September 1, 2009

 

As the capital city of Qinghai Province , Xining is the provincial center of politics, economy, culture, education, technology, transportation and commerce. Xining lies in the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, and the upper reaches of Shuang Shui River . The average altitude of the urban area is 2275 meters. It is not very cold in winter and not very hot in summer, belonging to the typical mainland plateau climate. The average annual temperature is 7.7 centigrade, and the annual rainfall is 425 millimeter.

Xining has a history of over 2100 years, and was a chief commercial hub on the Hexi Corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times. The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the first century BC after efforts by the Han Dynasty to control this route.
In 1104 in the Song dynasty , it received the nam eXining (meaning “peace in the west”) and has been the seat of a prefecture or superior prefecture under that name since that time. With the rise of Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism), which began in the 7th century AD, Xining became an important religious center; Qinghai’s largest lamasery, a holy place to the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhists, was located at Kunbum, some 19 km to the southeast.

Xining was the extraterritorial capital of the Koko Nor territory and remained in Gansu until 1928, when it became the provincial capital of the newly established independent province of Qinghai. Xining was given municipal status in 1945.

The city is composed of four districts (East, West, South & North), three counties (Da Tong, Huang Zhong, Huang Yuan), one Economic &Tech Development Zone which is under construction, and one Cheng Nan New District. With a total area of 7,665 square kilometers, it has a total population of 2.1 million and an urban coverage of 350 square kilometers and 1.03 million urban populations. Xining is a multinational and multi-religion city, consisting of 36 nationalities such as Han, Hui, Tu, Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu and Salar etc, which constitute 25% of the total population.

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