A report on Xinjiang

Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
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

Landlocked autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country at the crossroads of Central Asia and East Asia.

- Xinjiang

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

Emperor Taizong of Tang

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The second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649.

The second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649.

Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Tang dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
A portrait of Emperor Yang of Sui, by the Tang court artist Yan Liben (600–673)
Portrait painting of Emperor Gaozu of Tang, father of Li Shimin
Armoured horseman, Tang dynasty
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)
Detail of Yan Liben's painting on the reception of the Tibetan envoy, showing Tang Taizong
Fountain Memory, calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang stele.
Emperor Taizong's campaign against the oasis states
Fanciful modern representation of the Byzantine embassy to Tang Taizong in 643 CE.
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.
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.
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.
Tomb soldier figurine, Tang dynasty

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.

Gilgit-Baltistan

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Region administered by Pakistan as an autonomous territory, and constituting the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China from somewhat later.<ref name=britannica-jammu-kashmir>The application of the term "administered" to the various regions of Kashmir and a mention of the Kashmir dispute is supported by the tertiary sources through (d), reflecting due weight in the coverage.

Region administered by Pakistan as an autonomous territory, and constituting the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China from somewhat later.<ref name=britannica-jammu-kashmir>The application of the term "administered" to the various regions of Kashmir and a mention of the Kashmir dispute is supported by the tertiary sources through (d), reflecting due weight in the coverage.

Photograph of Kargah Buddha in Gilgit; "The ancient Stupa – rock carvings of Buddha, everywhere in the region, point to the firm hold of Buddhism for such a long time."
Map of Tibetan Empire citing the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan as part of its kingdom in 780–790 CE
The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, (National Geographic, 1946). Shown are the Gilgit Agency, consisting of subsidiary states of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Gilgit wazarat, including the Gilgit Leased Area (shown in white). Baltistan was part of the large area of the Ladakh-Baltistan wazarat in the east.
The last Maqpon Raja Ahmed Shah (died in prison in Lhasa c. 1845)
Flag of the Gilgit-Baltistan region
Gilgit Baltisan assembly located in Jutial Gilgit
Gilgit-Baltistan is administered as three divisions
Fourteen districts in 2019
Mountains covered in snow, as seen from the Raja Bazar Road Gilgit
Montage of Gilgit-Baltistan
View of Laila Peak, which is located near Hushe Valley (a town in Khaplu)
The Trango Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world, and every year a number of expeditions from all corners of the globe visit Karakoram to climb the challenging granite.
Cold Desert, Skardu is the world's highest desert
Rush Lake, Nagar, Pakistan
Sheosar Lake is in the western part of Deosai National Park
The Karakoram Highway
National Highway N-15 has abrupt direction changes which is a challenge for drivers who use this route to reach Gilgit
ATR 42–500 on Gilgit Airport. Picture taken on 10 July 2016
A pie chart showing the Sectarian divide of Gilgit-Baltistan
Dance of Swati Guests with traditional music at Baltit Fort in 2014
Wakhi musicians in Gulmit.
One of the poplular dish of this region is Chapchor. It is widely made in Nagar Valley and Hunza Valley
Polo in progress with the shandur lake in background, Shandur, Gupis-Yasin District.
Satpara Lake, Skardu, in 2002
Upper Kachura Lake
Shangrila Lake, Skardu
Manthokha Waterfall

It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the southeast.

Kingdom of Khotan as of 1001 AD

Kingdom of Khotan

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Kingdom of Khotan as of 1001 AD
Portrait of Viśa' Saṃbhava, a 10th-century king of Khotan, Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, Gansu province
Clay figurines found in Yotkan, 2nd-4th century
Manuscript in Khotanese from Dandan Oilik, NE of Khotan. Now held in the British Library.
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
Ruins of the Rawak Stupa outside of Hotan, a Buddhist site dated from the late 3rd to 5th century AD.
Ceramic figurine with Western influences, Yotkan near Khotan, 2-4th century AD.
Man from Khotan (于闐國 Yutian) visiting the Chinese Tang dynasty court, in Wanghuitu circa 650 CE
Grotesque face, stucco, found at Khotan, 7th-8th century.
Gurgamoya coin. Obverse in Kharosthi: "Of the great king king of Khotan Gurgamoya". Reverse in Chinese: "6 grains coin". British Museum.
Human head ceramic with cow, Tang Dynasty. Hotan Cultural Museum, China
Ceramic figurine showing Western influences, Yotkan near Khotan, 2-4th century AD.
Head of Buddha found in Khotan, 3rd-4th century
Bronze coin of Kanishka, found in Khotan.
Painting on wooden panel discovered by Aurel Stein in Dandan Oilik, depicting the legend of the princess who hid silkworm eggs in her headdress to smuggle them out of China to the Kingdom of Khotan.
Khotanese Buddhist women donors
Daughter of the King of Khotan married to the ruler of Dunhuang, Cao Yanlu, shown here wearing elaborate headdress decorated with jade pieces. Mural in Mogao Cave 61, Five Dynasties.

The Kingdom of Khotan was an ancient Buddhist Saka kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China).

Northwest China

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Northwest China is a statistical region of China which includes the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai.

Circa 210 BC, the Yuezhi resided to the northwest of Qin China.

Yuezhi

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Ancient people first described in Chinese histories as nomadic pastoralists living in an arid grassland area in the western part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, during the 1st millennium BC. After a major defeat at the hands of the Xiongnu in 176 BC, the Yuezhi split into two groups migrating in different directions: the Greater Yuezhi and Lesser Yuezhi (Xiǎo Yuèzhī 小月氏).

