The conclusion reflects on the historical leftovers that exist in the social time of the frontier, and their coexistence with a perennial sense of anticipation, as both individuals and institutions orient their gaze towards the future. Such asynchronicity is an integral part of the condition of modern China. The book ends with a challenge to the almost-universally held assumption that integration of the periphery is the deep motive of all the core’s actions and policies in Xinjiang. Persistent “imperial thinking” in the core not only makes such integration impossible, it also makes it undesirable.
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