The last few months of 1949 are of special significance in Xinjiang’s history.
On September 25th, General Tao Zhiyue removed resistance and led the 100,000 KMT officers and soldiers stationed in Xinjiang to electrify the uprising and accept the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party; on the 26th, Baoerhan led the KMT Xinjiang Provincial Government to electrify the uprising; On September 28, General Wang Zhen was ordered to lead troops into Xinjiang; on December 17, the Xinjiang Military Region and the Xinjiang Provincial People’s Government were established. In less than three months, Xinjiang declared its peaceful liberation, which is a great blessing for the whole of Xinjiang and the whole country.
The troops would not have thought that what awaits them is a more arduous and sacred historical mission-to make swords as plows, to reclaim the borders, and they will become Xinjiang, a piece of land that occupies one-sixth of China’s territory. The most loyal builder and guardian.
The troops in Xinjiang at that time, the People’s Liberation Army in Xinjiang plus the insurgent troops And the National Army, the number is 200,000. After a long period of war, the country’s economic strength was very weak at the beginning of the founding of the country. However, Xinjiang is located in the border, lagging behind inland, and the traffic conditions are not smooth. With such a large number of troops, it is really difficult to rely solely on the state to support them. If food is transported from the inland, the freight will be seven or eight times higher than the price of the food. The state finances are unbearable. The local fiscal revenue in Xinjiang is even more than a drop in the bucket. The conditions for troops stationed in Xinjiang are very difficult. Food and clothing have become a problem.
And the the situation at the beginning of the founding of the People’s Republic of China decided that the garrison in Xinjiang could not be abolished. New China has an unstable foothold, and foreign enemies and bandits are eagerly watching. If there is no garrison, the situation is unpredictable.
For this kind of situation, leaders began to think about effective ways. It is a solution to emulate the predecessors and cultivate on the spot. Premier Zhou said:The People’s Liberation Army must be stationed at frontiers span>, defending the frontier, relying on others for food for a long time, it is impossible not to produce by oneself.
On December 5, 1949, Chairman Mao issued the”About the 1950s Instructions for the Army to Participate in Production and Construction Work” stated that the whole army should “in addition to continuing operations and service personnel, should undertake part of the production tasks, so that our People’s Liberation Army is not only a national defense force, but also a national defense force. Support the production army so as to coordinate with the people of the whole country to overcome the difficulties left over from the prolonged war.”
In the instructions, Chairman Mao took a long-term view. He pointed out:The participation of the People’s Liberation Army in production is not temporary. It should be based on the perspective of long-term construction. The focus is on increasing labor. The wealth of society and the country.
This is the beginning and origin of Xinjiang Corps to open up and defend the border.
Coincidentally, General Wang Zhen led the troops into Xinjiang Among them, the famous 120th Division of the Eighth Route Army 359 Brigade is among them. This is not only a powerful combat force, but also an old army known for its farming. The well-known Nanniwan wasteland reclamation and production movement was created by them. They once turned the weedy barren land into a well-fed Jiangnan outside the Great Wall.
History is just such a coincidence, and now Xinjiang has become their object of reclamation.
Received instructions, Wang Zhen recruited all the officers and soldiers to start production and construction while guarding the border. Except for a part of the troops who took on the task of national defense and cleared up banditry, the remaining 110,000 officers and soldiers were distributed to the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains, arranged according to divisions and regiments, and began to reclaim on the spot. With guns in one hand and pickaxes in the other, the soldiers set up a battlefield for mass production on the vast land north and south of the Tianshan Mountains.
At that time, the land of Xinjiang was still desolate, and most of the places where the soldiers went were birds that did not shit.Place, only the white snow and the endless blue sky are endless. Most places don’t even have a place name. In the ice and snow, there is no mechanical equipment. It is difficult for people to open up wasteland and build a house by manpower. Today’s people may be unimaginable, but in those passionate years, it is by no means whimsical. The 359 Brigade’s farming experience was quickly extended to the entire army. . The energy used by the three armed forces is huge. Barracks, stables, warehouses, and houses have been completed one after another, forming a military reclamation village, and the first wisp of smoke in the desert and snowy fields has emerged.
Of course, behind the scenes is the tremendous effort that ordinary people don’t know. It is common for soldiers to have cold hands and feet, blistering and skin on their faces, and it is not uncommon for soldiers to faint from exhaustion.
Current place names, such as Shihezi, Xiayedi, Shashanzi, Baijian The beach, Three Trees, Caohu, and the General Gobi did not originally exist. They were accompanied by Bingtuan The process of reclamation was named according to local conditions, and witnessed the arduous efforts of the first generation of Corps.
If you work hard, you will gain. In 1950, the army opened up 960,000 mu of wasteland, harvested 32,900 tons of grain, 379,000 kilograms of cotton, 1.865 million kilograms of oil, and afforested 10.65 million mu. The food produced is enough to cover the 7-month rations of the troops stationed in Xinjiang, and the vegetables are fully self-sufficient. Army production has not only increased the wealth of the country and reduced the burden on the people, but also improved the lives of the troops.
