|— Prefecture-level city —|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• CPC Xining|
|• Prefecture-level city||7,372 km2 (2,846 sq mi)|
|• Urban||343 km2 (132 sq mi)|
|• Metro||343 km2 (132 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,275 m (7,464 ft)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||2,208,708|
|• Density||300/km2 ( 780/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||3,500/km2 ( 9,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||3,500/km2 ( 9,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|License plate prefixes||青A|
Xining (Chinese: 西宁; Tibetan: ཟི་ལིང་།) is the capital of Qinghai province in western China, and the largest city on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It has 2,208,708 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,198,304 live in the built up area made of 4 urban districts.
The city was a commercial hub along the Northern Silk Road's Hexi Corridor for over 2000 years, and was a stronghold of the Han, Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties' resistance against nomadic attacks from the west. Although long a part of Gansu province, Xining was added to Qinghai in 1928. Xining holds sites of religious significance to Muslims and Buddhists, including the Dongguan Mosque and Ta'er Monastery. The city lies in the Huangshui River valley, and owing to its high altitude, has a cold semi-arid climate. It is connected by rail to Lhasa, Tibet and Lanzhou, Gansu.
Xining has a history of over 2100 years and was a chief commercial hub on the Hexi Corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times. The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the 1st century BC after efforts by the Han Dynasty to control this route.
Under the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) a county there called Linqiang controlled the local Qiang tribesmen. It was again a frontier county under the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties; during the 7th and early 8th centuries it was a center of constant warfare with the Tuyuhun and (later) the Tibetan peoples. In 763, it was overrun by the Tibetans and while under Tibetan control was known to the Chinese as Qingtangcheng. Recovered by the Song dynasty in 1104, it received the name Xining (meaning "peace in the west") and has been the seat of a prefecture or superior prefecture under that name since that time. In the late 16th century, the Ta'er Monastery was founded some 19 km (12 mi) to the southeast, establishing Xining as an important religious center for the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhists.
A major earthquake occurred May 22, 1927 and measured 8.6 on Richter scale. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes with a total count of 200,000 deaths. It also caused large land fractures.
Xining was the extraterritorial capital of the Koko Nor territory and remained in Gansu until 1928, when it became the provincial capital of the newly established independent province of Qinghai. Xining was given municipal status in 1945.
Under Governor 1928's reign, Xining, like the rest of Qinghai, underwent industrialization and modernization. In 1947 the USA sold Ma Bufang a piped water (sewage) system which was installed in Xining. Ma Bufang also promoted education. He made businessmen methodically clean up Xining by serving as insect exterminators, killing flies and neatly throwing them away.
Since the late 1950s, when the Liujia Gorge Dam and hydroelectric project came into operation in neighboring Gansu province, Xining has been linked by a high-tension electrical grid to both Liujia and Lanzhou. It also uses local coal from mines at Datongxian to the north. A modern woolen mill was installed at Xining before 1957. The city also has a leather industry and is a market for salt from the Qaidam region. During the late 1950s medium-sized iron and steelworks were built there, supplying metal to Lanzhou.
Construction of a highway to the mineral-rich Qaidam basin and completion in 1959 a link to the Chinese rail network via Lanzhou in Gansu province has spurred industrial development. This effort was part of a plan of the central government to rapidly exploit oil and pasturage in the Xining area beginning in the 1950s.
|Postal Map||Sining or Ziling|
|Literal meaning||western calm or western peace|
Xining is located on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of the Huangshui River. It is the political, economic, and cultural center of Qinghai Province with an average altitude of about 2,200 metres (7,200 ft). Human activity in the region can be traced to 2,100 years ago. During the Western and Eastern Han dynasties, owing to its developing agriculture, Xining was paid noticed due to its economic and military significance. As well as being an important hinge between the Central Plains and the western part of China in ancient times, Xining was an important link in the Silk Road. It continues to be an important rail and road link to the hinterlands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Xining has also been dubbed the Summer Resort Capital of China owing to its cool summer, with a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk). Conditions are influenced by the aridity and high altitude. Lows are cold or cool throughout the year, and highs are often more than 15 °C (27 °F) warmer than lows. Monthly daily averages range from −7.4 °C (18.7 °F) in January to 17.3 °C (63.1 °F) in July; the year averages at 6.1 °C (43.0 °F). Rainfall falls mainly from May to September, and the area is often dry and sunny, with nearly 2680 hours of bright sunshine per year.
