Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: Xīnjiāng; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: "New Frontier"; Uyghur: شينجاڭ) Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, Eastern Turkestan (Turkestan also spelt Turkistan) or Uyghuristan. The capital is Ürümqi. Xinjiang's area is 1,650,000 km² (637,000 sq.mi) and the population is estimated at about 19 million.
Traversed by the Silk Road, Xinjiang has been loosely influenced by China since the Han Dynasty. However, because it is far from eastern China, it has mostly ruled itself, except for parts of the Han, Tang and Mongol dynasties, when it was under direct rule. It has also been ruled by the Mongols, Uyghurs, and the pre-Turkic Tocharians. The Qing Empire controlled the territory since the 18th century, and officially established Xinjiang Province ("new frontier") in 1884.
In the period before the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Xinjiang was ruled by the warlord Sheng Shicai.
The autonomous region of the PRC was established on October 1, 1955.
Xinjiang contains 2 prefecture-level cities, 7 prefectures, and 5 autonomous prefectures. Below them, there are 11 districts, 20 county-level cities, 62 counties, and 6 autonomous counties. Four of the county-level cities do not belong to any prefecture, so are administered directly by the province. They are the direct-control county-level administrative units (直轄縣級行政單位).
|Conventional ||Hanzi ||Pinyin ||Uyghur |
|Autonomous prefectures |
|Ürümqi ||烏魯木齊市 ||Wūlǔmùqí ||Ürümqi |
|Karamay ||克拉瑪依市 ||Kèlāmǎyī ||Ķaramay |
|Direct-control cities |
|Shihanza ||石河子市 ||Shíhézǐ ||Xihənzə |
|Tumshuk? ||圖木舒克市 ||Túmùshūkè || |
|Alar ||阿拉尔市 ||Ālāěr || |
|Wujiaqu ||五家渠市 ||Wǔjiāqú || |
|Turpan ||吐魯番地區 ||Tùlǔfān ||Turpan |
|Kumul ||哈密地區 ||Hāmì ||Ķumul |
|Hotan ||和田地區 ||Hétián ||Hotən |
|Aksu ||阿克蘇地區 ||Ākèsù ||Aķsu |
|Kashgar ||喀什地區 ||Kāshí ||Ķəxķər |
|Autonomous prefectures |
|Kizilsu? ||克孜勒苏州 ||Kèzīlèsū ||Ķizilsu |
|Bayin'gholin ||巴音郭楞州 ||Bāyìnguōléng ||Bayinƣolin |
|Sanji ||昌吉州 ||Chāngjí ||Sanji |
|Börtala ||博爾塔拉州 ||Bóěrtǎlā ||Bortala |
|Ili ||伊犁州 ||Yīlí ||Ili |
Xinjiang is the largest political subdivision of China. Xinjiang is divided into two basins by Mount Tianshan. Dzungarian Basin is in the north, and Tarim Basin is in the south.
Xinjiang's lowest point is 155 metres below sea level (lowest point in the PRC as well). Its highest peak is 8611 metres above sea level on the border with Kashmir.
Xinjiang has within its borders the point of land remotest from the sea (Lat. 46 degrees 16.8 minutes N, Long. 86 degrees 40.2 minutes E) in the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert, 1,645 miles (2648 km) from the nearest coastline (straight-line distance).
The Xinjiang-Kyrgyzstan border is marked by the Tian Shan mountain range. The Torugart Pass (3752 m) is located on this border.
The Karakorum highway (KKH) links Islamabad, Pakistan with Kashgar over the Khunjerab Pass.
Rivers include: Tarim River
Xinjiang is known for its fruits and produce including grapes and melons. Cotton, wheat, silk, walnuts, and sheep are also produced. Xinjiang also has large deposits of minerals and oil.
Xinjiang is home to several Muslim Turkic groups including the Uyghurs and the Kazakhs. Other PRC minority ethnic groups include Hui Chinese, the Kirghiz, the Mongols, the Russians, the Xibes, the Tajik, the Uzbek, the Tatars, and the Manchus.
Xinjiang has seen a similar struggle to Tibet's in maintaining its culture. The percentage of ethnic Han Chinese in Xinjiang has grown from 6 percent in 1949 to 40 percent at present.
The Uighurs trace descent to both the Turkic Uighurs and the pre-Turkic Indo-European Tocharians (or Tokharians), and fair-skin, hair and eyes, as well as other so-called 'Caucasoid' physical traits, are not uncommon among them.
|+ Populations of ethnicities in 2000 Census |
|Ethnicity ||Population ||% (approximate) |
|Uyghur ||8,345,622 ||45.21 |
|Han ||7,489,919 ||40.58 |
|Kazakh ||1,245,023 ||6.74 |
|Hui ||839,837 ||4.55 |
|Kirghiz ||158,775 ||0.86 |
|Mongol ||149,857 ||0.81 |
|Dongxiang ||55,841 ||0.30 |
|Tajik ||39,493 ||0.21 |
|Xibe ||34,566 ||0.19 |
|Manchu ||19,493 ||0.11 |
|Tujia ||15,787 ||0.086 |
|Uzbek ||12,096 ||0.066 |
|Russian ||8935 ||0.048 |
|Miao ||7006 ||0.038 |
|Tibetan ||6153 ||0.033 |
|Zhuang ||5642 ||0.031 |
|Daur ||5541 ||0.030 |
|Tatar ||4501 ||0.024 |
In 2002, there were 9,632,600 males (growth rate of 1.0%) and 9,419,300 females (growth rate of 2.2%). The population overall growth rate was 10.9‰, with 16.3‰ of birth rate and 5.4‰ mortality rate.
Main article: List of East Turkestan-related topics
Professional sports teams in Xinjiang include:
Xinjiang is the home of the Lop Nur testing site for the PRC's nuclear weapons program.
Supporters of Uyghur independence in East Turkestan are active in Xinjiang.
- Official site (http://www.xinjiang.gov.cn) (in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese)
- Xinjiang University (http://www.xju.edu.cn)
- Subdivision info (http://www.xzqh.org/quhua/65xj/index.htm) (in Simplified Chinese)
- International Taklamakan Human Rights Association (http://www.taklamakan.org/)
- Uyghur Human Rights Project (http://www.uhrp.org/)
- East Turkistan Information Center (http://uygur.org/)
- Uyghur Information Agency (http://www.uyghurinfo.com/)
- Uyghur American Association (http://www.uyghuramerican.org/)
- Citizens Against Communist Chinese Propaganda (http://www.caccp.org/)
- UighurLanguage.com (http://www.uighurlanguage.com/)
- Uyghur Scholars Homepage (http://www.uyghurscholars.org/)