Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Tang dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
The empire during the reign of Wu Zetian, circa 700
A portrait of Emperor Yang of Sui, by the Tang court artist Yan Liben (600–673)
Portrait painting of Emperor Gaozu (born Li Yuan, 566–635), the first Tang Emperor.
Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
Portrait painting of Emperor Gaozu of Tang, father of Li Shimin
Empress Wu (Wu Zetian), the sole officially recognized empress regnant of China in more than two millennia. She first ruled through her husband and sons for almost three decades, then became emperor herself and ruled in her own right for another fifteen years.
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Armoured horseman, Tang dynasty
Map of An Lushan Rebellion
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Emperor Taizong depicted giving an audience to Gar Tongtsen Yulsung, the ambassador of the Tibetan Empire, in a later copy of a painting by court artist Yan Liben (600–673 AD)
The Leshan Giant Buddha, 71 m high; begun in 713, completed in 803
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
Detail of Yan Liben's painting on the reception of the Tibetan envoy, showing Tang Taizong
Nanchan Temple (Wutai), built during the late 8th century
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
Fountain Memory, calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang stele.
Xumi Pagoda, built in 636
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
Emperor Taizong's campaign against the oasis states
A late Tang mural commemorating the victory of General Zhang Yichao over the Tibetans in 848 AD, from Mogao cave 156
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
Fanciful modern representation of the Byzantine embassy to Tang Taizong in 643 CE.
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang wearing the robes and hat of a scholar
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
According to the Xi'an Stele, Emperor Taizong recognized the Nestorian Church of the East, due to efforts of the Christian missionary Alopen in 635 CE.
Tang tomb figure of an official dressed in Hanfu, with a tall hat, wide-sleeved belted outer garment, and rectangular "kerchief" in front. A white inner gown hangs over his square shoes. He holds a tablet to his chest, a report to his superiors.
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
The Sui dynasty tried to invade Goguryeo in 598, 612, 613 & 614. Taizong campaign (map) was in 645. Gaozong's campaigns were in 661, 667 & 668.
Civil service exam candidates gather around the wall where results had been posted. Artwork by Qiu Ying.
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
A bas-relief of a soldier and horse with elaborate saddle and stirrups, from the tomb of Emperor Taizong, c. 650. The relief shown here depicts "Autumn Dew," also known as "Whirlwind Victory" and is housed at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, PA.
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang giving audience to Zhang Guo, by Ren Renfa (1254–1327)
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
Tomb soldier figurine, Tang dynasty
Emperor Taizong (r. 626–649) receives Gar Tongtsen Yülsung, ambassador of the Tibetan Empire, at his court; later copy of an original painted in 641 by Yan Liben (600–673)
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
The Chinese Tang dynasty during its greatest extension, controlling large parts of Central Asia.
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
Chinese officer of the Guard of Honour. Tomb of Princess Chang-le (长乐公主墓), Zhao Mausoleum, Shaanxi province. Tang Zhenguan year 17, i.e. 644 CE
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
A 10th-century mural painting in the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang showing monastic architecture from Mount Wutai, Tang dynasty; Japanese architecture of this period was influenced by Tang Chinese architecture
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Tomb figure of mounted warrior similar to the one unearthed from the tomb of Crown Prince Li Chongrun
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
Tomb guardian (wushi yong), early 8th century
The Soviet-backed Second East Turkestan Republic encompassed Xinjiang's Ili, Tarbagatay and Altay districts.
