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银川市 · یٍچُوًا شِ
Prefecture-level city
Yinchuan Montage.jpg
The territory of Yinchuan prefecture-level city (yellow) within Ningxia
The territory of Yinchuan prefecture-level city (yellow) within Ningxia
Yinchuan is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 38°28′N 106°16′E / 38.467°N 106.267°E / 38.467; 106.267Coordinates: 38°28′N 106°16′E / 38.467°N 106.267°E / 38.467; 106.267
Country People's Republic of China
Region Ningxia
 • Mayor Wang Rugui[1]
 • Prefecture-level city 4,467 km2 (1,725 sq mi)
 • Urban 2,045 km2 (790 sq mi)
 • Metro 2,045 km2 (790 sq mi)
Elevation 1,100 m (3,608 ft)
Population (2010 census)[2]
 • Prefecture-level city 1,993,088
 • Urban 1,290,170
 • Urban density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,290,170
 • Metro density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 750000
Area code(s) 0951
License plate prefixes A
Website www.yinchuan.gov.cn (Chinese)
YC name.svg
"Yinchuan", as written in Chinese
Simplified Chinese 银川
Traditional Chinese 銀川
Hanyu Pinyin Yínchuān
Literal meaning silver river

Yinchuan is the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China,[3] and former capital of the Western Xia Empire of the Tanguts. It has an area of 4,467 km (2,776 mi) and a total population of 1.99 million. Its built up area is home to 1,290,170 inhabitants spread on 3 urban districts. The name of the city literally means "silver river"; the character for "river" (Chinese: ; pinyin: chuān) is the same as that in Sichuan, but not as those in, for example, the Yellow River (simplified Chinese: 黄河; traditional Chinese: 黃河; pinyin: Huánghé) or Yangtze River (simplified Chinese: 长江; traditional Chinese: 長江; pinyin: Chángjiāng).


Yinchuan originally was a xian (county) under the name of Fuping in the 1st century BC; its name was changed to Huaiyuan in the 6th century AD. After the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907, it was occupied by the Tangut Xi-Xia dynasty, of which it was the capital. After the destruction of the Xi-Xia dynasty by the Mongols in 1227, it came under the rule of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Under the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, it was a prefecture of Ningxia. In 1928, when the province of Ningxia was formed from part of Gansu, it became the capital city. In 1954, when Ningxia province was abolished, the city was put in Gansu province; but, with the establishment of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in 1958, Yinchuan once again became the capital.

Traditionally, Yinchuan was an administrative and commercial center. In the 1950s it had many commercial enterprises, and there were some handicrafts but no modern industry. The city has since grown considerably. Extensive coal deposits discovered on the eastern bank of the Yellow River, near Shizuishan, 100 km (62 mi) to the north, have made Shizuishan a coal-mining center.

Yinchuan, however, remains largely non-industrial. The immediate plains area, intensively irrigated by a system developed as long ago as the Han (206 BC–AD 220) and Tang (618–907) dynasties, is extremely productive. Yinchuan is the chief agricultural market and distribution center for this area and also deals in animal products from the herds tended by nomads in the surrounding grasslands. It is a market for grain and has flour mills, as well as rice-hulling and oil-extraction plants. The wool produced in the surrounding plains supplies a woolen-textile mill. Yinchuan is a center for the Muslim (Hui) minority peoples, who constitute a third of the population. Yinchuan currently serves as a major trade route between Western cities such as Urumqi and the East.

On 23 July 1993 an airliner that was attempting its second take-off veered off the runway, crashed into a lake, and broke apart; at least 59 of the 113 persons aboard the craft were killed.[4]


Satellite image of Yinchuan
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Yinchuan lies in the middle of the Yinchuan or Ningxia Plain. It is sheltered from the deserts of Mongolia by the high ranges of the Helan Mountain to its west. The Yellow River runs through Yinchuan from southwest to northeast. The average elevation of Yinchuan is 1,100 meters (about 3,608 feet). The urban center of Yinchuan lies about halfway between the Yellow River and the edge of Helan Mountain.


