Uyghur:شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى
Shinjang Uyghur Aptonom Rayoni
Xīnjiāng Wiw'ěr Zzhqū
Abbreviation: 疆 (pinyin: Jiāng)
Missing image
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 km² (1st)
Population (2002)
 - Density
19,050,000 (24th)
11.5/km² (29th)
GDP (2003)
 - per capita
187.8 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 (Template:Zh-cpw; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: "New Frontier"; Uyghur: '), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Xinjiang borders the Tibet Autonomous Region to the south and Qinghai and Gansu provinces to the southeast. It also borders Mongolia to the east, Russia to the north, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and the Pakistan- and India-controlled parts of Kashmir to the west. Xinjiang includes most of Aksai Chin, a region claimed by India as part of its state of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Xinjiang" literally means "New Frontier", a name given during the Manchu Qing Dynasty. The name is considered offensive by many independence advocates, who prefer to use historical or ethnic names such as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan (Turkestan also spelled Turkistan) or Uyghuristan. Because of the association of these names with the independence movement, they are considered offensive by the PRC government and local Han Chinese residents.

The capital and largest city is rmqi. 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 Qianlong. The Manchus put the area under the rule of a General of Ili, headquartered at Gulja. Manchu rule was thrown out in 1864 and independence was established under the leadership of Yaqub Beg until 1877, when the Manchus reconquered the region, and officially established Xinjiang Province ("new frontier") in 1884. During the late Qing Dynasty, most of what was northwestern Xinjiang up to Lake Balkhash was ceded to the Russian Empire. This area now constitutes parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. A brief occupation of the Gulja area by Russia was however reversed.

Following insurgencies against Governor Yang Zengxin in the early 1930's, a rebellion in Kashgar led to the establishment of the short-lived First East Turkistan Republic (1st ETA) in 1933. Xinjiang was eventually brought under the control of Han Chinese warlord Sheng Shicai, who ruled Xinjiang for the next decade. A Second East Turkistan Republic (2nd ETA, also known as the Three Districts Rebellion) existed from 1944-1949 with Soviet support in what is now Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northern Xinjiang. It ended when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered Xinjiang in 1949. According to the PRC, the PLA entered Xinjiang and received hospitality and cooperation from the 2nd ETA. The process is known as the Peaceful Liberation of Xinjiang, and the PRC also has a positive view of the 2nd ETA, viewing it as an integral component of the communist revolution. However independence advocates view the ETA as an effort to establish an independent state, and subsequent PLA entry as an invasion.

The autonomous region of the PRC was established on October 1, 1955, replacing the province. There continue to be tensions in the region, centering both upon Uyghur aspirations of independence and resentment towards what is perceived as repression of non-Han Chinese culture (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), and Han Chinese resentment towards the aforementioned Uyghur sentiments, as well as towards PRC policies of ethnic autonomy which are perceived as discriminatory against Han Chinese (see autonomous entities of China). Independence advocates view Chinese rule in Xinjiang, and policies like the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps as Chinese imperialism. These tensions occasionally result in major incidents and violent clashes, such as the Kazakh Exodus from Xinjiang in 1962, in which 60,000 refugees fled into the Soviet Union; the Baren Township riot in April 5, 1990 that resulted in more than 50 deaths; the Ghulja riot of February 5, 1997, where over 1000 Uyghurs clashed with military police, resulting in anywhere between 10 and 200 deaths; and the Urumqi bus bombs of February 25, 1997 that killed 9 and injured 68.


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 (zhxi xinj xngzhng dānwi 直辖县级行政单位).

