China eyes development of poor areas in the country's west
Kashgar stands on the Silk Road - the trade route of ancient times stretching from the eastern Chinese city of Xian to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
With the advent of major shipping lanes, however, the overland routes fell out of use and Kashgar became something of a backwater.
But now Kashgar is experiencing its biggest economic boom in living memory.
As the BBC's Martin Patience reports, Beijing is pouring billions of dollars into a city which it designated as a special economic zone back in 2010 - one of only half a dozen such zones in the country.
The government believes that economic development will help ease ethnic tensions not only in Kashgar but across the remote western Chinese region of Xinjiang - one of the poorest parts in the country.