Xinjiang China: Turpan gov’t will establish cockfighting association to promote tourism


– Gameness til the End



Turpan, also known as Turfan or Tulufan, is a prefecture-level city located in the east of Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China. It has an area of 69,324 square kilometres (26,766 sq mi) and a population of 570,000 (2003).

Xinjiang, officially the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division, the 8th largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 0.62 million sq mi. It contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin administered by China. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The extremely rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang’s borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found in Xinjiang, and it is currently China’s largest natural gas-producing region.

It is home to a number of ethnic groups including the Han, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Hui, Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Mongols, and Russians. More than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities are in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as “Chinese Turkestan”. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. Only about 4.3% of Xinjiang’s land area is fit for human habitation.

With a documented history of at least 2,500 years, a succession of peoples and empires has vied for control over all or parts of this territory. The territory came under the rule of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, which was later replaced by the Republic of China government. Since 1949, it has been part of the People’s Republic of China following the Chinese Civil War.

Chinese city plans to attract tourists with COCKFIGHTING and will host legal arenas in its markets and bazaars

  • Turpan, China, will establish cockfighting association by end of this year
  • The city has had more than 280 years of history in the controversial sport
  • Officials hope promoting the activity will help attract visitors to the city

PUBLISHED: 10:43 GMT, 17 April 2016
UPDATED: 22:19 GMT, 17 April 2016

A remote city in north-west China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is planning to use cockfighting as a way to attraction tourists.

The controversial sport has been a part of Turpan’s history for more than 280 years.

Now, the city hopes the introduction of a cockfighting association will help bring in visitors from other parts of the country.

Turpan, north-west China, will establish cockfighting association by end of this year according to city officialTurpan, north-west China, will establish cockfighting association by end of this year according to city official

Around one sixth of the city’s population, about 100,000 people, is already involved in the cockfighting industry.

In an interview with the state news agency Xinhua, Turpan government official Perhat Kadir said: ‘Just like Spain is famous for bullfighting, we hope that cockfighting can become a hallmark for Turpan.’

Part of this involves setting up a cockfighting association, which will be established by the end of the year.

The association will be used to promote the sport and will be involved in setting up ‘arenas’ in local markets and bazaars.

It will also help regulate the industry.

Kadir said: ‘We will bring it into the daylight from underground so that illegal gambling is eliminated.’

China has had a cockfighting tradition dating back thousands of years.

The controversial sport will be used to attract visitors from other parts of the country. Legal arenas will be established as part of the plans The controversial sport will be used to attract visitors from other parts of the country. Legal arenas will be established as part of the plans

And while it remains legal in the country, and fights take place across the country, it’s not considered a mainstream activity.

Betting on the sport and sale of the birds generates substantial turnover for those involved.

According to, Ismail Iblahim, who is considered the king of cockfighting in Xinjiang, sells the game fowls he breeds for as much as 30,000 Yuan (£3,000) each.

Leanne Plumtree, a spokesman from RSPCA told MailOnline Travel: ‘Cockfighting may have a long tradition in this part of China, but that does not make what is a very cruel “sport” any more acceptable.

‘Cockfighting causes enormous suffering to the birds involved, who often fight – for long periods of time – to the death.

‘Cockfighting was made illegal in England and Wales in 1835 and in Scotland 60 years later. We’d urge UK tourists not to support events which promote animal cruelty.’

Xinjiang city bets on fighting fowl to woo tourists

Source: Xinhua | April 17, 2016, Sunday | ONLINE EDITION

AFTER a fierce fight, silver-haired Ismail Iblahim took out his medicated liquor and prepared to give the champion a massage.

“This helps him relax,” explained Ismail Iblahim, 60, while trying to soothe the winner, a big black rooster.

The man and his bird live in Turpan in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The city, located less than 200 kilometers from the regional capital Urumqi, is famous for its vineyards and hot, dry climate.

Turpan’s famed Flaming Mountains, which appeared in the Chinese classic “A Journey to the West,” and its ancient ruins, Buddhist grottoes and other archaeological sites drew 5.12 million tourists last year, up 10.68 percent from the year before.

