- Xinjiang clique
The Xinjiang clique was a military faction that ruled
Xinjiangduring China's warlord era. Unlike other cliques, its leaders were from outside the province.
Xinhai Revolutionin 1911, the Qing governor fled from Dihua(Urumqi). A band of Yunnaneseled by Yang Zengxinquelled the rebellion and established himself as the provincial leader. President Yuan Shikairecognized Yang as governor. Yang was one of the few who supported Yuan's attempt to become emperor. During the National Protection War, he purged officers who sympathized with the Yunnan clique's leader Cai E. After Yuan's death, he recognized whichever government ruled in Beijing and maintained an isolationist and neutrality policy which kept Xinjiang away from the upheavals experienced in the rest of China.
In 1928, days after recognizing the Nationalist government in
Nanjing, Yang was assassinated by Fan Yaonan. He was succeeded by his protege Jin Shurenwho was originally from Gansu. Jin wholly mismanaged the province and alienated its Muslim majority. In 1931, Muslims rebelled against Jin. Gansu warlord Ma Zhongyingof the Hui Ma cliqueinvaded in support of the rebellion. Soon various other groups rebelled against Jin, often fought against each other including the breakaway First East Turkestan Republic.
Jin was deposed by mutineers in 1933 and was succeeded by a
Manchu, Sheng Shicai. Sheng was not a protege of either Yang or Jin. He was initially an officer under Guo Songlingand defected with Guo to the Guominjun. He was appointed by Nanjing to serve under Jin as late as 1930. The war continued unabated with Nanjing unable to resolve the conflict. Frustrated, Sheng turned to the Soviet Unionin 1934. With Soviet support, Ma Zhongying was defeated in 1937. Sheng turned Xinjiang into a Soviet protectorate and safe haven for the Chinese Communist Party.
Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Sheng decided to rejoin the Kuomintang and expelled Soviet advisors and executed communists. Chiang Kai-shekcouldn't trust Sheng, who tried renegotiating with Stalin, so he deposed him and installed direct rule in 1944. The new KMT administration then faced a rebellion that coalesced into the Second East Turkestan Republic.
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