Yakub Beg (1820-1877) was a Muslim leader in China 1867-1877 who established an independent state in Xinjiang. As in the case of the Sultanate of Shaanxi and Gansu, the independent state of Xinjiang was crushed by successive Chinese regimes.
Yakub Beg's ethnic background seems to have been Tajik (an ethnic group related to the Persians), though he was born in an area that is today Uzbekistan (Uzbeks are a Turkic people group), and he became a Muslim leader in China, commanding troops of mainly Uigur Muslims.
1862–76 The Hui Muslim population of Xinjiang Province in China rebels in response to religious restrictions imposed by the Qing government. The movement is headed by the Sufi leader Ma Hualong, who is executed in 1871. During this period, the Uighur population of the province, under Muhammad Yaqub Beg, also revolts against the Qings. The Chinese emperor moves troops into the area to restabilize it and to eradicate the encroaching Russian influence. Muhammad Yaqub Beg is killed in battle in 1877. (Source)
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