A report on Xinjiang and Tarim Basin

The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.
Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Tarim basin ancient boats; they were used for burials
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
NASA landsat photo of the Tarim Basin
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
The Tarim Basin, 2008
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
Tarim mummies, found in westernmost Xinjiang, within the Tarim Basin.
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
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)
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
Map of Taizong's campaigns against the Tarim Basin oasis states, allies of the Western Turks.
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
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
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Kingdom of Qocho, 8th-9th centuries
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
An Islamic cemetery outside the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
Subashi Buddhist temple ruins
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
Northern Xinjiang (Dzungar Basin) (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), and the Tarim Basin (blue)
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
Uyghurs in Khotan
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Fresco, with Hellenistic influences, from a stupa shrine, Miran
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
Painting of a Christian woman, Khocho (Gaochang), early period of Chinese Tang rule, 602–654 AD
The Soviet-backed Second East Turkestan Republic encompassed Xinjiang's Ili, Tarbagatay and Altay districts.
Close to Karakoram Highway in Xinjiang.
Pamir Mountains and Muztagh Ata.
Taklamakan Desert
Tianchi Lake
Black Irtysh river in Burqin County is a famous spot for sightseeing.
Kanas Lake
Largest cities and towns of Xinjiang
Statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar
Nur Bekri, Chairman of the Xinjiang Government between 2007 and 2015
The distribution map of Xinjiang's GDP per person (2011)
Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang.
Wind farm in Xinjiang
Sunday market in Khotan
Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport
Karakorum highway
This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.
"Heroic Gesture of Bodhisattvathe Bodhisattva", example of 6th-7th-century terracotta Greco-Buddhist art (local populations were Buddhist) from Tumxuk, Xinjiang
Sogdian donors to the Buddha, 8th century fresco (with detail), Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin
A mosque in Ürümqi
People engaging in snow sports by a statue of bodhisattva Guanyin in Wujiaqu
Christian Church in Hami
Catholic Church in Urumqi
Temple of the Great Buddha in Midong, Ürümqi
Taoist Temple of Fortune and Longevity at the Heavenly Lake of Tianshan in Fukang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture
Emin Minaret
Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, largest mosque in China
Erkin Tuniyaz, the incumbent Chairman of the Xinjiang Government

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.

- Tarim Basin

Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range, and only about 9.7% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation.

- Xinjiang

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Overall

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).

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.

Dzungar Khanate in around 18th century with modern borders

Dzungar Khanate

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Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongol origin.

Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongol origin.

Dzungar Khanate in around 18th century with modern borders
Dzungar Khanate in around 18th century with modern borders
The Oirats in 1616
Mongolia following defeat of Ligdan Khan
Dzungar Khanate before Galdan's invasion of Khalkha in 1688
Qing Dzungar wars from 1688 to 1757
The last Dzungar Khan Dawachi in Qing robes after his defeat
The Dzungar Khanate in 1750
This map fragment shows territories of Oirats as in 1706. (Map Collection of the Library of Congress: "Carte de Tartarie" of Guillaume de L'Isle (1675–1726))
The Dzungar and Kalmyk states (a fragment of the map of Russian Empire of Peter the Great, that was created by a Swedish soldier in c. 1725)
A map of the Dzungar Khanate, by a Swedish officer in captivity there in 1716–33, which include the region known today as Zhetysu
Zhaohui receives the surrender of Dawachi at Ili 1755
"Storming of the Camp at Gädän-Ola" a scroll depicting a raid in 1755 in which the Kalmuk Ayusi, having gone to the Chinese side, attacks Dawa achi's camp on Mount Gadan.
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu,1756. Chinese general Zhao Hui attacked the Zunghars at night in present Wusu, Xinjiang.
"The Victory of Khorgos" The partisans of Amursana were defeated in 1758 by Prince Cäbdan-jab.
Battle of Khurungui, 1758. General Zhao Hui ambushes and defeats the Zungarian forces of Amoursana on Mount Khurungui (near Almaty, Kazakhstan).
The surrender of the leader Huo Jisi of Us (Us-Turfan in Uyghur) in 1758
Zhao Hui was unable to take Yarkand, moved east but was forced to retreat by the rebels, who lay siege to him at the Black River. In 1759, Zhao Hui learnt of the imminent arrival of relief troops, and so stormed the rebel town and brought the rebellion to an end.
Battle of Qurman,1759; General Fu De, on his way to relieve the siege of Khorgos was suddenly attacked by an enemy force of 5000 Muslim cavalry and with less than 600 men Fu De defeated the Muslims.
Battle of Tonguzluq,1758; General Zhao Hui tries to take Yarkand but is defeated
Battle of Qos-Qulaq 1759, Chinese General Ming Rui defeats the Khoja army in Qos-Qulaq (north of Kara-Kul, Tajikistan).
Qing defeat the Khoja at Arcul after they had retreated following the battle of Qos-Qulaq, 1759
The Chinese army defeats the Khoja brothers (Burhān al-Dīn and Khwāja-i Jahān) in Yesil-Kol-Nor (present-day Yashil Kul, Tajikistan), 1759.
The Khan of Badakhsan Asks to Surrender, 1759.
The prisoners are presented at the palace gate of Wumen. The Emperor is also offered the head of the Khoja Huo Jizhan.
The Emperor in the Suburbs Personally Receives News of the Officers and Soldiers Distinguished in the Campaign against the Muslim Tribes
A Victory Banquet Given by the Emperor for the Distinguished Officers and Soldiers of the Rebellion of Huibu (1758-1759).

