Provinces in West China


Qinghai [t ʃ i ŋ -], Chinghai, province in northwest China, northeast of Tibet, 721,000 km 2, (2015) 5.88 million residents (mainly concentrated in the east), some of them national minorities (Tibetans, Mongols, Hui), who live in six autonomous districts, the capital is Xining. In terms of area, Qinghai is the largest, but the most sparsely populated province in China (8 residents / km 2).Qinghai is above all a high mountain region that comprises the northeast of the Tibetan highlands (Qinghai highlands, over 4,000 m above sea level) with embedded basins (Qaidam basins, basins of Qinghai Hu) and also part of the mountain systems of the Kunlun Shan and Richthofen mountains Has; it is the headwaters of the Hwangho, Mekong and Yangtze River, but large areas have no runoff (salt lakes). Qinghai has a winter-dry continental climate, so that high mountain steppes and deserts predominate; only 2% of the area is forested. On the border with Tibet is the almost deserted area of Hoh Xil, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 as a retreat for some wild animal species.


Qinghai is one of the economically underdeveloped provinces in China. Pasture farming (yak, sheep, camel, horse husbandry) is of the greatest importance; In the river valleys near Xining and on the southern edge of the Qaidam Basin, cereals (barley, oats, maize, millet) and potato cultivation. The rich natural resources are only partially used (extraction of oil, natural gas, uranium ore, coal, salt extraction on the salt lakes). The manufacturing industry is limited to the processing of agricultural products outside of the capital. The main traffic routes are the railway line from Xining to Golmud in the Qaidam Basin, which went into operation in 1984 and which has been operating as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Lhasa (a total of 1,956 km) since 2001 as the world’s highest (according to Chinese data) railway line through a high mountain region (approx. 960 km across 4,000 m above sea level, Vertex at 5 072 m above sea level) and was completed in 2005, as well as the road to Lhasa that has existed since 1954. There are more recent attempts to further develop mineral resources and to use hydropower.


Xining [ ɕ in ɪ ŋ ], Sining, capital of Qinghai Province, in western China, in the highlands of Tibet, on the Huang Shui, 2.21 million residents in the entire administrative area, of which 1.41 million residents in the city districts.Xining developed as a trading center for the Tibetan nomads in the hinterland of Qinghai Province, has a teacher training center, technical colleges for business and health care and a zoo. In addition to the traditional processing of agricultural raw materials, the metal (including construction of agricultural machinery, pumps) and chemical industry, aluminum factory developed; Coal mining northwest of the city near Datong. The city has a road and rail connection (since 2005; from 1984 only to Golmud) to Lhasa (Tibet); Airport.


Gansu, Kansu, province in northwest China, 366,500 km 2, (2010) 25.6 million residents, of which around 5% are Hui and Tibetans and others. national minorities (over 90% of the Han population immigrated since 1953); The capital has beenLanzhou since 1949. In the city of Xiahe, about 250 km southwest of Lanzhou in the south of the province, there is the Labrang Monastery, one of the six large monasteries of the Gelugpa School (»School of the Virtuous«, »Yellow Hats«) and one of the largest Tibetan monasteries outside Tibet.


The eastern part of the province is loess area through which the Hwangho flows. To the northwest, the province forms a long “corridor” between the northeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Qilian Shan, up to 5,600 m above sea level) and the Gobi, the oases of which mark the old Silk Road; today they are through the Lanzhou Railway –Ürümqi connected. Almost 30% of Gansu’s area is steppe. Mainly wheat, maize, millet, cotton, linseed and melons are grown on around 3.5 million hectares of agricultural land, as well as pigs, sheep, cattle and horses. Modern industrial operations (metal and petrochemical industry, wool processing, hydroelectronics and chemical plants) are mainly concentrated in Lanzhou, the oil production in Yumen (since 1955) and Jinchang;

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View of traditional buildings in Lanzhou (China)

Lanzhou [-d ʒ ɔ  ], Lanchow, Lantschou, until 1946 Kaolan, capital of the Gansu Province, China, on the central Hwangho, in a loess-clad valley widening, 3.62 million residents in the entire administrative area, including 2.76 million residents in the boroughs;University, chemistry college, college of medicine; China’s nuclear research center, other research facilities (including the petroleum institute); Provincial Museum. – Center of chemical and heavy industry based on mineral resources in the outskirts of the Central Asian deserts; a crude oil pipeline runs from the Yumen oil field to the large Lanzhou refinery; Steel mill, mechanical engineering (for the oil industry), manufacture of machine tools and ball bearings, aluminum, rubber industry. The city area also includes the Yungteng cement industry center and Paiyin with copper ore mining; coal mining nearby. Several large hydropower plants have been installed in the gorges of the Hwangho near Lanzhou. Lanzhou is a traffic junction on the most important east-west rail link in northern China from Lianyungang on the Yellow Sea to Ürümqi in the north-west of the country with a connection (since 1990) to the Turkestan-Siberian Railway in Kazakhstan; River port; Airport.

A small trading town emerged from the former caravan station. Since the 1950s, the university buildings, administrative buildings and v. a. Industrial companies the image of the city. Chongqing Si Temple (1374) is located on the steep slopes of the Five Spring Hill Park in the south of the city.

Gansu, China