city, western Gansu sheng (province), northwestern China. Situated in an oasis in the Gansu-Xinjiang desert region, it is at the far western limit of traditional Chinese settlement along the Silk Road across Central Asia. Dunhuang was the first trading town reached by foreign merchants entering Chinese-administered territory from the west. The city is the site of the renowned Mogao Caves, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Pop. (2005) 140,000.
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