 months of Qianlong (1761) and the 28th yr of Qianlong (1763), the Qing government dispatched two teams of Chahar Mongolian soldiers to Xinjiang, amounting to a full number of 2,000. Ma Dazheng explained that the process of cultivating and guarding the border and acquiring Xinjiang established that these soldiers experienced to move there with loved ones members and to settle down permanently. The Chahar Mongols living in Xinjiang these days, primarily dispersed in the Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, are the descendants of Chahar Mongols in this historical migration.

Ma Dazheng stressed that Chahar Mongols had often preserved a friendly marriage with neighboring ethnic teams due to the fact they settled down in Bortala. Chahar Mongolia particularly enjoyed a specially close marriage with Weilat Mongolia and their brotherly friendship is recorded in the Manchu archives. The wonderful heritage of their ancestors has turn into the aim of Chahar Mongols dwelling in Xinjiang for a extended time. Many individuals are nonetheless delving into the record and system to obtain far more details for potential publication.

With the unification and enhancement of Qing Dynasty as a multi-ethnic country, shifting individuals to border spots was set as a nationwide coverage by the authorities. After the 1760s, in addition to Chahar Mongolia, a huge number of soldiers of Manchu, Xibo, Soren and other nationalities were moved to the west. Ma Dazheng explained that the information of this westward migration and development can support us have a further comprehending of the unavoidable historical unification of the Qing Dynasty as a multi-ethnic place.

The Uygur people’s becoming fashioned soon after extensive-expression migration and integration

Located in the hinterland of the Eurasian continent in northwest China, Xinjiang has been an vital place inhabited by multi-ethnic teams because historic moments. There are 56 ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, mainly which include Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Mongolia, Kirgiz, Xibe and the other ethnic minorities. Soon after several significant ethnic migration and integration in the Han Dynasty, Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern dynasties, Music, Liao, Jin, Meng, Yuan and Ming dynasties, the ethnic minorities in Xinjiang in the modern day perception lastly arrived into staying in the 15th to 16th centuries.

It was primarily in the Qing Dynasty that the ethnic migration in Xinjiang reached a new climax affected by the nationwide procedures, wars, and the other elements, which not only contributed to helping protect the northwest border, but also shielded China from the aggression and enlargement of Tsarist Russia and improved the ethnic relations in Xinjiang.

The white paper “Some Historic Issues in Xinjiang” published by the Chinese govt in 2019 outlined that “the Uygur persons was shaped as a result of extended-phrase migration and integration”. The white paper pointed out that in modern periods, some “pan Turkism” activists lied when they stated some neighborhood ethnic teams ended up Turks mainly because some Turkic language-talking tribes moved there and integrated into the locals. Ma Dazheng pointed out that language spouse and children and nation are two totally various concepts. The Turkic languages employed in China include Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Uzbek, Tatar, Yugu, Sala, and other nationalities, which have their very own historic and cultural qualities and by no signifies belong to the so-termed “Turkic”.

After unifying Xinjiang in the mid-18th century, the Qing Dynasty adopted the old follow of Junggar a lot of situations by moving Uygur farmers in southern Xinjiang to Yili for reclamation. Ahead of and following the founding of Xinjiang Province and the abolition of the ethnic segregation coverage, Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang spontaneously started to migrate to northern Xinjiang, and their dwelling spaces have been expanded in this migration method. By the finish of the Qing Dynasty, Uyghurs had inhabited all towns in the north and south of Tianshan Mountain, and Uyghurs ended up found even in the reduce reaches of Tarim River in the east of Southern Xinjiang.

Ma Dazheng explained that the Qing Dynasty shaped the ultimate ethnic pattern of Xinjiang. A multi-ethnic map was proven and Uyghurs experienced the most important populace. The Uygur folks, which predominantly is made up of Uighurs who ended up built-in with the other regional peoples in the process of westward migration, savored a immediate inhabitants growth in the Qing Dynasty. In particular with the improvement of an agricultural economy in Xinjiang, the living place of Uyghurs was steadily expanded and the inhabitants amounted to 1.57 million in the late Qing Dynasty.

In accordance to the hottest evaluation report on population changes in Xinjiang, the Uygur population rose to 12.7184 million in 2018, with an increase of 25.04% in contrast with 2010. The development rate of Uygur inhabitants is drastically higher than that of the Han inhabitants.

Assets and possibilities getting the key good reasons attracting the hinterland inhabitants to Xinjiang

In the wide Xinjiang region, the migration of the Han people started with the garrison from the Han Dynasty, and this method ongoing with out interruption ever considering the fact that. Loads of Han people lived in towns like Loulan and Gaochang in the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern dynasties. A substantial variety of Han persons inhabited the 3 states and four cities set by the Tang Dynasty in Xinjiang. The Qing Dynasty also observed the large-scale migration of Han people into Xinjiang. Some of these men and women have integrated into other persons in the approach of historical development, and some turned the ancestors of the Han people today in Xinjiang these days.

Ma Dazheng specially pointed out the Han residents who moved into southern Xinjiang considering that the Qing Dynasty. The calendar year of 1864 can be found as the divide that categorised the migration process into two stages in phrases of the policy adopted by the central federal government for relocating Han individuals into Xinjiang. In the early stage, several regularities and measures had been proven to information and stimulate the flow of hinterland residents to jap and northern Xinjiang, whilst a lot more limits were imposed on the migration of Han people to southern Xinjiang.

