Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland (Studies of Central Asia and the Caucasus)
by S. Frederick Starr
Eastern Turkestan, now known as Xinjiang or the New Territory, makes up a sixth of China’s land mass. Absorbed by the Qing in the 1880s and reconquered by Mao in 1949, this Turkic-Muslim region of China’s remote northwest borders on formerly Soviet Central Asia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Mongolia, and Tibet, Will Xinjiang participate in twenty-first century ascendancy, or will nascent Islamic radicalism in Xinjiang expand the orbit of instability in a dangerous part of the world? This comprehensive survey of contemporary Xinjiang is the result of a major collaborative research project begun in 1998. The authors have combined their fieldwork experience, linguistic skills, and disciplinary expertise to assemble the first multifaceted introduction to Xinjiang. The volume surveys the region’s geography; its history of military and political subjugation to China; economic, social, and commercial conditions; demography, public health, and ecology; and patterns of adaption, resistance, opposition, and evolving identities.
Books like this make me think how important it is to translate Uyghur works into English to give another – crucial – point of view for casual readers.