Kashgar, a prefecture in west of China and southwest of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, views Tarim Basin in east and Pamirs in west. About 2,100 years ago, it was the meeting point of southern and northern parts of the Silk Road of China part. It is the transportation hub and gateway of China’s economic and cultural exchanges with the west. The Kashgar city of the prefecture is the political, economic and cultural center. In 2010, Kashgar Economic Development Zone was developed as the sixth special economic zone, and it becomes the first domestic special economic zone inland.
Kashgar's historical importance has been primarily as a trading centre. Situated at the foot of the Pamirs (mountains) where the ranges of the Tien Shan and the Kunlun Mountains join, Kashgar commanded historical caravan routes—notably the famed Silk Road westward to Europe via the Fergana Valley of present-day Uzbekistan, as well as routes going south to the Kashmir region and north to Ürümqi (Urumchi) and the Ili (Yili) River valley.