Institutional Scholarship

Sheng Shicai’s Attempts to Retain Power on the Russo-Chinese Borderland from 1933-1944

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dc.contributor.advisor Smith, Paul J., 1947-
dc.contributor.advisor Gerstein, Linda Linden, Andrew 2019-08-08T15:48:55Z 2019-08-08T15:48:55Z 2019
dc.description.abstract This thesis uses the framework of borderlands studies, which defines how situations in the area between nations or borderlands were quite different from other regions. In general, state power is much more volatile in borderlands. In Xinjiang, Sheng Shicai was able to use this volatility in order to enhance his own power. Sheng utilized his position on the border region of Xinjiang to obtain resources for himself and secure his hold over the province. Through his adoption of Marxist rhetoric and exploitation of Soviet fears about Japanese imperialism, Sheng was able to receive massive amounts of support from the Soviet Union. However, Sheng did not simply become a puppet of the Soviet Union; he was also able to use the purge as a way to maintain independence by keeping himself as the sole political power in the province. Sheng appropriated the same language of the Great Purge in the Soviet Union in order to better justify his actions and keep his relationship with the Soviet Union secure. By 1942, when it seemed like Soviet support was fading, Sheng was able to mastermind a change in allegiances back to the Guomindang party and secure valuable resources for Xinjiang. This switch bolstered Sheng’s regime for a time, but eventually the pressure from both sides proved to be too much for Sheng, who was forced to surrender. However, even in defeat, Sheng’s return of Xinjiang to the Nationalists bought him favor with Chiang Kai-shek, and he was consequently able to serve in Chongqing until 1949. Sheng also was able to live in Taiwan with the rest of the Guomindang until his death in the 1970’s. Overall, Sheng’s ability to manipulate situations to his advantage was what enabled him to live out his life peacefully. The legacy of Sheng’s governorship in Xinjiang can be seen even today with the People’s Republic of China, which has continued many of Sheng’s policies in regard to the Muslim peoples of Xinjiang.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Sheng, Shicai, 1895-
dc.subject.lcsh Geopolitics -- China -- Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu
dc.title Sheng Shicai’s Attempts to Retain Power on the Russo-Chinese Borderland from 1933-1944
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Tri-College users only

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