Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is situated in Northwest China. There are 30 nationalities of which Hui people accounts for 33.88%. With Yinchuan City as its capital the Region has two prefectures, two cities and 16 counties under its jurisdiction.
Area: 6.6000 square 66,000 square km
Population: 6.1 million (2008)
Population % of Hui 33.88% (2002)
Capital City: Yinchuan
Nationalities: Hui (34%), Han (62%) and Manchu (0.4%)
Altitude: 2,000 meters in the mountains; 1,000 - 1,200 meters on the plains.
GDP (2007): CNY83.4 billion
Average temperature: -10oC to -7oC in January, 17oC to 24oC in July.
Administrative divisions: 4 cities and 16 counties.
Neighboring areas: Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces; Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Major cities: Yinchuan, Shizuishan, Wuzhong, Guyuan, Zhongwei, Qingtongxia.
Geography of Ningxia
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is situated in the west part of the Yellow River Bend, which bordering on Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Shaanxi Province and Gansu Province. It has an area of 66,000 square kilometers, most of which is mountains and highlands. There are 30 nationalities: Hui, Han, Mongolian, Manchu, etc, with population of 6.1 million (2008), of which Hui people accounts for 33.88%. With Yinchuan City as its capital the Region has two prefectures, two cities and 16 counties under its jurisdiction.
Climate of Inner Mongolia
As it is inland, the Region enjoys a temperate continental semi-moist and arid climate. The annual temperature averages 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 59°F). The frost-free period in a year is 100 to 162 days. The annual rainfall varies from 190 to 700 mm.
Economy of Ningxia
Ningxia is the province with the third smallest GDP (Tibet being the last) in China. Its nominal GDP in 2008 was just 133.46 billion yuan (US$19.5 billion) and a per capita GDP of 21,470 yuan (US$3,143). It contributes 0.3% of the national economy.
Ningxia is the principal region of China where wolfberries are grown.
History of Ningxia
Ningxia and its surrounding areas were incorporated into the Qin Dynasty as early as the 3rd century BCE. Throughout the Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty there were several large cities established in the region, and by the 11th century the Tangut tribe had established the Western Xia Dynasty on the outskirts of the then Song Dynasty.
It then came under Mongol domination after Genghis Khan conquered Yinchuan in the early 13th century. After the Mongols departed and its influences faded, some Turkic-speaking Muslims also began moving into Ningxia from the west. The Muslim Rebellion of the 19th century occurred here.
In 1914, Ningxia was merged with the province of Gansu; in 1928, however, it was detached and became a province. Between 1914 and 1928, the Xibei San Ma brothers (literally "three Mas of the northwest") ruled the provinces of Qinghai, Ningxia and Gansu. Muslim General Ma Hongkui was the military Governor of Ningxia and had absolute authority in the province. In 1958, Ningxia formally became an autonomous region of China.
Ningxia is divided into five prefecture-level cities:
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat
— Prefecture-level city —
1 Yinchuan 银川市 Yínchuān Shì Xingqing District
2 Shizuishan 石嘴山市 Shízuǐshān Shì Dawukou District
3 Wuzhong 吴忠市 Wúzhōng Shì Litong District
4 Zhongwei 中卫市 Zhōngwèi Shì Shapotou District
5 Guyuan 固原市 Gùyuán Shì Yuanzhou District
Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Ningxia
The capital city, Yinchuan (Silver Plain), is a few kilometers west of the Huang He. It is surrounded by canals in the plains yet is close to mountains and sand deserts. It was inhabited 30,000 years ago, and 8000 year-old neolithic relics have been found in the capital city. The city of Yinchuan was founded in the Tang dynasty. It was the capital of Western Xia for 190 years, which was destroyed by Genghis Khan. No records of that country are left. Today, there are nine imperial tombs, imposing dagobas and pagodas, mosques, and canals. All are very unusual and impressive. There is Shapatou (Sand Hill), a sand hill that arises abruptly by the Yellow River, where visitors can enjoy sand-sliding, a sport rarely found elsewhere. Yinchuan is a place of adventure, ancient mystery, and primitive charm. Yinchuan produces good-quality sheepskin.
The Nanguan Mosque
The Nanguan Mosque was built at the end of Ming Dynasty in the southeast corner of Yinchuan's old city. The present building, which was rebuilt in 1980 and 1981 covers an area of 2,074 square meters. It is conspicuously Islam in architectural style and has distinctive national features. The mosque is composed of upper and lower levels and its plump, green domes reach a height of 22 meters. The Great Prayer Hall in the upper level can accommodate 1,000 people. The lower level contains bathing houses, a secondary prayer hall and residences for the imams.
The Haibao Pagoda
The Haibao Pagoda is found in the north edge of Yinchuan City. When it was built is anyone's quest. Historical accounts note it was rebuilt by He Lian Bebe, (the ruler of Xia Kingdom, 407 - 427). It is 53.9 meters high, has 11 floors, is made of brick and is square in shape. The niches in every story slightly protude and consequently many edges are formed giving the tower the look of the Chinese character. Its style is unique among the thousands of pagodas of China. Its rooms are also square. The gates face east and four arches lead to the four sides and there is a wooden ladder by which you may climb up to the ninth floor.
The Western Xia Mausoleum
The Western Xia Mausoleum is located on the eastern slope of Helan Mountain in the western suburbs of Yinchuan City and contains the tombs of emperors of the Western Xia. It is 10 km long from south to north and four km from east to west. Nine tumuli of emperors and some 140 annex tombs are scattered throughout the area. Every tumulus is a complete structure, and some are as big as 100,000 square meters. They all have watchtowers, quetai, saced walls, stele pavilions, outer cities, inner cities, Xiandian halls and pagoda-like lutai. Only one of the tumuli and four annex tombs have been excavated up to now.
The Shahu Lake
The Shahu Lake Tourist Area is a popular recreational area 56 km north of Yinchuan City. It is made up of 660 hectares of lake and 300 hectares of golden desert. Visitors may boat among the reeds on the lake. In the middle of the lake is a small island, about one hectare in area. Every year, hundreds of thousands of migratory birds come to rest and breed on the island. This is a unique scenic spot that combines the mild beauty south of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River and landscape of the desert north of the Great Wall.