|Climate data for Xining (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−13.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.7||3.4||5.2||6.5||10.7||14.6||15.0||13.8||13.1||7.3||2.4||2.2||96.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||209.8||204.9||222.5||241.0||253.9||236.5||243.8||244.4||196.9||208.1||212.7||201.2||2,675.7|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
River management 
In 2007, the World Bank lent US$1 billion to aid river treatment in Xining, including Sanxian County's anti-flooding project, with an added US$1 billion dollars to support infrastructure. Qinghai has invested large amounts in the treatment of Huangshui Main River and Nanchuan River, totalling 24.5 km (15.2 mi). However, a treatment on a 40 km (25 mi) river course and 10 flash flood relief channels remain pending due to lack of equipment. In Sanxian County, a 108.4 m (356 ft) long river course and 80 flash flood relief channels need treatment.
Air quality 
According to a 2011 World Health Organization (based on Chinese statistics), Xining has the second worst air quality (annual mean PM10 ug/m3 of 141) among eleven western China cities, and is worse than Beijing (121).
The GDP per capita was ¥19,494 (ca. US$2,800) in 2008, ranked no. 382 among 659 Chinese cities. Its main industries are wool spinning and textiles, fur, meat, milk, salt, and light processing industries.
Economic and Technological Development Zones 
- Xining Economic & Technological Development Zone
Xining Economic & Technological Development Zone (ZETDZ) was approved as state-level development zone in July 2000. It has a planned area of 4.4 km2 (1.7 sq mi). XETDZ lies in the east of Xining, 5 km (3.1 mi) away from downtown. The 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 run through by two main roads, the broadest roads of the city. It is 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the railway station,[which?] 15 km (9.3 mi) from Xining Airport.
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.
According to the 2010 Census, the prefecture-level city of Xining has a population of 2,208,708 inhabitants, 229,508 persons more than in 2000 (and the demographic growth for the period 2000-2010 was of 1.1% per year).
At present, four districts, three counties, and a national economic and technological development zone are under the administration of the local government. With a population of more than two million, Xining is the first city on the upper reaches of the Yellow River to achieve a population in the millions. There are about 37 nationalities living here, though it is only the Han, Hui, Monguor (Tu people in Chinese - 土族) and Tibetan who are numerically significant. Local traditions and customs are influenced by the Tibetans, Monguor, Muslims, and Han. On 2010 Census numbers, Han Chinese represent 74.04% of the total population of Xining, while Hui (16.26%), Tibetan (5.51%) and Tu (2.6%) are the main minority groups in the city.
Administrative divisions 
|1||Chengzhong District||城中区||城中區||Chéngzhōng Qū||11||296,987||26,999|
|2||Chengdong District||城东区||城東區||Chéngdōng Qū||115||359,688||3,128|
|3||Chengxi District||城西区||城西區||Chéngxī Qū||79||242,627||3,071|
|4||Chengbei District||城北区||城北區||Chéngběi Qū||138||299,002||2,167|
|5||Huangyuan County||湟源县||湟源縣||Huángyuán Xiàn||1,609||136,632||85|
|6||Huangzhong County||湟中县||湟中縣||Huángzhōng Xiàn||2,430||437,835||180|
|7||Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County||大通回族土族自治县||大通回族土族自治縣||Dàtōng Huízú Tǔzú Zìzhìxiàn||3,090||435,937||139|
Colleges and universities 
- Qinghai University (青海大学)
- Qinghai Normal University (青海师范大学)
- Qinghai University for Nationalities (青海民族大学)
Xining is situated in a fertile mountain basin in the valley of the Huangshui (river), a tributary of the Yellow River, that acts as a river port. The city lies about 200 km (120 mi) west of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, on what was traditionally the main trade route from northern China into Tibet and the Qaidam Basin. These routes are now followed by modern highways.
Since 1959 Xining has been connected by rail to the main Chinese system at Lanzhou; this railway extends into the Qaidam area via Haiyan near Qinghai Lake to Golmud and extends, since 2006, to Lhasa, Tibet.