3 several years just after Tongzhi (1864), chaos in Xinjiang seriously devastated the area modern society and economy. Throughout the war, the invaders from Khanate of Kokand and nearby feudal separatist forces killed a great number of men and women. According to Li Xiaoxia, a researcher at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, the Xinjiang provincial govt produced numerous preferential insurance policies to entice hinterland people to reclaim wasteland in 1887. In this period, the primary labor forces were domestically recruited civilians, armed service soldiers, the exiled and resettled households.

For the duration of the Tongzhi period of time, Zuo Zongtang (a popular common from Hunan province) led the military to suppress the chaos in Xinjiang. Most of the troopers have been from provinces of Hunan and Hubei in the hinterland. Soon after the war, most of these soldiers have been despatched back again to their destinations of origin, but lots of chose to stay in Xinjiang. In 1917, Xie Bin, the author of Xinjiang Vacation Notes, visited the southern Xinjiang and recorded that dozens of Han immigrant households were being located in Luopu county. Eighteen of these households, who ended up descendants of the Han people from Hunan province, had been located dwelling in Yulong Kashgar City. They made their lives by accomplishing organization. That is the rationale why Xinjiang was nicknamed “Minor Hunan” at that time.

Tens of thousands of troops entered the wide and sparsely populated Xinjiang during the Qing army’s western expedition, and it was hard for folks to acquire every day necessities. Hundreds of traders from the Yangliuqing town of Tianjin took various Chinese patent medications and every day requirements created in Tianjin, Beijing and other places to do organization at the rear of the troops. The motion of traders executing enterprise in the north and south parts of Tianshan Mountain powering troops was known as “catching up with the huge camp”. Later, a increasing quantity of persons from Yangliuqing went to Xinjiang. For instance, there are some Han design and style structures in Kashgar new metropolis. Han businessmen in Kashgar Town opened not only stores, but also financial institutions to lend dollars to people. Right after the establishment of Xinjiang Province, numerous people today from the hinterlands of Gansu, Shaanxi, and Sichuan went to Xinjiang to make a dwelling there.

In accordance to Li Xiaoxia’s examination in the guide “Han Persons in Rural Places of Southern Xinjiang”, there had been several reasons individuals were attracted from hinterland provinces into Xinjiang. The primary reasons can be ascribed to Xinjiang’s prosperous means, growth options, inhabitants potential, and greater financial progress anticipations, which delivered a audio ailment for hinterland people today, specifically for those from inadequate rural regions with a large population.

Ma Dazheng explained that the past progress steps of Xinjiang created a big variety of work possibilities, and relocating into Xinjiang indicates that it was achievable to get improved careers and increased profits. The purpose the hinterland inhabitants moved into Xinjiang can be described as a result of Xinjiang’s urbanization, which captivated people from closely populated east areas that lacked normal methods.

The development of China’s unification as a multi-ethnic country is not accidental

The ethnic migrations in the Qing Dynasty can mostly be categorized into three styles: the migration in Xinjiang, the migration of abroad ethnic groups to Xinjiang, and the migration of hinterland peoples to Xinjiang. As a result of a comprehensive rationalization of the earlier mentioned background, we can superior have an understanding of the unification of China as a multi-ethnic country. The status quo was fashioned and designed for the duration of a extended historic length.

In the book of A Collection of Small Measures, Ma Dazheng wrote that the historical past of ethnic advancement in Xinjiang can be said to be a dynamic historic picture of multi-ethnic migration and integration. This is a shared property of lots of distinctive nations, together with not only the modern nations dwelling in Xinjiang, but also the nations that have historically disappeared. It are not able to be regarded as an special house of any one country.

Ma Dazheng also pointed out that the current 13 major ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fashioned by several ethnic groups in the course of action of extensive-expression continual national integration. The driving power of countrywide integration usually came from the East, especially the grassland in northern China. The migration of ethnic teams is the most important power forming these ethnic groups. By continuous nationwide migration and integration in historical past, the 13 significant ethnic groups came into remaining in Xinjiang, China.

Interviewee profile:

Ma Dazheng, deputy director of the national Qing Historical past Compilation Committee, researcher and doctoral supervisor of the China Frontier Investigation Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He once served as the director of the Chinese Frontier Historical past and Geography Investigate Centre of the Chinese Academy of social sciences.

His main is effective incorporate: Ma Dazheng’s Anthology, Frontier and Nationality : Scientific tests on history Sections, Essays on China’s Frontier, A Collection of Tiny Methods: Probe into the Heritage of Xinjiang, A collection of the record of Urut Mongolia (co-authored), A Short Background of Junggar (co-authored), A Country Floating in a International Land: Torghut Mongolia from the 17th to the 18th Century (co-authored), The Outline of the Historical past of Weilat Mongolia (co-authored), The Background of Xinjiang (co-authored) , A Transient Background of China’s Frontier (co-authored), Exploration on the Enhancement of the Frontier in the Qing Dynasty (1 of the chief editors), Frontier Policy in the Qing Dynasty (one particular of the main editors), Translation and Compilation of Manchu Torghut Archives (co-edited), and the main editor of Series of General Background of China’s Frontier, Series of Exploration of China’s Frontier, etc.


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