Resource endowment and resource carrying capacity (RCC) are the most important cornerstones of regional sustainable development. By applying a newly established RCC method, namely, the relative resources carrying capacity (RRCC) method, we evaluated the RCC in the Tarim River basin (TRB) in arid China in Xinjiang during 2000-2011. Research results show that the relative resources carrying capacity can be effectively served as indicators of regional resources sustainable development status. Taking Xinjiang as the reference region, the TRB can be characterized as an area with an overloaded population and surplus economy during the whole research period, where land resources are relative advantage resources carrying the regional population growth and economic development and water resources are relative disadvantage resources restricting rapid regional development. Taking TRB as the reference region, 42 counties and cities in TRB performed significant temporal and spatial disparities according to the RRCC based on population and economic perspectives. Based on the spatial-temporal evolution of RRCC, 42 counties and cities in TRB were classified into four matching modes (A, B, C, and D). The spatial-temporal evolution characteristics and mechanisms about the 42 prefectures and cities were examined, and the suitable development strategies for every different mode were recommended.