Xining Caojiabu Airport serves the area with regularly scheduled passenger flights to major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi'an, and Wuhan.
The Xining region is also replete with natural scenic attractions. One is the Sun and Moon Mountain which divides Qinghai Province into two parts - the stock-raising area and the farming area. Another not-to-be-missed destination is the Qinghai Lake and Bird Island. This alluring body of water is home to hundreds of thousands of birds. About 35 kilometers west of Xining City in Datong County, you can experience the magical power of Laoye Mountain. Every year on 6th day of the 6th lunar month, the traditional singing festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Located in the southwest part of Xining City, the Kumbum Monastery or Ta'er Monastery is one of six famous monasteries in the Gelug (also called Yellow Hat Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism and has hundreds of monks. Having a history of over 600 years, the Dongguan Mosque, located in the Xining City Zone, is one of the most famous mosques in the northwest region of China. It has splendid and diversiform towers, walls and halls in the mosque. Another unique religious structure is the Beishan Si (North Mountain Temple), a Taoist facility.
There are more than 300 Christian meeting points in Xining.
As the capital of Qinghai province, Xining almost boasts all varieties of local flavors. Xining's cuisine is distinct from other varieties of Chinese cities using mainly food products native to the area. Food here is substantial, but quite inexpensive.
A unique feature of dishes in Xining is that they are given names after the surname of their initiator. Here are some of the most famous: Liangfen (bean jelly) is made from pea powder and cut into short strips. Liangfen is served with vinegar, chili and mashed garlic, mustard and salt to enhance the taste of the dish. Niangpi is a popular snack made of flour and baking soda. It can be found anywhere in Xining for four-yuan. The most famous version of this snack is called Mazhong Niangpi and can be found in the Mojia Jie. Zasui Tang is a soup cooked with lamb and oxen entrails. Locals often eat this snack for breakfast. The hot soup helps warm people during the winter. Muslim Yoghurt is a must while in Xining – this breakfast is a kind of substance made by local Muslim families and is served in small bowls for one-yuan. Terrine is a popular snack in Xining. It is a small hot pot which contains beef, mutton, been curd and vermicelli. Mutton Eaten with Fingers is the most famous snack in Qinghai Province. It is made of fresh mutton and served with a little salt. This snack is the favorite food of the herdsmen of Qinghai Province.
In Xining, some restaurants serve varieties of 'plateau flavor', such as Feng'er Liji (a round lamb tenderloin), Danbai Chongcao Ji (a medicine cuisine made of chicken, Chinese caterpillar fungus and eggs), Jinyu Facai (pork wrapped in flagelliform nostoc and shaped as a goldfish) among others. These dishes are often cooked by the locals at home.
There are also many small restaurants offering noodles. Gan Ban is a very common noodle dish. Perhaps Mian Pian, which means "noodle leaves" is the most common noodle plate among the Qinghai people.
On the streets, many Muslims sell spicy lamb brochettes.
Due to the cold climate, residents of Xining are also fond of strong spirits - Xining has the reputation of being one of the heaviest regions of alcohol consumption in China.
- Xining Municipal Peoples Government
- Silk Road, North China, C.Michael Hogan, the Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham
- Mary Ellen Alonso, ed. (1979). China's inner Asian frontier: photographs of the Wulsin expedition to northwest China in 1923 : from the archives of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and the National Geographic Society (illustrated ed.). The Museum : distributed by Harvard University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-674-11968-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Original from the University of Michigan)
- Graham Hutchings (2003). Modern China: a guide to a century of change (illustrated, reprint ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-674-01240-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- "CITY IN WEST CHINA TO GET PIPED WATER; American 'Sells' Warlord at Sining on System to Aid Health --People Suspect Clear Fluid". THE NEW YORK TIMES. 3 February 1947. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- HENRY R. LIEBERMAN (15 September 1948). "ENLIGHTENED RULE BOLSTERS TSINGHAI; General Ma, War Lord, Enjoys Passion for Education -- He Taxes as Need Arises". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Greg Rohlf, Dreams of Oil and Fertile Fields, Modern China, Vol. 29, No. 4, 455-489 (2003)
- WHO report OAP_database_8_2011.xls
- RightSite.asia | Xining Economic & Technological Development Zone
- (Chinese) Compilation by LianXin website. Data from the Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
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