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Xin Jiang




Xinjiang (Uyghur: شىنجاڭ‎, ULY: Shinjang; Mandarin pronunciation: [ɕíntɕjɑ́ŋ]; Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: Xīnjiāng; Wade–Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; postal map spelling: Sinkiang), officially Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2. Xinjiang borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.




Chinese name


Chinese 新疆


Postal Map Sinkiang




Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region


Traditional Chinese 新疆維吾爾自治區


Simplified Chinese 新疆维吾尔自治区




Mongolian name


Mongolian script




Uyghur name




شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى




Kazakh name


Kazakh شينجياڭ ۇيعۇر اۆتونوميالى رايونى


Шыңжаң Ұйғыр аутономиялық ауданы


Şïnjyañ Uyğur avtonomyalı rayonı


Kyrgyz name


Kyrgyz شئنجاڭ ۇيعۇر اپتونوم رايونۇ


Шинжаң-Уйгур автоном району


Şincañ Uyğur avtonom rayonu


Oirat name


Oirat Zuungar


It is home to a number of ethnic groups including the Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Tajiks, Hui, Kyrgyz, and Mongol, with a majority of the population adhering to Islam. More than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities are in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. Only about 4.3% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation.


With a documented history of at least 2,500 years, a succession of peoples and empires has vied for control over all or parts of this territory. Before the 21st century, all or part of the region has been ruled or controlled by the Tocharians, Yuezhi, Xiongnu Empire, Xianbei state, Kushan Empire, Rouran Khaganate, Han Empire, Former Liang, Former Qin, Later Liang, Western Liáng, Rouran Khaganate, Tang Dynasty, Tibetan Empire, Uyghur Khaganate, Kara-Khitan Khanate, Mongol Empire, Yuan Dynasty, Chagatai Khanate, Moghulistan, Northern Yuan,Yarkent Khanate, Dzungar Khanate, Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China and, since 1950, the People's Republic of China.



Geography and geology


Xinjiang is the largest political subdivision of China—it accounts for more than one sixth of China's total territory and a quarter of its boundary length. It is split by the Tian Shan mountain range (Uyghur: تەڭرى تاغ‎, ULY: Tengri Tagh), which divides it into two large basins: the Dzungarian Basin in the north, and the Tarim Basin in the south. Much of the Tarim Basin is dominated by the Taklamakan Desert. The lowest point in Xinjiang, and in the entire PRC, is the Turpan Depression, 155 metres below sea level; its highest point is the mountain K2, 8611 metres above sea level, on the border with Pakistan. Other mountain ranges include the Pamir Mountains in the southwest, the Karakoram in the south, and the Altai Mountains in the north.


Most of Xinjiang is young geologically, having been formed from the collision of the Indian plate with the Eurasian plate, forming the Tian Shan, Kunlun Shan, and Pamir mountain ranges. Consequently, Xinjiang is a major earthquake zone. Older geological formations occur principally in the far north where the Junggar Block is geologically part of Kazakhstan, and in the east which is part of the North China Craton.


Xinjiang has within its borders the point of land remotest from the sea, the so-called Eurasian pole of inaccessibility (46°16.8′N 86°40.2′E) in the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert, 1,645 miles (2,647 km) from the nearest coastline (straight-line distance).


The Tian Shan mountain range marks the Xinjiang-Kyrgyzstan border at the Torugart Pass (3752 m). The Karakorum highway (KKH) links Islamabad, Pakistan with Kashgar over the Khunjerab Pass.


Rivers include the Tarim River.





Officially, Xinjiang is on the same time zone as the rest of China, Beijing Time (UTC+8). However, being roughly two time zones west of the capital, some residents follow their own unofficial Xinjiang Time (UTC+6).[59] The division follows ethnic lines, with Han tending to use Beijing Time and Uighurs tending to use Xinjiang Time; this is seen as a form of resistance to the central government.[60] Regardless of the ethnicity of their proprietors, most businesses and schools open and close according to Xinjiang time, i.e. two hours later than their equivalents in other regions of China.




Deserts include:


Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert


Kumtag Desert


Taklamakan Desert


Major cities
























Generally, a semi-arid or desert climate (Köppen BSk or BWk, respectively) prevails in Xinjiang. The entire region is marked by great seasonal differences in temperature and cold winters. During the summer, the Turpan Depression usually records the hottest temperatures nationwide, with air temperatures easily exceeding 40 °C (104 °F). In the far north and the highest mountain elevations, however, winter temperatures regularly drop below −20 °C (−4 °F).


Bordering regions


East: Gansu


Southeast: Qinghai


South: Tibet Autonomous Region


Southwest: Jammu and Kashmir (India) Disputed and Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan)—Disputed




Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan


Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan


Osh, Naryn, and Issyk Kul Provinces, Kyrgyzstan


Almaty, East Kazakhstan Provinces, Kazakhstan


North: Altai Republic, Russia


Northeast: Bayan-Ölgii, Khovd, Govi-Altai Provinces, Mongolia