Despite the intense efforts of Beijing to Sinicise Xinjiang, it remains the most un-Chinese of China’s administrative regions and the only one with a majority Muslim population. It occupies one-sixth of China’s territory featuring the largest desert in the world, the highest mountains in Asia after the Himalayas, and one of the most ethnically diverse regions on the Eurasian land-mass.
When Chinese dynasties were potent Hsu Yu (Western Region) was fortified with military encampments. This was generally the case respectively during the Han, Tang, Yuan, Ming and Ch’ing Dynasties. [Read more...]