Tengchong County

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Tengchong County
腾冲县
County
A market in central Tengchong.
A market in central Tengchong.
Location of Tengchong County (pink) in Baoshan City (yellow) and Yunnan
Location of Tengchong County (pink) in Baoshan City (yellow) and Yunnan
Tengchong is located in Yunnan
Tengchong
Tengchong
Location of the seat in Yunnan
Coordinates: 25°01′N 98°29′E / 25.017°N 98.483°E / 25.017; 98.483Coordinates: 25°01′N 98°29′E / 25.017°N 98.483°E / 25.017; 98.483
Country People's Republic of China
Province Yunnan
Prefecture-level city Baoshan
Area
 • Total 5,845 km2 (2,257 sq mi)
Elevation 1,667 m (5,469 ft)
Population [1]
 • Total 620,000
 • Density 110/km2 (270/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 679100
Area code(s) 0875
Website http://www.tengchong.gov.cn/
Yunnan Portal

Tengchong County (simplified Chinese: 腾冲县; traditional Chinese: 騰沖縣; pinyin: Téngchōng Xiàn) is a county of Baoshan City, western Yunnan province, People's Republic of China. It is well known for its volcanic activity. The name has also been given in English language sources of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as Tingyueh, Teng Yueh and Momein.

It borders with Burma in the northwest for 151 km (94 mi). By road, it is 650 km (400 mi) west of the provincial capital, Kunming, and 170 km (110 mi) westward from Baoshan's urban area.

Tengchong marks the southwestern terminus of the Heihe-Tengchong Line.

History[edit]

Tengchong is one of the earliest developed regions in SW China. In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 24), it belonged to Yizhoujun Prefecture. In the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties, a contemporary prefecture governed by a local chieftain was set up. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), Tengyue Prefecture was instituted. In the following dynasties, different administrative offices were set up. In 1913, Tengchong was made a county. In history, it occupied an important position on the Southwestern Silk Route. The Sichuan cloth and bamboo sticks available at the markets in Bactria (including Afghanistan and parts of India) were brought there from the ancient Bonan Route through Tengchong. From the Ming Dynasty on, large numbers of Tengchong people went abroad to trade and seek a livelihood.The city grew wealthy from trade with Burma and South East Asia due to its proximity to Mandalay across the Burmese border. At one point the British forces in British-occupied Burma established a trading post in the town with hopes of generating wealth through trade with China. Ninety years ago, the thriving cross-border trade between British-controlled Burma and China was centred around Tengchong. In 1921, construction work began on the British consulate in Tengchong, with completion arriving 10 years later in 1931. During WW2 the area around Tengchong was the scene of fierce battles between the Japanese, invading from occupied Burma, and the combined Chinese forces of nationalists and communists aided by American fighter squadrons. After the Chinese government had relocated to Sichuan from fallen Nanjing there were grave concerns that if Yunnan fell, Japanese access to Sichuan would become relatively easy, forcing a new and cumbersome relocation, hence large forces were deployed to stop the Japanese army.

Geography[edit]

Further information: Heihe-Tengchong Line

The area of Tengchong county is 5,693 square kilometres (2,198 sq mi).

Situated at the southwestern end of the (transversely faulted) Hengduan Mountains, Tengchong topographically assumes the form of a horseshoe with the opening facing the south. The eastern most sources of the Irrawaddy issue from the high mountains in the is the summit of Mount Danaozi of Gaoligong Mountain, 3,780.2 m (12,402 ft) above sea level and the lowest point, 930 m (3,050 ft) above sea level, is in the Suqingjiang valley. The elevation of the county seat is 1,640 m (5,380 ft).

The crustal movement in the county is active and earthquakes are frequent. The volcanoes on Dayingshan, Shitoushan, the Greater Heikongshan, the Lesser Heikong Mountains erupted repeatedly. The county seat is surrounded by a group of young volcanoes.