The core of the Dzungar Khanate is today part of northern Xinjiang, also called Dzungaria.

Between 1680 and 1688, the Dzungars conquered the Tarim Basin, which is now southern Xinjiang, and defeated the Khalkha Mongols to the east.

Central Asia

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Subregion of Asia that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north.

Subregion of Asia that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north.

Expanded definition of Central Asia. Core definition that includes the five post-Soviet states in dark green. Afghanistan, the most commonly added country to Central Asia, in green.
Three sets of possible boundaries for the Central Asia region (which overlap with conceptions of South and East Asia).
On the southern shore of Issyk Kul lake, Issyk Kul Region.
Central Asia map of Köppen climate classification.
Iranian-speaking people circa 170 BC. Eastern Iranian languages are in orange, Western Iranian languages are in red.
Uzbek men from Khiva, ca. 1861–1880
The Chinese Tang dynasty at its greatest extension, controlling large parts of Central Asia.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 1979
Mosque in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan
Saadi Shirazi is welcomed by a youth from Kashgar during a forum in Bukhara.
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Hazrat-e Turkestan, Kazakhstan. Timurid architecture consisted of Persian art.
Kazakh man on a horse with golden eagle
GDP growth trends in Central Asia, 2000–2013. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 14.1
GDP in Central Asia by economic sector, 2005 and 2013. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, Figure 14.2
GDP per capita development in Central Asia, since 1973
Trends in research expenditure in Central Asia, as a percentage of GDP, 2001–2013. Source: UNESCO Science Report: 2030 (2015), Figure 14.3
Central Asian researchers by sector of employment (HC), 2013. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 14.5
Central Asian researchers by field of science, 2013. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 14.4
Scientific publications from Central Asia catalogued by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, Science Citation Index Expanded, 2005–2014, UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 14.6
Cumulative total of articles by Central Asians between 2008 and 2013, by field of science. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 14.6
Ethnic map of Central Asia.
White areas are thinly-populated semi-desert.
The three northwest-tending lines are the Syr Darya and Amu Darya Rivers flowing from the eastern mountains into the Aral Sea and in the south the irrigated north side of the Kopet Dagh mountains.
Uzbek children in Samarkand
Children in Afghanistan
Tartar prostrating before Qianlong Emperor of China (1757).
Political cartoon from the period of the Great Game showing the Afghan Amir Sher Ali with his "friends" Imperial Russia and the United Kingdom (1878)
Islam Karimov (President, Uzbekistan) in the Pentagon, March 2002

The Russian geographer Nikolaĭ Khanykov questioned the latitudinal definition of Central Asia and preferred a physical one of all countries located in the region landlocked from water, including Afghanistan, Khorasan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uyghuristan (Xinjiang), and Uzbekistan.

Tocharian, another Indo-European language group, which was once predominant in oases on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang, is now extinct.

Garrisons of the Han dynasty

Protectorate of the Western Regions

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Imperial administration of Han China in the Western Regions.

Imperial administration of Han China in the Western Regions.

Garrisons of the Han dynasty
The modern Tarim Basin and surrounding areas.
Historical cities of the Tarim Basin
Asia in 1 CE. The Western Regions were at the centre of the map (south-west of the Xiongnu)
The Han dynasty (yellow) in 1 CE.
Modern Xinjiang, showing {{legend|blue|the Tarim Basin}}{{legend|red|Dzungaria}}.
1st century BC

The "Western Regions" referred to areas west of Yumen Pass, especially the Tarim Basin.