Yinchuan has a desert climate (Köppen BWk) with an annual rainfall of 186 mm (7.32 in), cold and windy (but dry) winters, dust-laden springs, hot and somewhat humid summers, and rather short autumns. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −7.9 °C (17.8 °F) in January to 23.5 °C (74.3 °F) in July, with the annual mean at 9.00 °C (48.2 °F). Diurnal temperature variation tends to be large due to the aridity, which also partly contributes to the sunny climate; with monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 63 percent in three months to 71 percent in November, the city receives 2,906 hours of bright sunshine annually. There are 158 frost-free days.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map # Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Xiao'erjing Population
Area (km²) Density (/km²)
Yinchuan mcp.png
City proper
1 Xingqing District 兴庆区 Xīngqìng Qū سٍْٿٍْ ٿُو 678,306 768 883
2 Jinfeng District 金凤区 Jīnfèng Qū دٍﻓْﻊ ٿُو 282,554 290 974
3 Xixia District 西夏区 Xīxià Qū ثِشِا ٿُو 329,310 987 334
Satellite cities
4 Lingwu City 灵武市 Língwǔ Shì لٍْءُ شِ 261,677 4,639 56
5 Yongning County 永宁县 Yǒngníng Xiàn ﻳْﻮنٍْ ﺷِﯿًﺎ 218,260 1,295 169
6 Helan County 贺兰县 Hèlán Xiàn حْلً ﺷِﯿًﺎ 222,981 1,600 139


The city's gross domestic product per capita was ¥31,436 (US$4,526) in 2008, ranking 197th of 659 Chinese cities. Its main industries are the production of Chinese wolfberry, wheat, apple, and rice.[citation needed] In 2010, Yinchuan is officially assignment as the site for China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. It provides great opportunities for Yinchuan to develop as the business center for China and Arab States. In the national level, Yinchuan has been holding various events such as China-Arab States Expo, to function as a business bridge between China and Arab States.


Yinchuan Railroad station
  • Yinchuan is located near the western bank of the upper course of the Yellow River, near the western end of the Great Wall of China in the south-central section of the Helan Shan and Ordos Desert.
  • It is served by Yinchuan Hedong Airport. It is 25 km (16 mi) from Yinchuan and has flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Dunhuang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xian, and Zhengzhou.
  • It is served by a river port at Hengcheng, about 15 km (9.3 mi) to the east. Until the 1950s the river, which is navigable downstream as far as Baotou in the Inner Mongolian autonomous region and upstream to Zhongwei and Zhongning, was the chief communication link.
  • Highways also link the city to Baotou along the river, to Lanzhou in Gansu province to the southwest, to Wuwei in Gansu to the west, and to Xi'an in Shaanxi province to the southeast.
  • Since 1958 the city has been on the railway from Lanzhou to Baotou and is thus linked to other parts of China by rail.
  • China National Highway 211
  • G69 Yinchuan–Baise Expressway


A mosque in Yinchuan, China.
Yinchun Drum Tower

The city's attractions include the Sand-lake and the Western Xia tombs. Sand Lake is 35 miles north of Yinchuan. Being a world of desert and lake, it is an ideal place for bird watching, sand slide and cableway slide. Appreciating reeds, lotus and fish are also popular. The Western Xia Imperial Tombs are 15.5 miles west of Yinchuan on east side of Mt. Helan. Since June 1972, nine imperial tombs and 253 lesser tombs have been unearthed, which are as grand as Ming Tombs in Beijing. With a total area of more than 19.3 square miles, it is unique among royal burials.

There are two pagodas in Yinchuan that are part of the 'Eight Famous Scenery of Ningxia': one is the Haibao Pagoda in the northern suburb and the other is the Chengtiansi Pagoda in the west.

Since 2000, Yinchuan has hosted the annual Yinchuan International Car and Motorcycle Tourism Festival, which usually occurs in August. It is the largest event of its kind in China; approximately 3000 motorcycles attend annually.

It is also possible to see parts of the Great Wall which are located near the city.

Colleges and universities[edit]

The West Movie Studio in suburb of Yinchuan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Large Bearing Project of Schaeffler Group Started Construction in Yinchuan ETDZ" (Press release). Foreign Investment Administration, MOFCOM. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-07-17. Wang Rugui, Mayor of Yinchuan on behalf of the CPC Committee of Yinchuan and the municipal government expressed the warm congratulation to [sic] the start of the project. 
  2. ^ According to 2010 China National Census
  3. ^ "Illuminating China's Provinces, Municipalities and Autonomous Regions". PRC Central Government Official Website. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  4. ^ 23 July Events in History
  5. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 

External links[edit]