Ancient people first described in Chinese histories as nomadic pastoralists living in an arid grassland area in the western part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, during the 1st millennium BC. After a major defeat at the hands of the Xiongnu in 176 BC, the Yuezhi split into two groups migrating in different directions: the Greater Yuezhi and Lesser Yuezhi (Xiǎo Yuèzhī 小月氏).

Circa 210 BC, the Yuezhi resided to the northwest of Qin China.
artifacts were sinicized
Figures in one of the embroidered carpets of the Xiongnu Noin-Ula burial site, a luxury item probably imported from Bactria. They are thought to represent Yuezhis. 1st century BC - 1st century AD.
A later mural (c. 618–712 AD) from the Mogao Caves, depicting the Chinese mission of Zhang Qian to the Yuezhi in 126 BC.
Watershed of the Oxus River (modern Amu Darya)
A dagger excavated in Tillya Tepe.
The first self-declared Kushan ruler Heraios (1–30 AD) in Greco-Bactrian style Obv: Bust of Heraios, with Greek royal headband. Rev: Horse-mounted King, crowned with a wreath by the Greek goddess of victory Nike. Greek legend: TVPANNOVOTOΣ HΛOV – ΣΛNΛB – KOÞÞANOY "The Tyrant Heraios, Sanav (meaning unknown), of the Kushans"
Possible Yuezhi king and attendants, Gandhara stone palette, 1st century AD
Buddhist art c. 300 AD, depicting (left to right) a Kushan lay Buddhist, Maitreya, Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and a Kushan Buddhist monk.
Yuezhi horseman on the coinage of Heraios.
Nomadic figure, typically with a long nose, on a Bactrian camel. Southern Ningxia, 4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |pages=120–121, item 92 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n133/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>
Harness ornament in the shape of a coiled wolf, characteristic of nomadic artifacts of southern Ningxia and southeastern Gansu, 5th-4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |page=45, item 7 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n59/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>
Belt plaque in the shape of a standing wolf, characteristic of nomadic artifacts of southern Ningxia and southeastern Gansu, and related to the Scythian styles of Pazyryk. 4th century BC.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Bunker |first1=Emma C. |title=Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other Notable New York Collections |date=2002 |publisher=Metropolitan Museum of Art |page=122, item 94 |url=https://archive.org/details/NomadicArtoftheEasternEurasianSteppesTheEugeneVThawandOtherNotableNewYorkCollection/page/n137/mode/2up |language=English}}</ref>

They have thus placed the original homeland of the Yuezhi 1,000 km further northwest in the grasslands to the north of the Tian Shan (in the northern part of modern Xinjiang).

Painting depicting a Turkic Muslim from Altishahr, during the reign of the Qing dynasty.

Altishahr

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Historical name for the Tarim Basin region used in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Historical name for the Tarim Basin region used in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Painting depicting a Turkic Muslim from Altishahr, during the reign of the Qing dynasty.
Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tian Shan Mountains

The term means 'Six Cities' in Turkic languages, referring to oasis towns along the rim of the Tarim, including Kashgar, in what is now southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

Saifuddin Azizi in 1950

Saifuddin Azizi

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Saifuddin Azizi in 1950

Saifuddin Azizi (سەيپىدىن ئەزىزى; 12 March 1915 – 24 November 2003), also known as Seypidin Azizi, Saif al-Dīn ʿAzīz, Saifuding Aizezi and Saifuding, was the first chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

The Western Regions in the first century BC.

Western Regions

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The Western Regions in the first century BC.
Tang campaign against the oasis states (640–648)

The Western Regions or Xiyu (Hsi-yü; ) was a historical name specified in the Chinese chronicles between the 3rd century BC to the 8th century AD that referred to the regions west of Yumen Pass, most often Central Asia or sometimes more specifically the easternmost portion of it (e.g. Altishahr or the Tarim Basin in southern Xinjiang), though it was sometimes used more generally to refer to other regions to the west of China as well, such as the Indian subcontinent (as in the novel Journey to the West).

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.

Map of Lop Nur by Folke Bergman, 1935. Kara-Koshun where the terminal lake was found in 1867 is located to the south-west of Lop Nor, and the lake had shifted back to Lop Nor by the time this map was drawn. Taitema Lake was a smaller transit lake and located to the west of Kara-Koshun.

Lop Nur

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Map of Lop Nur by Folke Bergman, 1935. Kara-Koshun where the terminal lake was found in 1867 is located to the south-west of Lop Nor, and the lake had shifted back to Lop Nor by the time this map was drawn. Taitema Lake was a smaller transit lake and located to the west of Kara-Koshun.
Mushroom cloud of the first Chinese nuclear weapon test, Project 596, at Lop Nur in 1964.
Basin of Lop Nur by satellite.
Satellite picture of the Lop Desert with the basin of the former sea Lop Nur. In the left Kuruk-tagh, in the right Astin-tagh.
Satellite image of a potassium chloride factory in Lop Nur.
Map including part of Lop Nur (bottom right) (DMA, 1990)

Lop Nur or Lop Nor (from a Mongolian name meaning "Lop Lake", where "Lop" is a toponym of unknown origin ) is a former salt lake, now largely dried up, located in the eastern fringe of the Tarim Basin, between the Taklamakan and Kumtag deserts in the southeastern portion of the Xinjiang (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region).