The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China is home to some 12 million indigenous Turkic-speaking Muslims, primarily Uyghurs but also smaller numbers of Kazakhs and others. It is now one of the most heavily policed areas in the world , with inhabitants detained in extraordinary numbers. Since the s, there has been a rise in Islamic piety in Xinjiang, amid a broader religious revival in Central Asia. It primarily took the form of a steady rise in piety: building new community mosques, growing numbers of people adopting daily prayer, fasting and forms of Islamic dress, and many debates about how to be a good Muslim. By this cycle of violence had escalated to the point that some Uyghur-initiated acts of violence began looking increasingly like planned terrorist attacks. That year saw the killing of 33 people with knives by a band of masked Uyghurs in a train station in Kunming , and the bombing of a train station in Urumqi that killed
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Located in the farthest northwest corner of China, Xinjiang was first formally incorporated into the Chinese empire in Indeed, along with Tibet it is the only administrative region in China in which ethnic Chinese still constitute a minority. The non-Chinese population of Xinjiang of approximately nine million is almost entirely Muslim. The overwhelming majority of this group, approximately eight million, are Uighurs. Chinese domination of Xinjiang has never been fully accepted.
Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people. Foreign affairs minister says use of detention camps a concern, and China had blocked attempts to offer consular assistance to dual citizens. Published: 15 Jul More than 20 ambassadors condemn China's treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang. Published: 11 Jul