Scenes From Xinjiang

In northwestern China, the vast Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region is home to nearly 22 million residents. Xinjiang, roughly half the size of India, is a historic crossroads, sharing a border with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, and Tajikistan. The region is also home to about 10 million Uighurs—making up roughly half of China’s 22 million Muslims. Resource-rich Xinjiang has become a center of sporadic violent protests, as the Chinese Communist Party encourages development, unofficial Han Chinese resettlement, and the imposition of cultural and religious restrictions on the Uighur ethnic group. Tensions in Xinjiang are building once more, as the government has stepped up security, warning of terrorist threats, and claiming the region as an essential part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative that will link China to Asia, the Middle East, and more.

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