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Encyclopedia > Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
شىنجاڭ ٸۇيغۇر ٸاپتونوم رايون
Shinjang Uyghur Aptonom Rayon
Xīnjiāng Wiw'ěr Zzhqū
Abbreviation: 疆 (pinyin: Jiāng)
Xinjiang is highlighted on this map
Origin of Name 新 xīn - new
疆 jiāng - frontier
"new frontier"
Administration Type Autonomous region
Capital and
Largest City
CPC Xinjiang Committee Secretary Wang Lequan
Chairman Ismail Tiliwaldi
Area 1,660,000 km (1st)
Population (2002)
 - Density
19,050,000 (24th)
11.5/km (29th)
GDP (2002)
 - per capita
159.8 billion (25th)
8390 (12th)
Major Nationalities (2000) Uyghur - 45%
Han - 41%
Kazakh - 7%
Hui - 5%
Kirghiz - 0.9%
Mongol - 0.8%
Dongxiang - 0.3%
Tajik - 0.2%
Prefecture-level divisions 14
County-level divisions 99
Township-level divisions 1005
ISO 3166-2 CN-65

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 rmqi. Xinjiang's area is 1,650,000 km (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
rmqi 烏魯木齊市 Wūlǔmq rmqi
Karamay 克拉瑪依市 Klāmǎyī Ķaramay
Direct-control cities
Shihanza 石河子市 Shhzǐ Xihənzə
Tumshuk? 圖木舒克市 Tmshūk
Alar 阿拉尔市  Ālāěr
Wujiaqu 五家渠市 Wǔjiāq
Turpan 吐魯番地區 Tlǔfān Turpan
Kumul 哈密地區 Hām Ķumul
Hotan 和田地區 Htin Hotən
Aksu 阿克蘇地區 Āks Aķsu
Kashgar 喀什地區 Kāsh Ķəxķər
Autonomous prefectures
Kizilsu? 克孜勒苏州 Kzīlsū Ķizilsu
Bayin'gholin 巴音郭楞州 Bāynguōlng Bayinƣolin
Sanji 昌吉州 Chāngj Sanji
Brtala 博爾塔拉州 Běrtǎlā Bortala
Ili 伊犁州 Yīl 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.

Neighbors include:

Rivers include: Tarim River

Major Cities:


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.



Miscellaneous topics

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.

External links

Pro-PRC links

  • 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)

Pro-Independence links

  • 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/)

Cultural links

  • UighurLanguage.com (http://www.uighurlanguage.com/)
  • Uyghur Scholars Homepage (http://www.uyghurscholars.org/)

Province-level divisions administered by the People's Republic of China
Provinces: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Tianjin
Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong | Macau
See also: Political status of Taiwan

  Results from FactBites:
Uyghur language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (571 words)
Uyghur is spoken by 8.5 million (2004) in China, mostly in the far western Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
The Uyghurs are one of the 56 official nationalities in China, and Uyghur is an official language of Xinjiang.
The dialects of Uyghur identified by the Ethnologue are Central Uyghur, Hotan (Hetian), and Lop (Luobu).
Xinjiang - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2211 words)
Xinjiang borders the Tibet Autonomous Region to the south and Qinghai and Gansu provinces to the southeast.
The autonomous region of the PRC was established on October 1, 1955, replacing the province.
Xinjiang's nominal GDP was approximately 187 billion RMB (about 23 billion USD) in 2003, and increased to 220 billion RMB in 2004, due to the "Develop the West" policy introduced by the State Council.
  More results at FactBites »



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