Extending through the northwest of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which accounts for about one sixth of the country's land territory.
Historically, Xinjiang was the passage for land transport and civilizational contact between Asia and Europe. The famous Silk Road linking the ancient civilizations of the East and the West went through this vast land. Its geographical location has resulted in Xinjiang's distinctive feature: coexistence and integration of diverse peoples and their cultures. Since the first century BC, the region has been an important part of China, and played a significant role in the construction and development of a unitary multiethnic country.
Prior to the founding ceremony of the PRC on October 1, 1949, Xinjiang witnessed its peaceful liberation. The diverse peoples of Xinjiang, who had undergone great sufferings together with the people in other parts of the country, became the masters of the state, and Xinjiang entered a new era of development.
Over the past 60 years, under the leadership and care of the Communist Party of China and the Central Government, and with the support and assistance of all peoples in other parts of the country, the Xinjiang people of various ethnic groups through arduous efforts have made great advances in building a comfortable life and a beautiful home. The region has made a historic leap out of underdevelopment, with tremendous changes taking place in the areas north and south of the Tianshan Mountains.
The development and progress of the autonomous region should be attributed to the concerted efforts by all peoples of Xinjiang under the banner of solidarity of all ethnic groups, as well as to the success of China's policies on ethnic minorities.