The Ili rebellion of 1944 and the resultant East Turkestan Republic directly challenged Chinese sovereignty not only in the three districts themselves, but throughout all of Xinjiang province. Therefore, the immediate goal of the central government was to restore Chinese authority in Xinjiang, and to reintegrate the province into the Chinese state. In light of these events, it was not unreasonable for the Chinese government to assume Soviet involvement in Xinjiang's Ili rebellion. Thus, beginning in 1944 and continuing through the decade, Xinjiang's provincial government was required to follow patterns established in other provinces, despite the obvious cultural, religious, and socioeconomic differences that divided it from China proper. The ETR itself was in great part a manifestation of the growth of Turki nationalism in Xinjiang. During the course of the elections, as we have seen, the representatives of the ETR were able to travel throughout the province, bringing their nationalistic message to even the remoter corners of the region.