|In order to increase the Chinese population and strengthen
China's claim for sovereignty, the Chinese government sends Han Chinese
settlers into this Western region, once called Turkestan. The guidebook
says that "many Han Chinese would leave immediately for the east if they
could get permission, and Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, and Uyghurs would join
their families in their respective countries if they could get out."
Certainly the Muslim Uyghurs want to create an independent "Uyghurstan."
Visitors paying careful attention can sense an underlying tension between
the new Chinese settlers and the indigenous Turkic population. We visited
an excellent, small museum in Urumqi that displayed 2000-4000 year old
bodies of Caucasoid people that inhabited the area and were buried here
(thus strengthening the case for Turkic independence). The bodies are in
great condition, skin, hair, and clothes intact. It is strange and
exciting to see the shell of a person that is 4000 years old.