unified all hunting tribes


The western Dingling group concentrated in the Kuznez Depression at the upper reach of the Ob River, the Minocinsk Basin at upper Yenisei River and the Altay Mountains area. The eastern tribes were active around the Baikal Lake and the Big River areas to the south.

In the 4th century BC, the Huns from the Great Bend of the Yellow River and the Yin Mountains south of the desert prospered,“unified all hunting tribes”圆 on the steppe both north and south of the desert such as Rong, Di and Hu, and set up the first united and strong Hun regime on the steppe. After

“subduing the Dingling people in the north”, the Huns put under their control the entire southern Siberia and the steppe north of the desert.

In 85 AD (the 2nd year of Yuanhe reign of Eastern Han Dynasty), the Hun regime in the north was devastated by the alliance of the revolting tribes in servitude such as Dingling and the Eastern Han government. It “could not regain the control and retreated to a distant place”. Following the defeat of the Hun regime, there emerged from the Mongolian steppe the Xianbei regime and then Rouran regime, which took their turns to rule the Dingling people.

After the 3rd century AD, Dingling was referred to as Tolos, Gaoche or Teli in Chinese language history books. The Chapter of Gaoche in Book of Wei recorded, “Gaoche, the descendants of the ancient Red Di, first called themselves Dili, also known as Tolos in the north and Gaoche or Dingling on the Central Plains”. It was also recorded in the Chapter of Uighur, New Book of Tang that “Ouigour…often travelled on high-wheel vehicles and named themselves the division of Gaoche (literally translated as High Vehicle) in the beginning of the Wei Dynasty, also known as Tolos, which was mistaken as Teli”. The Chapter of Gaoche in History of the North mentioned 6 divisions and 12 families within Gaoche. The 6 divisions were Di, Yuanhe, Hulu, Jiepi, Hugu and Yiqijin. Most historians believe the Yuanhe division was the ancestor of the later Ouigour.

In the middle of the 4th century, the Gaoche tribes in the Selenga, Orkhon and Tura river basins already formed a loose group, which was named as “Eastern Gaoche” in some history books. Ouigour was part of the Eastern Gaoche group and its living area was “over a hundred lis west of Luhunhai”調.Luhunhai was at the upper reach of today’s Orkhon River, so over a hundred lis to its west should be the Selenga River basin.

After the 6th century, there rose a Teli division of the Ashina family from the east of the Junggar Basin. After merging with 50,000 tents of Gaoche people from other divisions in the Junggar Basin in 546 AD (the 12th year of Datong reign of Western Wei Dynasty), it got swelled in strength, marched eastward into the area north of the desert, and wiped out Rouran. In 552 AD (the first year of Yuanqin reign of Western Wei Dynasty), it set up the Turki Khanate on the Mongolian steppe Viaje x china. Ranging from the Xing’anling Mountains in the east to the Junggar Basin and the upper Syr River in Central Asia in the west, the Turki Khanate ruled Ouigour and other Teli divisions. Being a slave-owning regime, the Turki Khanate was exceptionally cruel in its rule over all the steppe tribes. According to historical data, the Turks were “tyrannical and brutal both in and out of their houses”*39*, hence widespread resistance from many Teli divisions. In the struggle against the Turki Khanate, the Ouigour division rallied more and more Teli tribes and later got support from the Tang Dynasty, which made it stronger day by day.


the northern part of the Central Plains


The Di people originally lived in Erdos and the surrounding areas in today’s Inner Mogolia. The demographic growth and economic development prompted them to move eastward and southward for more grassland. By the period of Xia and Shang Dynasties, the northern part of the Central Plains was already part of their nomadic destination. They used to be active in today’s Shanxi, Hebei and northern Shaanxi.

The Di people had very close relations with the Huaxia tribes as they lived next to each other. Some pre-Qin documents believed that the Di people and Huaxia tribes shared one ancestor. According to Book of Mountains and Seas, “The grandson of Huangdi was Shijun, who then fathered the Beidi people*33*”. It is impossible to verify the truthfulness of that note, yet there are a lot of archaeological data pointing to the close relations between the Di and Huaxia people both racially and culturally*34*. During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, there were plenty of records of inter­marriage between the two sides. Later on, most of the Di people who moved onto the Central Plains mixed and integrated with the Huaxia tribes.

