1911 Revolution in Xinjiang
Part of the 1911 Revolution
Result Revolutionary victory
 Qing dynasty Gelaohui[1] and Ili Revolutionaires
Commanders and leaders
Qing dynasty Yuan Dahua
Qing dynasty Zhirui [2]
Qing dynasty Guangfu
Qing dynasty Wang Peilan
Yang Zuanxu
Several thousand Provincial Chinese troops
Manchu bannermen
Gelaohui rebels and Ili Revolutionaries, made out of Han Chinese, Hui Muslims, and Uyghurs[3]

The 1911 Revolution spread from China proper to Xinjiang, where fighting occurred between Qing loyalists and the Anti-Qing Revolutionary Party (反清革命党人). Fighting took place mainly in Yili.[4]


The Han Gelaohui had infiltrated the Qing military in Xinjiang during the Dungan Revolt (1895–1896) and allegedly planned to help the Hui rebels before the Hui rebels were crushed.[5]

After the success of the Wuchang Uprising, responses came from all over China, in November 1911, twenty four provinces of the country broke away from the Qing government. Seeing this situation, the Royalist Party of Qing Dynasty conspired to welcome the Xuantong Emperor to move westward, in an attempt to build the capital in Kulun (now Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia) or Altay to cede the northwest, and continue to confront the revolutionary army. When the members of Revolutionary Party in Wuhan learned of this situation, they immediately told their members in Xinjiang, and the 1911 Revolution broke out in Xinjiang on November 28, 1911.[6]


The last Gansu Xinjiang Provincial Governor (甘肃新疆巡抚) of Qing Yuan Dahua (袁大化) fled and handed over his resignation to Yang Zengxin, because of the resistance and struggle of the people of all ethnic groups in the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains, Yuan "cannot deal with the revolutionaries, hears the wind and loses gall" (穷于应付, 闻风丧胆),[7] and finally had to "flee into the Shanhai Pass",[8] on the other hand, he did not want to work for the Republic of China.[9] The Ili revolutionaries and the Gelaohui were then suppressed by Yang.[10] Yang appointed Ma Fuxing as military commander of 2,000 Chinese Muslim troops, to crush Yang's rivals. President Yuan Shikai recognized his rule, appointing him Provincial Governor of Xinjiang.[11] The revolutionaries printed new multi-lingual media.[12]

Modern evaluation

Some Chinese historians believe that the success of the 1911 Revolution in Xinjiang (Yili) completely broke the Qing Emperor's plan of moving westward, and directly promoted the abdication of Xuantong Emperor, which has not yet received much attention in the field of Chinese historiography. The Revolution eradicated the last "life-saving straw" ("救命稻草") of the Qing Dynasty.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (9 October 1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. CUP Archive. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-521-25514-1.
  2. ^ Esherick, Joseph W.; Wei, C.X. George, eds. (2013). China: How the Empire Fell. Routledge. ISBN 978-1134612222. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  3. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian crossroads: a history of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. ^ A Brief History of Uyghur Nationality. Institute of Ethnic Studies of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 1963. pp. 76–.
  5. ^ Nightingale, Pamela; Skrine, C.P. (2013). Macartney at Kashgar: New Light on British, Chinese and Russian Activities in Sinkiang, 1890–1918. Vol. 27 of China, History, Philosophy, Economics (reprint ed.). Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 978-1136576096.
  6. ^ "The Revolution of 1911 in Xinjiang: The Qing Dynasty's westward migration plan aborted". Sohu.com. Oct 9, 2011.
  7. ^ Zhou Xiyin (1989). The historical role of ethnic minorities in China. Sichuan Nationalities Publishing House. p. 145. ISBN 9787540902575.
  8. ^ Wu Yannan (1982). A Short History of Modern China. Fujian People's Publishing House. p. 129.
  9. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian crossroads: a history of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  10. ^ Colloquium on the Seventieth Anniversary of the 1911 Revolution (1983). Colloquium on the Seventieth Anniversary of the 1911 Revolution. Zhonghua Book Company. p. 1688.((cite book)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 12. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  12. ^ Ondřej Klimeš (8 January 2015). Struggle by the Pen: The Uyghur Discourse of Nation and National Interest, c.1900-1949. BRILL. p. 83. ISBN 978-90-04-28809-6.
  13. ^ "Xinhai Revolution in Xinjiang: Qing Dynasty's plan of moving westward shattered". China News Service. Oct 7, 2011.