Incorporation of Xinjiang Into The People's Republic of China

The Incorporation of Xinjiang into the People's Republic of China in 1949, also known in PRC histories as the "Peaceful Liberation" of Xinjiang refers to the political takeover of Xinjiang by the Chinese Communists and the People's Liberation Army, largely through political means, in the waning days of the Chinese Civil War.

In the late summer of 1949, the People's Liberation Army drove into the Hexi Corridor in Gansu Province and pressed toward Xinjiang. At the time, Xinjiang was ruled by a coalition government based in Dihua (now Urumqi), which comprised Chinese Nationalists (KMT) and representatives from the former Second East Turkistan Republic (ETR), a regime founded with the support of the Soviet Union in the Three Districts in northwestern Xinjiang during the Ili Rebellion in 1944 and then disbanded in 1946. Under the coalition government which ruled Xinjiang from 1946 to 1949, the KMT controlled most of the province and leaders of the former ETR retained autonomy in the Three Districts. In the fall of 1949, the Chinese Communists reached separate agreements with the political leadership of the KMT and the Three Districts.

The Chinese Communists persuaded the KMT provincial and military leadership to surrender. The Soviet Union induced the leaders of the former ETR to accede to the Chinese Communists. Some of the former ETR leaders were said to have died in a plane crash en route to Beijing to attend the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Chinese Communists' united front conference. Most of the remaining former ETR leadership accepted the absorption of the autonomous Three Districts into the newly-founded People's Republic of China. They along with the surrendered KMT officials took senior positions in the PRC government.

Thus, the Chinese Communists' takeover of Xinjiang was largely achieved through political means. The PLA entered Xinjiang in October 1949 and controlled most of the vast region by the spring of 1950. Among major Xinjiang military actors, only Yulbars Khan, a KMT-loyalist and Osman Batur, a former ETR commander turned KMT-supporter, fought against the Chinese Communists. They were both defeated by the PLA

Read more about Incorporation Of Xinjiang Into The People's Republic Of China:  Accession of The Three Districts (ETR), Accession of The KMT in Xinjiang, Legacy of The ETR in Xinjiang

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