Besides hills, plains, deserts, rivers and lakes, Inner Mongolia has plateau landforms, mostly over 1,000 meters (about 13,780 feet) above sea level, including the Inner Mongolia Plateau, the second largest among the four major plateaus in the country.
Inner Mongolia has a temperate continental climate. There, spring is warm and windy; summer is short and hot with many rainy days; autumn usually sees early frost and plummeting temperature; winter is long, bitter cold with frequent polar outbreaks. The region has an annual precipitation of 100-500 mm, 80-150 frost-free days, and 2,700 hours of sunshine. The Greater Hinggan Mountains and the Yinshan Mountains divide the regions into areas with different climate. The area east of the Greater Hinggan Mountains and north of the Yinshan Mountains has lower temperature and less precipitation than the opposite area.
Animals and plants: Inner Mongolia has 2,351 species of plants including vegetation of arbors, shrubs and herbs. It is home to 117 species of wild animals and 362 species of birds, 49 species of them under state and regional protection and 10 precious and rare.
Hydropower: Inner Mongolia has water resources of 90.3 billion cubic meters, of which 67.5 billion is surface water. Nearly 1,000 rivers run in the region, 107 rivers averaging a valley area of more than 1,000 square km each. Moreover, 1,000 lakes dot the region, eight of them with an area of over 100 square km each. Inner Mongolia boasts mineral water and springs with medical value. It has a total water area of 984,300 hectares including 655,000 hectares of fresh water, which accounts for 10.68 percent of the country's total fresh water area.
Forests, grasslands, and cultivated land: The region has 7.22 million hectares of cultivated land, or 6.11 percent of the country's total, 86.67 million hectares of grasslands, or 73.3 percent of the country's total, and 18.67 million hectares of forests, 15.8 percent of the country's total.
Minerals: More than 120 kinds of minerals of the world's total 140 kinds have been found in the region, five of which have the largest deposits in China and 65 of which rank among the top ten of their kinds in the country. The reserves of rare earth amount to 84.59 million tons, or 80 percent of the world's total and over 90 percent of the country's total. The proven deposits of coal hit 224.75 billion tons, the second largest in the country. The region has large reserves of ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, precious metals, and industrial chemicals, and non-metal minerals. It also has abundant oil and natural gas and 13 large oil and gas fields have been discovered with expected oil reserves of 2-3 billion tons and gas reserves of 1,000 billion cubic meters. The minerals (excluding oil and natural gas) in the region have a potential value of 13,000 billion yuan (US$1,570 billion), accounting for 10 percent of the country's total volume and ranking as the third largest in the country.
Tourism: Inner Mongolia is rich in tourist attractions: Colorful ethnic culture, grassland scenery, the virgin forests in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, grand views along the Yellow River, the majestic Xiangsha Gulf, rivers and lakes, and springs. Inner Mongolia is home to the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, the Zhaojun Tomb, ancient Great Wall, Wudang Monastery at the bottom of the Yinshan Mountains, Wuta Monastery, Bailing Temple, and tomb murals dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
Environment and current policies:
Owing to its special geological condition, Inner Mongolia features a harsh eco-environment. In recent decades, the greenhouse effect and unscientific exploitation have aggravated drought, desertification, and soil erosion. The desertified land and the potential ones cover 60 percent of the regional area and are increasing 670,000 hectares per year.
The desertification and alkalization of grasslands have brought frequent sandstorms. The deterioration of water conservation capacity of the Greater Hinggan Mountains has resulted in floods in the Songhua and Liaohe river valleys. Each year 300 million tons of soil are washed away in the Yellow and western Liaohe rivers, or 30,000 hectares of land lost. As a result, rivers are choked with silt that stops their flow.
To improve ecological environment, the Ecological Construction Project, one of the ten projects of the western development campaign, has been launched recently in the region which includes turning the cultivated land into forests and grasslands, planting grass and suspending animal husbandry, shelterbelts in the northeast, northwest and the north, anti-desertification, virgin forest protection in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, and resettlement. It is expected that by 2005 the deteriorated eco-environment can be brought under control, with first steps at reclamation achieved by 2010, and that mountains will be green and rivers clear again by mid-century.
Population growth rate: 4.98¡ë
Ethnicity: Forty-nine ethnic groups live in Inner Mongolia including the Mongolian, Han, Manchu, Hui, Daur, Ewenki, Oroqen, and Korean. The region is inhabited by 3.97 million Mongolians, 18.75 million Hans, and 900,010 of other groups. The rural population hits 13.78 million, with 11.87 million in villages and 1.91 million in pastoral area.
Education: Inner Mongolia has 500,000 technicians, 140,000 of whom have received senior and middle-level technical certificates. It has 324 scientific and technological research centers. By 2000, 71 counties in the region had implemented the nine-year compulsory educational campaign and basically eliminated illiteracy among young and middle-aged people. As many as 98.36 percent of children of school age enjoyed school education, 97.19 percent of children of secondary-school age entered junior middle school and 60 percent of them graduated and entered senior middle school in 2001. Inner Mongolia has 21 institutes of higher learning with a total of 99,600 students. The percentage of literate middle-aged and young people has reached 96.8 percent.
