Located on the historic border between the Chinese and Russian empires, Yīníng (伊宁; Yili or Gulja) has long been subject to a tug-of-war between the two sides. The city was occupied by Russian troops between 1872 and 1881, and in 1962 there were major Sino–Soviet clashes along the Ili River (Yīlí Hé). There are no unmissable sights here but it’s a pleasant, little-visited stop on route to Sayram Lake, or a good...
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