KASHGAR, XINJIANG - JULY 17:  Uighur man roasts lamb on July 17, 2013 in Markit County, Kashgar, China. The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, referred to as "Xinjiang", is located in Central Eurasia, in the northwest of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km, acounting for 1/6 of the total land area of China. Xinjiang borders with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, India and Afghanistan. According to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Bureau of statistics, the resident population of about 21,810,000, which the minority population accounts for about 60.5%. The ethnic minorities in Xinjiang include Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz, Mongolia, Tajik, Manchu, Xibe, Uzbek, Russian Buick family, Daur, Tatar etc.. Islam has a great influence in social life in Xinjiang.  (Photo by Kevin Zen/Getty Images)

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Locked away in the westernmost corner of China, closer to Tehran and Damascus than to Běijīng, Kashgar (喀什; Kāshí) has been the epicentre of regional trade and cultural exchange for more than two millennia.


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The end of the Great Wall at Jiayuguan © View Stock / Getty Images


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