Xinjiang is an autonomous region in the Northwest of China. It is bordered by Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to the Northwest, Russia to the North, Mongolia to the Northeast, Gansu and Qinghai to the Southwest, Xizang (Tibet) to the South, and India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan to the West. Xinjiang is the largest province-level region of China.
The capital of Xinjiang is the city of Ürümqi, the largest city in the region. The population is spread out mainly through a band across the middle of the country. The rest of the population is located in the North of the region, or spread out around the region in nomadic groups.
The area of Xinjiang was sparsely populated by herders and farmers who lived in oases until about 60 BC, when it was incorporated into China by the Han dynasty as the province of Xiyu. This lasted until around the year 300, when the Han dynasty fell. The region then was passed on to local Uygur (the ethnic natives of the region) leaders. Around the year 618 the Tang dynasty took control of the region until the 10th century. Muslim influence started in the region until around the 13th century, when the region was re-incorporated into China under Genghis Khan's rule. The Qing dynasty took back control in the 17th century, and created the province of Xinjiang in 1884. In 1955, Xinjiang was established as an autonomous region. Political upheavals, mainly related to "The Great Leap Forward" under Mao led to major ethnic changes in the region and calls for the region's independence from China, which China is heavily against. This has led to a number of clashes between the military and separatists of the region.
Being a region of China, Xinjiang has no official flag, as China thinks that regional flags would harm national unity.
Xinjiang comes from 新 (xīn) meaning "new", and 疆 (jiāng) meaning "frontier", generally understood as "old frontier newly returned". It refers to the re-joining of Xinjiang to China in 1884.