Beijing’s relationship to Xinjiang and its roughly 10 million Uighurs has long been troubled. Over the last few years, several terrorist attacks allegedly committed by Uighurs throughout China have exacerbated tensions between the two ethnicities. But Beijing’s current aid program has given Xinjiang almost 22.4 billion RMB in investment over the last two years—and billions more in the years prior. New malls, roads, and construction projects have transformed the region.

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