Located in Central Asia and crossed by the ancient Silk Road, this small mountainous country was influenced by several cultures - such as Indo-Iranian, Turkic, Chinese and Russian - through its vast History. Politically and economically isolated, Kharzanistan now tries to be open to the world, searching for its own development.
basic facts and figures
Official Name – Қарзанчөpлай Җумҳури, Qarzançörlay Jumhuri, قارزانچۆرلاي جۇمھۇرى; 西山国共和国, Xīshānguó Gònghéguó (Republic of Kharzanistan)
Surface – 21,313 km²
Population – 1,196,860
Density – 56 inhabitants/km²
Capital – Hoşraz
Major Cities – Sinjunveⱬ, Moğaⱬabad, Savız Köl, Şarqraz.
Climate – cold semi-arid (BSk); average temperature: 1ºC (Jan., -12ºC, Jul., 14ºC); rain: 1,000 mm yearly
Main Rivers – Mahtuⱬ, Ğantuⱬ, Moğaⱬ
Highest Point – Qor Ţoran (6,614 m)
Government – unitary one-party socialist republic
Head-of-State and Government – Chairman (Düxţay) Sirğren Usençütiq (since 2015)
International Organizations: UN, CIS, Central Asian Union
Official Time – GMT +6:00.
people and culture
Languages – Kharzani (official); Mandarin (co-official); Russian; Tajik; Kyrgyz; Uzbek
Religion – Islam (90%); Russian Orthodox Christianity; Buddhism
economy, communication, education
Currency – Kharzani Haynsum (QHS)
GDP per Capita – 1,269 USD
Gross Domestic Product – 1,518 million USD
Economy – mining (gold, uranium), 11.2%; agriculture (wheat, cotton, silk, beef, milk, wool), 29.9%; industry (textile, dairy, food), 23.2%; service (state services, commerce, foreign remittance), 35.7%
Exports – 36.0% of GDP - gold, uranium, agricultural products, dairy, textiles
Imports – 38.9% of GDP - vehicles, fuel, manufactured products, food
Labor Force – 644,000 workers (around 60,000 working in Russia); mining, 8%; agriculture, 24%; industry, 29%; service, 27%
Newspapers – Ҳошразтық Ҳайным (Hoşraztıq Haynım); 新中国学报 (Xīn Zhōngguó Xuébào)
University – Russian-Kharzani University (Рөс-қарзаны Университети) in Hoşraz
History of Kharzanistan
Although the origin of Kharzani people is still obscure and controversial, linguistic and genetic evidences pointed out to nomadic pastoralists that migrated from the Tibetan Plateau to the Pamir-Alay Mountains in the first millennium BC, being therefore of Sino-Tibetan lineage. Through its history, they received influences of several cultures, like those of Indo-Iranian and Turkic people.
The first written register of their presence in the region was made in the second century BC, during the Han Dynasty, by Zhang Qian (張騫), an imperial envoy to the West, in the region of the Silk Road. He referred to Kharzani as Xīshānrén (西山人), “the people of the West Mountains”.
The region was dominated by the Buddhist Empire of Kushan in the first three centuries AD and then, successively, by the Western Turkic Khaganate (from 550 to 740), the Tibetan Empire (in 750) and Qarakhanid Khanate converted to Islam (from 850 to 1100).
In 1100, the Eastern Pamir Mountains was ruled by the Kara Khitan Khanate and then, briefly by the Persian Kwarezmian Empire until being invaded by the Mongols in 1218. They ruled until 1370, when the region became part of the Timurid Empire (1370 to 1506), the Khanate of Bukhara (1506 to 1709) and the Khanate of Kokand (1709-1823).
The country experienced briefly a first period of independence, from 1823 to 1876, with the Emirate of Kharzanistan (قارزانىستان امىرچۆر / Qarzanıstan Amirçör), ruled by emir Sayyid Nabiçütiq.
In the late 19th century, the Russian Empire conquered Central Asia and, between 1864 and 1885, Russia took control of the entire Russian Turkestan, which included Kharzanistan.
In the beginning of 20th century, a large contingent of Muslim Chinese – the Hui people (known locally as Dunganı) – migrated to the region, settling mainly in the city of Ğantuⱬabad (now Sinjunveⱬ), which became known as Xīn Zhōngguó, or “New China”.
During the Soviet Era, the Kharzani Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Хaрзанская Автономна Советская Социалистическая Республика) was created as part of Uzbekistan in 1924 and of Tajikistan in 1929.
The Republic of Kharzanistan became an independent country in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union and during the civil war in Tajikistan. The Chairman of the Communist Party (Kommunistik Partiya Düxţay) Jamşed İbrahimov became the first head of state of the new country. In 2015, Sirğren Usençutıq became the new chairman (düxţay).
With increased assistance of international organisations and co-operation with Russia, US and EU, local authorities had progress fight against illegal drug market, such as heroin, opium and hashish.