One division of the Di people moved northward in the 11th century BC, some of whom lived around the Yin Mountains in Inner Mongolia and later formed part of the Huns; while others (the division called Chidi, or literally, Red Di) travelled further north and crossed the Gobi and reached the great steppe north of the desert and the primitive forests in southern Siberia.

The northbound Di people were mainly distributed between the Baikal Lake and Yenisei River. They mixed quickly with local inhabitants and were referred to as Dingling Medicina Tradicional de China in Chinese historical records. The Dingling people and other primitive tribes lived in the mountain areas of southern Siberia and the northern edge of the Mongolian steppe.

The different natural and geographical conditions between the east and west of southern Siberia made the Dingling people in the west “quite good at farming”. A number of tribes there were engaged in land farming in addition to their mainstream activities or even relied on land farming. As to the east, the Dingling people there lived on hunting, gathering and roaming animal farming. Given their difference, the eastern and western Dingling people gradually evolved into two independent groups, with the eastern group producing the Ouigour division and the Nine Tribes*35*, and the western group generating the Ashina Turk division and the Karluk division*36*.


from the Jianwu reign to Yanguang


In 60 BC (the 2nd year of Shenjue reign), the Rizhu King of the Huns surrendered to the Han Dynasty, and the Hun forces finally pulled out of the Western Regions. In the Huns’ place was the Han Dynasty, which unified the Western Regions. From then on, the Western Regions was officially put under the rule of the central kingdoms.

The Eastern Han Dynasty was founded in 25 AD. Cashing in on the change of regime on the Central Plains, the Huns started to compete with the Eastern Han for the Western Regions. The Eastern Han was weaker than the Western Han Dynasty. According to Book of Later Han, “from the

Jianwu reign to Yanguang reign, traffic to and from the Western Regions was thrice off and thrice on”, which was a succinct summary of the competition for the Western Regions by the two sides. The so- called “on” and “off’ referred to the alternate control of the Western Regions by the Huns and the Central Plains dynasty. When the Western Regions were in the control of the Huns, the traffic was “off’ to the Eastern Han Dynasty, and vice versa. The road to unification of the Western Regions by the Eastern Han was tortuous, yet still, unity remained the major trend in that process.

On the whole, the Western Regions were unified under the Huns after 177 BC, and under the Western Han Dynasty after 60 BC. After 25 AD, that area was under alternate control by the Huns and Eastern Han. From that we can see unification was the dominant theme of that period for the Western Regions. As states there were mostly oasis statelets scattered in different places, the unification of the Western Regions was good for inter-state coordination, hence in the interest of local social and economic development.

The Central Plains were more advanced in terms of social and economic development than the Western Regions. Afer being unified by the central kingdom, the Western Regions enjoyed political stability and faster social and economic progress. For example, during the 10-plus years (91-102 AD) Como tomar el te verde when Banchao was the local official appointed by the Eastern Han government, the Western Regions were stable and economically growing. In 97 AD (the 9th year of Yongyuan reign), in the name of the royal court, Banchao sent Ganying as envoy to Daqin (Roman Empire), who arrived at Tiaozhi (today’s Syria) but failed to cross the sea. However, historical data had it that “Tiaozhi, Anxi and countries 40,000 lis (one li is equal to half kilometer) away over the sea all valued translations and presented gifts”四.From such records we can see that after the unification of the Western Regions, China’s influence reached out to other major civilizations of the world.


Asir Daur ethnic township was established in Tacheng


Russia Nationality They live scattered in the present Ili, Tacheng, Altay and Urumchi, with a population of 11,600. They first migrated from Tsarist Russia in the 1920′s; and before and after Russian Revolution, quite a few migrated and settled in Xinjiang. They were once called “domesticated group”, and their community villages called “domestication village”. After the founding of New China, they were renamed as Russia Nationality. Those living in cities and towns are mostly working in various industries and commerce, transport and service sectors, and those in rural areas mostly working in agriculture, horticulture and breeding. They use Russian language and

writing, which belongs to Slavic Branch of Indo-European languages, most of them believe in the Eastern Orthodoxy, with a small number of them believing in Protestantism(or Christianism) and Catholicism.

