Since antiquity, the vast central Eurasian region of Xinjiang, or Eastern Turkestan, has stood at the crossroads of China, India, the Middle East, and Europe, playing a pivotal role in the social, cultural, and political histories of Asia and the world. Today, it comprises one-sixth of the territory of the People's Republic of China and borders India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. Eurasian Crossroads
is an engaging and comprehensive account of Xinjiang's history and people from earliest times to the present day. Drawing on primary sources in several Asian and European languages, James A. Millward surveys Xinjiang's rich environmental and cultural heritage as well as its historical and contemporary geopolitical significance. Xinjiang was once the hub of the Silk Road and the conduit through which Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam entered China. It was also a fulcrum where Sinic, steppe nomadic, Tibetan, and Islamic imperial realms engaged and struggled. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the Han-dominated Chinese Communist Party has failed to include Xinjiang's diverse indigenous Central Asian peoples. Its nationalistic visions have spurred domestic troubles that now affect the PRC's foreign affairs and global ambitions.
This revised and updated edition features new empirically grounded and balanced analysis of developments in the region up to the present, focusing on the circumstances of the Uyghur and Xinjiang peoples.