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Old 12-31-2015, 07:42 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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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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Old 12-31-2015, 08:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Futurist110 View Post
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?
As China devolved into warlord fiefdoms and right wing verse left wing armies, the Nationalists made a lot of concessions to the Tibetan and Hui (ethnic Han moslems) groups to use them as leverages against the communists. The Hui in the areas adjacent to Xinjiang were led by the Ma clan of warlords who fielded a well trained and well equipped private cavalry based army backed by infantry militias. Armed and unarmed secessionists in Xinjiang were ruthlessly crushed by fast moving Ma units. This included the public beheadings of prisoners and the destruction (ironically) of Mosques whose leadership favored secession.

I believe that the Ma motivations were two fold as I think I remember reading that the Ma leaders favored a united China (though they demanded that they be an autonomous part of that unity). Also, even at that time, Xinjiang had a mining industry. The mining towns were isolated, but pro communist. Thus, the Nationalists might well have concluded that an independent Xinjiang would not only take the mines with them, but also go communist. An independent but Communist Xinjiang would then pose a northern threat in addition to the southern threat posed by the Han communists. This fear was increased by the fact that the local Xinjiang Moslems were directly related to peoples in Soviet Central Asia. Some of the secular secessionists had also raised the possibility of uniting with Soviet Central Asia. As a result, the Nationalists were also in favor of quickly and ruthlessly crushing any secessionist movements. The Ma had the troops to do so.

Meanwhile, Mongolia had no known natural resources and could thus be written off.

Last edited by Cryptic; 12-31-2015 at 08:38 PM..
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