Read CHAPTER V of The Life of Yakoob Beg Athalik Ghazi‚ and Badaulet Ameer of Kashgar, free online book, by Demetrius Boulger, on


The Chinese conquest of Jungaria and Eastern Turkestan having become an accomplished fact, what did the new rulers do to justify their forcible interference in Central Asia? What measures did they adopt to conciliate the subject peoples, and what to increase the prosperity of a vast region, naturally fertile, but impoverished by centuries of improvident government and of civil anarchy and war? Did they follow the precedent that had been set them by every past ruler of those countries, and leave the people to their own devices, to starve or to exist as best they might, so long as the tribute money was forthcoming? Did the Chinese Viceroys of Ili, or their lieutenants in Kashgar, Yarkand, Aksu, or Kucha adopt a policy of inaction, and pursue a line of conduct of unprincipled selfishness in advancing their own personal fortunes, and thus prove that they were of the same stamp as all other Asiatic despots, careless of the day and utterly regardless of the morrow? The best way to see how they acted, what they did, and what they did not that was possible, is to follow their rule in Kashgar with some attention. In itself this may be found to be no uninstructive lesson for us, who are also a great governing people; and from the perusal of what the Chinese administrators did in Central Asia we may arise willing to accord them high praise, because we are better able than other nations to appreciate the difficulties of their task.

After the fall of Amursana, the Chinese, in the first place, organized their administrative system upon the following basis: The supreme authority was vested in the hands of the Viceroy of Ili. Under him an amban, or lieutenant-governor, administered affairs in Kashgar. His place of abode was Yarkand. In internal matters the Yarkand Amban was without a superior south of the Tian Shan, but in external affairs he only acted in subordination to the Viceroy of Ili, who alone was in communication with Pekin. Under each of these potentates there were the usual deputy-ambans and Tay Dalays, or military commanders. All the cities had Gulbaghs constructed outside of them, and these forts were held by Chinese troops that is, by a mixture of Khitay and Tungani. It is computed that 20,000 troops used to garrison Kashgar and the neighbourhood alone. The military posts were restricted to Chinamen, and the higher judicial and administrative offices were also withheld from the subjected race. But these were the only privileges retained by the Chinese.

The Khan, or chief Amban, who resided in Yarkand, made all the appointments to the minor offices, which were filled almost exclusively by Mahomedans. The only precaution the Chinese seem to have taken was to refuse employment to a Kashgari in his native town, so that a Yarkandi would have to go to Aksu, or some other place away from his home, if he desired to participate in the government of his country. But beyond this there was no restriction, and nominally the Hakim Beg, the highest Mussulman officer, ranked on an equality with the Chinese amban. His subordinates were all Mahomedans, with the exception of his personal guard of Khitay troops. In the hands of these natives of the country lay all the administration of justice among their co-religionists, the collection of the revenue, and the levying of customs dues on the frontier and of trade taxes in the cities. It was only when cause for litigation arose between a Buddhist and a Mussulman that the amban interfered. We have therefore the instructive spectacle before us of a Buddhist conquest becoming harmonized with Mussulman institutions, and Chinese arrogance not content with tolerating, but absolutely fostering, a regime to which its hostility was scarcely concealed. This is the only instance of the Chinese exhibiting such more than Asiatic restraint towards Mahomedans; for their dealings with Tibet, a country of peculiar sanctity and Buddhist as well, is not a case in point. The scheme worked well, however. Chinese strength was husbanded by being employed only when absolutely necessary to be called into play, and the people, to a great degree their own masters, did not realise the fact of their being a subjected nation. Their first anxiety was the payment of their taxes far from exorbitant, as it had been under their own rulers; but that task accomplished, they could free their minds from care.

Very often their own countryman, the Hakim Beg, was a greater tyrant than the Chinese amban in the fort outside their gates; but against his exactions they could obtain speedy redress. When their Hakims, or Wangs as the Chinese called them, became unpopular in a district, the amban promptly removed them; even if he considered they were not much to blame, he always transferred them to some other district. The first object in the eyes of the amban was the maintenance of order, and he knew well enough that order could not be maintained, unless he resorted to force, which he studiously avoided, if the people were discontented. The people therefore could repose implicit trust in the Chinese amban securing a fair hearing and justice for them in their disagreements with their own leaders; and the Mussulman Wangs, who were the old ruling class, saw the unfortunate tax-payer at last secure from their tyranny through the clemency of a Buddhist conqueror. We are justified in assuming that the population saw the force of these patent facts, and that, if not perfectly to be relied on in any emergency, the Chinese had no danger to expect from the tax-producing and patient Kashgari.

