From the Document: "Uyghurs (also spelled 'Uighurs') are a Muslim ethnic group living primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the far northwest of the People's Republic of China (PRC). They have garnered the attention of U.S. policymakers, particularly since 2018 following reports of the mass internment of Uyghurs in 'reeducation' centers. The detentions are part of a PRC government effort to systematically transform the thought and behavior of Uyghurs and forcefully assimilate them into Chinese society, which some observers believe may result in the destruction of Uyghur culture and identity. The U.S. government has responded by implementing targeted restrictions on trade with Xinjiang and imposing visa and economic sanctions on some PRC officials. Uyghurs speak a Turkic language and practice a moderate form of Sunni Islam. The XUAR, often referred to simply as Xinjiang (pronounced 'SHIN-jyahng'), is a provincial-level administrative region which comprises about one-sixth of China's total land area and borders eight countries. The region is rich in minerals, produces over 80% of China's cotton, and has China's largest coal and natural gas reserves and a fifth of its oil reserves. The XUAR is a strategic region for the PRC's Belt and Road Initiative, which involves Chinese-backed infrastructure projects and energy development in neighboring Central and South Asia."
CRS In Focus, IF10281
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/