|Chinese name||['new' 'territory']|
|Main Industries||textiles, agriculture|
Xinjiang Province represents the northern border of China with Central Asia. The name itself means 'new territory' and is one of the five 'autonomous' regions of China. It's a vast province (just a little smaller than Mexico) and stretches far out West to the same Latitude as Lahore in Pakistan and Omsk in Russia. Over the centuries it has been the main buffer zone between China and the peoples of the steppes. The Silk Road, which is more a network than a single route, passes through the Province with Turpan amongst its major trading posts.
The geography of Xinjiang is dominated by the scorching desert of Tarim Pendi to the South, a particularly inhospitable place. It boasts the second lowest inland point on Earth at -391m (second to the Dead Sea). To the South West is the arc of the Himalayas including the second highest mountain on Earth 'K2'. High treacherous passes into Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only entry in that direction.
The province is mainly inhabited by people of ethnic (non-Han) origins particularly the Muslim Uygur people.See also :
A camel train plods through the Taklamakan Desert. Chief means of transport along silk road.
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