Once again, an Everythingian makes false assumptions and spreads misinformation on China. A shame. Since I've been to Xinjiang, I'll node about it. For a more thorough debunking of typical stereotypes and assumptions, go to the brutality of Red China.

Xinjiang is located in the north-west corner of China. China took control of the region in the 1950's, it having previously had no government, inhabited very sparsely by nomadic tribes. Incidentally, Xinjiang was on the verge of being seized by the Russians as border defense if the Chinese didn't get there first. Which was a good thing, considering what the Russians did to the ethnic Muslims in their provinces.

In the 1980's, the Chinese government embarked on an extensive campaign of economic development of the region. Among other resources, there was massive amounts of oil in its deserts. Initially, they were state-controlled enterprises, but in the 90's they were mostly privatized. However, most of this huge province remains untouched (since it is mostly desert), for the benefit of the nomads who wish to live the nomadic life. Some have moved to cities, some haven't. Their choice.

No, Xinjiang isn't "rife" with anti-Chinese guerilla groups. This is not Sri Lanka. Despite what you think, the Chinese government cannot just tell people to pick up and leave, at least without some very serious monetary compensation (as in the building of the Three Gorges Dam). I believe the average amount of compensation dealt out there was about 5 times the yearly wages of an average Chinese worker (5000RMB), depending on the amount of dependents the family has (elderly, children).

People moved there because China's eastern seacoast was getting too crowded, and the ample business opportunities that exist there. Xinjiang is an autonomous region, and it is more economically relaxed than other provinces. Xinjiang is almost on the same degree of economic freedom as Shanghai and Shenzhen.

To answer the reason why Tibet gets more attention: It is because Dalai Lama doesn't come from Xinjiang, and Islam is not all the fad right now. Remember. Buddhism is cool and peaceful. Islam breeds a bunch of fanatic Muslim terrorists. So says the media anyways. Definitely not me. I don't make assumptions like that.