The highest point in the north is the Kagebo Peak in Deqin County on the Deqin Plateau, which is about 6,740 meters high; and the lowest is in the Honghe River Valley in Hekou County, with an elevation of 76.4 meters.
Yunnan abounds in natural resources. It is known as the kingdom of plants, animals and home of non-ferrous metals and medicinal herbs.
The province not only has more plant species of tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frozen zones than any other province in the country, but also has many ancient, derivative plants, as well as species introduced from foreign countries. Among the 30,000 species of plants in China, 18,000 can be found in Yunnan.
More than 150 kinds of minerals have been discovered in the province. The potential value of the proven deposits in Yunnan is 3 trillion yuan, 40 percent of which come from fuel minerals, 7.3 percent from metallic minerals, and 52.7 percent from nonmetallic minerals.
Yunnan has proved deposits of 86 kinds of minerals in 2,700 places. Some 13 percent of the proved deposits of minerals are the largest of their kind in China, and two-thirds of the deposits are among the largest of their kind in the Yangtze River valley and in south China. Yunnan ranks first in the country in deposits of zinc, lead, tin, cadmium, indium, thallium, and crocidolite.
Yunnan has sufficient rainfall and many rivers and lakes. The annual water flow originating in the province is 200 billion cubic meters, three times that of the Yellow River. The rivers flowing into the province from outside add 160 billion cubic meters, which means there are more than 10,000 cubic meters of water for each person in the province. This is four times the average in the country. The rich water resources offer abundant hydro-energy.
Yunnan is attractive with its rich tourism resources, including beautiful landscape, colorful ethnic customs, and a pleasant climate
Population growth rate: 10.6
Life expectancy (average): 65.1 years (male) and 67.7 years (female) (1995)
Yunnan has the highest number of ethnic groups among all provinces and autonomous regions in China. Among the country's 56 ethnic groups, 25 are found in Yunnan. Some 38.07 percent of the province's population are members of minorities including the Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpo, Blang, Pumi, Nu, Achang, Jino, Mongolian, Drung, Manchu, Shui, and Bouyei. Each minority has at least 8,000 people.
Ethnic groups are widely distributed in the province. Some 25 minorities live in compact communities, each of which has a population of more than 5,000. Ten ethnic minorities living in border areas and river valleys include the Hui, Manchu, Bai, Naxi, Mongolian, Zhuang, Dai, Achang, Bouyi and Shui, with a combined population of 4.5 million; those in low mountainous areas are the Hani, Yao, Lahu, Va, Jingpo, Blang and Jino, with a combined population of 5 million; and those in high mountainous areas are Miao, Lisu, Tibetan, Pumi and Drung, with a total population of 4 million.
By the end of 1998, among the province's population, 419,800 had received college education or above, 2.11 million, senior middle school education, 8.3 million, junior middle school education, 18.25 million, primary school education, and 8.25 million aged15 or above, illiterate or semi-literate
GDP growth rate: 8.1 percent
Average GDP per capita: 5,178 yuan (2002)
GDP ratio (1st, 2nd and tertiary industries): 21.1 : 42.8 : 36.1
Industrial added value: 77.8 billion yuan in 2002, up by 9.2% over the previous year
Revenue: 20.67 billion yuan (2002)
Yunnan has trade contacts with more than 70 countries and regions in the world. It mainly exports tobacco, machinery and electrical equipment, chemical and agricultural products and non-ferrous metals. In 2002 its total imports and exports reached US$2.23 billion.
In 2002, the province signed direct foreign investment contracts involving US$333 million. US$112 million were actually utilized during the year.
Four pillar industries involve tobacco, biology, mining and tourism.
Unemployment rate: 4% (2002)
Poverty alleviation plan
Yunnan is one of China's undeveloped provinces with more poverty-stricken counties than other province. In 1994, about 7 million people lived below the poverty line of less than an annual average income of 300 yuan per capita. They were distributed in the province's 73 counties mainly and financially supported by the central government.
With an input of 3.15 billion yuan in 2002, the absolutely poor rural population in the province has been reduced from 4.05 million in 2000 to 2.86 million.
The poverty alleviation plan includes five large projects aimed at improving infrastructure facilities. They involve soil improvement and water conservation, electric power, roads and "green belt" building. Upon the completion of the projects, the province will solve the problem of shortages of grain, water, electric power and roads and improve ecological conditions
The 886 km first-level national railway from Nanning to Kunming links Yunnan with Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Second-level railways include those from Guangtong to Dali, and from Kunyang to Yuxinan.
Second-level national highways stretch 958 km, third-level highways, 7,571 km and fourth-level highways, 52,248 km. The province has formed a network of communication lines radiating from Kunming to Sichuan and Guizhou provinces and Guangxi and Tibet autonomous regions, and further on to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
In 1995, the province put an investment of 171 million yuan to add another 807 km of navigation lines. It built 2 wharfs with an annual handling capacity of 300,000-400,000 tons each and 4 wharfs with an annual handling capacity of 100,000 tons each. The annual volume of goods transported was 2 million tons and that of passengers transported, 2 million.
The province has 19 domestic air routes from Kunming to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Haikou, Chongqing, Shenyang, Harbin, Wuhan, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Nanning, Shenzhen, Guiyang, Changsha, Guilin and Hong Kong; three provincial air routes from Kunming to Jinghong, Mangshi and Simao; and three international air routes from Kunming to Bangkok, Yangon and Vientiane.
The Wujiaba Airport in Kunming is a national first-class airport and Xishuangbanna, Mangshi and Simao airports are second-class terminals
Kunming is the political, economic, communications and cultural center of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government. It is also home to several universities, museums, galleries and other important economic, cultural, and educational institutions. The headquarters of many of Yunnan's large businesses are in Kunming as well. It was important during World War II as a Chinese military center, American air base, and transport terminus for the Burma Road. Located in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is located at an altitude of 1,900 m above sea level and at a latitude north of the Tropic of Cancer. It covers an area of 21,501 km2 and its urban area covers 6,200 km2. Kunming has an estimated population of 5,740,000 including 3,055,000 in the urban area and is located at the northern edge of the large Lake Dian, surrounded by temples and lake-and-limestone hill landscapes
It is the lending transportation hub (air, road, and rail) in SW China, with a rail connection to Vietnam and road links to Burma and Laos. Kunming currently has a new international airport under development, which is slated to be the fourth largest international airport in China. Situated in a fertile plain 640 km southwest of Chongqing, Kunming is an important trading center between the far west and central and south China. It is one of China's largest producers of copper. Copper is smelted with nearby hydroelectric power. Coal is mined, and the city has a few iron and steel complexes. Other manufactures include phosphorus, chemicals, machinery, textiles, paper, and cement. Although it was often the seat of kings in ancient times, Kunming's modern prosperity dates only from 1910, when the railroad from Hanoi was built. The city has continued to develop rapidly under China's modernization efforts. Kunming's streets have widened while office buildings and housing projects develop at a fast pace. Kunming has been designated a special tourism center and as such sports a proliferation of high-rises and luxury hotels.
From 2005 to 2010, the city of Kunming plans to nearly double in size, in terms of both population to eight million and area, and it hopes to be one of the trades, transport, financial and cultural centers of Southeast Asia. Kunming's transport links to Southeast Asia and elsewhere, particularly its air links, are steadily expanding, with direct routes already existing to all major Chinese cities, most major Southeast Asian cities and even major cities in Japan and South Korea.
Key development issues for Kunming include a local educated and talent pool that is less sophisticated than larger Chinese cities and the need for increased transport links.
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