Judd C. Kinzley is an Associate Professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His book Natural Resources and the New Frontier: Constructing Modern China’s Borderlands (University of Chicago Press, 2018), focuses on the efforts by an assortment of state and non-state, Chinese and non-Chinese actors to find, exploit, process, and transport various natural resources in 20th century Xinjiang. Their collective efforts to stake claims to the region’s gold, petroleum, wool, animal pelts, and rare nonferrous minerals form the socio-economic and political foundations that continue to shape modern Xinjiang. The work, which is based on archival research conducted in Urumqi, Xinjiang; Beijing; Taipei; Moscow; and London, among other places, offers a new way of viewing not only Xinjiang, but other border regions in China and beyond. He is currently working on a new project that focuses on the Trans-Pacific material exchange of American industrial goods and Lend-Lease equipment for Chinese raw materials during the 1940s.

Last Updated: October 26, 2018



Beijing’s Long Struggle to Control Xinjiang’s Mineral Wealth

Judd C. Kinzley
The Silk Road Economic Belt—the overland component of Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—promises to bind China to Central Asia and beyond through a new infrastructural network. Connecting through China’s far western Xinjiang...