The extraordinary lengths to which the Chinese Nationalist government on Taiwan went after 1949 to pursue a “One China” policy during the Cold War are well known. Recently declassified archives reveal, however, that Chiang Kai-shek's determination to maintain the geopolitical integrity of China went far beyond the suppression of a Taiwanese independence movement and lukewarm support for the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The exodus of several thousand Uighur and Kazakh refugees from Xinjiang, a mostly Muslim province only loosely integrated into the modern Chinese state, provided a rare opportunity for the Nationalist government in exile to make overtures to a vulnerable non-Han population whose Cold War loyalties were up for grabs. This study of the historically unique and nearly unknown Office for the Chairman of the Xinjiang Provincial Government in Taiwan demonstrates the Nationalist commitment to preserving the non-Han borderlands of China while in exile, even if the immediate beneficiary of such efforts was the Communist government on the mainland.

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