Dunhuang is a county-level city in Northwestern Gansu Province, Western China. According to the 2010 Chinese census, the city has a population of 186,027, though 2019 estimates put the city's population at about 191,800. Dunhuang was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road and is best known for the nearby Mogao Caves. It has also been known at times as Shazhou and, in Uyghur, Dukhan.
Dunhuang is situated in an oasis containing Crescent Lake and Mingsha Shan, named after the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes, the singing sand phenomenon. Dunhuang commands a strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Southern Silk Route and the main road leading from India via Lhasa to Mongolia and Southern Siberia, and also controls the entrance to the narrow Hexi Corridor, which leads straight to the heart of the north Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang.
Administratively, the county-level city of Dunhuang is part of the prefecture-level city of Jiuquan. The city's seat of government is located in the town of Shazhou.
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