Daur Nationality They are distributed in Tacheng Prefecture in north Xinjiang today, with a population of 6,884. After the founding of New China, Asir Daur ethnic township was established in Tacheng. “Daur” is what the people of this ethnic group call themselves, in the historical records of Han language, there are different transliteration terms such as “Dahur”, “Dahuur”,

“Dahuli”,“Daahur”, and the paraphrase in Han language is “pioneer”. They are mostly offspring of the “Soren Camp” garrison army transferred from Soren area in the northeast by the Qing Dynasty in the 1760s, hence they were once called “Soren people”, after the founding of New China, their original name was restored. They are mainly engaged in agricultural production, and some also in animal husbandry. Their language belongs to Mongolian Branch of Altaic Family, they have no writing of their own, and once used Manchu writing, today the Han writing is commonly used. They mainly believe in Shamanism, and a small number of them believe in Northern Buddhism

Tartar Nationality They are distributed in the present Urumchi, Changji, Qitai and Altay, with a population of 4,950. On July 25, 1989, the only Tartar ethnic township in China was established in Daquangou of Qitai County. They originally belonged to Mongolian tribe, and “Dada” and “Tatar” Lhasa reisen were different transliteration terms in history. They were developed starting from the 15th century by the mutual blending of Mongolian on west expedition and the Kipchaks on the Eurasian Plain and the Bulgars in the Volga River basin. The Tartar people in Xinjiang mostly migrated in the 19th century from Kazan of Russia and Semirechye and Zaysan of Central Asia, or came for business purposes. Most of them are engaged in commerce, and a small number of them working in agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts. Their language belongs to Turkic Branch of Altaic Family, and the writing was originally the alphabetic writing based on Cyril letters. They generally believe in Islam.


What good would that serve


1949, Tao Zhiyue was surrounded by progressive forces advocating peaceful uprising, whose core members were his chief of staff Tao Jinchu and the garrison commander in Southern Xinjiang Zhao Xiguang. Those insisting on resistance were some reactionaries who accounted for the minority in number, headed by Ye Cheng (commander of Division No. 78), Luo Shuren (commander of Brigade No. 179), and Ma Chengxiang (commander of the Fifth Cavalry Army). In August of that year, Tao Zhiyue publicly suggested taking the initiative to conduct peace negotiations and liberate Xinjiang peacefully. He remarked, “… Otherwise, it will bring only harm and no good to the country, the people and ourselves. If we did not take the initiative and did not seek peaceful liberation, 100,000 officers and soldiers would die for nothing, local law and order would be disrupted, and people would be displaced, leading to ethnic killings. If we stuck to war and forsook peace, we would definitely be bogged down and caught in the middle. What good would that serve?”圆 In the meantime, the Chairman of Xinjiang provincial government, Burhan Shahid was also surrounded by a number of people who stood for peaceful liberation of Xinjiang. One supporter of the pro-peaceful uprising forces in the provincial troops and government was General Zhang Zhizhong, who had already broken away from the Kuomintang and j oined in the revolution in Beiping.

 

