Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture

Coordinates: 39°43′N 76°10′E / 39.71°N 76.17°E / 39.71; 76.17
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Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州
 • Uyghurقىزىلسۇ قىرغىز ئاپتونوم ئوبلاستى
 • Kyrgyzقىزىلسۇۇ قىرعىز اپتونوم وبلاسى
Kyrgyz yurts in Bulungkol, Akto County
Kizilsu Prefecture (red) in Xinjiang (orange)
Kizilsu Prefecture (red) in Xinjiang (orange)
CountryPeople's Republic of China
 • Total70,916 km2 (27,381 sq mi)
Elevation1,150−7,000+ m (3,800−23,000+ ft)
 (2020 Census)
 • Total622,222
 • Density8.8/km2 (23/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
ISO 3166 codeCN-XJ-30
GDP (nominal)[2]2019
 – Total¥15.905 billion
$2.3 billion
 – Per capita¥25,556
 – GrowthIncrease 5.2% (in Chinese)
Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese克孜勒蘇柯爾克孜自治州
Simplified Chinese克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州
Uyghur name
Uyghurقىزىلسۇ قىرغىز ئاپتونوم ئوبلاستى
Kyrgyz name
Kyrgyzقىزىلسۇۇ قىرعىز اپتونوم وبلاسى
Кызылсуу Кыргыз аптоном обласы
Kyzylsuu Kyrgyz aptonom oblasy

Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture[a][b] is an autonomous prefecture in western Xinjiang, China, bordering Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Its capital is Artux. The prefecture is home to 622,222 people (as of 2020) and covers an area of 70,916 km2 (27,381 sq mi). Most Kyrgyz in China reside in Kizilsu; they make up a little over a quarter of the prefecture's population. The Uyghurs are the largest ethnic group in Kizilsu, consisting of nearly two-thirds of the population.


The name Kizilsu (also spelled Kezilesu, derived from Chinese pinyin[4][5]) refers to the Kezi River and means "red water" in the Kyrgyz language.[6] Kiziloy, Kizilto, and the Kizil Caves are nearby places that also use the prefix kizil (red).


Kizilsu was within the territory of the First East Turkestan Republic, which lasted from November 1933 to April 1934. The establishment of the short-lived breakaway state was thanks in part to a political and military alliance between Uyghurs and Kyrgyz in western Xinjiang.

The Southern Xinjiang Administrative Office of the People's Republic of China established the Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Region on 14 July 1954. The autonomous region was reorganised as an autonomous prefecture in February 1955.[7][1]

In 1955, the townships of Barin, Jamaterek, and Ujme were transferred from Yengisar County to Akto County, as was Bulungkol from Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Kashgar Prefecture.[8]

In April 1990, a protest in Barin against Chinese rule in Xinjiang escalated into an armed insurrection, in what came to be known as the Barin uprising or Barin riot.[9]


Map including the westernmost point of China (DMA, 1982)

Kizilsu directly administers 1 county-level city and 3 counties.

(Note: This map does not reflect changes to the China–Tajikistan border.)
# Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Uyghur (UEY) Uyghur Latin (ULY) Kyrgyz (Arabic script) Kyrgyz (Cyrillic script) Kyrgyz Latin transcription Population (2020 Census) Area (km2) Density (km2)
1 Artux 阿图什市 Ātúshí Shì ئاتۇش شەھىرى Atush Shehiri ارتىش شاارى Артыш шаары Artysh shaary 290,936 15,698 18.53
2 Akto County 阿克陶县 Ākètáo Xiàn ئاقتو ناھىيىسى Aqto Nahiyisi ﺍﻗﺘﻮﻭ وودانى Актоо ооданы Aktoo oodany 226,005 24,555 9.20
3 Akqi County 阿合奇县 Āhéqí Xiàn ئاقچى ناھىيىسى Aqchi Nahiyisi اقچىي وودانى Акчий ооданы Akchiy oodany 44,369 11,545 3.84
4 Wuqia County[10] 乌恰县 Wūqià Xiàn ئۇلۇغچات ناھىيىسى Ulughchat Nahiyisi ۇلۇۇچات وودانى Улуучат ооданы Uluuchat oodany 60,912 19,118 3.19


According to the 2020 census, Kizilsu has 622,222 inhabitants with a population density of 6.36 inhabitants per km2. Most Kyrgyz in China (80 per cent) reside in Kizilsu.[11] As of 2013, 27 per cent of the inhabitants of the prefecture were Kyrgyz.[12]

Population by ethnicity
Nationality 2000[13] 2010[14] 2018[15]
Population % Population % Population %
Uyghur 281,306 63.98% 339,926 64.68% 413,655 66.24%
Kyrgyz 124,533 28.32% 143,582 27.32% 163,863 26.24%
Han 28,197 6.41% 35,629 6.78% 39,292 6.29%
Tajiks 4,662 1.06% 5,547 1.06% 6,097 0.98%
Hui 432 0.10% 447 0.08% 586 0.09%
Uzbek 44 0.01% 196 0.03%
Kazakhs 88 0.02% 180 0.03%
Manchu 33 0.01% 86 0.01%
Mongol 40 0.01% 66 0.01%
Tatars 35 0.01%
Sibe 33 0.01%
Russians 5 <0.01%
Daur 2 <0.01%
Tibetan 51 0.01%
Tujia 49 0.01%
Others 558 0.13% 134 0.03% 400 0.06%
Total 439,688 100% 525,570 100% 624,496 100%


