Silk Road city 'under threat'

Exiled Uighur leader critical of plans to demolish parts of Kashgar.

    Kadeer says the demolition plan is a threat to the Uighur identity and culture [GALLO/GETTY]

    Kadeer heads the Uighur American Association, and was a prominent businesswoman in Xinjiang but was jailed in 1999 for allegedly "leaking state secrets".

    She was released and sent into exile in 2005.

    Despite an influx of Han Chinese immigrants into the area in recent decades, Kashgar is mainly populated by Turkic-speaking Uighurs and other Central Asian ethnic groups such as Kazakhs and Tajiks.

    Demolition plan

    According to a report on the Xinjiang government's news website, the buildings in the city are dangerous and need to be demolished and rebuilt.

    "The ancient city is dangerous and has become susceptible to a serious earthquake disaster," the report said.

    "With a history of over 1,000 years it is under constant erosion from the elements."

    In February, the government launched a $440m plan to move nearly 50,000 families out of Kashgar's ancient city centre.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?