Tajik is a general name for a wide range of Persian-speaking peoples of ancient Iranian origin living in today's Afghanistan, Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan. Tajiks in China are a Muslim ethnic group living in the Southwestern region of Xinjiang province notably Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County and speaking Tajik language, a Pamiri branch of Iranian Language family. The ancestors of Chinese Tajik, from early times, were living southern region of Xinjiang and were believers of Hinayana Buddism. In the 10th century, Karakhans (940–1212) took control over Tajiks homeland and converted a vast majority of the region’s inhabitants. Today most Chinese Tajiks are living in Tashkurgan County and the rests are in Shache, Zepu, Yecheng and Pishan County. The estimated number is 50000 people (41528 people in census of year 2000).