Party secretary[edit]



  1. ^ "Kyrgyz" is spelled "Kirgiz" by the Chinese government.[3]
  2. ^
    • Chinese: 克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州; pinyin: Kèzīlèsū Kē'ěrkèzī Zìzhìzhōu
    • Uyghur: قىزىلسۇ قىرغىز ئاپتونوم ئوبلاستى, romanizedQizilsu Qirghiz Aptonom Oblasti
    • Kyrgyz: قىزىلسۇۇ قىرعىز اپتونوم وبلاسى, romanized: Kyzylsuu Kyrgyz aptonom oblasy


  1. ^ a b 夏征农; 陈至立, eds. (September 2009). 辞海:第六版彩图本 [Cihai (Sixth Edition in Color)] (in Chinese). 上海. Shanghai: 上海辞书出版社. Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House. p. 1246. ISBN 9787532628599.
  2. ^ "克孜勒苏州2019年国民经济和社会发展统计公报" (in Chinese). 12 March 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  3. ^ "The Kirgiz ethnic minority". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 3 September 2020. The Kirgiz ethnic minority, with a population of 143,500, finds 80 per cent of its inhabitants in the Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
  4. ^ "Addition of Certain Entities to the Entity List". Federal Register. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020. Kezilesu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture Public Security Bureau, including one alias (Kizilsu Autonomous Prefecture Public Security Bureau)
  5. ^ Eset Sulaiman, Paul Eckert (11 September 2017). "China Runs Region-wide Re-education Camps in Xinjiang for Uyghurs And Other Muslims". Radio Free Asia. Translated by Eset Sulaiman. Retrieved 21 September 2020. The officer from Ujme Township in Aktu (Aketao in Chinese) County, Kizilsu (Kezilesu) prefecture ...
  6. ^ Ole Olufsen (1904). Through the Unknown Pamirs. William Heinemann. p. 5 – via Internet Archive. The Kizilsu Surkhab (Kizilsu being Turkish for Red Water, and Surkhab the Persian for Red Water) has its source near the psas of Ton Murum in Transalai, and, with it broad fertile valley, forms the boundary between the Alai mountains and Transalai, the most northerly range of Pamir.
  7. ^ 克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州历史沿革 [Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture Historical Development] (in Simplified Chinese). 29 January 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2020. 1949年,新疆和平解放,境内阿合奇县辖于新疆省阿克苏专区,阿图什、乌恰等县辖于喀什专区。1954年7月,以柯尔克孜族为自治民族的克孜勒苏柯尔克孜自治州成立。至此,克孜勒苏才形成一个统一的地区级行政建置。
  8. ^ Xie Yuzhong 解玉忠 (2003). 地名中的新疆 (in Simplified Chinese). Ürümqi: 新疆人民出版社. pp. 191–93. ISBN 7-228-08004-1.
  9. ^ Guo, Rongxing (15 July 2015). "Uyghur unrest and Xinjiang: Narrative". China's Spatial (Dis)integration: Political Economy of the Interethnic Unrest in Xinjiang. Chandos Publishing. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-0-08-100403-6.
  10. ^ The official spelling according to 中国地名录. Beijing: SinoMaps Press (中国地图出版社). 1997. ISBN 7-5031-1718-4.
  11. ^ "Kirgiz ethnic group". State Council Information Office. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2020. The Kirgiz ethnic minority, with a population of 160,823, finds 80 percent of its inhabitants in the Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
  12. ^ "Central Officials Visit Kizilsu Region ahead of Xinjiang Autonomy Anniversary". China Central Television Video News Agency. 28 September 2015. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2020 – via YouTube. Top Chinese political adviser Yu Zhengsheng visited China's westernmost Kizilsu region on Monday, as China prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
    Bordering Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Kizilsu is the only Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture in the country. Some 27 percent of the local population was Kyrgyz in 2013, local government figures show.
  13. ^ 2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料. Publishing House of Minority Nationalities. 2003. ISBN 7-105-05425-5.
  14. ^ Stanley W. Toops (August 2012). Susan M. Walcott; Corey Johnson (eds.). Eurasian Corridors of Interconnection: From the South China to the Caspian Sea. Routledge. pp. 65–66. ISBN 978-1135078751.
  15. ^ 3-7 各地、州、市、县(市)分民族人口数 [3-7 Population by Nationality by Prefecture, State, City and County (City)]. (in Chinese). Statistical Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 10 June 2020. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  16. ^ a b Eset Sulaiman, Roseanne Gerin (12 April 2017). "Authorities Urge Kyrgyz Herdsmen to Spy on Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang". Radio Free Asia. Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Yueerguli Jiapaer 约尔古丽·加帕尔". China Vitae. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019.

External links[edit]

39°43′N 76°10′E / 39.71°N 76.17°E / 39.71; 76.17