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Qinghai Province
Name transcription(s)
  Chinese青海省 (Qīnghǎi Shěng)
  AbbreviationQH / (pinyin :Qīng)
Hoh Xil.jpg
The region of Hoh Xil, a World Heritage Site
Qinghai in China (+all claims hatched).svg
Map showing the location of Qinghai Province
Coordinates: 35°N96°E / 35°N 96°E / 35; 96 Coordinates: 35°N96°E / 35°N 96°E / 35; 96
CountryFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Named for Derived from the name of Qinghai Lake ("blue/green lake").
(and largest city)
Divisions8 prefectures, 43 counties, 429 townships
  Type Province
  BodyQinghai Provincial People's Congress
   CCP Secretary Wang Jianjun
  Congress chairmanWang Jianjun
   Governor Xin Changxing
   CPPCC chairmanDorje Rabten
  Total720,000 km2 (280,000 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
Highest elevation6,860 m (22,510 ft)
 (2020) [2]
  Rank 30th
  Density8.2/km2 (21/sq mi)
  Density rank 30th
  Ethnic composition Han – 54%
Tibetan – 21%
Hui – 16%
Tu – 4%
Mongol – 1.8%
Salar – 1.8%
  Languages and dialects Zhongyuan Mandarin Chinese, Amdo Tibetan, Monguor, Oirat Mongolian, Salar and Western Yugur
ISO 3166 code CN-QH
GDP (2020) CNY 300 billion
USD 43.58 billion (30th) [3]
 - per capita CNY 50,741
USD 7,354 (24th)
 • growthIncrease2.svg 1.5%
HDI (2019)Increase2.svg 0.689 [4]
medium · 25th
Website http://www.qh.gov.cn/
(Simplified Chinese)
  1. Haidong Prefecture is currently known as Haidong PLC after census; Ledu County & Ping'an County is currently known as Ledu & Ping'an (core districts of Haidong) after census.
  2. Yushu County is currently known as Yushu CLC after census.
  3. Mangnai Administrative Zone & Lenghu Administrative Zone County is currently known as Mangnai CLC after census.



Qinghai (Chinese characters).svg
"Qinghai" in Chinese characters
Historical population
1912 [37] 368,000    
1928 [38] 619,000+68.2%
1936–37 [39] 1,196,000+93.2%
1947 [40] 1,308,000+9.4%
1954 [41] 1,676,534+28.2%
1964 [42] 2,145,604+28.0%
1982 [43] 3,895,706+81.6%
1990 [44] 4,456,946+14.4%
2000 [45] 4,822,963+8.2%
2010 [46] 5,626,722+16.7%


There are over 37 recognized ethnic groups among Qinghai's population of 5.2 million, with national minorities making up 45.5% of the population. The demographic mix is similar to Gansu province, with Han (54.5%), Tibetan (20.7%), Hui (16%), Tu (Monguor) (4%), Mongol, and Salar being the most populous groups. Han Chinese predominate in the cities of Xining, Haidong, Delingha and Golmud, and elsewhere in the northeast. The Hui are concentrated in Xining, Haidong, Minhe County, Hualong County, and Datong County. The Tu people predominate in Huzhu County and the Salars in Xunhua County; Tibetans and Mongols are sparsely distributed across the rural western part of the province. [27]

Of the Muslim ethnic groups in China, Qinghai has communities of Hui, Salar, Dongxiang, and Bao'an. [16] The Hui dominate the wholesale business in Qinghai. [47]


Religion in Qinghai (2000s)

   Buddhism, Chinese folk religions (including Taoism), Bön and non-religious population (81.73%)
   Islam [48] (17.51%)
   Christianity [49] (0.76%)
The Dongguan Mosque in Qinghai Dongguan mosque.jpg
The Dongguan Mosque in Qinghai

The predominant religions in Qinghai are Chinese folk religions (including Taoist traditions and Confucianism) and Chinese Buddhism among the Han Chinese. The large Tibetan population practices Tibetan schools of Buddhism or traditional Tibetan Bön religion, while the Hui Chinese practice Islam. Christianity is the religion of 0.76% of the province's population according to the Chinese General Social Survey of 2004. [49] According to a survey of 2010, 17.51% of the population of Qinghai follow Islam. [48]

From September 1848, the city was the seat of a short-lived Latin Catholic Apostolic Vicariate (pre-diocesan missionary jurisdiction) of Kokonur (alias Khouhkou-noor, Kokonoor), but it was suppressed in 1861. No incumbent(s) recorded. [50]


Qinghai has been influenced by the interactions "between Mongol and Tibetan culture, north to south, and Han Chinese and Inner Asia Muslim culture, east to west". [27] The languages of Qinghai have for centuries formed a Sprachbund, with Zhongyuan Mandarin, Amdo Tibetan, Salar, Yugur, and Monguor borrowing from and influencing one another. [51] In mainstream Chinese culture, Qinghai is most associated with the Tale of King Mu, Son of Heaven .[ citation needed ] According to this legend, King Mu of Zhou (r. 976–922 BCE) pursued hostile Quanrong nomads to eastern Qinghai, where the goddess Xi Wangmu threw the king a banquet in the Kunlun Mountains. [52]

