HANDKE » A Uyghur woman walks pass a statue of Mao Zedong in the

KASGHAR CITY, KASHGAR, XINJIANG, CHINA – 2017/07/08: A Uyghur woman walks pass a statue of Mao Zedong in the People’s Park in Kashgar city, northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.
Kashgar is located in the north western part of Xinjiang province where nearly 10 million Muslim Uyghurs are living. It is considered as the crossroads linking China to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, the city has changed under Chinese rule with government development, unofficial Han Chinese settlement to the western province, and restrictions imposed by the Communist Party. The central government of China says it sees Kashgar’s development as an improvement to the local economy, but many Uyghurs consider it a threat that is eroding their language, traditions, and cultural identity. The discord has created a separatist movement that has sometimes turned violent, starting a crackdown on what Chinese government see as ‘terrorist acts’ by religious extremists. Tension has increased with lot more security in the city including restrictions at mosques, after closing and removing most of them in the Xinjiang province, the Chinese authorities have also restricted to the women to wear veils and the young men to grow beards. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


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