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East Turkestan People's Revolutionary Party

The East Turkestan People's Revolutionary Party (Uyghur: Shärqiy Turkistan Khälq Inqilawi Partiyisi‎; Chinese: 东突厥斯坦人民革命党) was an Uyghur communist party and armed separatist group in Xinjiang. It was founded in 1969 or earlier[2] during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, and was the largest armed separatist group in the Xinjiang conflict before its dissolution in 1989.[3][4]

East Turkestan People's Revolutionary Party
Shärqiy Turkistan Khälq Inqilawi Partiyisi
Participant in the Xinjiang conflict
Active1969 (1969)–1989 (1989)
Uyghur nationalism
Area of operationsXinjiang, China
Size60,000 (claimed)[1]
Allies Soviet Union
 Mongolian People's Republic
Opponent(s) China
Battles and war(s)Xinjiang conflict

The ETPRP's goal was to initiate a second Revolution of the Three Districts to establish an independent Marxist-Leninist Uyghur state in the Xinjiang region, with help from the Soviet Union. Support from the Soviets increased during the Sino-Soviet split and subsequent border dispute.[5]


The ETPRP was founded in 1969 or earlier in Xinjiang, China. It was made up of mainly Uyghurs, but also had a small number of Kazakh fighters.[1] According to Chinese historian Zhang Yuxi, the ETPRP may have been established secretly in 1963.[2] Former members of the ETPRP claimed that the party had around 60,000 members and 178 underground branches in 1969; however, this had not been verified by a third-party.[1]

After a failed insurrection in 1969, the ETPRP gradually weakened due to the arrests of most of their armed fighters and many of their members going into exile. The ETPRP blamed the Soviets for their "lack of commitment" to their cause.[2] The party disbanded in 1989.


  1. ^ a b c Rémi Castets, Opposition politique, nationalisme et islam chez les Ouïghours du Xinjiang, Les Études du CERI, October 2004. (in French)
  2. ^ a b c James Millward, Violent Separatism in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment, Policy Studies, East-West Center Washington, 2004.
  3. ^ David D. Wang, East Turkestan Movement in Xinjiang, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Springer Netherlands, June 1998.
  4. ^ "1946: The establishment of the People's Revolutionary Party". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  5. ^ Han, Enze (August 31, 2010). External Kin, Ethnic Identity and the Politics of Ethnic Mobilization in the People's Republic of China (Doctor of Philosophy). The Faculty of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences of The George Washington University. pp. 113–114.