View of the Tian Shan range, Xinjiang’s most scenic mountains. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is the largest political unit in China but also one of the least populated. Muslim Uygurs make up Xinjiang’s largest ethnic population (although several other minorities reside there as well). CCP authorities have had a policy of settling Han (China’s majority ethnicity) in the region in an attempt to solidify government