So long as the Chinese rule remained vigorous that is, for about the first fifty years the Ambans worked in perfect concord with the Wangs, and through them with the people. But the internal relations between these various personages became more complicated and less cordial through the importation, about the beginning of this century, of a fresh factor into the question. The Chinese had granted the cities west of, and including, Aksu very considerable privileges in carrying on trade with Khokand; and in the course of commercial intercourse a Khokandian element was slowly imported into these cities, when it became a people within a people, enjoying the prosperity to be derived from the Chinese Empire, but not experiencing any sentiment of gratitude towards those by whom the favours were conferred. After some years, when these Khokandian immigrants had become numerous, the Chinese acquiesced in their selecting a responsible head for each community, and this head, or Aksakal, was nominated by the Khan of Khokand, the only temporal sovereign these people recognized. The creation of this third power in the state, which was first sanctioned as a matter of convenience, was to be fraught with the direst consequences for the Chinese. The Khitay would be justified in saying that the Aksakals were “the cause of all their woe,” in Kashgar at all events. The Aksakals were far too prudent to challenge the supremacy of the Chinese officials, and their first object was rather to make themselves independent of the Wangs than to compete with the Ambans. In this they were successful, for the Chinese neglected to take into account the dangers that might arise from these same bustling, intriguing, and alien Aksakals. The Wangs had always been obedient vassals, but the plausibility of the Aksakals put them on a par with their rivals. The Chinese washed their hands of the quarrel, and may have imagined that their rule was made more assured by divisions among the Mussulmans. In this they were mistaken. The Aksakals, who after a time repudiated their obligations to the Wangs, became the centre of all the intrigue that marked the last half-century of Chinese rule, and, puffed up by their triumph over the Wangs, did not hesitate to challenge the right of the Ambans to exercise jurisdiction over them. But of this more later on.

While the Chinese adopted these liberal measures in their dealings with the Mussulman population, they did not neglect those other duties which belong to the government by right. The greatest benefit they could confer was of course the preservation of order, and to maintain the balance impartially between the numerous litigants was the first article in the creed of the Chinese viceroys. As tranquillity settled down over these distracted regions, trade revived. The native industries, which had greatly fallen off, became once more active; and foreign enterprise was attracted to this quarter, which Chinese power soon made the most favoured region in Central Asia. But the rulers did not rest content with the mere preservation of good order. They did not leave it to the inclination of an indolent people to progress at as tortoise-like a speed as they would wish; but they themselves set the example which the rest felt bound to imitate. Not only did the enterprising Khitay merchant from Kansuh and Szchuen visit the marts of Hamil and Turfan, but many of this class penetrated into Kashgar proper, where they became permanent settlers. These invaluable agents supplied the deficiency that had never before been filled up in the life of the state, for they brought the highest qualities of enterprise and practical sagacity, together with capital, as their special characteristics. In the train of these Khitay merchants came wealth and increased prosperity. Yarkand, Kashgar, Aksu, and Khoten became cities of the first rank, and the population of the country in the year 1800 was greater than it had ever been before.

There was perfect equality too between all the various races in respect to trade. The Chinese did not demand special immunities for their own countrymen, as might have been expected. The Khitay, who came all the way from Lanchefoo in search of a fortune, must be prepared to compete in an equal race with the Khokandi, the Kashgari, or the Afghan. His nationality would obtain for him no immunity from being taxed, or could give him no advantage over the foreign or native traders. The main portion of the trade of the country remained in the old hands. Khokand benefited as much as Kashgar by the trade, and China, in a direct manner, least of the three.

The Chinese have at all times been justly famous for their admirable measures for irrigating their provinces. The wonderful canals which cut their way, where there are no great rivers, in China proper are reproduced even in this outlying dependency. Eastern Turkestan is one of the worst-watered regions in the world. In fact there is only a belt of fertile country round the Yarkand river, stretching away eastward along the slopes of the Tian Shan as far as Hamil. The few small rivers which are traced here and there across the map are during many months of the year dried up, and even the Yarkand then becomes an insignificant stream. To remedy this, and to husband the supply as much as possible, the Chinese sank dykes in all directions. By this means the cultivated country was slowly but surely spread over a greater extent of territory, and the vicinity of the three cities of Kashgar, Yangy Hissar, and Yarkand became known as the garden of Asia. Corn and fruit grew in abundance, and from Yarkand to the south of the Tian Shan the traveller could pass through one endless orchard. On all sides he saw nothing but plenty and content, peaceful hamlets and smiling inhabitants. These were the outcome of a Chinese domination.