A bas relief of a soldier and the emperor's horse, Autumn Dew, with elaborate saddle and stirrups, designed by Yan Liben, from the tomb of Emperor Taizong c. 650
Close to Karakoram Highway in Xinjiang.
Illustration of Byzantine embassy to Tang Taizong 643 CE
Pamir Mountains and Muztagh Ata.
Tang dynasty Kai Yuan Tong Bao (開元通寳) coin, first minted in 621 in Chang'an, a model for the Japanese 8th-century Wadōkaichin
Taklamakan Desert
Sancai glazed horse tomb figure
Tianchi Lake
Tomb figure of a horse with a carefully sculpted saddle, decorated with leather straps and ornamental fastenings featuring eight-petalled flowers and apricot leaves.
Black Irtysh river in Burqin County is a famous spot for sightseeing.
A contract from the Tang dynasty that records the purchase of a 15-year-old slave for six bolts of plain silk and five Chinese coins. Found in the Astana Cemetery in Turfan.
Kanas Lake
Tomb Figure of a Sogdian merchant, 7th-century
Largest cities and towns of Xinjiang
A mural depicting a corner tower, most likely one of Chang'an, from the tomb of Prince Yide (d. 701) at the Qianling Mausoleum, dated 706
Statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar
Map of Chang'an in Tang Dynasty
Nur Bekri, Chairman of the Xinjiang Government between 2007 and 2015
The bronze Jingyun Bell cast 711, height 247 cm high, weight 6,500 kg, now in the Xi'an Bell Tower
The distribution map of Xinjiang's GDP per person (2011)
A Tang dynasty era copy of the preface to the Lantingji Xu poems composed at the Orchid Pavilion Gathering, originally attributed to Wang Xizhi (303–361 AD) of the Jin dynasty
Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang.
A poem by Li Bai (701–762 AD), the only surviving example of Li Bai's calligraphy, housed in the Palace Museum in Beijing.
Wind farm in Xinjiang
Calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang stele
Sunday market in Khotan
A Tang dynasty sculpture of a Bodhisattva
Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport
An 8th-century silk wall scroll from Dunhuang, showing the paradise of Amitabha
Karakorum highway
A timber hall built in 857, located at the Buddhist Foguang Temple of Mount Wutai, Shanxi
This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.
A Tang sancai-glazed carved relief showing horseback riders playing polo
"Heroic Gesture of Bodhisattvathe Bodhisattva", example of 6th-7th-century terracotta Greco-Buddhist art (local populations were Buddhist) from Tumxuk, Xinjiang
A late Tang or early Five Dynasties era silk painting on a banner depicting Guanyin and a female attendant in silk robes, from the Dunhuang caves, now in the British Museum
Sogdian donors to the Buddha, 8th century fresco (with detail), Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin
Palace ladies in a garden from a mural of Prince Li Xian's tomb in the Qianling Mausoleum, where Wu Zetian was also buried in 706
A mosque in Ürümqi
Tang era gilt-gold bowl with lotus and animal motifs
People engaging in snow sports by a statue of bodhisattva Guanyin in Wujiaqu
A Tang sancai-glazed lobed dish with incised decorations, 8th century
Christian Church in Hami
Tomb figure of a lady attendant, 7th- to 8th-century; during the Tang era, female hosts prepared feasts, tea parties, and played drinking games with their guests.
Catholic Church in Urumqi
A rounded "offering plate" with design in "three colors" (sancai) glaze, 8th-century
Temple of the Great Buddha in Midong, Ürümqi
A page of Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea
Taoist Temple of Fortune and Longevity at the Heavenly Lake of Tianshan in Fukang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture
A square bronze mirror with a phoenix motif of gold and silver inlaid with lacquer, 8th-century
Emin Minaret
The Diamond Sutra, printed in 868, is the world's first widely printed book to include a specific date of printing.
Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, largest mosque in China
The Dunhuang map, a star map showing the North Polar region. c. 700. The whole set of star maps contains over 1,300 stars.
Erkin Tuniyaz, the incumbent Chairman of the Xinjiang Government
"Great Tang" (Dà Táng) in seal characters.
A Tang Dynasty sancai statuette of Sogdian musicians riding on a Bactrian camel, 723 AD, Xi'an.

Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 598 – 10July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649.

- Emperor Taizong of Tang

In territorial extent, it covered most of the territories previously held by the Han dynasty and parts of modern Korea, Vietnam, Xinjiang, and Central Asian regions.

- Emperor Taizong of Tang

The Western Regions during the Tang era were known as Qixi (磧西).

- Xinjiang

Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin.

- Tang dynasty

Campaigns against the oasis states began under Emperor Taizong with the annexation of Gaochang in 640.

- Xinjiang

In fact, it was during this rebellion that the Tang withdrew its western garrisons stationed in what is now Gansu and Qinghai, which the Tibetans then occupied along with the territory of what is now Xinjiang.

- Tang dynasty
Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Tang dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

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The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.

Tarim Basin

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Endorheic basin in Northwest China occupying an area of about 888,000 km2 and one of the largest basins in Northwest China.

Endorheic basin in Northwest China occupying an area of about 888,000 km2 and one of the largest basins in Northwest China.

The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Tarim basin ancient boats; they were used for burials
NASA landsat photo of the Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin, 2008
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Tarim mummies, found in westernmost Xinjiang, within the Tarim Basin.
Fragmentary painting on silk of a woman playing the go boardgame, from the Astana Cemetery, Gaochang, c. 744 AD, during the late period of Tang Chinese rule (just before the An Lushan Rebellion)
Map of Taizong's campaigns against the Tarim Basin oasis states, allies of the Western Turks.
A document from Khotan written in Khotanese Saka, part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages, listing the animals of the Chinese zodiac in the cycle of predictions for people born in that year; ink on paper, early 9th century
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Kingdom of Qocho, 8th-9th centuries
An Islamic cemetery outside the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar
Subashi Buddhist temple ruins
Northern Xinjiang (Dzungar Basin) (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), and the Tarim Basin (blue)
Uyghurs in Khotan
Fresco, with Hellenistic influences, from a stupa shrine, Miran
Painting of a Christian woman, Khocho (Gaochang), early period of Chinese Tang rule, 602–654 AD

Located in China's Xinjiang region, it is sometimes used synonymously to refer to the southern half of the province, or Nanjiang, as opposed to the northern half of the province known as Dzungaria or Beijiang.

During the Tang Dynasty, a series of military expeditions were conducted against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, then vassals of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

The campaigns against the oasis states began under Emperor Taizong with the annexation of Gaochang in 640.

Greatest extent of the Western Turkic Khaganate after the Battle of Bukhara (brown), and their southern expansion as the Tokhara Yabghus and Turk Shahis (ochre)

Western Turkic Khaganate

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Turkic khaganate in Eurasia, formed as a result of the wars in the beginning of the 7th century after the split of the Turkic Khaganate (founded in the 6th century on the Mongolian Plateau by the Ashina clan) into a western and an eastern Khaganate.

Turkic khaganate in Eurasia, formed as a result of the wars in the beginning of the 7th century after the split of the Turkic Khaganate (founded in the 6th century on the Mongolian Plateau by the Ashina clan) into a western and an eastern Khaganate.

Greatest extent of the Western Turkic Khaganate after the Battle of Bukhara (brown), and their southern expansion as the Tokhara Yabghus and Turk Shahis (ochre)
Western Turk officer attending the reception of ambassadors by king Varkhuman of Samarkand. Afrasiab murals, 7th century CE. The Turks had a Mongoloid appearance.
An early Turk Shahi ruler named Sri Ranasrikari "The Lord who brings excellence through war" (Brahmi script). In this realistic portrait, he wears the Turkic double-lapel caftan. Late 7th to early 8th century CE.
Map of the six major protectorates during Tang dynasty.
Turkic officers during a audience with king Varkhuman of Samarkand. 648-651 CE, Afrasiyab murals, Samarkand. They are recognizable by their long plaits.
A Turkic nobleman with long plaited hair, from Tashkent. Coin of the Turkic dynasties of Chach. Circa 605-630 CE.
Tang dynasty military campaigns against the Western Turks
Federal symbol of the Western Turks circa 650 CE. Eleven poles symbolizing the five Dulu tribes, the five Nushibi tribes, with the central pole symbolizing the rulership of a Yabghu-Qaghan. Afrasiab murals.
Western Turk attendants and officers, all recognizable by their long plaits, at the court of Samarkand. Afrasiab murals, 7th century CE.
Seated Turkic attendants, at the court of Samarkand. Afrasiab murals, 7th century CE.
A Turk (center) mourning the Buddha, Maya Cave (Cave 224), Kizil Caves. He is cutting his forehead with a knife, a practice of self-mutilation also known among the Scythians.