The People’s Liberation Army took Lanzhou on August 26, 1949 and liberated Xining on September 5, thus laying a siege on the Kuomintang forces in Xinjiang. It required a prompt decision as to which way the Kuomintang forces there should choose. Before that, Tao Zhiyue produced, together with Zhao Xiguang, three major points for peaceful uprising after secret discussions in Yanqi of Southern Xinjiang. They included the following: first, to send someone to contact the Liberation Army once the latter approached and hand over the Kuomintang troops; second, after the hand-over, the two of them, Tao Zhiyue and Zhao Xiguang would give up all their previous responsibilities without any condition; third, to request reorganization of the Kuomintang troops free from the supervision of the “National Army” to prevent possible misconception國.After Lanzhou was liberated, Tao Zhiyue, together with the provincial government Chairman Burhan Shahid, Secretary- General Liu Mengchun, Dihua Mayor Qu Wu and the special commissioner of the foreign ministry in Xinjiang Liu Zerong, all representatives standing for peaceful resolution of the Xinjiang question within the provincial government held a special meeting with pro-fight members from the Kuomintang troops in Xinjiang, represented by Ye Cheng, Ma Chengxiang and Luo Shuren, to discuss the future of Xinjiang. At the meeting, the majority expressed willingness to accept the CPC’s conditions for peace unconditionally and achieve peaceful resolution of the Xinjiang question oficina viajes a pekin. After the meeting, Liu Mengchun and others contacted the Soviet consulategeneral in Dihua and requested contacts with the CPC through the Soviet side so as to begin negotiations. The Soviet deputy consulgeneral in Dihua Isheyev (pronunciation) immediately went to Yining and conveyed, on September 2, to Deng Liqun, the CPC liaison officer in Yining, the decision of Xinjiang side to launch an uprising and accept unconditionally the CPC’s proposal for the peaceful resolution of the Xinjiang question. He also advised Deng Liqun to go to Dihua for a face-to-face discussion with the Kuomintang troops and the provincial government of Xinjiang. In order to further ease the situation and create conditions for peaceful resolution of the Xinjiang question, on September 8, the Kuomintang troops took the initiative and withdrew from the defense line at the Manas River in the confrontation with the three regions.

 


Gongha Insurgence” and “Yining Uprising


In view of the above principles, it is only appropriate to describe the three-region revolutionary

movement in different stages according to the developments and changes in the process.

“Gongha Insurgence” was the beginning of the three-region revolutionary movement. It was conducted with the coordination between people within Xinjiang and those abroad. In early August 1944, the three Kazakh brothers persecuted by the government, Akbal, Syet and Naman escaped to Eintal (pronunciation), a town on the Soviet territory bordering on Huocheng County. In Eintal they met with Fatih Muslimov, who used to be a Soviet national living in Gongha County, serving as deputy manager of the county’s local produce trade company, but fled back to the Soviet side after being arrested for secret association. Fatih was recruited for military training in Alma Ata aimed at supporting national rejuvenation in Xinjiang. Introduced by Fatih, Akbal and his brothers traded horses for some weapons at a low price from Glibink, an arms dealer and naturalized Russian (those people were also known as “Guihua people”, or Russians who acquired Chinese nationality) who used to live in Xinjiang. Later, Akbal joined forces with Fatih and formally set up the guerrilla, which was headed by Fatih, on August 14 in the Ulastay valley of Gongha County, Xinjiang. On August 17, the guerrilla successfully ambushed a group of armed police of the county who came to search the hills and fired the first bullet of“Gongha Insurgence”. The guerrilla expanded rapidly and captured the county seat of Gongha on October 7.

In September, Ishakbeg led the Puli (today’s Taxkorgan County) armed forces, which were trained abroad, to Yining via the Soviet territory. On October 7, the “Yining Liberation Organization”set up the “Underground Revolutionary Military Headquarters”headed by Elihan Torae to organize and prepare the Yining uprising. In mid-October, a Soviet national in China, Fatye Ivanovo Lesken organized a guerrilla troop at Guozigou, a location of throat from Yining to Dihua, with the aim of cutting off reinforcement to Yining. On November 6, Abbasov, together with an armed troop led by a Soviet officer Peter Romanovic Aleksandrov equipped with sophiscated Soviet weapons came into Xinjiang from Eintal of Huocheng County and took a detour before arriving at the doorstep of Yining. Then a Military Command headed by Aleksandrov was set up on the basis of the Palacio potala lhasa tibet former “Underground Revolutionary Military Headquarters” to take charge of directing the uprising. On the same day, Lesken and the Suiding guerrilla made the first move by starting the Lucaogou insurgence and took the gateway from Yining to Dihua, thus sealing off the Kuomintang forces in Yining. By then all military preparations for the Yining armed uprising were completed. Propaganda work also began in early November. The“Yining Liberation Organization” put up posters and distributed flyers around the county seat, which included both positive slogans such as “overthrow the government that oppresses people” and“long live revolution victory” and negative provocations such as“Muslims join up to drive the Hans and Northeasterners (referring to the Northeast Anti-Japan Volunteers who entered Xinjiang via the Soviet territory in 1933-1934) out of Xinjiang” and “build East Turkistan government”. The Military Command decided to start uprising on November 7 (which was 27th anniversary of the October Revolution of the Soviet Union).

