Xinjiang: China’s ‘other Tibet’

By Lydia Wilson and Poppy Toland in Xinjiang, western China

While reports of unrest in Tibet frequently grab headlines around the world, little attention is given to what several human rights groups have dubbed China’s “otherTibet”.

China’s frontier to Central Asia, the vast western region of Xinjiang has in recent years seen escalating ethnic tensions and the imposition of a heavy military presence to suppress what Beijing says is a growing terrorist threat.

Covering an area more than three times the size of France, Xinjiang has long been an important crossroads of trade and culture.

For centuries its oasis towns were essential stopping points along the legendary Silk Road – a history that has left Xinjiang with a unique cultural legacy.

The region’s indigenous population are the Uighurs – Muslims who are ethnically, linguistically and culturally Turkic, and worlds apart from their Han rulers, the ethnicity which dominates the rest of China.



1 Response to “Xinjiang: China’s ‘other Tibet’”

  1. 1 B-Ran
    July 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Um, Chris… This is an al-Jazeera article. OMGWTFTERRORISTS!

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