As is the case for most of Yunnan, Tengchong has many different ethnicites living in and around the town. Han, Dai and Lisu are dominant but also Tibetans, Bai, Aini and people with Burmese ancestry are plentiful.

Climate[edit]

As with much of the province, Tengchong County experiences a mild subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb). Winters are mild and very dry and sunny (>60% possible sunshine), although average lows in January are barely above the freezing mark; January, the coolest month, has a 24-hour average temperature of 8.1 °C (46.6 °F). Spring begins early and remains relatively dry and sunny until May, when there is a dramatic uptick in frequency and amount of rainfall that lasts until late September. Summers are warm, rainy and generally overcast, with August, the warmest month, averaging 19.9 °C (67.8 °F). Autumn sees an abrupt reduction in rainfall and return to sunniness. The annual mean temperature is 15.10 °C (59.2 °F), while precipitation averages 1,530 mm (60 in), around two-thirds of which occurs from June to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 16% in July to 75% in December, the county receives 2,046 hours of bright sunshine annually; in summer the county is one of the least sunny locations nationally.

Climate data for Tengchong County (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.3
(61.3)
17.7
(63.9)
21.1
(70)
23.1
(73.6)
24.0
(75.2)
23.7
(74.7)
23.1
(73.6)
24.3
(75.7)
24.0
(75.2)
22.7
(72.9)
19.6
(67.3)
17.2
(63)
21.4
(71.5)
Average low °C (°F) 1.4
(34.5)
3.0
(37.4)
6.0
(42.8)
9.9
(49.8)
13.7
(56.7)
17.1
(62.8)
17.4
(63.3)
17.2
(63)
16.1
(61)
12.6
(54.7)
7.5
(45.5)
3.1
(37.6)
10.4
(50.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.8
(0.701)
34.8
(1.37)
44.7
(1.76)
72.1
(2.839)
136.8
(5.386)
264.1
(10.398)
300.5
(11.831)
251.7
(9.909)
192.7
(7.587)
135.7
(5.343)
60.2
(2.37)
16.2
(0.638)
1,527.3
(60.132)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 4.2 7.4 9.5 14.5 18.1 25.2 28.3 26.0 21.2 14.2 7.2 3.1 178.9
 % humidity 70 68 64 70 78 87 90 88 87 83 78 74 78.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 243.4 204.9 222.2 197.0 169.8 87.9 67.0 103.6 122.0 176.8 206.9 244.4 2,045.9
Percent possible sunshine 73 64 60 52 41 22 16 26 33 49 63 75 46
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Economy[edit]

Tengchong's industry and handicraft work were fostered during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, nearly 400 years ago. Factories and workshops were set up first by importing equipment from abroad. Earlier products included textile goods, leather, soaps, battery, cigarettes, matches, etc. They found market in West Yunnan and Burma and Southeast Asian countries. Since the founding of the People's Republic, a more complete industrial system was formed, comprising 32 departments like power generating, metallurgy, machinery, paper making, textile industry, matches production, pharmacy, tanning, chemical industry, sugar refining, tea leaves refining, food processing, etc. The major products include refined tin, pig iron, crude lead, timber, plywood, cement, refractory, diatomite filtration promoter, sulphuric acid, caustic soda, hydrochlorite potassium chlorate, calcium phdrogen phosphate, paper, canesugar, refined tea leaves, preserved fruits, edible oil, matches, Chinese medicine, etc. The matches, Chinese medicine, refined tin, refined tea leaves and the "xuanzhi" (a high quality writing paper originally produced in Xuancheng) enjoy high reputation abroad.

In agriculture, Tengchong produces grain and oil crops, tobacco, tea leaves, sugarcane, etc. The production of tobacco has a history of more than 400 years. Tengchong tobacco, cultivated on the volcanic mountain slopes is of excellent quality and therefore used as a blend. The Chuanlong tea leaves and large-sized tea leaves sell particularly well.

