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Edit Title:[HugChina] Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
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Bernd Chang
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Inner Mongolia (内蒙古; Neimenggu) Autonomous Region is located in North China. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the country of Mongolia (alternatively known as Outer Mongolia) and the Russian Federation. Its capital is Hohhot and the largest city is Baotou.

General information

Area: 1.183 million square km

Population: 23.86 million (2006)

% of Mongolian 18 %

Capital City: Hohhot

Nationalities: Mongolian (79%), Han (17%), Daur (0.3%), Hui (0.9%), and Manchu (2%)

GDP (2007): CNY601.9 billion

Average temperature: -23oC to -10oC in January, 17oC to 26oC in July.

Mountains: Greater Hinggan Range and Yinshan Mountains.

Rivers: Yellow River, Ergun River and upper reaches of Liaohe River.

Administrative divisions: 16 cities, 18 counties, 51 banners and 3 autonomous banners.

Neighboring areas: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Neighboring countries: Russia and Mongolia.

Major cities: Hohhot, Baotou, Wuhai, Hailar, Manzhouli, Tongliao, Chifeng, Jining, Erenhot, Ulanhot.

Inner Mongolia (Chinese: 内蒙古; pinyin: Nèi Měnggǔ;) Autonomous Region is located in North China. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the country of Mongolia (alternatively known as Outer Mongolia) and the Russian Federation. Its capital is Hohhot and the largest city is Baotou.

Geography of Inner Mongolia

In the northeast is the Greater Hinggan Range with dense forests; west of the range is the Hulunbuir Plateau, with vast grasslands for grazing; the rest of the Inner Mongolia Plateau consists of numerous deserts, sands, salt and alkali lakes, and scattered highlands.

Climate of Inner Mongolia

Due to its size, Inner Mongolia has a wide variety of temperatures but the following climactic characteristics apply provincial-wide: four-season monsoon-influenced climate, with long, cold, very dry winters, quick and dry springtime and autumnal transitions (the former of which is prone to sandstorms), and very warm to hot summers. Generally, cold arid or steppe climactic regimes (Koppen BWk, BSk, respectively) dominate.

Economy of Inner Mongolia

Farming of crops such as wheat takes precedence along the river valleys. In the more arid grasslands, herding of goats, sheep and so on is a traditional method of subsistence. Forestry and hunting are somewhat important in the Greater Khingan ranges in the east. Reindeer herding is carried out by Evenks in the Evenk Autonomous Banner. More recently, growing grapes and winemaking have become an economic factor in the Wuhai area.

Inner Mongolia has abundance of resources especially coal, cashmere, natural gas, rare earth elements, and has more deposits of naturally occurring niobium, zirconium and beryllium than any other province-level region in China. However in the past, the exploitation and utilisation of resources were rather inefficient, which resulted in poor returns from rich resources. Inner Mongolia is also an important coal production base in north China.

Industry in Inner Mongolia has grown up mainly around coal, power generation, forestry-related industries, and so forth. Inner Mongolia now laid emphasis on six competitive industries, namely energy, chemicals, metallurgy, equipment manufacturing, processing of farm (including dairy) produce as well as hi-tech products. Well-known Inner Mongolian enterprises include companies such as ERDOS, Yili, and Mengniu.

The nominal GDP of Inner Mongolia in 2009 was 970 billion yuan (US$142 billion), a growth of 16.9% from 2008, with an average annual increase of 20% from the period 2003-2007. Its per capita GDP reached 37,287 yuan (US$5,460) in 2009. In 2008, Inner Mongolia's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 90.7 billion yuan, 427.1 billion yuan, and 258.4 billion yuan respectively. The urban per capita disposable income and rural per capita net income were 14,431 yuan and 4,656 yuan, up 16.6% and 17.8% respectively.

As the winds in the grasslands are very strong, some private companies have set up wind parks in parts of Inner Mongolia such as Bailingmiao, Hutengliang and zhouzi.

History of Inner Mongoliai

Throughout most of history and time, central and western Inner Mongolia, especially the Hetao region, alternated in control between Chinese agriculturalists in the south and Xiongnu, Xianbei , Khitan, Jurchen, Tujue, and Mongol nomads of the north. Eastern Inner Mongolia is properly speaking a part of Manchuria , and its historical narrative consists more of alternations between different groups there rather than the struggle between nomads and Chinese agriculturalists.

After Genghis Khan unified the Mongol tribes in 1206 and founded the Mongol Empire, In 1271, Genghis grandson Khubilai established the Yuan Dynasty. Khubilai's summer capital Shangdu (aka Xanadu) was located near present-day Dolonnor. During that time Ongud and Khunggirad peoples dominated the area of Inner Mongolia. After the Yuan Dynasty was evicted by the Han -led Ming Dynasty in 1368, the Ming rebuilt the Great Wall of China at its present location, which roughly follows the southern border of the modern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (though it deviates significantly at the Hebei- Inner Mongolia border). The Ming established the Three Guards composed of the Mongols there. After the Tumu incident in 1450, Mongols flooded south from Northern Mongolia to Southern Mongolia. Thus from then on until 1635, Inner Mongolia was the center of the Northern Yuan Dynasty.

The Manchus gained control of the Inner Mongolian tribes in the early 17th century, then invaded Ming Dynasty in 1644, bringing it under the control of their Qing Empire. Under the Manchu Qing Empire ( 1636–1912), ordinary Mongols were not allowed to travel outside their own leagues. While there had been Han Chinese farmers in what is now Inner Mongolia since the time of Altan Khan, mass settlement began in the late nineteenth century. The Manchus were becoming increasingly sinicized, and faced with the Russian threat, they began to encourage Han Chinese farmers to settle in both Mongolia and Manchuria. This policy has been followed by subsequent governments.