 


the location of Xinjiang in the western frontier


After the Qing government unified Xinjiang in 1759, a military office system was introduced there. The consideration behind that decision included the location of Xinjiang in the western frontier and the multiple ethnic composition as well as other historical conditions. Only in Zhendi Dao (today’s Muri to Jinghe) were there prefectures and counties, which were put under the administration of Gansu Province. In 1820, in his article Comments on Provincial Setup in the Western Regions, Gong Zizhen proposed, for the first time, the restoration to provincial establishment in Xinjiang so as to achieve the broad united rule across the country and fend off the increasingly serious border menace in the northwest. In June 1877, Zuo Zongtang, Minister Overseeing Xinjiang Military Affairs was charged to plan for the entire rehabilitation work in Xinjiang. Consistent with historical trends, he raised the issue of resuming provincial establishment in Xinjiang. According to Minister Zuo, it made good sense to establish province in Xinjiang in two aspects. First, it could solidify border defence in the northwest. Since ancient times, the northwest of China often had more border crises than the southeast. To set up province in Xinjiang and incorporate that region into the unified administrative system of the inland had significance that could not be underestimated for better border defence in the northwest and unity of the country. Second, it could facilitate early social and economic recovery and growth in the border area. Only after province and counties were set up there and run with care could there be hope for recovery. In early 1878, Zuo Zongtang put forward the proposal of establishing province in Xinjiang again. However, by that time Ili was not recovered yet, and the situation in the northwestern frontier was very grave, so the proposal was shelved again. In October 1882, Zuo Zongtang, who was Viceroy of Liangjiang at the time, presented a memorial to the emperor, asking yet again for provincial establishment in Xinjiang. He strongly advised the Qing government to seize the opportunity and make the earliest possible decision, as Xinjiang had been just recovered and the western expedition troops were still there. In addition, the newly recovered Xinjiang and its people were in desperate need of reconstruction and tranquillity, so the establishment of province there served the will of the people and contributed to social stability and economic recovery. Prompted by Zuo Zongtang and other people, the Qing government finally decided to set up province and counties in Xinjiang.

In December 1882, the Qing government began its preparations for establishing dao, ting, zhou andxian (counties) in Xinjiang and sent nearby officials to assume the newly created posts. Boundaries between and among those divisions were delimitated; posts and stations sorted out; government offices, altars, temples, warehouses and prisons renovated and built; supporting division officers and civil staff such as zhoupan, xiancheng, xunjian and fenfang appointed; and official seals given out. A massive border institutional reform was unfolded in the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains simultaneously. By the first half of 1883, the grassroots organizational structure of dao, ting, zhou and xian(counties) was preliminarily  informacion sobre china

in shape. In June, Liu Jintang advised the emperor to cancel the previous local official posts in Xinjiang such as tutung, councillor, administration and head ministers. On November 17, 1884, the Qing government officially approved provincial establishment in Xinjiang, which was announced publicly the next day. Liu Jintang and Wei Guangtao were appointed as the first Xunfu (equivalent to Provincial Governor) and Buzhengshi(deputy provincial governor, in charge of civil and financial affairs) of Xinjiang respectively, and the capital was Dihua (today’s Urumqi). At last Xinjiang Province was set up again.

