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Modern Urumqi
Part of a Category:Islam in China of articles on


Islam in China

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location of Urumqi



  • part of the zunghan khanate
  • taken by the Qing

Uprising in the 17th Century

The Urumchi revolt begaon 26th June 1864 (21st Muharram 1281). The most prominent leaders of the revolt where Tuo Ming and Suo Huanzhang who where both ethnically chinese Tungan.

Several factors had led the two leaders to prepare for a revolt a year earlier by concealing arms in the Mosque. Suo Huanzhang had intercepted a letter from the emperor to the general of ili that ordered the massacre of the Tungan, but also the Urumchi commander had levied excessive taxes and demands for the pretext of strengthening the defences. Also there where growing hostilities between the Tungan and the ever increasing influx of Han Chinese from Shanxi and Henan. It was reported that Chinese Han residents had created a militia to attack the Tungan (Hui), who in response rallied the Tungan behind Ma Quan. A fierce clash broke out and Ma Quan fled to the Nanshan Mountains with his followers [1].

After news of the uprising in Kucha 2,100 mainly Tungan Qing soldiers where sent to Kucha to relieve the situation there, but on the way they met Ishaq Khwaja who had been sent to Qarashahr by Rashidin Khwaja from Kucha. The Qing where soundly defeated, and the remnants stradled back to Urumchi[2]. In Urumqi on the 23rd of June the Tungans gathered at the Nanguan Mosque, and prepared for revolt. The returning Qing soldiers who had just been beaten, who were also Tungan joined their fellow Muslims and assulted the Old City. As soon as the Old City was taken and control established , they announced an Islamic State Qingzhen guo (kingdom of Islam). Ma Quan was called back from the mountains and together the Muslims seiged the Manchurian fort. Unable to take the fort they requested the help of the Kuchean Khwajias who sent 5,000 troops as reinforcements. The fort was taken on 3rd October 1864 (2nd Jumada al-Ula 1281) and the Urumqi commander committed suicide. Over the same period Changji and Qutubi, Jimsa and Gucheng fell.


Urumchi's new prosperity, however, comes from its mineral resources. In 1955 a large petroleum field was discovered at Qaramay to the north in the Dzungarian Basin; it was brought into production in 1958-59 and has since become one of China's major sources of oil. Extensive coal deposits were found along the foot of the Tengri Tagh , and there are major mining centres near Urumchi and at Liu-tao-wan. A large thermal-power station, ironworks and steelworks, an engineering industry (producing agricultural machinery), a cement works, chemical and fertilizer plants, an oil refinery, and cotton-textile mills have been built.


Heaven lake east of Urumqi

See Also


  1. Pinghuizhi, q. 7, 2r-2v
  2. ddd
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