The Chinese, besides possessing a dual line of communication with their own country, one north and the other south of the Tian Shan, had also a caravan route from Khoten to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. There was also some intercourse with Cashmere by this way. The jade, for which Khoten was justly, and is still, famous, was exported in immense quantities, both to Tibet and to China, through Maralbashi. This mineral was held in high esteem by Chinese ladies, and alone sufficed to make the prosperity of Khoten assured. Gold, silk, and musk, were other articles included in the commerce of this flourishing city. There was also, in the Chinese time, a very extensive manufacture of carpets and cotton goods. The gold mines, which, with two exceptions, have not been worked since the same time, are believed to be scarcely touched, and only await a fostering hand to be put in working order once more.

The Chinese also devoted great attention to the coal mines in the vicinity of Aksu, and these were worked both by private enterprise and the Government. Coal was an article of common use in that city, but it does not appear to have been exported beyond the neighbourhood. It is known that the Chinese took greater interest in the development of the internal means of wealth of the country than in inducing foreigners to enter it. Thus, we see that mines, in a special degree, received state approval and support. The gold mines of Khoten, the coal of Aksu, and the zinc of Kucha, are all conspicuous instances of this; as, under all past, and the recent Mahomedan, rule, they have been most foolishly, but consistently neglected.

Nor were those special trades for which Kashgar had in prosperous moments been renowned, neglected. The leather-dressers of Yarkand and Aksu, the silk-mercers of Kashgar and Khoten, were never so busy as in the warlike days of Keen-Lung, and the great mass of the people, the agricultural class in the villages, was equally prosperous and well governed. Trade was fostered on all sides, and the conquering power was content to stand aside and witness the steady progress of its subjects towards hitherto unattained and unattainable prosperity.

Lastly, the Chinese directed their attention to the improvement of the means of communication between one part of the province and another. It was absolutely necessary to the security of their rule that there should be an easy and always open road between Ili and Kashgar. Therefore, a way was cut, at great expense, through the Tian Shan, north of Aksu, and this pass was known as the Muzart, or Glacier. So difficult was the country through which it passed, and such the danger from ice-drifts and snow-storms, that relays of men had to be kept constantly at work in order to prevent it getting out of repair for a day. The construction of this road was, in the first place, most expensive, but, perhaps, the cost of repairing was much more. This, the most striking engineering achievement of the Chinese, has become practically useless, through fifteen years of neglect. If China is to regain Ili, it will, no doubt, be restored. The passes west of this, by the Narym River to Vernoe, and through Terek to Khokand, were those selected by Yakoob Beg to supply its place.

The next object to which the Chinese specially paid attention was the preservation of their road home to China. Thus the road in Tian Shan Pe Lu, and the other in Tian Shan Nan Lu, were kept in the most effective state possible. The former, north of the mountains, passed through Manas and Urumtsi to Hamil; the latter, south of them, through Aksu and Kucha to the same place. The alternative route from Kucha to Kashgar and Yarkand, through Maralbashi, was also much used, more especially, however, by those who desired to break off at that outpost in the desert to reach Khoten and Sanju. In each city there was appointed a committee to superintend the roads in the district, and this Road Board was a highly important and useful corporation. It was by such measures as these that the Chinese made their rule a blessing to Kashgar and Jungaria for more than fifty years. Of course, there was the fiscal side of these schemes of public utility. Roads could not be opened up and maintained in order, canals could not be dug, the state could not administer justice, promote trade, and make itself respected abroad, without an assured revenue, and this revenue, after the first ten years, was very productive.

