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Xinjiang (Simplified: 新酱; Traditional: 新醬; Hanyu pinyin: Xĭnjiáng; Wade-Giles: Sinkiang) is a large region of north-western China, bordering Mongolia, Russia (Siberia), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan) and India (Jammu and Kashmir) as well as the Chinese provinces/regions of Gansu, Qinghai and Xizang (Tibet). Its formal name is the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and it is the largest administrative district in China, with an area in excess of 1.6m km2. The capital city is Ürümqi.

The area came under the rule of the Chinese Empire in the eighteenth century and the name Xinjiang ('New Frontier') was first used in 1768. Xinjiang was constituted a province of the empire in 1884, following the repression of a Moslem uprising in the 1870s. Xinjiang has a non-Han Chinese majority; the main group, Uyghur, being a Turkic people (an obsolete alternative name for Xinjiang was 'Chinese Turkestan').

The area was held under Soviet dominion from 1934[1] until the planned immigration of Han Chinese began following the Communist takeover of China in 1949.


  1. From “Yellow Russia” to the East Turkestan Republic, By Pavel Aptekar. From Aleksandr Kiyan’s Russian-language website devoted to the Red Army of Workers and Peasants, 1918-1945 (home page at http://, specifically the article Ot Zheltorossii do Vostochno-Turkestanskoi respuliki,. See also Kiangsi Soviet Republic, 1 Dec 1931 - 15 Oct 1934.