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The Heihe–Tengchong Line (simplified Chinese: 黑河-腾冲线; traditional Chinese: 黑河-騰衝線; pinyin: Hēihé-Téngchōng xiàn), also called the Aihui-Tengchong Line, is an imaginary line that divides the area of China into two roughly equal parts. It stretches from the city of Heihe to Tengchong County, diagonally across China.
Chinese population geographer Hu Huanyong imagined the line in 1935 and called it a "geo-demographic demarcation line". As this line was proposed in 1935, the map of China would have included Mongolia but excluded Taiwan.
This imaginary line divides the territory of China as follows (going by 1935 statistics):
- West of the line: 64% of the area, but only 4% of the population (1935)
- East of the line: 36% of the area, but 96% of the population (1935)
Despite an epic urban migration, 2002 and 2015 statistics remain identical visavis the line:
- West of the line: 57% of the area, but only 6% of the population (2002)(2015)
- East of the line: 43% of the area, but 94% of the population (2002)(2015)
The minor change in total population percent from 1935 to 2015 is attributed to Han Chinese migration to urban areas in autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, as well as one-child policy restrictions on the majority, with exceptions for largely minority groups west of the line. However, 2000-2015 period, west of the line is indeed growing faster than the east, but the growth wasn't sufficient to budge the rounded percentages. Most of this growth was contained in the cities of Ürümqi, Lanzhou, Ordos, and Yinchuan, although some tribal non-city areas also registered high growth. West of the Heihe–Tengchong Line after 80 years remains relatively rural rugged or inhospitable, underdeveloped and poor as compared to the east.