The principal taxes were the tithe on the produce of the land, called “ushr” and the zakat (fortieth), on merchandise and cattle. Then, in the cities, there was a house tax, which was essentially, like our own income tax, a war tax, fluctuating in accordance with the military necessities, caused by foreign or civil war. From the mines, too, the state derived a large annual sum, which was generally devoted to some object of public utility. There was also the tribute money from the Kirghiz nomads, whose flocks and horses were numbered and taxed at a low rate, in return for which they were taken under the protection of China. In addition to these great taxes there were several smaller ones, such as a fee on fuel sold in the market, and another levy on milch-kine kept in cities. A writer on Kashgar has said that these “proved a ready means of oppression, and a prolific source of that discontent which left the rulers without a single helping hand, or sympathising heart, in the hour of their distress and destruction.” But this assumption of cause and effect is scarcely just.

Of course, all taxes can be made a ready means of oppression by the tax-gatherer, who, in this case, was a Mussulman and fellow-countryman. But taxes are absolutely necessary to all good government, and when we consider what China did with her revenue, with what public spirit her representatives laid it out in plans for the advantage of the state, can we pronounce an opinion that she imposed unfair burdens on the subjected race? Moreover, no one denies the prosperity general throughout Kashgar in those days, a period looked back to with regret by the inhabitants during the most favoured years of Yakoob Beg’s rule. It is not in accordance with facts, then, to imply that the Chinese ground Kashgar under them by severe taxation, and whatever petty tyranny there was, was carried on not by the Khitay Ambans, but by the Mahomedan Wangs.

In the hour of distress and destruction the people, indeed, proved traitorous to their best friends, or, more generally, apathetic; leaving to the energetic Andijani element within their gates the task of crossing swords with Buddhist rule, to which the hostility of these immigrants had always been declared.

The short-sightedness of the Kashgari played the game of the more fanatical and ambitious people of Khokand; but the rule of China did not pass out of Eastern Turkestan until the disturbances of forty years had generated ill-feeling that formerly was not, and had so embittered the relations of governing and governed, that what had come to be considered a lenient and impersonal government, assumed all the darker hues of a military and foreign despotism. Even then China did not fall until there was dissension within herself, when, split into three hostile camps, her sword dropped nerveless from her hand in Central Asia, 2,000 miles away from her natural border. To follow Chinese rule in Kashgar down to 1820, is to observe the monotonous course of never varying prosperity. From that year to 1860, the tale is of a different complexion, less monotonous but also less satisfactory.

In 1758 and 1760 Chinese armies entered Khokand. Tashkent fell in the former year, and the capital in the latter. The Chinese then withdrew, after imposing a tribute upon Khokand. During the long reign of Keen-Lung that is, down to 1795 the tribute was regularly paid. After that year, however, the payment became irregular, and border warfare of frequent occurrence between the two neighbours. At last, in 1812, Khokand, then under an able prince, refused to pay tribute any longer, and the Chinese acquiesced in the repudiation. Nor did the change in the relations between China and Khokand stop here; for, a few years afterwards, the Chinese found it expedient to pay Khokand an annual sum to keep the Khoja family, whose representatives were residing in Khokand, from intriguing against them. The amount of the subsidy was L3,500 of our money. In addition to this, the Khan of Khokand was permitted to levy a tax on all Mahomedan merchandise sold in Kashgar through Andijan merchants. This tax was collected by the Aksakals before mentioned, and was a very profitable source of income for the impecunious khans. But even these concessions and perquisites did not satisfy the Mussulmans of Central Asia, who saw in Chinese moderation an evidence of weakness and decline. The Aksakals, in these years of Mahomedan revival, became political agents of the greatest importance. It was they who gave a point to all the discontent there might be in Kashgar; it was they who attributed to the Chinese the blame for whatever evils this world is never wholly free from; and it was they who agitated for the return of the old Khoja kings, who were always destined, in their eyes, to bring the most perfect happiness. With such causes at work both within and without their position, the Chinese had not to wait long before their authority was more openly challenged.

Sarimsak, the only member of the Khoja family surviving the massacre by the Chinese, had fled, as a child, into the impenetrable recesses of Wakhan. From thence, in later years, he had gone to settle in Khokand, where he married. This prince had three sons Yusuf, Bahanuddin, and Jehangir, the youngest and best known. In 1816, the first outbreak against Chinese authority occurred, when a small rising took place in Tash Balik, a town to the west of Kashgar. This was speedily put down, and its leaders executed. It was but the forerunner of the storm.

