Culture policies and Sino-Soviet relations in Kazakhstan and Sinkiang, 1917-60
The object of this study is to assess the extent to which the Turkic people of Kazakhstan and Sinkiang have been aligned politically and socially with the socialist societies of their respective countries. It is not intended to consider this question in the light of success or failure. There are several reasons for not doing so. It would be realistic to consider the question in this light only if a definite goel was to be achieved within a specified period of time. This was not the case in either Kazakhstan or Sinkiang. There was and is no definable period of time within which Communism is to be I I achieved. Equally important, Communism remains a hazy expression for a state of existence that yet has to be defined in a manner that is universally accepted. In this study the various political, cultural, religious and educational aspects of the Turkic people will be considered. The intention is to discover to what extent these traditions have been replaced by the social institutions of the socialist societies. This in turn should allow some insight into the advances made by both the Russian and Chinese Communists in their attempts to transform their respective Turkic people. At the same time the study deals with specific difficulties that the Governments had to overcome in the course of the transformation process. These include getting the Turkic people to participate in the various socialist institutions. From this there arise new questions and problems. The Islamic society of the Turkic people had not prepared the latter to participate in a modern, industrial society. They lacked the required educational background to be usefully employable in the bureaucracy on any but a superficial level. As a result non-Turkic cadres had to be used in many leading positions. This raised the question of great Russian and Han-Chinese chauvinism. Another problem was that of attacking the traditional Turkic way of life without alienating the Turkic people. The direct attack on Islam was complex. In general both Governments demonstrated a lack of understanding for the Islamic way of life. As a consequence they launched an attack on an Islamic orthodoxy that did not exist. Also, the Soviet policy of an outright attack forced the Soviet Government to define a new way of life for the Kazakh and other Muslim people. In China the need for this was avoided because of the less antagonistic attitude towards Islam. To a great extent this study compares the policies of the Soviet and Chinese Governments. This in itself raises some questions. The Russian revolution preceded the Chinese by nearly 32 years. This gave the Chinese a considerable advantage. They did not have to make the same mistakes that ha~ been made by the Soviet Union, particularly the collectivisation drive in Kazakhstan. But the Chinese not only benefitted from the Soviet mistakes. They'were able also to make use of the advanced experience of the Soviet Union in advancing their economic development programme. In addition the more industrially advanced Soviet Union could and did assist the Chinese in their industrialisation. From the discussion of the connection between the two countries their logically follows an assessment of the inter-state relationship. The intention is to discover to what extent the Turkic people influenced the Sino-Soviet relationship. But the economic question hardly can be excluded from the discussion. This in turn leads to the analysis of some of the historical)-political, ideological and economic causes of the Sino-Soviet rift.