The Western Turkic Khaganate was subjugated by the Tang dynasty in 657 and continued as its vassal until their collapse.

The factions quarreled and the Nushibi and Emperor Taizong of Tang enthroned Irbis Seguy (642-51).

Indo-European prevalence in Central Asia declined as the expeditions accelerated Turkic migration into what is now Xinjiang.

The Buddhist stupa of Gaochang ruins

Gaochang

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The Buddhist stupa of Gaochang ruins
Gaochang's location (close to Turpan) on the Silk Road
Manichaean priests, writing at their desks. Manuscript from Qocho. 8th/9th century
Wall painting from a Christian church, Qocho 683–770 CE
Uyghur princesses, cave 9, wall painting from Bezeklik caves
Man of Gaochang (高昌國, Turfan) in 番客入朝圖 (937-976 CE)
Armoured soldier from Gaochang, 8-9th century
The road leading in.
The ruins.
"Main prayer hall<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=18,4145,0,0,1,0|title = Buddhist Channel &#124; Travel}}</ref>".
"Main storage building".
Manichaean wall painting.

Gaochang (Old Uyghur: Qocho), also called Karakhoja, Qara-hoja, Kara-Khoja or Karahoja (قاراغوجا in Uyghur), was a ruined, ancient oasis city on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert in present-day Xinjiang, China.

While the material civilization of Kucha to its west in this period remained chiefly Indo-Iranian in character, in Goachang it gradually merged into the Tang aesthetics.

Emperor Taizong sent an army led by General Hou Junji against the kingdom in 640 and Qu Wentai apparently died of shock at news of the approaching army.

Tang Dynasty's conquest of Western Turks (Tujue) Khanate

Tang campaigns against the Western Turks

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Tang Dynasty's conquest of Western Turks (Tujue) Khanate
Tang emissaries to King Varkhuman in Samarkand, 648–651 CE, Afrasiab murals
Chinese officer of the Guard of Honour. Tomb of Princess Changle (长乐公主墓), Zhao Mausoleum, Shaanxi province. Tang Zhenguan year 17, ie 644 CE
Turkish officers during a audience with king Varkhuman of Samarkand. 648–651 CE, Afrasiyab murals, Samarkand. They are recognizable by their long plaits.

The Tang campaigns against the Western Turks, known as the Western Tujue in Chinese sources, were a series of military campaigns conducted by the Tang dynasty against the Western Turkic Khaganate in the 7th century AD. Early military conflicts were a result of the Tang interventions in the rivalry between the Western and Eastern Turks in order to weaken both.

Under Emperor Taizong, campaigns were dispatched in the Western Regions against Gaochang in 640, Karasahr in 644 and 648, and Kucha in 648.

Indo-European prevalence in Central Asia declined as the expeditions accelerated Turkic migration into what is now Xinjiang.

Emperor Taizong's campaign against the Western Regions

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Tang's campaigns against Western Regions and Western Tujue
Chinese officer of the Guard of Honour. Tomb of Princess Changle (长乐公主墓), Zhao Mausoleum, Shaanxi province. Tang Zhenguan year 17, ie 644 CE

In the years following Tang Taizong's subjugation of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate, the emperor began to exert his military power toward the oasis city-states of the Tarim Basin (part of the area known in Chinese histories as the Western Regions).

In contrast to the Eastern Turkic Khaganate, the Western Turkic Khaganate did not pose a major threat to the Tang dynasty in the early years of the dynasty's existence, as it was farther from Tang-held territory and had a general indifference towards Chinese ambitions.

Qu Wentai also entered into an alliance with Ashina Bobu against a Tang ally, Yiwu (伊吾), in modern Hami, Xinjiang), as well as Yanqi.