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Place And People

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Chapter Summary

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is situated in the far north-west of the People?s Republic of China (PRC). Almost two-thirds of the total area is constituted by uninhabitable desert and high mountains. The full political unification of the region was first achieved under the Qing dynasty in the eighteenth century. The many names given to the region and its diverse geographical features reflect the diversity of the linguistic, religious and social traditions to which it is heir. Owen Lattimore argued that the history of Inner Asia can best be understood in terms of its relationship towards the great empires. The variety of names applied to the region is paralleled by its diverse ethnic make-up. The inhabitants are currently divided into thirteen officially recognized ethnic groups: Uyghur, Han, Tajik, Kirghiz, Kazak, Hui, Sibe, Mongolian, Tatar, Manchu, Daur, Russian and Uzbek.

Keywords: Owen Lattimore; People?s Republic of China (PRC); Qing dynasty; religious traditions; social traditions; Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region (XUAR)



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