oasis city, southwestern Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, far western China. It is situated in an oasis watered by the Yarkand River at the western end of the Tarim River basin, southeast of Kashgar (Kashi), at the junction of roads to Aksu to the northwest and to Hotan (Khotan) to the southeast. The roads form parts of the ancient northern and southern branches of the Silk Road through the Tarim Basin. The city comprises several separate walled units, one of which is named Shache and another Yarkand; both names have at times been used as general terms for the city as a whole and for the oasis.
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