Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs? The Xinjiang autonomous region in China's far west has had a long history of discord between the authorities and the indigenous ethnic Uighur population. The BBC sets out why. Who Lives in Xinjiang? the ethnic Uighur population used to be the majority in China's Xinjiang region The largest of China's administrative regions, Xinjiang borders eight countries - Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - and until recently its population was mostly Uighur. Map of Xinjiang territory Most Uighurs are Muslim and Islam is an important part of their life and identity. Their language is related to Turkish, and they regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. The region's economy has largely revolved around agriculture and trade, with towns such as Kashgar thriving as hubs along the famous Silk Road. But development has brought new residents. In the 2000 census, Han Chinese made up 40% of the population, as well as large numbers of troops stationed in the region and unknown numbers of unregistered migrants. Read more aspects of Uighurs, Xinjiang and the unrest at BBC News - Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs? It is an interesting summary of various issues in the article(s).