Urumqi in Brief

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which is located in the heart of the Eurasian Continent, is the largest province in China in terms of its area. Urumqi city is the capital of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Besides it is the politics, culture and economy, it is also the communications pivot of connecting with Xinjiang and inland China. Xinjiang is a multi-national region marked by distinctive features of both spoken and written languages, music and dancing, and customs of the ethnic minorities in accordance with their different background of history and civilization and religious beliefs.

Geographical Features
Urumqi city (43 o 78 N, 87o 61 E) is an industrial and cultural center of a petroleum-rich region near the Kazakh border. The city lies in a fertile oasis, about 3015 feet (919 meters) above sea level, on the arid northern edge of the Tian Shan. Manufactures include iron and steel, cement, agricultural machinery, chemicals, and textiles. Coal and iron-ore deposits are nearby. Urumqi city is located in the middle--northern of Tianshan, the south edge of Zhunger Basins. The average elevation of Urumqi city is 800 meters, belongs to semiarid continental climate of middle temperate zone, annual temperature is 6.4o average and has 236mm of average annual precipitation. The city has jurisdiction over seven zones and one county, the total area is 12,000 square kilometers, among which the city program area is 1600 square kilometers and the established area is 82 square kilometers. Urumqi has plenty of natural resource in its jurisdiction. The area of glacier and never melting snows covered on the peaks of Tianshan Mountains is 164 sq km, and it is called Solid Water Reservoir and Source of life. Urumqi lies in the middle of one of the Chinas super-large coal fields: the Zhunggar Coal Field, and it situates in the center of some oil field, such as the eastern oil field of Zhunger Basin in its northern, the Kelamayi oil field in it western and the Tu Ha oil field in its eastern, so, Urumqi is called as coal ship on the oil sea and city on the coal field. There are over 10 billion tons of coal reserves in underground. The exploitable coal seam is more than 80 meters in thickness. The coal is good in quality and different in variety. The Salt Lake is rich in minerals. The deposits of salt and mirabilite are over 100 million tons. The minerals resources of gypsum, oil shale, phosphorus, iron, copper, uranium, manganese and gold etc are quite notable. The total area of the fertile and cultivated land is 980,000 mu (65,333 hectares). The available natural grassland is 9.63 million. The forest covers an area of 1.35 million mu (900,000 hectares). The water area is about 80,000 mu (5333 hectares). Urumqi abounds with leral crops, grains, vegetable oil, vegetables, melons, fruits, grapes, hops and there are more than 300 kinds of medical herbs growing in the fields and mountains, such as snow lotus flower (suassurea), boxthorn, fritillary asafetida. Thirty- three breeds of livestock, fowls and 10 species of fishes are living and breeding here. The abundant energy of sunlight, heat and wind are waiting to be exploited. Oil and natural gas reserve a great deal in the jurisdiction of Urumqi and the three large basins it borders. The advantages of the solo-owned and plentiful resources make Urumqi play an important role in the country. Urumqi is located in the temperate zone of a dry continental climate. The meteorological data indicate that the annual mean temperature in Urumqi has been 7.3 for many years. The highest temperature recorded was 42.1Co on August 1, 1973; the hottest month, July, averages 25.7Co. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -41.5Co on February 27Co, 1951; the coldest month, January, averages -15.2Co. The annual mean precipitation is 194 millimeters, while the frost-free period averages 179 days per year. Annual mean sunshine time is 2,821 hours. The annual mean difference of temperature between day and night is 10.7. The difference between local and Beijing time is two hours. The best tourist Season is from May to September. While the coldest Month is December with temperature as low as -41.5Co and the hottest Month is August with temperature as high as 40.9Co.

Urumqi is an Islamic city inhabited by a variety of people speaking various Turkic languages (Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Hui, Tadjik, Sibo). The population, reflecting a long history on a caravan route from Central Asia, is mostly Uygur (Uighur), with Chinese, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz minorities. Urumqi has a population of 1,640,000 and it is a multi-national city, where there are 43 ethnic groups headed by the Han, the Uygur, the Kazak, the Hui, the Mongolian and etc, with a total population is 1548 thousands up to the end of 1998 year, of which minority nationality makes up 27.3 percent. The distribution of population is characteristic of Big City, Small Suburbs, which the agricultural population only makes up 13 percent of the total one. Of the total population of the city 74.11% are Han nationality; 11.82% Uygur; 9.87% Hui; 3.10% Kazak; 0.29% Manchu; 0.23% Mongol; 0.16% Xibe and 0.09% Russian.

The place where Urumqi stands was a pastureland in ancient times. The city became a Uygur stronghold in the 8th century ad following periods of tenuous Chinese control during the Han (206 BC- 220AD) and Tang (618-907) dynasties. It came under Chinese control again in the 1760s as part of Eastern Turkistan, and in 1884 the city was made the capital of the newly created Sinkiang Province. Known officially by its Chinese name of Dikhua after 1763, it was renamed Urumqi in 1954 and in 1955 became the capital of the new Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Industrialization, hampered by isolation, accelerated after the discovery (1955) of petroleum deposits at nearby Karamay. Urumqi, which means A beautiful Pasture land in ancient Mongolian used by the Junggar tribe. 2000 years ago it was once an important town on the new northern route of the Silk Road, which made important contribution in promoting Sino-foreign economic & cultural exchanges. During the 22nd year of the Zhenguans reign in the Tang Dynasty, 648 A.D. the Tang government set up the town of Luntai in the ancient town seat of Urabo, which is 10 kilometers away from the southern suburb of Urumqi nowadays. The Ancient Luntai Town, which played quit significant a role on the new northern route of Silk Road in the Tang Dynasty, was the only town of tax collection, the only town of management, the town of supply and the first town as well. In the time of Qing Dynasty (A.D.1763), the emperor Qian Lon- g named the expanded city as DiHua. Up to A.D.1884, another emperor Guang Xu put up Xinjiang as a Province and the Di Hua city as the capital of XinJiang. Urumqi has one county and seven districts under her jurisdiction. Such as Urumqi county, Tianshan District, Sharyibark District, Toutunhe District, Shuimogou District, Xinshi District, Dongshan District and Nanshan Mine District.
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