Uyghur Initiative Papers No. 5, November 2014
By Dina V. Doubrovskaya
In the second and third quarters of the 19th century, the Qing Empire experienced considerable difficulties due to the political crisis caused by the two Opium Wars and the ignominious “opening up” by Western superpowers. Confrontation with Japan over Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan, the Taiping rebellion and the uprisings of non-Han peoples added up to the Empire’s problems. A bewildered victim of the incursions of European colonizers, and with the Manchu Dynasty enfeebled, China was in need of inner strength and resolve, as well as external resources to maintain and restore its power over the vast territories of modern Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, which it lost as a result of Uyghur and Dungan liberation movement in 1864-1878.