James Millward - Associate Professor of History, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Xinjiang today is the focus of major development efforts, a source of gas and oil for the industries of eastern China, and the gateway to vigorous Chinese economic and diplomatic initiatives in Central Asia. It is also a locus of concern over separatist and terrorist activity, and a region where ambitious plans run up against stark environmental restraints. While some of these issues are new, many are not: the questions of Xinjiang’s commercial promise, agricultural development, ecological carrying capacity, ethnic character and, in general, the degree to which it is integration to China as a whole, have troubled rulers in China since the eighteenth century and before. This illustrated talk will explore these themes and their historical roots.