In 2001 the region had 9,312 primary schools in 6,299 places, 1,664 middle schools, and 425 vocational secondary schools including 269 junior secondary schools and 156 senior secondary schools
In 2001, the grain output in the region totaled 12.39 billion kg, and the annual growth in the number of domestic animals reached 25.89 million. The total output of meat and dairy products reached 1.49 million and 1 million tons respectively, up by 3.9 percent and 20 percent from the previous year.
The year also witnessed accelerated pace of industrial restructuring and technologic renovation in the region. The total industrial added value reached 50.7 billion yuan (US$6.12 billion), the annual growth rate being 11.3 percent. The tertiary industry and the non-state-owned economy have developed rapidly, becoming a significant force in boosting local economic development.
GDP: 140 billion yuan (US$16.9 billion) (2000)
154.55 billion (US$18.67 billion) (2001)
GDP growth rate: 9.6 percent (2001) and averaging increasing rate of 10 percent during the ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000)
GDP per capita: 5,350 yuan (US$646) (2000)
Urban and rural income: From 1989 to 1997 Inner Mongolia was the poorest in China in terms of the disposable per capita income of urbanites and rural residents. In 1999 it ranked 22nd in the country. In 2000 the disposable per capita income of urbanites and rural residents amounted to 5,120 yuan (US$618), 7.3 percent up over the previous year, a 58.9 percent increase over the end of eighth Five-Year Plan period (1991-95), and averaging an annual increase of 9.7 percent. The average per capita income of rural residents hit 2,050 yuan (US$248), with an annual increasing rate of 5 percent.
In 2001, the disposable per capita income of urbanites and rural residents was 5,536 yuan (US$668.6) and 1,950 yuan (US$235.5). A total of 850,000 people in the rural areas shook off poverty and began to have enough to eat and wear.
GDP ratio: (1st, 2nd, and tertiary industries): 25:39:36 (2000)
Added value and growth rate (1st, 2nd, and tertiary industries) (2000): 35.2 billion yuan (US$4.25 billion), 55.2 billion yuan (US$6.67), and 49.6 billion yuan (US$5.99 billion) respectively; 2.6 percent, 12.3 percent, and 11.6 percent increase over the previous year respectively; averaging annual increase rate of 6.4 percent, 11.7 percent, 10.7 percent during the ninth Five-Year Plan (1996-2000).
Added value and growth rate (1st, 2nd, and tertiary industries) (2001): 36.1 billion yuan (US$4.36 billion), 62.4 billion yuan (US$7.54 billion), and 55.97 billion yuan (US$6.76 billion) respectively; 2 percent, 12 percent, and 12.1 percent increase over the previous year respectively.
By the end of 2000, Inner Mongolia still had some 804,000 poverty-stricken people without necessary food and clothes and 3 million in unstable situation. It needs to resettle 200,000 people.
Inflation rate (2000): consumption price 1.3 percent up over the previous year.
Unemployment rate: 3.34 percent (2000)
Revenues: 16.77 billion yuan (US$2.02 billion) (2001), 7.8 percent up from the previous year.
Foreign trade: Inner Mongolia has conducted trade, economic and technological cooperation with nearly 100 countries and regions in the world. Its exports come in 1,000 categories. Trade with Russia and Mongolia thrives. During the ninth Five-Year Plan period, the region achieved US$7.58 billion in import and export, with an export of US$4.16 billion. In 2000 it obtained US$2 billion in foreign trade, the export being US$1 billion. The region has 18 opening ports -- including 11 A-grade and 7 C-grade -- and 16 development zones, four of state level and 12 of regional level. In 2001, the total export value of the region amounted to US$1.14 billion, increasing at an annual growth rate of 11.6 percent.
Foreign investment: By the end of 2000, the region had 1,871 foreign invested enterprises and a contracted foreign investment of US$2,559.32 million. It received loans of US$1.72 billion for its 78 projects from international financial organizations and foreign countries, with a total of US$52.78 million from foreign governments for its 43 projects. The projects cover 70-plus counties in the region and involve agriculture, education, health, communications, energy, and environmental protection. Foreign loans account for 5.1 percent of the total fund for fixed asset investment. It has actually utilized 43.14 billion yuan of foreign funds.
The year 2001 saw a total of 18.4 billion yuan (US$2.22 billion) invested in the region, of which US$187 million was from overseas, up 66 percent.
Key industries: Farm production and processing as well as animal husbandry; energy; metallurgy and chemicals.