In 1822, Jehangir resolved to reassert his claims over Kashgar, and, while his eldest brother continued to reside in retirement at Bokhara, he joined the Kara Kirghiz. With a party of these, under the command of their chief, Suranchi Beg, Jehangir raided up to the city of Kashgar. He was there repulsed in the suburbs, and compelled to flee. He then joined the Kirghiz of Bolor round Narym, who were nominally feudatories of China, and, with their aid, commenced a petty sort of border war. A small Chinese force was despatched against him, and drove the Kirghiz up as far as Fort Kurtka. On their return from this successful attack, they were, however, surprised in one of the defiles, and almost all were destroyed. This was the first reverse the Chinese had ever met with in the field, and it was at once bruited about through all parts of Central Asia. It gave a life to the Khoja cause which it had hitherto lacked, and adventurers from all parts flocked to the standard Jehangir now raised on the borders of Kashgar. The Khan of Khokand so far assisted him as to send him a skilled general, Isa Dadkhwah, and extended over his cause that protection and sanction which Khokand has ever since thrown over the Khoja family.

In the spring of 1826, Jehangir advanced in force against Kashgar, and the Chinese, despising their assailant, left their fortifications to encounter him in the open. A battle then ensued, of which the particulars have not come down to us, but which resulted in the defeat of the Chinese. Jehangir entered Kashgar in triumph, was received with acclamations by the people, urged on by the Aksakals, and proclaimed himself sovereign of the country, under the style of Seyyid Jehangir Sultan. His first act the most significant exposure of the true sentiment of the Kashgarian people there well could be was to order the execution of the Mahomedan Wang of Kashgar, by name Mahomed Seyyid.

The fall of Kashgar was the signal to the Aksakals throughout Altyshahr to begin that work for which they had been long preparing. In Yangy Hissar, Yarkand, and Khoten risings at once took place. The Chinese, surprised and unarmed, were butchered in the streets, and the Gulbaghs, as the visible token of the foreign rule, were razed with the ground.

The Gulbagh of Kashgar itself alone held out, but it at last fell, after sustaining a long siege, into the hands of Jehangir. His triumph completed, he had to concern himself more with his relations with Khokand than about the Chinese, who were mysteriously quiet. Mahomed Ali Khan, of Khokand, who thought that Jehangir’s success was solely due to him, laid claim to a certain historical superiority over his vassal of Kashgar, to which the Khoja prince was not willing to assent. A large Khokandian army which had been sent to Kashgar returned, after losing 1,000 men before the walls of the Gulbagh, and its withdrawal was the signal for plots and counterplots to break out in the palace of the new ruler. These he promptly repressed, reduced the intriguing general, Isa Dadkhwah, in rank, and had emancipated himself from his thraldom to Khokand, when the news came that the Chinese were at last returning.

Although the western portion of Altyshahr had fallen away from the Chinese, Aksu and Maralbashi remained true to their allegiance. The Chinese still possessed the military keys of the country. Moreover, their possession of Ili gave them an enormous strategical advantage, and in the Tungan population they possessed an almost inexhaustible supply for recruiting “revindicating” armies. It is apropos here to state that China retained both of these advantages down to the time of Buzurg Khan and Yakoob Beg, and that, so long as she possessed them, the utmost Mussulman fanaticism and Khokandian patronage of the Khojas could do was futile against the arrest of fate. During six months Jehangir ruled in Kashgar, and during six months the Chinese viceroy made his preparations at Ili for a thorough revenge. An army of more than 100,000 men, raised from the Tungani, the Calmucks, and the Khitay garrison, was despatched from Ili, and in January, 1827, entered Aksu. Here all the brigades were concentrated, and the Viceroy, in conjunction with the general under him, by name Chang-Lung, drew up the plan of campaign, which was as follows: A small army of 12,000 men was sent against Khoten across the desert through Cay Yoli, while the remainder of the host advanced on Maralbashi. Here another detachment of 7,000 strong was directed against Yarkand, while the main body marched on Kashgar by the banks of the Kizil Su.

Their advance was unopposed until they reached Yangabad, or Yangiawat, where Jehangir had concentrated an army computed at 50,000 men, but probably considerably less. When the armies sighted each other they pitched their camps in preparation for the decisive contest that was at hand. In accordance with immemorial custom, each side put forward on the following day its champion. On the part of the Chinese a gigantic Calmuck archer opposed on the part of Jehangir an equally formidable Khokandi. The former was armed with his proper weapons, the latter with a gun of some clumsy and ancient design, and while the Khokandi was busily engaged with his intricate apparatus, the Chinese archer shot him dead with an arrow through the breast. Of course, neither army would have acquiesced in the decree of the God of Battles as shown by the fate of its champion, but, in this case, it was true that

“Who spills the foremost foeman’s life,
His party conquers in the strife.”

