Eurasian Crossroads is the first comprehensive history of Xinjiang, the vast central Eurasian region bordering India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. Forming one-sixth of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Xinjiang stands at the crossroads between China, India, the Mediterranean, and Russia and has, since the Bronze Age, played a pivotal role in the social, cultural, and political development of Asia and the world. Xinjiang was once the hub of the Silk Road and the conduit through which Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam entered China. It was also the site where Chinese, Turkic, Tibetan, and Mongolian empires communicated and struggled with one another. Xinjiang's population comprises Kazakhs, Kirghiz, and Uighurs, all Turkic Muslim peoples, as well as Han Chinese, and competing Chinese and Turkic nationalist visions continue to threaten the region's political and economic stability. Drawing on primary sources in several Asian and European languages, James Millward studies Xinjiang's history and people from antiquity to the present and takes a balanced look at the position of Turkic Muslims within the PRC today.
1 Ancient Encounters (earliest times-8th century) 1
2 Central Eurasia Ascendant (9th-16th centuries) 40
3 Between Islam and China (16th-19th centuries) 78
4 Between Empire and Nation (late 19th-early 20th century) 124
5 Between China and the Soviet Union (1910s-1940s) 178
6 In the People's Republic of China (1950s-1980s) 235
7 Between China and the World (1990s-2000s) 285
Conclusion: Balancing Acts 356
Appendix: Xinjiang Historical Timeline 373
General Bibliography 383
What People are Saying About This
Eurasian Crossroads is a highly readable history of this vast and crucial region, where China's high-speed development drive collides with the aspirations of Muslim communities for national identity and cultural preservation. James Millward skillfully weaves all the different strands of Xinjiang's complex history into the colorful tapestry of his book, which is set to become the definitive reference on Xinjiang for laymen and scholars alike.
Peter C. Perdue
Eurasian Crossroads is a superbly written history of a region little known to American readers. James Millward introduces many fascinating, diverse actors into the story of Xinjiang and makes excellent use of existing monographs and primary source material. There is no comparable study in the field.