 


The wilderness of the past turned into places


Social and economic development in Xinjiang attracted more inland people, who often moved there on a family basis, which resulted in population growth there and further flourishing of urban commerce and trade. During that time, Urumqi was “a land reachable from all directions with plenty of shops, wide streets and many people, where all kinds of entertainment and artisans could be found, and whose prosperity topped all other places out of the Pass”四.As to Ili City, the description goes like, “with its commercial markets and farmland, many people travelled through the city, tradesmen earned reasonable profits there, and villagers lived next to each other, able to hear the noises of their neighbors’ roosters and barking dogs. The wilderness of the past turned into places no different from the inland”四.However, as the external conditions changed and the internal social conflicts escalated gradually in the first half of the 19th century, Xinjiang was thrown into increasingly frequent social turmoil.

 

  1. Domestic and Foreign Menace
    1. Anti-Qing Risings and Feudalist Separate Rule

After the Opium War, China went into the semi-colonial semifeudal society and the Qing court was so weakened that it could no longer govern Xinjiang as effectively as it would have wished.

Local officials reinforced political oppression and economic exploitation of people of all ethnic groups in order to secure their rule, which led to the escalation of all types of social conflicts and consequently, more and more fierce resistance from the people. Influenced by the Tai-Ping Heavenly Kingdom movement and the insurrection of Hui people in Shaanxi and Gansu, Xinjiang people also took to massive anti-Qing uprisings in 1864. In June of that year, some farmers at the construction site of the irrigation works by the Weigan River in Kuqa, who were unable to pay grain taxes, went into uprising as they could no longer bear the fatigue and torture. Farmers of all ethnic groups in Kuqa responded enthusiastically and joined them. The uprising force captured the city and killed the Administration Minister of Kuqa and other feudal officials as well as 8 begs, thus putting an end to the Qing rule in Kuqa. Their victory tremendously thrilled people in the surrounding areas who were also engaged in the anti-feudal struggles. Within 10 days, people in Bugur (today’s Luntai), Baicheng, Korla and Karashar (today’s Yanqi) followed suit and the uprisings grew bigger.

Revolt broke out in Urumqi on July 15-16, 1864, which Arte chino viajeporchina.com was led by Akhond Tuoming (Todlin) from Hezhou (today’s Linxia of Gansu Province) and Suohuanzhang, Shulizhongjuntibiaocanjiang(a military post) of the local green camp. The rebels took Hancheng(Dihua City) and besieged Mancheng (Gongning City) on the day of uprising and expanded into neighbouring areas. People of Hui origin in Changji, Qitai, Muri, Suilai (today’s Manas) and Kulkarawusu (today’s Usu) went into rebellion upon hearing the news and captured those cities one after another. On January 27 of the next year, people in Tacheng also revolted under the leadership of Suyude. They seized stored munitions and fought the city.

 


Samanid Dynasty of Central Asia


The Islamic faith in Xinjiang came from Central Asia. In 893 AD, the Samanid Dynasty of Central Asia went to war against the Karakhanid Dynasty in the name of Islamic “Jihad” and took large pieces of land from the latter. The Karakhanid Dynasty banned Islam within its territory. However, out of political need, it accepted the prince of Samanid Dynasty who sought asylum there due to domestic power struggles and allowed him to build a mosque in Artux, which was the first mosque in the history of Xinjiang. The Samanid prince secretly disseminated Islam; Satuk Buchara responded favorably to his preaching, initiated a coup d’etat in 910 AD by utilizing Islam and seized power. After that, Satuk Buchara Khan went all out to promote Islam. In 960 AD, 200,000 tents, totaling 600,000-800,000 Turks accepted Islam, and Islam became the state faith of Karakhanid Dynasty.

The rulers of Karakhanid Dynasty identified themselves with Islam because they wanted to pressure people at home and expand territory abroad through the Islamic spirit of absolute obedience and“Jihad” theory. Therefore, after defining Islam as the state religion, the Karakhanid Dynasty immediately began its “Jihad” against two Buddhist kingdoms in the Western Regions, Yutian and Gaochang Uighur. The religious war between Karakhanid Dynasty and Yutian broke out first. It was the longest religious war at the largest scale and with the deepest impact in the history of Xinjiang. People sometimes called it the One-hundred-year War. It was a bitter and ugly war. The kingdom of Yutian was annihilated in 1006, but Buddhist resistance continued until about 1062. After that, the over 1,000 years’ rule of Buddhist forces in Yutian came to an end and Buddhism left the southern part of the Tarim Basin.