After a sharp, but brief, skirmish, the Kashgarian army withdrew in confusion, and the following day the Chinese surrounded Kashgar on three sides. During the night the heart of Jehangir misgave him, and he fled to the Karatakka mountains. But here the snow had rendered the passes impracticable, and, after hiding for a few days in that difficult region, he was captured by the Chinese. His fate was that usually met with by traitors to that empire, for, being sent to Pekin, he was executed after torture. In this war Ishac Wang, of Ush Turfan, played a great part against the Khoja prince, and was rewarded for his good service by being appointed Wang of Kashgar. The Chinese constructed a fresh fort, Yangyshahr, in the place of the destroyed Gulbagh, and left a large Khitay garrison under Jäh Darin. But Ishac Wang, who was given some such title as Prince of Kashgar, was soon afterwards deposed and recalled to China.

The Chinese authority was re-established without difficulty in the three cities, and peace settled down over Eastern Turkestan. But the repressive and punitive measures that the Chinese felt compelled to adopt raised a bitterer sentiment in the minds of the people than had previously existed. The Chinese were, indeed, only employing the same weapons that had been used against themselves, but none the less did these reciprocal atrocities dissipate whatever friendship there had been. Among other acts the Chinese removed 12,000 Mahomedan families from Kashgar to Ili, and these, destined to play an important part in the history of that province, became known as Tarantchis, or Toilers.

The Chinese resolved to punish Khokand as well. They broke off all trade with that state, and happy would it have been for them if they could have continued to preserve a closed frontier. But the Khan of that time was Mahomed Ali Khan, the most ambitious, as he was the ablest, of the princes of that country. He had just annexed Karategin, and had acquired some of the outlying provinces of Badakshan, which Mourad Beg, of Kundus, had absorbed about the same time. It was not probable that he would put up with the Chinese defiance. He was prudent enough to delay his advance until the main body of their army had been withdrawn. But, as soon as he was informed that the Chinese had gone back to Ili, Mahomed Ali, calling Yusuf, Sarimsak’s eldest son, from his retirement in Bokhara, placed him at the head of an army, under the charge of his own brother-in-law, Hacc Kuli Beg. The Chinese were worsted at Mingyol, and all the cities west of Aksu turned against the Chinese, as before, and proclaimed for Yusuf Khoja. Then the massacres were repeated, and the invasion of Yusuf was that of Jehangir over again in exact detail. But Yusuf’s triumph was still more brief. Whereas Jehangir had ruled for nine months, Yusuf only swayed the sceptre for three.

The Chinese movements were delayed by small Mussulman revolts in Barkul and Shensi until the spring of 1831, but then, when they returned, they found that Yusuf and the Khokandian army had retreated some months before. The facts were that the moment Khokand invaded Kashgar, Bokhara attacked Khokand, and Hacc Kuli Beg had to be recalled to cope with matters more pressing than Khoja rights. With the general had gone Yusuf, far from anxious to encounter the Chinese alone. The return of the Khokandian army sufficed to dispel all danger from Bokhara, and, a few months after, Mahomed Ali Khan recommenced operations in the east this time against the Kirghiz under Chinese protection. The Chinese were thoroughly sick of these petty disputes, and made a treaty with Khokand, by which that state acquired fresh commercial privileges, in addition to the old ones, and by which the importance of the Aksakals rather increased than waned. Mahomed Ali Khan had acquired all he wanted, and discouraged the Khoja party, as, indeed, the terms of this treaty compelled him to do. The risings under Jehangir and Yusuf were undoubtedly a great blow to Chinese prestige. To all appearance each had nearly been successful, and the Chinese, whose prestige was enormous in Central Asia quite as great as that of Russia is now had been, on one or two occasions, openly defeated. But, after all, this was a little matter compared to the shock the sentiments, called into being by sixty happy years, had received. Between Buddhist and Mussulman, between Chinaman and Central Asiatic, all the old antipathy was revived in the butcheries of Yarkand and Kashgar. The Kashgari showed that they could not appreciate the benefits they had received from China, and the Chinese, enraged at the slaughter of their countrymen, and, perhaps, also at the ingratitude evinced towards them, retaliated in kind. They did not appreciate that moderation, which Europeans have not always shown under similar circumstances, and wrought out their revenge in their own ancient fashion. It is absolutely necessary that the reader should remember that the two rapidly succeeding invasions of Jehangir and Yusuf form a turning-point in the history of the Chinese rule in Kashgar. Up to that epoch it is difficult to find words sufficient to do justice to China’s beneficent government there; after that year it would be absurd to employ the same language. For the change the chief blame must fall upon the fickle and ungrateful Kashgari themselves, and then on the intriguing Andijanis. The Chinese are justified, at least, in saying that, having for more than half a century ruled this people with justice, they only relaxed in their efforts to promote its well-being when their unarmed countrymen and soldiers had been surprised and butchered by thousands.