During the Republic of China era, Outer Mongolia proclaimed independence with the presence of Soviet Union army. At the same time, Inner Mongolia was reorganized into provinces.

Manchuria came under the control of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo in 1931, taking the Mongol areas in the Manchurian provinces (i.e. Hulunbuir and Jirim leagues) along. Rehe was also incorporated into Manchukuo in 1933, taking Juu Uda and Josutu leagues along with it. These areas were administered by Manchukuo until the end of World War II in 1945.

Following the end of World War II, the Chinese Communists gained control of Manchuria with some Soviet support, and established the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1947, following the Soviet model of nationalities policy. Initially the autonomous region included just the Hulunbuir region. Over the next decade, as the communists established the People's Republic of China and consolidated control over mainland China, Inner Mongolia was expanded. Eventually, near all areas with sizeable Mongol populations were incorporated into the region, giving present-day Inner Mongolia its elongated shape.

Administrative divisions

Inner Mongolia is divided into 12 prefecture-level divisions.

— Prefecture-level city —

Bayan Nur 巴彦淖尔市

Wuhai 乌海市

Ordos 鄂尔多斯市

Baotou 包头市

Hohhot 呼和浩特市

Ulanqab 乌兰察布市

Chifeng 赤峰市

Tongliao 通辽市

Hulunbuir 呼伦贝尔市

— League —

Alxa 阿拉善盟

Xilin Gol 锡林郭勒盟

Hinggan 兴安盟

Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Inner Mongolia

Inner Mongolia's capital city, Hohhot (Green City), is 1000 meters above sea level. It dates all the way back to the Ming Dynasty, at least some 400 years ago. The traditional religion is Lamaism, a branch of Buddhism related to that of Tibet. Dazhao Temple, the oldest temple, has a rare silver Buddha and many musical instruments. Tourists can travel out and sleep in a yurt in the grasslands, ride camels and camel carts, or try Mongolian bows and arrows. They can also drink tea laced with milk, butter, and grain or eat barbecued lamb, mutton hot pot, beef kabab, and camel hoof, which allows tourists to get an impression of Mongolian lifestyle. This deepens after a visit to the Provincial Museum. Mongolian folk songs and dances are distinct, while saber-fighting, horseback acrobatics, and horse racing still reflect the nomadic life of Mongols. Inner Mongolia produces woolen textiles, carpets, tapestries and Mongolian-style riding boots, sabers, saddles. stirrups and felt stockings.

Xilamuren Steppe

Among the first few Inner Mongolia steppes catering to tourism, Xilamuren, 87 km to the north of Hohhot and 1,700 metres above sea level, is a summer resort where the air is fresh with lush green grass and a midsummer night as cool as if it was autumn. The Yurt-hotels are completed with all the necessary modern facilities. Tourist activities include horse and camel riding, visits to herdspeople's homes, watching Mongolian singing and dancing performances, wrestling competitions, horse & camel racing and joining campfire parties. Authentic Mongolian food are also a wonderful treat with milk tea, braised mutton chunks, instant-boiled lamb, kebab, and roast mutton legs, mutton chops and a whole roast lamb.

The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan

Emperor Taizu (1162-1227) of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1386) was entombed in Gandch steppe, yijinhuolo Banner in the southwestern part of Inner Mongolia. The 5.5-hectare mausoleum consists mainly of a row of three yurt shaped palaces with domes of glazed yellow tiles bordered with blue and white walls together with vermilion gates. Leading to the gate of each building is a flight of eighty-one steps, flanked by pines and halls to match the central one. In the southern corner of the compound stands a palace in which the Khan used to stay when he was away from his capital.

The Noisy Sand Bay

The Noisy Sand Bay or Xiangshawan is situated in the middle section of the Kubuq'i Desert and Dalate Banner, 1,150 metres above sea level. It is actually a small sand slope measuring 60 by 40 meters at an angle of about 45 degrees. On a sunny day, when a person slides down the slope from the top, hands stirring the sand on the way down, the sand drums like a plane flying overhead. Five km to the northwest of the Noisy Sand Bay is a stretch of dense forest where yurt-hotels accomodate tourists

The Wudang Lamasery

The Wudang Lamasery was built during the latter half of the 17th century 70 km to the south of Baotou City. It is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in Inner Mongolia and contains six temple hars, three mansions for Living Buddhas, and an altar hall covering a total area of 20 hectares! Constructed on mountain slopes, terrace above terrace, the magnificent lamasery overlooks the clusters of small lamaseries at the foot of the mountain and attracts many visitors each year

Inner Mongolia is a multi-national autonomous region. Asides from Han and Mongol,there are other ethnic minority groups--the Huis,the Manchus,the Daurs,the Ewenkis, the Koreans,the Oroqens,the Zhuangs,the Tibetans and the Tus.

Inner Mongolia Local Cuisine

The Traditional cuisine in Inner Mongolia takes beef and mutton, and particularly the latter, as its main ingredient. Among the famous dishes is barbecue lamb, roast tenderloin of lamb, roast leg of lamb, kebab, boiled mutton or whole lamb. The instant-boiled mutton in hot-pot to go with Zhaojun rice wine and sesame pancakes is a well-known delicious course usually served in winter. The beef courses are mostly braised or roasted. There are braised ox-tail, beef kebab, braised ox tendon, ox-tendon in egg-white, etc. Camel hoof with other delicacies is a dish that matches the taste of braised bear's paw and red-cooked or steamed mushrooms are real delicacies. The world-famous facia (a kind of edible algae), which means good omen and fortune to the native people, needs meticulous skill in preparing. It can be either cooked with meat made into vegetarian dishes, such as facia in egg-white and facia in casserole that unbelievable delicious. Braised elk's nose and crisp fried hazel grouse are all renowned delicacies.

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