There are only may be one world that could be used for telling you about Xinjiang, which is “largeness”.
Xinjiang is large because, for and most, it has a large territory, more than 1.60 million square kilometers in area, about one sixth of the total territory of China, which is about 9.60 million square kilometers.
But that Xinjiang is large does not only mean that its territory is large, more than this, as Xinjiang has the largest basin, the highest highland of China. Besides, Xinjiang has largest desert, grasslands and forests and many more. When we say Xinjiang is large, we also mean its splendid landscape and complex landforms.
The largeness of Xinjiang embodies not only in its splendid landform but also in its varieties of resources and produces. The large-scale oasis agriculture and rich reserve of natural gas and oil that are in the desert and Gobi. All this gives the region a great potentiality for a great development of the production of grain and other economic crops, coal-mining and other raw ore materials, energy.
Xinjiang displays its richness and splendor through its magnificent landscape, its long history, its plain but attractive ethnic folk customs and ethnic peoples with distinctive cultures.
There have been so many praising words for Xinjiang but it seems that none of them is as accurate as the following in describing the region : “I have been to numerous places in the world, but in my heart I believe that the most beautiful place is Xinjiang.” To the outsides ,it sounds a little bit too abstract though the line world embody their pride in the region. If someone asks “why Xinjiang is the most beautiful”, the local Xinjiang people seem to know something about the answer but they could not give an answer in detail. Even they would ask themselves “Do we understand Xinjiang, and if we do , how much?”
Then there is another question for us: What is Xinjiang? For it, someone would say Xinjiang is a vast land, although it is farthest from the seas but it is a land full of mysterious meaning and vitality. But the other people would say Xinjiang is a huge and magnificent painting of landscape that is painted by the nature, and still the other people would say Xinjiang is a poem written by the history, full of beautiful sounds and limitless images. All in all , still there are people who argue that Xinjiang is nothing but a broad and profound book with numerous volumes and it is written with authentic emotion. True enough, all the above are about Xinjiang but they are of too much literature description so that they could not give a true picture of the region. Even if a gifted poet could only say when he is asked how he thought about Xinjiang? “To me, it is extremely difficult.” He is right because Xinjiang is full of diversity and vastness. It must be very difficult for anyone who wants to portrait it with articles or books.
However, Xinjiang is not an imaged setting that writes or poets could describes. It is a true geographic existence with mountains, rivers, grasslands, lakes, Gobi-deserts as well as its history and cultures. It is a land that has its flesh and blood, its spirits and life. And there will be different images and ideas of Xinjiang of the people who have different purposes and angles for understanding the region, no matter who are the natives, or visitors or who has not come to the region but who has his admiration of the region in his heart. But it is their common wish to have an accurate and true knowledge of Xinjiang.
Entering Xinjiang is the first step to understand the region.