'Xinjiang (; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: "New Frontier"; Uyghur: ') Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan (Turkestan also spelled 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 is the Chinese name for the Tarim and Jungar regions of what is now northwest China. Over the past two millenia the Xinjiang region has been part of the territory ruled by the Turk Empire , Tibet, the Idiqut Uyghur Kingdom, the Yarkand Moghul Khanate, and the Jungars, as well as roughly 125 years under the Han and Tang dynasties of China. The Qing Empire has controlled the territory since the 1758 conquest by the Manchu Emperor Qian Long, and officially established Xinjiang Province ("new frontier") in 1884. Over the years, many local dynasties have ruled individual oasis towns and cities. In addition, independence was re-established under the leadership of Yaqub Beg from 1864-1877. In the period before the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Xinjiang was ruled by the warlord Sheng Shicai, and subsequently the East Turkistan Republic (also known as the Three Districts Rebellion) attained independence from 1944-1949.
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 (直辖县级行政单位).
|Directly administered county-level cities
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.
The percentage of ethnic Han Chinese in Xinjiang has grown from 6 percent in 1949 to over 40 percent at present. Much of this transformation can be attributed to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a semi-military organization of settlers that has built farms, towns, and cities over scattered parts of Xinjiang. The demographic transformation is commonly held as a threat to Uyghurs and other non-Han ethnicities in maintaining their culture, in a case similar to that of Tibet.
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
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 Xinjiang-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.