Introduction
 

Chinese Turkestan or Xinjiang (modern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China) is not called the "Heart of Asia" by chance – it is a meeting point of remarkable natural landscapes, civilizations and empires. Chinese Turkestan, played a crucial role in the cultural and economic interaction of the East and West during the heyday of the Silk Road. Ever since the Han dynasty period, the Western outpost of China was the scene of ceaseless struggle for dominance, involving the early Turks, Uighurs, Tibetans, the Qitans, Mongols and Dzhungars. During the rule of Islam, the area was shaken by numerous uprisings against Chinese rule. In the second half of the 19th century Chinese Turkestan falls within scope of political and strategic interests of Russia and Britain and becomes subject to the dramatic events of the "Great Game". European secret agents, diplomats, travellers and researchers, all make a precipitate departure for Chinese Turkestan. The struggle for political dominance was accompanied by rivalry of geographical and archaeological study of the area. During this period, the first credible scientific reports emerged, in relation to the region, a lost world of Inner Asia. Przhevalskii, Pevtsov, Hedin, Stein, Le Coq, Grünwedel and Pelliot become well known names worldwide. Xinjiang ultimately falls under the Chinese rule in 1878, yet nevertheless still witnessing a number of Muslim rebellions in first half of the twentieth century. For a short period here existed a Muslim state, independent from China known as the East Turkestan Republic (1944 – 1949). Strategic and geopolitical significance of Xinjiang caused increased interest of the West to this troubled region of China bordering with Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the new states of Central Asia, former republics of the Soviet Union. Modern strategic realignment of forces in the region could not take place without taking into account the interests of China, for which the Xinjiang remains vital. Xinjiang, a sort of "Achilles heel" of China, will inevitably play an increasingly important role in shaping the priorities of global politics.

The offered collection of books, periodicals and documents cover politics, natural-scientific history, geography, ethnography, archaeology and linguistics of Chinese Turkestan and its inhabiting peoples. Included as part of the collection are geographical travel descriptions, records from military-diplomatic missions, embassies and reports of the British and Russian intelligence on Chinese Turkestan. Many publications in the collection are very rare and do not often appear in the international book market. The most interesting part of the collection is the presence of virtually all known Russian publications on East Turkestan, many of which are scarcely known in the West. The collection is of considerable interest for research centres involved in studies of Inner Asia and Xinjiang, university libraries and private collectors alike. Sold as a collection. Price on request.

 
 
 
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