After the victory in the first battle, the production and construction plan formulated by the Xinjiang Military Region has become more and more perfect. In addition to agriculture, animal husbandry and industry have been planned. After three years of land reclamation, the cultivated area reached 1.62 million mu, produced 100,000 tons of grain, 3.345 million kilograms of cotton, and 5 million kilograms of oil. The main and non-staple foods were fully self-sufficient.
Chairman Mao appreciated this very much. He said in the document:
You can now save the weapons of battle and take them Weapon for production and construction. When the motherland needs you, I will order you to take up combat weapons again and defend the motherland.
This is the first stage of the army stationed in Xinjiang.
If we look back at history, the vigorous production movement can be said to be the only choice under certain historical conditions at that time. Otherwise, it will not be able to solve the supply and livelihood of the troops; otherwise, let alone lighten the burden of the people of all ethnic groups; otherwise, even the new people’s power will be difficult to consolidate. Under that special historical background, the army’s cultivating production for self-sufficiency, as a transitional policy and method, is undoubtedly very correct and wise.
The Xinjiang garrison solved the problem of army supply through cultivating, but As far as the long-term strategy of governing the country is concerned, the army stationed in Xinjiang also has a dual mission. How to deal with the relationship between garrisoning land and defending borders requires further decision-making.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, new changes have taken place in the international and domestic situation. Due to the need for the liberation of the whole country, the number of the army was relatively large at one time, reaching 5.2 million by the end of 1949, which brought corresponding huge military expenditures. The situation after the founding of the People’s Republic of China determined that the country no longer needed so many troops and should put more energy into production and construction, which required adjustments in the number of troops.
Some military personnel are transferred to work to reduce the financial burden of the country and allow more labor force to invest in construction. This is the trend of the situation. In May 1950, the the Central Committee established the Army Reorganization and Demobilization Committee to draft the reorganization plan, which was implemented after being approved by Chairman Mao There are more than 1 million soldiers to be demobilized, including troops stationed in Xinjiang.
But the situation in Xinjiang is quite special.
Xinjiang has been an inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times. Xinjiang is also a very special place with a large area and a long border. There are many countries adjacent to it. In the complex international situation, to defend the frontiers, sufficient garrisons are needed.
Looking back at history, it has existed in Xinjiang Tuntian in ancient times. During the Han and Tang Dynasties, the army was mainly used for military stationing, and by the Qing Dynasty, it developed into a combination of military stationing and civilian stationing, which played a positive role in a certain period of time. But historical experience also tells us that both military and civilian garrison have their own shortcomings. If there are more troops, there will be difficulties in food and other supplies; if there are fewer troops, it is not conducive to maintaining the stability of the frontier. Without the military camp, difficulties would occur in the military camp; without the military camp, the military camp would not be tenable at all.
How to balance the relationship between the garrison and the garrison, and how to coexist the army and the civilian garrison, requires another decision.
The ancient historical lessons have provided valuable political reference for Chairman Mao, Premier Zhou and other central leaders. The historical experience and the complicated reality of the situation prompted the central government to come up with an original scientific decision.
In May 1953, the Xinjiang Military Region reorganized its troops into national defense and production troops in accordance with the Central Military Commission and the Northwest Military Region’s order on the reorganization and collective transfer of the military. In August 1954, the Central Military Commission and the General Staff The Ministry telegraphed that the Production Management Department of the Xinjiang Military Region, the 22nd Corps, and most of the Five Armies merge to form the Xinjiang Military RegionProduction and Construction Corps , unified leadership of 10 agricultural divisions, 1 architect and 9 directly affiliated groups.
In October 1954, the Production and Construction Corps of the Xinjiang Military Region was formally established.
This form of production and construction corps is very In particular, it maintains the organizational form of the military, and implements a special system that combines agriculture, industry, commerce, learning, and military, and integrates the party, government, military, and enterprise. This is unique in the country.
Therefore, it has also attracted much attention. Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps had a total population of 175,000 when it was established. Every year thereafter, there will be a group of demobilized soldiers and inland areas. Youths, intellectuals, and intellectuals from the border areas actively participated in the Corps. In addition, Xinjiang has also placed tens of thousands of demobilized soldiers to participate in production and make their homes in Xinjiang. The state mobilized tens of thousands of young and middle-aged people from various provinces to Xinjiang to participate in corps construction, and more than 200,000 volunteers The support staff came to the Corps.
Facts have proved that the decision to establish a production and construction corps in Xinjiang was quite successful.
Xinjiang Corps started to open up farms to develop agriculture. In less than 10 years, the total population of the Construction Corps has reached 1.48 million, and the cultivated area has grown from 76,670 hectares to 808,000 hectares. Agricultural reclamation has been quite successful, and the XPCC has naturally developed other industries, starting with the processing of agricultural and sideline products, and gradually developing into an industrial economic system dominated by light industry and textiles, as well as steel, coal, building materials, electric power, chemicals, machinery, etc. The commercial outlets of the Corps are also located in the north and south of Tianshan Mountains. At this time, the XPCC’s supply was more than sufficient, and the border market, economy, and culture also developed. By the early 1960s, the XPCC’s business scale and structure were basically established, and the XPCC’s first glorious history appeared.