Railway: The region has 14 main national and 12 feeder railways as well as five local railways, with a total length of 7,083 km. The density is 59.9 km/10,000-sq-km. The Beijing-Tonghua, Beijing-Baotou, and Baotou-Lanzhou railways traverse west to east through the province, which link the northeast, the north and northwest of China. Manzhouli and Erenhot, two large land ports in the region, connect the region with Russia and Mongolia, and European countries.
The volume of goods flow by rail reached 86.966 billion tons km in 2001, up by 5 percent. The annual volume of passenger flow was 8.965 billion people km, a drop of 2.9 percent.
Highway: It has a total length of 63,000 km, with a density of 532.6 km/10,000 square km. More than 95 percent of townships have access to highways.
The volume of goods flow by highway reached 22.035 billion tons km in 2001, up by 4 percent. The annual volume of passenger flow was 12.193 billion people km, up by 4.8 percent.
Airport: It has seven civil airports, which are open to 20 domestic and two international air routes, with a total length of 67,000 km.
Hohhot is the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and it`s no doubt also the regional center of politics, economy, science, culture and education; it was named officially a famous historic cultural city of China by the State Council in 1985.
Location: situated between north latitude 3950' - 4100' and east longitude 11130' - 11200', in the central area in the Neimenggu Autonomous Region; the south of Mt. Yinshan; inside the area of the Tumote Plain; connects Beijing, Tianjin and Tangshan cities and the Bohai Bay in the east.
Physical Features: at the southern foot of Mt. Yinshan, higher north and lower south terrain; central and south plain; Mt. Qingshan in its north, Yellow River flowing through its south. Population: 2.0 million. Urban population: 0.66 million. Area: 17,224 sq. km. Nationalities: Mongolian, Han, Manchu, Hui, Tibetan, Dawoer, Elunchun, Ewenke and Korean
Mountains: Daqingshan Mountains, Mt. Panshan, Mt. Pingdingshan, Mt. Bajishan.
Rivers: Daheihe River, Xiaoheihe River, Shilawusuhe River, Qianpanhe River, Hasuhai Sea, Yellow River, Honghe River, Qingshuihe River and Gulipanjihe River
The city of Hohhot, located about 400km west of Beijing, is at an altitude of 1,500m above sea level. The city is known mostly as a stopping point for travellers who wish to sample the grasslands that can be found from 80 to 170km from the city or for those moving on to the Republic of Mongolia to the north. Hohhot has been known by many names in its time. With a population of just over 800,000, the city is not overly big, although is the second largest in the province. Much has changed in the city since the early 20th Century, and its fame as city of temples and lamaseries is somewhat offset by the predominant high-rises and modern buildings that now make up much of the city. The majority of industry here is centered upon machine building, refineries, other factories and the production of hide and wool. Tourism is also a big earner, as anyone meeting the train station's swarms of touts will soon find out. Nowadays it is the Han Chinese that are in the majority here, closely followed by the Mongols that make up 11% of the total population and the Muslim Hui Minority. It is in the southwestern end of the city, around the Xilituzhao and Dazhao temples, that these and other minorities can be found, including the Ewenki, the Daur and the Manchurian groups. Much of the history of this area may have been lost from the face of the modern city but there are a few things that bring back the past. One is the symbol of Inner Mongolia, the rearing horse, that has been appearing all around Hohhot, a throwback to the days when screaming hordes of Mongols conquered over half the known world. This was best highlighted when a stone figure of Chairman Mao Zedong was removed from the city center's lively Xinhua Square, to be replaced by a statue of a galloping horse. The history is also brought back to life in the city's Prefectural Museum, that has a flying horse fittingly attached to its roof, and in the celebration of the Naadam Festival that passes through the streets and houses around August every year.
Baotou is the largest city in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China and the largest industrial city as well. It enjoys the fame of "the Deer City" and "the Steel City". With the development of Baotou Iron and Steel (Group) Co., Ltd. and Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, it became known as "the Kingdom of Rare Earth".
Xilinhot is a county-level city which serves as the seat of government for the Xilin Gol league in Inner Mongolia, China. It has a jurisdiction area of 14,785 square km, and a population of 177,000, with 149,000 being in the Xilinhot urban area. There are 17 minority nationalities here, and the main ethnical group is Mongolian nationality. Han nationality is the majority. The elevation is about 3250 feet. It snows frequently in winter, and it rains in summer. Best seasons to tour here is spring and autumn. It is called ¡°the pearl on the grassland¡±.
The city is 610 and 620 km from Beijing and Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, respectively. The city has an airport that has regular flights to Beijing from Air China and daily flights to Hohhot from Shandong Airlines. The K996/K736 Train connects Xilinhot with Hohhot and departs daily with the exception of Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Chifeng means?literally "Red Mountain". Chifeng is situated at the intersection of northeast and north China economic zones, which is an important part of Bohai Sea economic circle. In addition, it is famous for the culture of Red Mountain and regarded as "back garden of Beijing". Being the most populous city in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Chifeng has a population of 4.6 million, 19.3% of which are Mongolian ethnic group and 73% are Han.
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