These areas would later be termed Altishahr (southern Xinjiang, excluding Dzungaria) by Turkic-speaking peoples.

The Southern Xinjiang railway through the Tian Shan range in Hejing County

Southern Xinjiang railway

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The Southern Xinjiang railway through the Tian Shan range in Hejing County
Map of the Southern Xinjiang (Nanjiang) railway from Turpan to Kashgar
Train No.K169 running on the railway
Through the Tian Shan in Hejing County
Train running between mountains in Toksun County, Turpan
Hejing County section in winter
Kashgar Station

The Southern Xinjiang railway or Nanjiang railway, is a railway between Turpan and Kashgar in Xinjiang, China.

The railway is 1446 km in length and runs along the southern slope of the Tian Shan mountain range, connecting all major cities and towns of the Northern Tarim Basin, including Turpan, Hejing, Yanqi, Korla, Luntai (Bügür), Kuqa, Toksu (Xinhe), Aksu, Maralbexi (Bachu), Artux, and Kashgar.

"Tocharian donors", 6th-century mural from the Kizil Caves

Turkic settlement of the Tarim Basin

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"Tocharian donors", 6th-century mural from the Kizil Caves
Tang campaign against the oasis states
Uyghur princesses from the Bezeklik murals
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik murals

The Turkic peoples were descended from a Transeurasian agricultural community based in northeast China, and they were not recognized as native to the Xinjiang until the area was settled in by Tang-allied Türk (Tujue) tribes in the 7th century, and later by Turkic Uyghur people who founded the Qocho Kingdom there in the 9th century.

The historical area of what is modern-day Xinjiang consisted of the distinct areas of the Tarim Basin (also known as Altishahr) and Dzungaria and was populated by Indo-European Tocharians and Saka peoples, who practiced Buddhism.

Location of the Gurbantünggüt Desert

Gurbantünggüt Desert

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Location of the Gurbantünggüt Desert

The Gurbantünggüt Desert (Құрбантұңғыт шөлі; ) occupies a large part of the Dzungarian Basin in Northern Xinjiang, in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.

It is China's (and Xinjiang's) second largest desert, after the Taklamakan Desert, which is in the Tarim Basin.

Map of the campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, including the defeat of Karakhoja

Tang campaign against Karakhoja

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Map of the campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, including the defeat of Karakhoja
Ruins of Karakhoja

The Tang campaign against Karakhoja, known as Gaochang in Chinese sources, was a military campaign in 640 CE conducted by Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty against the Tarim Basin kingdom of Karakhoja, based in the city of Turfan in Xinjiang.

Crossing the Tarim River on Tarim Desert Highway (June, 2012)

Tarim River

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Crossing the Tarim River on Tarim Desert Highway (June, 2012)

The Tarim River (تارىم دەرياسى), known in Sanskrit as the Śītā, is an endorheic river in Xinjiang, China.

It is the principal river of the Tarim Basin, a desert region of Central Asia between the Tian Shan and Kunlun Mountains.

Kara Khanid Khanate, c. 1000.

Kara-Khanid Khanate

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Turkic khanate that ruled Central Asia in the 9th through the early 13th century.

Turkic khanate that ruled Central Asia in the 9th through the early 13th century.

Kara Khanid Khanate, c. 1000.
Tomb of Sultan Satuk Bughra Khan, the first Muslim khan, in Artush, Xinjiang
The map of Kara-Khanid Khanate as of 1006 AD when it reached its greatest extent
The Kara-Khanid ruler "Ilig Khan" on horse, submitting to Ghanavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, who is riding an elephant.
Genealogy of the Karakhanids
The restored mausoleum of Aisha Bibi near Taraz.
Burana tower, Balasagun, today Kyrgyzstan.
11th–12th-century Karakhanid mausolea in Uzgen, Kyrgyzstan.
The Kalyan minaret in Bukhara

The Kara-Khanid Khanate originated from a confederation formed some time in the 9th century by Karluks, Yagmas, Chigils, Tuhsi, and other peoples living in Zhetysu, Western Tian Shan (modern Kyrgyzstan), and Western Xinjiang around Kashgar.

Much of the realm of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, including Transoxiana and the western Tarim Basin, had been under the rule of the Tang dynasty prior to the Battle of Talas in 751, and the Kara-Khanid rulers continued to identify their dynasty with China several centuries later.