According to Perhat Kadir, an official with Turpan’s city government, close to 100,000 people, or about one-sixth of the city’s population, are involved in the game fowl trade.

The city is one of four in China with a long cockfighting tradition, and locals are hoping the sport will help them grab a chunk of Turpan’s growing tourism revenue, which reached 5.1 billion yuan in 2015, a yearly increase of 15.23 percent.

Perhat Kadir wants cockfighting to become a major industry and tourist draw for the city.

“Just like Spain is famous for bullfighting, we hope that cockfighting can become a hallmark for Turpan,” the official said.


Cockfighting has been an important pastime in Turpan for more than 280 years.

Unlike chickens raised for food, which mainly eat grain, game fowl are raised on sorghum, beef, walnuts, eggs and tomato. Fighting roosters are big and belligerent, with strong legs and cherry-colored cockscombs.

Following his father and grandfather, Ismail Iblahim has been raising fighting cocks for 40 years. Before the contests, he takes his roosters out for a sunbath. After a match, he bathes the exhausted birds in water infused with Chinese herbal medicine.

Called the “Cockfighting Tsar,” Ismail Iblahim is now well-known in fighting circles.

“In a match, I can tell which rooster is going to win after only a glimpse at them,” he said proudly. His roosters have won many gold and silver medals regionally.

In contests held between April 2 and 8, three of his roosters won their matches, two lost and five ended in a draw.

“The results were pretty good,” he said.

He now works for Bari Hupur, known as “Cockfighting Bari,” who has been organizing cockfighting contests for 10 years. Bari Hupur has a big courtyard for hosting matches, and he charges spectators an admission fee and sells refreshments.

Ismail Iblahim earns an average of 5,000 yuan (about 771 U.S. dollars) a month from raising and training the birds, a handsome amount in the city, and his roosters are worth 10,000 to 30,000 yuan each.


Perhat Kadir, who heads a development team for the city’s cockfighting industry, told Xinhua that a cockfighting association will be established by the end of the year to promote the sport and draw tourists from across China.

“We are going to set up arenas in markets and bazaars to boost people’s interest in the sport,” he said.

He also noted that the industry will be strictly regulated.

“We will bring it into the daylight from underground so that illegal gambling is eliminated,” he added.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the city’s new tourism strategy. Many consider cockfighting a form of of animal cruelty, and the practice is not without controversy in China.

“The culture of a nation should progress along with its economic growth. Isn’t it crooked to seek pleasure from two creatures fighting, even watching them die, in front of you?” said He Yong, country director with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in China.

Ismail Iblahim said it is hard to watch his roosters get hurt.

“Several years ago, a rooster fell ill. I brought him to the vet, who gave him medicine and an injection, but we couldn’t save him. I felt really helpless,” he recalled.

In a match not long before, his rooster “Black Chap” died after fighting for four hours. The man was heartbroken.

“I don’t want them to be injured either,” he said. “Each time after a match, I take them to the vet.”

An official from the Turpan Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Sports and Film, who identified himself only as “Alim,” told Xinhua it never occurred to him the sport would cause controversy.

“I just hope that the traditional game can help locals improve their lives,” he said.

Cockfighting to attract tourists?

Article By: Staff Reporter | iafrica
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 5:18 PM

A file image of a rooster. Credit:</i> A file image of a rooster. Credit:

A Chinese city has taken an approach to attracting tourists that may not sit well with some – cockfighting.

Turpan in Xinjiang has a long cockfighting tradition which locals hope will grow into a major industry and play a role in attracting tourists.

“Just like Spain is famous for bullfighting, we hope that cockfighting can become a hallmark for Turpan,” a city official said according to Xinhua.

The city is set to establish a cockfighting association that will promote the practice. However the idea is not popular with Chinese animal welfare activists.

Activists say that we should not take pleasure from animals hurting each other.

However, some hope that the practice will improve the lives and incomes of locals, with cockfighting proving lucrative.

poultry gamefowl chicken gamecock

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