While the war on Yutian was still going on, Karakhanid Dynasty launched another “Jihad” against Gaochang Uighur Kingdom in 1017. However, due to the fierce resistance la longitud muralla china from Gaochang Uighur and the internal conflicts in the Karakhanid Dynasty, particularly its split into the eastern and Western parts in 1041, the “Jihad” failed without achieving its end, putting a stop for the time being to the Islamic Futuhat by force.

During the reign of the Western Liao Dynasty (1130-1221), the rulers believed in Buddhism but were tolerant towards other religions. In that context, peaceful spread of Islam began. With Kashgar as the centre, Islam was spread along the two routes on the verge of the Tarim Basin, to Yengisar, Yecheng, Shache, Khotan and Qiemo through the southeastern route and to Artux, Bachu and Aksu through the northeastern route. However, Kuqa and Gaochang remained hurdles for Islamic eastward dissemination.


Languages of the Present


In 1124, Khitan noble Yollig Taxin split away from the Liao Kingdom and moved westward. He built the Western Liao Empire and ruled the Western Regions. The major languages used in the Western Liao Dynasty were Chinese and Khitan. Copper seals with Khitan characters on both the front and the back were discovered in Ili, Xinjiang, which proved the use of Khitan language in the Western Liao government. It is assumed that both the Khitan and Chinese officials in the Western Liao government could speak and write Khitan. Yollig Chucai recorded in Volume 8 of Collection of Works of Zhanran Jushi that a Chinese called Li Shichang, who was granted lordship by the Western Liao government, was capable of using Khitan language. In early 13th century, the Mongols wiped out the Western Liao Empire, and Khitan became a dead language.

Among all the ethnic groups that have long settled in Xinjiang, the Han and Hui people use Chinese; the Uygurs, Mongols, Kazak, Kirgiz, Xibe and Russ each have their own spoken and written languages; and the Tajik, Uzbek, Tatar and Daur have their own spoken languages. Other ethnic groups moving into Xinjiang later also have their spoken languages.

(1)     Chinese

Chinese, as a language, belongs to the Chinese subgroup of the Sino-Tibetan family. The Chinese script was the earliest script that was found in the Western Regions. Despite the vicissitudes in languages in the Western Regions throughout its history, Chinese was present almost all the time.

In the 2nd century BC, Zhang Qian was sent by the Han Dynasty as an envoy to the Western Regions, which began the history of the Chinese language in that region. In 60 BC (the 2nd year of

Shenjue reign), the Han government set up Office of Protector of Western Regions; as a result, “decrees of Han reached the Western Regions”, and Chinese became the official spoken and written language among states in that region. According Viaje variedad de establecimientos culturales shanghai to the chapter on the Western Regions in Book of Han, “the total number of such states was fifty, and from the director of translation, director of the city, jun, jian, li, dalu, baizhang to noble and king, all wore seals and ribbons issued by the Han government”. This was the official record of the acceptance of Han rule by states in the Western Regions and the installation of directors of translation to ensure the use of Chinese. Numerous discovered materials provided further evidence for the use of Chinese in all aspects. The use of Chinese script in local governments, military strongholds and commercial goods was exemplified by the “Seal of Guiyi (Allegiance) Qiang in the Han Dynasty” discovered in the old city of Yushgeti in Xayar County, over 70 slips recording the agricultural activities of the military discovered in the site of Tuyin on the northern bank of Lop Nur, and brocade found in the Eastern Han tomb at Niya, with Chinese characters reading “longevity and good luck to posterity” on it. There was another piece discovered in Niya, which was probably a wood slip for presenting gifts, with Chinese words of “Xiuwusongye wishes to pay regards through this jade” on the front and “held by Xiaodazi Jiujian” on the back as well as “Madame Qiemo” on it, showing the penetration of Chinese into the life of average local residents there.