The main religions in Qinghai are Tibetan Buddhism, Islam and Chinese Folk Religions. The Dongguan Mosque has been continuously operating since 1380. [23] :402 Measures of education in Qinghai are low, particularly among the Muslim ethnic groups such as the Hui and Salar, who sometimes prefer to send their children to madrasahs rather than secular schools. [27] The yak, which is native to Qinghai, is widely used in the province for transportation and its meat. [30] The Mongols of Qinghai celebrate the Naadam festival on the Qaidam Basin every year. [53]


Oil well in Tsaidam (Qaidam), Qinghai Oil well in Tsaidam.jpg
Oil well in Tsaidam (Qaidam), Qinghai

Qinghai's economy is amongst the smallest in all of China. Its nominal GDP for 2011 was just 163.4 billion RMB (US$25.9 billion) and contributes to about 0.35% of the entire country's economy. Per capita GDP was 19,407 RMB (US$2,841), the second lowest in China. [54]

Its heavy industry includes iron and steel production, located near its capital city of Xining. Oil and natural gas from the Qaidam Basin have also been an important contributor to the economy. [54] Salt works operate at many of the province's numerous salt lakes.

Outside of the provincial capital, Xining, most of Qinghai remains underdeveloped. Qinghai ranks second lowest in China in terms of highway length, and will require a significant expansion of its infrastructure to capitalize on the economic potential of its rich natural resources. [54]

Economic and technological development zone

Xining Economic & Technological Development Zone (XETDZ) was approved as state-level development zone in July 2000. It has a planned area of 4.4 square kilometres (1.7 sq mi). XETDZ lies in the east of Xining, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from downtown. In the east of the province, Xining stands at the upper reaches of the Huangshui River—one of the Yellow River's branches. The city is surrounded by the mountains with an average elevation of 2261 meters and the highest at 4393 meters. XETDZ is the first of its kind at the national level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is established to fulfill the nation's strategy of developing the west.

XETDZ enjoys a convenient transportation system, connected by the Xining-Lanzhou expressway and running through by two main roads, the broadest in the city. It is 4 kilometers from the railway station, 15 kilometers from Xi'ning Airport — a grade 4D airport with 14 airlines to cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi'an. Xining is Qinghai province's passage to the outside world, a transportation center with more than ten highways, over 100 roads and two railways, Lanzhou-Qinghai and Qinghai-Tibet Railways in and out of the city.

It focuses on the development of following industries: chemicals based on salt lake resources, nonferrous metals, and petroleum and natural gas processing; special medicine, foods and bio-chemicals using local plateau animals and plants; new products involving ecological and environmental protection, high technology, new materials as well as information technology; and services such as logistics, banking, real estate, tourism, hotel, catering, agency and international trade. [55]


View of the Qinghai Lake. Qinghailakeerlangjian.png
View of the Qinghai Lake.

Many tourist attractions center on Xining, the provincial seat of Qinghai.

During the hot summer months, many tourists from the hot Southern and Eastern parts of China travel to Xining, as the climate of Xining in July and August is quite mild and comfortable, making the city an ideal summer retreat.

Qinghai Lake (青海湖; qīnghǎi hú) is another tourist attraction, albeit further from Xining than Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Si). The lake is the largest saltwater lake in China, and is also located on the "Roof of the World", the Tibetan Plateau. The lake itself lies at 3,600m elevation. The surrounding area is made up of rolling grasslands and populated by ethnic Tibetans. Most pre-arranged tours stop at Bird Island (鸟岛; niǎo dǎo). An international bicycle race takes place annually from Xining to Qinghai Lake.


China National Highway 109 in Qinghai Qingzangxian,China National Highway 109,qinghai,china.JPG
China National Highway 109 in Qinghai

The Lanqing Railway, running between Lanzhou, Gansu and Xining, the province's capital, was completed in 1959 and is the major transportation route in and out of the province. A continuation of the line, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway via Golmud and western Qinghai, has become one of the most ambitious projects in PRC history. It was completed in October 2005 and now links Tibet with the rest of China through Qinghai.

Construction on the Golmud–Dunhuang Railway, in the province's northwestern part, started in 2012.

Six National Highways run through the province.

Xining Caojiabao International Airport provides service to Beijing, Lanzhou, Golmud and Delingha. Smaller regional airports, Delingha Airport, Golog Maqin Airport, Huatugou Airport, Qilian Airport and Yushu Batang Airport, serve some of the local centers of the far-flung province; plans exist for the construction of three more by 2020. [56]


Since the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology began its "Access to Telephones Project", Qinghai has invested 640 million yuan to provide telephone access to 3860 out its 4133 administrative villages. At the end of 2006, 299 towns had received Internet access. However, 6.6 percent of villages in the region still have no access to the telephone. These villages are mainly scattered in Qingnan Area, with 90 percent of them located in Yushu and Guoluo. The average altitude of these areas exceeds 3600 meters, and the poor natural conditions hamper the establishment of telecommunication facilities in the region.

Satellite phones have been provided to 186 remote villages in Qinghai Province as of September 14, 2007.[ citation needed ] The areas benefited were Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Qinghai has recently been provided with satellite telephone access. In June 2007, China Satcom carried out an in-depth survey in Yushu and Guoluo, and made a special satellite phones for these areas. Two phones were provided to each village for free, and calls were charged at the rate of 0.2 yuan (about a quarter of a US cent at that time) per minute for both local and national calls, with the extra charges assumed by China Satcom. No monthly rent was charged on the satellite phone. International calls were also available.

Colleges and universities

See also

Related Research Articles

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