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Summary Article: Urumqi from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Industrial city and capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China, on the Urumqi River, at the northern foot of the Tian Shan Mountains; population (2010) 3,029,400. In the later 20th century the energy produced through exploitation of the large oilfield of the Dzungarian Basin and the extensive coal deposits near the Tian Shan contributed to considerable industrialization in the area. Industries include oil-refining, food-processing, brewing, and the manfuacture of cotton textiles, chemicals, cement, iron and steel, plastics, and agricultural equipment.

History Urumqi was a small oasis settlement and trading post on the caravan routes west from China, strategically sited in a pass in the Tian Shan range separating the Tarim and Dzungaria basins. It was known as Dihua from 1763 when Xinjiang was incorporated into the Chinese Empire. The city was opened to foreign trade after the Sino-Russian Treaty of 1881, and made the capital of the newly-formed Xinjiang province of China in 1884. A sizeable number of refugees from the Russian Revolution settled there after 1917, when the city comprised three sections: an old Muslim community, a newer Chinese district, and a Russian quarter. It remained the capital of the warlords who governed Xinjiang from 1911 to 1950. The name of the city was changed to Urumqi in 1953.

Population In the Region the majority of the population are still Uigur, but in the city the majority are now Chinese, with Uigur, Hui (Chinese Muslim), Kazakh, Mongol, and Kurgyz minorities.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

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