died in 193o, CHIN abolished the institution altogether, thereby rousing the anger of the conservative Turkis. And just at this time about a hundred starving countrymen from Kansu sought refuge in Hami. CHIN ordered that the cultivated fields of the Turkis should be allotted to these countrymen of his, and that the rightful owners be given virgin soil to till as compensation.
The Mohammedan fury broke loose. It was realized that by means of an unjust agrarian policy he intended to suppress the natives. In his blindness CHIN aggravated the opposition between Mohammedans and Chinese, between oppressed vassals and foreign intruders, between the peaceful, settled peasant population and arrogant parasites from without.
The last straw to the people's patience is said to have been the Chinese tax-collector who forced a beautiful Turki girl into ménage with him. This insult kindled the torches of revolt in good earnest. In March 1931 the Turkis slew the tax-gatherer and all the refugees from Kansu, and incited the Kirghiz in the T'ien-shan to join the rising.
CHIN despatched troops to quell the revolt. They carried out the task with barbaric cruelty, killing all prisoners and destroying many houses and much property. The Turkis fled to the mountains, boiling with rage and lust for revenge.
The advisers of the Hami king, KHOJA NIAZ and YOLBARS KHAN, the popular leaders of the Turki element in this eastern part of Sinkiang, turned in their need to the young Tungan general in Kansu, MA CHUNG-YIN, for help against the Chinese. Already in the autumn of 193o they had dispatched an Osman Turk, KZMAL KAYA EFFENDI, as special messenger to him.
Nothing could have been more welcome to this less than twenty-five year old adventurer than YOLBARS' appeal to him to come to Sinkiang and help the Turkis against CHIN, for MA himself was in a very uneasy position in Kansu. He at once started preparations for an advance towards Hami. Finally he collected about five hundred men, and with admirable boldness marched the 35o kilometers from Anhsi to Hami in the middle of the hot summer of 1931, traversing a waterless desert with insufficient provisions. It was when leaving the Suchow tract that his riff-raff plundered BExELI,'s camp (see page 18o).
He made Barkul his first objective, where he was received as a liberator and given 2,000 rifles and ammunition. Next, he besieged Hami for six months, but was finally defeated by the Chinese troops and forced to return to Anhsi to reequip his forces — and to pacify Kansu, as he said.
In February 1932 we find him in Suchow. From Nanking he was now appointed chief of the thirty-sixth division, and was able in this capacity to enroll new recruits. For a whole year he lay low in Suchow.
Meantime, however, the war proceeded in the Turfan basin. CHIN sent several