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Xinjiang

Xinjiang (新疆 in pinyin: xin1 jiang1, in Wade-Giles: Sinkiang, literal meaning: "New Frontier") Uighur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan. The capital is Urumqi. Xinjiang's area is 1,650,000 km² (637,000 sq.mi) and the population is estimated at about 19 million.

新疆维吾尔自治区
Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu
Province Abbreviation(s): 新
Capital Urumqi
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 1st
1,650,000 km²
xx%
Population
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 24th
19,250,000
11.6/km²
Administration Type Autonomous Region

Table of contents

History

Xinjiang has been loosely controlled by China since Han Dynasty. However, because it is far from eastern China, it has been mostly autonomous. Xinjiang was traversed by the Silk Road.

Geography

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 China as well). Its highest peak is 8611 metres above sea level on the border with Kashmir.

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.

Major Cities:

Economy

Xinjiang is known for its fruits and produce including grapes and melons. Xinjiang also has large deposits of minerals and oil.

Demographics

Xinjiang is home to several Muslim Turkic groups including the Uighurs and the Kazakhs. Other minority ethnic groups include Hui Chinese, the Kirghiz, the Mongols, the Russians, the Xibes, the Tajik, the Uzbek, the Tartar, and the Manchus.

Xinjiang has seen a similar struggle to Tibet's in maintaining its culture. The percentage of ethnic Han Chinese in in Xinjiang has grown from 6 percent in 1949 to 40 percent at present.

Culture

Tourism

Miscellaneous topics

Xinjiang is the home of the Lop Nur testing site for China's nuclear weapons program.

East Turkestan separationists who support "Uighur independence" are active in Xinjiang.

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