China's Xinjiang region is home to more than 12 million Muslim Uighurs. Since China reasserted control in this vast region of deserts, oases and snowcapped mountains 60 years ago, resentment between the Han majority and the Uighur minority has caused cyclical violence. This has escalated in recent years. The Chinese government is well known for its pervasive propaganda across the country. In Xinjiang, its message specifically targets Uighurs, urging this fiercely independent group to refrain from religious activity deemed a threat to the officially atheist Chinese state, while lauding Beijing's dream of interethnic unity.
(Photos by ucanews.com reporter, Xinjiang)