In the early morning hours of November 7, 1944, Moslem Turks in China’s far northwestern province of Xinjiang attacked the Chinese garrison stationed in Yining, the principal city of the Ili valley, near the Sino-Soviet border. Despite the fact that the Moslem rebels were, at the outset, vastly outnumbered by the Chinese troops, they quickly gained effective control of the city and within days had succeeded in forcing the Chinese into the confines of their main headquarters, the local airfield barracks, and a temple on the outskirts of the town. Further, information on Chinese relations with national minorities was mainly in the Chinese language, so that anthropologists and historians whose initial interest had been China and Chinese culture began the modern studies of minority affairs in China.