Fighting thirst, and militants
From Asia Times: “Since China’s annexation of the Xinjiang-Uighur autonomous region in 1950, Beijing has pursued policies that have put considerable pressure on the local environment. This western region, which borders Central Asia, is home to China’s main nuclear testing site. Pollution does not respect political boundaries, which is why the impact of the 42 reported tests at Lop Nor worries Central Asians, as does the planned construction of oil and gas pipelines linking Xinjiang to Central Asia. But the most immediate concern is water. China’s “go west” policy aimed at further developing its northwestern province requires ever-growing amounts of water.
Xinjiang’s growing thirst for water is raising fears of a major catastrophe in Kazakhstan. ”