Xinjiang and the Expansion of Chinese Communist Power
Kashghar in the Twentieth Century
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Xinjiang, China’s far northwestern province where the majority of the population are Muslim Uighurs, was for most of its history contested territory. On the Silk Road, a region of overlapping cultures, the province was virtually independent until the late nineteenth century, nominally part of the Qing Empire, with considerable interest taken in it by the British and the Russians as part of their Great Game rivalry in Asia. Ruled by warlords in the early twentieth century, it was occupied in 1949-50 by the People’s Liberation Army, since when attempts have been made to integrate the province more fully into China. This book outlines the history of Xinjiang. It focuses on the key city of Kashghar, the symbolic heart of Uighur society, drawing on a large body of records in which ordinary people provided information on the period around the communist takeover. These records provide an exceptionally rich source, showing how ordinary Uighurs lived their everyday lives before the communist takeover, and how their everyday lives were profoundly affected by the communist takeover. Subjects covered by the book include work, government, the built environment, religion, culture and politics.
Preface: The assault on beautiful Kashghar 1949 1. Desert, mountain and water 2. Historic Kashghar 3. Kashghar and the demise of the Chinese empire 4. The Great Game in Kashghar 5. Work and Life 6. Administration 7. Communications 8. Religion, culture and politics 9. Kashghar’s built environment 10. Kashghar after Liberation 1949-65
Michael Dillon is a frequent commentator on Chinese affairs for the BBC and other broadcasters. He was formerly Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Durham, UK, where he taught Chinese and Chinese history. His previous publications include China: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary, Contemporary China - An Introduction, China's Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects and Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Far Northwest (all published by Routledge and RoutledgeCurzon).