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Kashgar was an important city in “The Great Game”. I had heard of this before both from my visit to Uzbekistan and reading up on Kashgar before the trip.
From about 1813 to 1907 England and Russia were both trying to increase their influence over Central Asia. It never came to armed conflict but there were spies, intrigues, rumours, conspiracies, alliances etc. This was called the Great Game and happened from The Caspian Sea to China. The English thought that Russia would try to get to the Indian Ocean and take India. The Russian increased their sphere of influence into Central Asia by military means and alliances f.i. with Persia.
The British Consulate in Kashgar was central for the English activities in the eastern part. A central person was the consul George Mccartney with his wife Catherine, on the Russian side consul Nicolai Petrovsky. The consulates were on the same street and they visited each other frequently and were good friends socially. Then they went to their offices and made scheems to outsmart each other.
The English Consulate is still standing and we had lunch there. The ground floor was restored and showed the style of the former glory.
I enjoyed this as it gave me a glimse of a place I had read about.