THE “SOFT POWER” OF SOVIET MEDICINE IN XINJIANG: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE PEOPLE’S COMMISSARIAT FOR HEALTH OF THE RSFSR (1920S–1940S)
Bashkuev V. Yu.
This article continues the theme of the relationships between the USSR and Xinjiang in the interwar period and during World
War II. Doing away with the conventional history of medicine’s matrix, which concentrates on medical objectives of Soviet medical establishments in Xinjiang, the author views them in a broader socio-political context of the epoch, highlighting geopolitical implications. Thanks to their self-sacrificing assistance to population of the province amidst yet another Muslim rebellion, the Soviet doctors earned trust of the government and governor of Xinjiang and became the chief consultants in health management. Nevertheless, this did not lead to a politicization of their activity since Moscow’s geopolitical imperatives dictated otherwise. Benefits from keeping the region a part of China outweighed a desire to create yet another socialist republic in the region.