Qiemo County is in the Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, part of western China’s Xinjiang region in the heart of what was once the ancient Silk Road. In 2014, the Chinese government began a Sinofication programme aimed at reducing the non-Han Chinese population living in Qiemo County by encouraging mixed marriages.

The plan introduced an annual allowance of 10,000 yuan (roughly €1,300) to any mixed couples living in the region to encourage them to have children and speed up the cultu...

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