Strange, and almost contradictory, as it may appear, there was a brief respite during which things seemed to have got into their old groove of happy prosperity; and the chief credit for this must be given to a Mahomedan sub-governor of the Chinese viceroy. Zuhuruddin, such was his name, had raised himself to the high post of Amban in Kashgar, a post never before held by any other than a Khitay. By birth he was of Kashgar, but he always represented himself as having been born and brought up in Khokand, where he had been imprisoned for a political offence. For seven or eight years he governed Kashgar to the perfect satisfaction both of the people and of the Chinese, and among some of his public acts may be mentioned the reconstruction of new forts outside the cities, in the place of those destroyed in the recent revolts. These were known now as Yangyshahr instead of Gulbagh. But in 1846 Zuhuruddin’s rule was disturbed by hostilities on the part of Khokand and the Khojas.

In 1845 Khudayar Khan had been called to the throne after the death of Mahomed Ali, but his authority was not without its rivals. In the state of confusion that then ensued, Khokandian adventurers urged the Khoja princes, who were now represented by the sons of Jehangir, to renew their old attacks against the Chinese. To these advisers the Khojas turned a willing ear, and preparations were accordingly made for the enterprise. At that time Khokand was full of adventurers to whom Mahomed Ali had been able to give constant employment, but who now under the more peaceful rule of Khudayar idled their time in the cities of that khanate. Among these and the ever willing Kirghiz, it was not difficult for the princes of Kashgar to raise an army, formidable in numbers, if not remarkable for cohesion. At that time there were seven prominent Khoja princes in Khokand, of whom we may here mention Eshan Khan, usually called Katti Torah, Buzurg Khan, and Wali Khan. This inroad did not take its name from any one of these, but from them all combined; thus it was distinguished as Haft Khojagan, or that of the Seven Khojas.

With his brothers and relations and a considerable following, Katti Torah advanced upon Kashgar, always the first object of these invaders, which fell after a siege of thirteen days through treachery. This was the only success they achieved; the other cities would have nothing to do with them; and after two months’ indulgence in unbridled licence the Chinese beat them in a fight at Kok Robat, and drove them out of the country. For the first time there was an air of ridicule thrown over these Khoja invasions in the eyes of the Kashgari, while the outrages they had committed during their brief stay had raised bitterer feelings still. Zuhuruddin, who fell under the displeasure of the Chinese, was removed from his post, and fresh Ambans, once more Khitay, were appointed. For nine years the Khojas remained passive, but in 1855 Wali Khan and his brother Kichik Khan, began to bustle once more on the Kashgarian frontier. It was not until 1857 that Wali Khan succeeded in forcing the advanced guard of pickets maintained in the passes by the Chinese, but having accomplished that his triumph was rapid. Kashgar fell into his possession by a coup de main, and once more a Khoja prince was seated in the orda at Kashgar. Artosh and Yangy Hissar fell into his possession, and he threatened Yarkand. But everywhere the Chinese garrisons remained unconquered in the forts, biding the exhaustion of their foe and the arrival of reinforcements. After a rule of nearly four months the armies of Wali Khan having been then defeated by the Chinese, the Khoja fled to the remote state of Darwas, where he was surrendered to Khokand by its chief Ismail Shah. This ruler, the most tyrannical, bloodthirsty, and licentious of all the Khojas, met the fate which he deserved long afterwards at the hands of Yakoob Beg. His temporary tenure of power is still remembered with dread by the people, who consider him to have been the most incarnate monster who ever held the destinies of their country in his hand. The Chinese were more severe in their punitive measures after this campaign than they had been after any other, but, notwithstanding the part Khudayar and his people had played in Wali Khan’s affair, the old relations between “these incompatible people,” as Dr. Bellew aptly calls them, were restored. After this event there was but one minor disturbance caused by an inroad of Kirghiz nomads, headed by the sons of one of the principal victims of Chinese vengeance, but this had no political importance.

