International Aid, Frontier Securitization, and Social Engineering: Soviet–Xinjiang Development Cooperation during the Governorate of Sheng Shicai (1933–1944)

in Central Asian Affairs
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This article looks into the nature and dynamics of Soviet assistance to the Governorate of Sheng Shicai, a military de facto state that existed in Xinjiang between 1933 and 1944. Besides discussing how the various forms of Soviet aid shaped the policies of the Governorate, it also examines how Sheng Shicai used the aid to pursue his desire for inclusive patriotism and social modernization into practice. The article further shows how the ussr actively supported Sheng Shicai’s development policies in an urge to securitize its borderlands by abetting ideologically aligned state-building and social transformation there. Although it was done with entirely different actors, methods, and within very different political frameworks, the aid securitization and borderland control logic makes this episode a historical forerunner of the state-building and social development aid in international neo-protectorates today.

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