December 2016. Xinjiang province, China. View of a police station and police officers training a police dog in Qiemo county in the south of Xinjiang province, just south of tyhe Taklamakan desert, on the southern silk road route.
Xinjiang is the westernmost province in all China, located at the border of Central Asian countries, Russia and Mongolia. More than twice the size of France, it has only 22 million inhabitants, a majority of which are the indigenous Uighurs, a sunni-muslim Turkic ethnic group which has lived in the region for centuries. Tensions have nonetheless arisen in the last decade as a consequence of the en-masse migration of Han Chinese settlers and confessional persecution by the strongly secular governmental authorities.