• Shaoying Zhang
  • Derek McGhee
Part of the Politics and Development of Contemporary China book series (PDCC)


The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is located in the heart of the Eurasian continent in the north-west of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the largest provincial area of the country. It occupies one-sixth of the country’s territory at approximately 1,664,900 square kilometres and is the host to 10.5% of China’s minority population (Sautman 1998: 2). It also possesses the largest land frontier, bordering Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Russia and India, a quarter of China’s entire boundary length. Thus, since Xinjiang was integrated into China in the 1880s, the region has been growing increasingly important with regard to China’s security and economic policies (Blank 2003: 127–137; Israeli 2010: 90). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) maintains large ground and air forces and most of its nuclear ballistic missiles in Xinjiang (George et al. 1998: 217).


Unintended Consequence Communist Party Minority Language Ethnic Conflict Official Discourse 
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Copyright information

© Shaoying Zhang and Derek McGhee 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaoying Zhang
    • 1
  • Derek McGhee
    • 2
  1. 1.Yunnan Normal UniversityChina
  2. 2.University of SouthamptonUK

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