Aksu Prefecture
ئاقسۇ ۋىلايىتى
Aqsu, Akesu
Aksu Prefecture (red) in Xinjiang (orange)
Aksu Prefecture (red) in Xinjiang (orange)
Coordinates (Aksu City government): 41°11′N 80°17′E / 41.18°N 80.29°E / 41.18; 80.29Coordinates: 41°11′N 80°17′E / 41.18°N 80.29°E / 41.18; 80.29
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County-level divisions8
SeatAksu City
 • Prefecture128,099 km2 (49,459 sq mi)
 • Urban
14,450 km2 (5,580 sq mi)
 • Metro
14,450 km2 (5,580 sq mi)
1,519 m (4,984 ft)
 (2020 Census[1])
 • Prefecture2,714,422
 • Density21/km2 (55/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code997
ISO 3166 codeCN-XJ-29
GDP (2021)[2]CNY¥ 156.45 billion
US $24.26 billion
GDP per capitaCNY ¥56,892
US $8,820
 - GrowthIncrease 6.6%
License Plate新N
WebsiteAksu Prefecture Government
Aksu Prefecture
Uyghur name
Uyghurئاقسۇ ۋىلايىتى
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese阿克蘇地區
Simplified Chinese阿克苏地区

Aksu Prefecture[4][5] is located in mid-Western Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. It has an area of 131,161 km2 (50,642 sq mi) and 2.37 million inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 535,657 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made up of Aksu urban district.[6] The name Aksu is Turkic for 'white water'. Aksu Prefecture has a 263.8 km (163.9 mi) long international boundary with Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.


The name Aksu comes from the name of the Aksu River which is Turkic for 'white water'.[7] The name is similar to that of the nearby Zhetysu region which means "seven rivers".[8] The name of Aksu Prefecture's Onsu County (Wensu) means "ten water" in Uyghur and other Turkic languages, and 'Kizilsu' in Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture means 'red water'- all of these names consist of a descriptor followed by 'su' (river; water).[9]


In 717 AD, the Arabs, guided by their Turgesh allies, besieged Buat-ɦuɑn (Aksu) and Dai-dʑiᴇk-dʑiᴇŋ (Uqturpan) in the Battle of Aksu.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China, 214 Uyghur workers were sent to Jiujiang, Jiangxi.[10]


The prefecture occupies the northwestern part of the Tarim Basin and the southern slopes of the Tian Shan. The southern part of the prefecture is within the Taklamakan desert. Agriculture is only possible in the areas irrigated by the Tarim River and its glacier-fed tributaries, the Aksu River and the Muzart River. Aksu Prefecture surrounds Aral, Xinjiang.

Administrative divisions

Aksu Prefecture is divided into 2 county-level cities and 8 counties:

Aksu mcp.png
# Name Uyghur (UEY) Uyghur Latin (ULY) Chinese (S) Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010 Census) Area (km2) Density (/km2)
1 Aksu ئاقسۇ شەھىرى Aqsu Shehiri 阿克苏 Ākèsū Shì 535,657 13,647 39.25
2 Kuqa (Kuchar, Kucha, Kuche) كۇچار شەھىرى Kuchar Shehiri 库车 Kùchē Shì 462,588 14,529 31.83
3 Onsu County (Wenu[4]) ئونسۇ ناھىيىسى Onsu Nahiyisi 温宿 Wēnsù Xiàn 233,933 14,376 16.27
4 Xayar County (Shayar, Shaya) شايار ناھىيىسى Shayar Nahiyisi 沙雅 Shāyǎ Xiàn 257,502 31,887 8.07
5 Xinhe County[4] (Toksu) توقسۇ ناھىيىسى Toqsu Nahiyisi 新和 Xīnhé Xiàn 172,064 5,831 29.50
6 Baicheng County[4] باي ناھىيىس Bay Nahiyisi 拜城 Bàichéng Xiàn 229,252 15,917 14.40
7 Uqturpan County (Wushi[4]) ئۇچتۇرپان ناھىيىسى Uchturpan Nahiyisi 乌什 Wūshí Xiàn 197,990 9,065 21.84
8 Awat County ئاۋات ناھىيىسى Avat Nahiyisi 阿瓦提 Āwǎtí Xiàn 237,562 12,592 18.86
9 Kalpin County (Kelpin) كەلپىن ناھىيىسى Kelpin Nahiyisi 柯坪 Kēpíng Xiàn 44,261 8,915 4.96


As of 2015, 2,030,600 (80.2%) of the 2,530,506 residents of the county were Uyghur, 465,983 (18.4%) were Han Chinese and 33,923 were from other ethnic groups.[11]

As of 1999, 75.0% of the population of Aksu (Aqsu, Akesu) Prefecture was Uyghur and 23.7% of the population was Han Chinese.[12]


  1. ^ "新疆维吾尔自治区第七次全国人口普查主要数据" (in Chinese). 15 March 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "2021年新疆各市州GDP排行榜 乌鲁木齐排名第一 昌吉排名第二". Sohu (in Chinese). 13 March 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "China". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  4. ^ a b c d e The official spelling according to 中国地名录. Beijing: SinoMaps Press (中国地图出版社). 1997. ISBN 7-5031-1718-4.
  5. ^ 西域地名考录. p. 21.
  6. ^ "GeoHive - China, Xinjiang population statistics". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  7. ^ 阿克苏市概况. ئاقسۇ阿克苏市人民政府 (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 18 May 2020. 阿克苏市,维吾尔语意为“白水城”,
  8. ^ Madeleine Reeves, ed. (2012). Movement, Power and Place in Central Asia and Beyond: Contested Trajectories. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-415-50353-2. Jeti Suu{...}Seven Waters
  9. ^ 温宿县人民政府 领导致词 (in Chinese (China)). Wensu (Onsu) County People's Government. 2019-03-22. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2019. 温宿,维吾尔语意为“十股水”
  10. ^ Mamatjan Juma,Alim Seytoff, Joshua Lipes (27 February 2020). "Xinjiang Authorities Sending Uyghurs to Work in China's Factories, Despite Coronavirus Risks". Radio Free Asia. Translated by Mamatjan Juma, Alim Seytoff. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020. Recent reports by the official Xinjiang Daily and Chinanews.com said that from Feb. 22-23, “400 youths were transferred to the provinces of Hunan, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi.” Of those, 114 from Awat (in Chinese, Awati) county, in the XUAR’s Aksu (Akesu) prefecture, were sent to Jiangxi’s Jiujiang city on Feb. 23, 100 from Aksu city were sent to Jiujiang on Feb. 22, and 171 from Hotan (Hetian) prefecture were sent to Changsha city in Hunan province, the reports said, without providing a date for the last transfer.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ 3-7 各地、州、市、县(市)分民族人口数 (in Simplified Chinese). شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى 新疆维吾尔自治区统计局 Statistic Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 15 March 2017. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  12. ^ Morris Rossabi, ed. (2004). Governing China's Multiethnic Frontiers (PDF). University of Washington Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-295-98390-6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-01-07. Retrieved 2020-05-09.