Women wearing traditional Uighur clothes in the city of Kashgar in the Chinese Xinjiang province. The mostly Muslim Uighurs share very close linguistic and cultural links to Central Asia and resent the Han Chinese. Photograph: Reinhard Krause/Reuters

A view of tall trees and low walls encircling this oasis city is the first sign that the high-speed train has reached Hami in the Gobi desert, in the (...)

Xi Jinping samples an Irish coffee while visiting a   farm in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, during a visit to Ireland in  2012. China’s president has never lacked the common touch. Photograph: Maxwell’s/Reuters

China’s president, Communist Party boss and army chief Xi Jinping bolstered his credentials as a world leader during the recent gathering of Asia-Paci(...)

Armed policemen patrol near the exit of a railway station in Urumqi, Xinjiang, after a bomb and knife attack in May, 2014, in which  three people were killed and 79 wounded. The use of capital punishment to combat separatist attacks in Xinjiang has caused an increase in the rate of executions carried out by Beijing. Photograph: Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

China executed about 2,400 people in 2013 and will execute the same number this year, as the use of capital punishment to combat separatist attacks in(...)

Tourists visit a park near Karamay, in China’s Xinjiang province. Xinjiang has long been a destination for Chinese travellers, but mounting reports of ethnic riots and terror attacks have severely hurt tourism here. Photograph: Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times

Twenty-two people were killed when four Uighur assailants armed with knives and explosives attacked a market in Xinjiang province last week, as ethnic(...)

Uighur academic Ilham Tohti sits during his trial on separatism charges in Urumqi, Xinjiang region last week. A series of attacks occurred in Xinjiang  two days before the Beijing-based scholar was jailed for for separatism, sparking an international outcry. Photograph: CCTV via Reuters.

The death toll from violence that erupted in China’s turbulent far western region of Xinjiang last weekend was raised to 50 from two, state media repo(...)

In sentencing Uighur academic Ilham Tohti to life the authorities in Beijing have signalled once again that they intend to treat the mildest of dissen(...)

Uighur academic Ilham Tohti sits during his trial on separatism charges in Urumqi. The EU, US and UN called for his release on Tuesday after he was jailed for life. Photograph: Reuters

A Chinese court today sentenced the prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti to life imprisonment for promoting separatism, prompting international call(...)

Ilham Tohti.  The trial of the economics professor on charges of promoting separatism has sparked fears of human rights abuses in the far-western Chinese region of Xinjiang. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A prominent Uighur academic from the restive Chinese region of Xinjiang was refused warm clothing and bedding as he went on trial in shackles yeste(...)

Uighur men leave the Id Kah Mosque following the Eid prayers on July 29th, 2014 in old Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The wafer-thin white ball jumps back and forth over the sagging net. A child returns his father’s deliberately weak volleys in an act of familial p(...)

A Uighur man and his son in front of the Id Kah Mosque, China’s largest mosque, in Kashgar, Xinjiang Province. The imam of the mosque was recently stabbed to death by suspected  militants. Photograph: Getty Images

China is offering over 300 million yuan (€36 million) as bounty for tip-offs to aid the government’s crackdown on violent separatists in the restive r(...)