Conventional Uyghur
(K̢ona Yezik̢)
Uyghur latin
(Yengi Yezik̢)
Hanzi Pinyin Remarks
Prefecture-level cities
rmqi ئۈرۈمچى rmqi乌鲁木齐市 Wūlǔmq Sh
Karamay قارامايK̢aramay克拉玛依市 Klāmǎyī Sh
Directly administered county-level cities
Shihanza شىخەنزە Xihǝnzǝ 石河子市 Shhzǐ Sh Administered de facto by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps
Tumshuke تۇمشۇكەTumshuke图木舒克市 Tmshūk Sh
Alar ئالارAlar阿拉尔市 Ālāěr Sh
Wujiaqu ئۈجاچۇjachu五家渠市 Wǔjiāq Sh
Turpan تۇرپانTurpan吐鲁番地区 Tlǔfān Dqū
Kumul قۇمۇلK̢umul哈密地区 Hām Dqū
Khotan خوتەنHotǝn和田地区 Htin Dqū
Aksu ئاقسۇAk̢su阿克苏地区 Āks Dqū
Kashgar قەشقەرK̢ǝxk̢ǝr喀什地区 Kāsh Dqū
Qoqek چۆچېكQɵqek塔城地区Tǎchng Dqū subordinate to Ili Prefecture
Altay ئالتايAltay阿勒泰地区Ālti Dqū
Autonomous prefectures
Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture قىزىلسۇ قىرغىز ئاپتونوم ۋىلايىتىK̢izilsu K̢irƣiz Aptonom Wilayiti克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州 Kzīlsū Kē'ěrkzī Zzhzhōu
Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture بايىنغولىن موڭغۇل ئاپتونوم ۋىلايىتىBayinƣolin Mongƣul Aptonom Wilayiti巴音郭楞蒙古自治州 Bāynguōlng Měnggǔ Zzhzhōu
Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture سانجىSanji昌吉回族自治州 Chāngj Huz Zzhzhōu
Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture بۆرتالا موڭغۇل ئاپتونوم ۋىلايىتىBɵrtala Mongƣul Aptonom Wilayiti博尔塔拉蒙古自治州 Běrtǎlā Měnggǔ Zzhzhōu
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture ئىلى قازاق ئاپتونوم ۋىلايىتىIli K̢azak̢ Aptonom Wilayiti伊犁哈萨克自治州 Yīl Hāsk Zzhzhōu


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

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's nominal GDP was approximately 187 billion RMB (about 23 billion USD) in 2003, and incresed to 2,20 billion RMB in 2004, due to the "Develop the West" policy of the State Council.

Oil and gas extraction industry in Aksu and Karamay is booming, with the pipeline project connecting to Shanghai.

Xinjiang's exports amounted to 3.047 billion USD, while import turned out to be 2.589 billion USD in 2004. Most of the overall import/export volume in Xinjiang was directed to and from Kazakstan through Ala Pass. [1] (


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.

In general, Uyghurs are the majority in western Xinjiang, including the prefectures of Kashgar, Khotan, and Aqsu, as well as Turpan prefecture in eastern Xinjiang. Han Chinese are the majority in eastern and northern Xinjiang, including the cities of Urumqi, Karamay, Shihezi and the prefectures of Changji, Bayin'gholin, Ili (especially the city of Kuitun), and Kumul. Kazakhs are mostly concentrated in Ili prefecture in northern Xinjiang.

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.

Ethnic groups in Xinjiang, 2000 census
Nationality Population Percentage1
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 19,4930.11
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
Salar 3762 0.020

1Approximate only. Calculated by dividing over sum of raw population data for all 56 nationalities. Includes only citizens of the PRC. Does not include members of the People's Liberation Army in active service.
Source: 2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料,民族出版社,2003/9 (ISBN 7105054255)

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 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.

External links


Pro-PRC links

Pro-independence links

Cultural links

Province-level divisions administered by the People's Republic of China Missing image
Flag of the People's Republic of China

Provinces¹: 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
¹ See also: Political status of Taiwan

Countries in Central Asia

China (PRC) | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Mongolia | Russia | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan


de:Xinjiang es:Xinjiang fr:Xinjiang ko:신강 nl:Xinjiang ja:新疆ウイグル自治区 ug:شینجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونی fi:Xinjiang th:เขตปกครองตนเองซินเจียง zh:新疆


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