Tengchong is known for its jade culture and for its geothermal springs and the Lisu ethnic group. The city has actually grown into the biggest processing and trade center of jadeite in Southeast Asia. While you can find some craftsmen processing jadeite at the huge jadeite market, to get a taste of the local culture, visit the Hehua (Lotus Flower) Township near the city. At the Hehua (Lotus Flower) Township near the city there are craftsmen processing jadeite at the huge jadeite market. Du Maosheng is the chairman of the Tengchong Jewelry and Jade Association.

Natural resources[edit]

The county abounds in geothermal energy. There are over 80 steaming fountain hot streams and boiling fountains. Ten of them spout hot water of 90 C and upward. Natural resources are plentiful. There are over 2,000 higher plants. Among the economic and timber forests, there are forests of oil tea, catalpa, common China-fir, Armandi pine, walnut. The percentage of forest cover reaches 34.6% of the county. Ornamental and medicinal plants exist in great quantities. The blossoms of the rhododendrons on Gaoligongshan Mountain are exceptionally large. The Gaoligong Nature Reserve, renowned as a natural botanical garden, has over 1,400 species of higher plants, many rare and precious animals and medicinal plants. The area is the origin of R. giganteum forest at Tagg (a special rhododendron species) and Yunnan camellia.

Mineral resources include iron, tin, lead, zinc, wolfram, uranium, diatomite, rock crystal. Wollastonite, lignite, and others.

Transport[edit]

Tengchong is 760 km (470 mi) from Kunming. Bus and flights are both available to and from Kunming. There are daily buses to Dali, Ruili, Manche and Xishuangbanna. Daily flights to Chengdu in Sichuan as well as several daily flights from Beijing (stop-over in Kunming) have begun since the new airport opened.

Airport[edit]

Tengchong Tuofeng Airport went into service in early 2009. The airport is located at Tuofeng village, 12 kilometers from Tengchong County. In memory of the Hump Route, an air route which contributed much to the victory in the west Yunnan theater during the war against Japan, Tengchong airport is named Hump Airport. The road to the airport is named the "Flying Tigers Road" in memory of the American pilots who flew the route. The total investment in the airport is to be around RMB430 million ($54.69 million). The major investors of the project are the Yunnan Airports Group, Yunnan Guangfang Group and Tengchong government who will contribute at a proportion 46 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent respectively. The airport itself is located on a mountain plateau surrounded by peaks. Takeoffs and landings offer beautiful views but can be quite unnerving.[2]

Energy generation[edit]

Tourism[edit]

For 2005, the county received 3.3 million tourists, with the majority of them visitors from within the province.

Various traditional villages around the town have been developed as tourist attractions. The village of Heshun features impressive architecture that was built with wealth from multi-generational trading families who sent children to Burma. The village contains a small museum dedicated to Ai Siqi, the early communist philosopher. It is based in his former house where he lived for two years. It contains pictures, personal items and a statue of him in the yard of the compound.

A large but seasonal fresh water wetland to the north attracts bird-watchers and nature-lovers, and tourists also visit a commercially developed volcanic park to the south. The recently constructed airport has brought an increase in domestic tourism. Routes to Sichuan and Beijing (over Kunming) have proved popular and the city predicts double the amount of annual visitors over the next 5 years. Several golf courses are in the planning stages and at least 1 is currently open for business, a 54 hole course located 5 kilometers outside of town. Several massive real estate projects are under construction aimed at selling second homes to domestic visitors. A little further from Tengchong you can visit "The Temple in the Sky" located high on a mountain which on perfect days will have a cloud cover located below it.

Local products[edit]

The famous local products include jade articles, Chinese medicine, 'xuanzhi" paper, dried rice noodles, tea oil, small hats of split bamboo, preserved vegetables, articles of rattan work, etc.

Conservation Carbon Project[edit]

The Conservation Carbon Project was set up by Conservation International, Nature Conservancy and Yunnan Forestry Department to restore forests and create sustainable livelihoods in the county.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]