Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 17:17 UK

In pictures: Life in Urumqi

Children in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

The bustling city of Urumqi is the capital of China's westernmost province, Xinjiang. (Photos: Pawel Boguslawski )

A stall at a night market in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

For centuries Urumqi has been a stopover for traders, linking China to Europe on the ancient Silk Road. Traders, travellers and tourists are still a presence notably in the city's atmospheric night market.

Family in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

Xinjiang province is one of China's most ethnically diverse. In Urumqi Han Chinese live alongside people from the mainly Muslim Uighur ethnic group

Office blocks in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

Urumqi is the economic centre of Xinjiang province. Recent years have witnessed the arrival of shopping centres, tower blocks, department stores and highways.

A man uses a mobile phone in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

But development has brought it problems, and Urumqi is now thought to be one of the world's most polluted cities.

A car drives down a street in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

Xinjiang has a degree of autonomy from China but there is still a sense of dissatisfaction. An occasionally violent Uighur campaign continues to call for greater independence.

Gaming house in Urumqi, China (Photo: Pawel Boguslawski)

While Urumqi embraces modernity, there is still time for traditional and more relaxing pursuits in the city's public play houses. (Photographs: Pawel Boguslawski)



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