This special system of production and construction corps has been proved to be feasible. As a result, it was promoted to the whole country. From the 1950s to the 1970s, 12 production and construction corps appeared one after another, distributed in the north and south of the country, covering 18 provinces and regions. They have contributed to the country’s resettlement of personnel, economic development, and consolidation of national defense. Among them, the Xinjiang Corps is the first to be established, the largest number of people, and the geographical location is important. It deserves to be the big brother of the National Production and Construction Corps, ranking one of the five main corps.
In 1975, the establishment of the Xinjiang Corps was temporarily cancelled and replaced by the Bureau of Agricultural Reclamation. However, facts have proved that the Bureau of Land Reclamation is still inferior to the Corps in all aspects. In 1981, the central government decided to restore the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. On August 13, Deng Xiaoping personally inspected Xinjiang. He said:“It is indeed necessary for the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps to recover. The organizational form is different from that of military farms. The task is to combine the party, government, and military.””The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is the current agricultural reclamation force, and it is the core of stabilizing Xinjiang. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps will be restored.”
In December of that year, the Xinjiang Production Corps was restored.
Looking up, more than a dozen corps in the country No longer exists, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps has become the only child of the Republic.
But its significance has not diminished slightly.
The XPCC has never forgotten Chairman Mao’s instructions when making decisions:We should start from the perspective of long-term construction, and its focus is to increase the wealth of society and the country through labor.
Since the recovery of the XPCC, Xinjiang’s economic growth has accelerated significantly. From 1981 to 1990, the growth rate was higher than the national average for several years.
Now, one acre of every three and a half acres of arable land in Xinjiang is cultivated by the XPCC people. Every green and every tree on the edge of the desert is embodied with the painstaking efforts and desire of the XPCC people.
Actually, if you look closely at the XPCC’s entrepreneurial map, it is not difficult to find that the places where the XPCC chose to open up and develop were originally deserted and there was almost no development basis in the Gobi Desert.
This is not a coincidence, but a principle of the XPCC to “not compete with the people for profit”.
Although Xinjiang is not as developed as the interior, it is not all off the beaten track. The ancestors have lived and worked here for a long time, and many cities and villages of a certain size have also gathered. If the XPCC chooses these places to start businesses, the conditions are obviously much better, but Xinjiang has a radius of 1.66 million square kilometers, with a large area and sparsely populated areas. Many desolate Gobi deserts are more to be developed and utilized. It is of greater significance to promote the development of Xinjiang and is the higher goal of the XPCC. And pursuit.
Choosing these undeveloped places is undoubtedly a more difficult challenge. The Corps marched into Tarim, developed Junggar, and built water conservancy projects in the Hanhai Gobi, opened canals for drinking water, reclaimed wasteland and reclaimed land, planted trees and afforested. , Building bridges and roads. Forcibly built a modern oasis ecological network on the uninhabited Gobi desert, with rows of rice paddies, vertical and horizontal canals, forest belts, and unobstructed roads.
In the hands of the corps, cities have risen from the ground. In 2019, the city of Huyanghe built by the seventh division of the Xinjiang Production Corps is already the tenth corps city. Before the construction of the Corps, these places were just a wilderness.
The Gobi turned into an oasis, this story that only existed in the imagination of predecessors, became a reality in the hands of Xinjiang Corps.
How can the Xinjiang people do not love? Of course, the development of Xinjiang Corps is also inseparable from the selfless help and support of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. For decades, the Corps has taken root here. The people are in harmony, sharing honor and disgrace.
However, don’t think that the Corps only knows about construction and has forgotten its basic functions.
For decades, the XPCC has never forgotten its mission of guarding the border, insisting on combining labor with military force and defending the border. In peacetime, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is the guardian and builder of the frontiers. In wartime, it is a mighty force that comes upon call and can fight when it comes.
Today, dozens of border farms of the Xinjiang Corps guard the country’s thousands of kilometers of borders. Together with the People’s Liberation Army, they are responsible for the task of guarding the border, building a solid defense barrier, and playing an irreplaceable role. Special role.
Look back at that year Chairman Mao The decision-making can be said to be far-sighted, not only to solve the actual problems at the time, but also to benefit the future. The establishment of the production and construction corps in Xinjiang is a major creation of our party. The existence and development of the corps in Xinjiang has not only helped the local area, but also developed the economy, and also defended the country and borders. It is unique in this vast land of Xinjiang. The role of.
The history of the development and growth of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is the history of the construction of the cause of stationing and reclaiming the borders with Chinese characteristics. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is the jewel of the northwest of the motherland and the god of Dinghai. The history of their joint struggle and common development with the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang has been recorded in the annals of history and will continue to play a huge role.