The invasion of Wali Khan was the last of those Khoja expeditions which took place prior to the Tungan revolt. In the thirty-two years that elapsed from the date of Jehangir’s attempt to that of his son, there had in all been four of them. That of Jehangir himself being the first; of his elder brother Yusuf, the second; of Yusuf’s eldest son, Katti Torah, the third; and of Jehangir’s second son, Wali, the fourth. Not one of these is in any sense noteworthy, except for the crimes with which it was attended, and none of them did more than inflict an untold amount of misery and suffering on their own followers, as well as on the people they claimed to represent by right divine. It may also be noticed that with each enterprise there was a decline in moral character. Thus Jehangir was infinitely the best of them in every sense, and ruled fairly according to his lights. His brother Yusuf was of a more timid mind, but evidently not less imbued with some notion as to the sanctity of his mission. But from these to Katti Torah is a long descent. That prince seemed to aspire to securing his personal comfort and enjoyment alone, and disregarded all his subjects’ complaints at the arbitrary rule of his deputies. But Wali Khan, the next of these Khoja kings from “over the mountains,” excelled his cousin in vice, and tyranny, and utter want of purpose, not to speak of honour, quite as much as Katti Torah surpassed their sires. Nor can there be much hesitation in saying, from what Buzurg Khan did during the few months he held power, that, had not Yakoob Beg clipped his flight, he would have surpassed Wali Khan in his own peculiar vices. The reader will scarcely be disposed to take much interest in this irredeemable family, mad with the insanity of wickedness. But in justice to the Chinese, and to Yakoob Beg, it is only right that the rivals of the former should be made to appear in their true colours. All the sanctity that a peculiarly venerable descent from Hazrat Afak could give; all the stories told of the good deeds of some of their ancestors; all the affection that naturally attaches to a native rule, and all the dislike that must undermine a foreign, be it never so beneficent; all these things were destroyed by the weakness and ill success that attended the first two Khojas, and by the cruelty, indifference, and licentiousness that marked the last two. When Buzurg Khan came he found loyalty to the Khoja the heirloom of a few families, not of a people.

Had the Chinese restrained their vindictive feelings after the war with Jehangir, and proclaimed a free pardon to every one save the Khokandis, and then devoted their attention with the old vigour to peaceful pursuits, we believe that the Chinese rule would have been permanently secured. At that moment the Chinese were strong enough to have defied Khokand, and to have broken off all intercourse with that state. By dismissing the Aksakals, and severing the connection between the two states, the Chinese would have dispelled a danger that was for forty years to be ever before them, and, in the end, when the Tungani also rose, was to overcome them. Even clemency after Yusuf’s inroad, which was really caused by the Chinese repressions, might not have been wholly in vain, and would have consolidated their position, when reinvigorated by Zuhuruddin’s tenure of power. But the Chinese did not appreciate the quality of mercy. They could be just and impartial in the ordinary avocations of life, but to those who revolted against their authority they showed no trace of human feeling. For a man to rebel against them was certain death; for a people, history tells us, the fate was not far different. Nor in dealing with such did they hesitate to supplement their military strength by the most despicable of artifices. Garrisons, accorded honourable terms, ruthlessly butchered; princes, who threw themselves on their mercy, deported to Pekin to be hanged or tortured out of life: these are frequent occurrences in the history of China, and of her career in Central Asia the tale is identical. Yet, while drawing a veil over these blots on an otherwise brilliant surface, should we not desire to conceal them wholly from the view. It is necessary that they should be stated to understand what Chinese domination means as a whole; of its great benefits there can be no doubt, if the people will remain quiescent. For fifty years, or for five hundred, China will rule an unmurmuring people with justice, and lead them into the paths of prosperity and peace; but if they rebel, if they openly defy authority, if they invite a hostile stranger within their borders, the punishment will be as sweeping, as cruel, and, in one and a higher sense, as wrongfully foolish, whether the association of the races may have been for fifty years or five centuries, as it was in the case of Kashgar. There is not much reason for hoping that China will deviate from her ancient custom, on the occasion now transpiring, of demanding “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth.”