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Northwest China
Location of (({official_name))}
Country China
 • Total3,107,900 km2 (1,200,000 sq mi)
(November 1, 2020)

Northwest China (Chinese: 西北; pinyin: Xīběi; lit. 'West-north') is a statistical region of China which includes the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. It has an area of 3,107,900 km2.

The region is characterized by a (semi-)arid continental climate. It has a diverse population including significant minorities such as Hui, Uyghurs and Tibetans.[1][2] Culturally, the region has historically been influenced by the Silk Road.[3]

Administrative divisions

GB[4] ISO No.[5] Province Chinese Name Capital Population Density (per km2) Area (km2) Abbreviation/Symbol
Shǎn (Qín) 61 Shaanxi Province 陕西省
Shǎnxī Shěng
Xi'an 39,530,000 190 205,600 SN 陕(秦)
Gān (Lǒng) 62 Gansu Province 甘肃省
Gānsù Shěng
Lanzhou 25,019,831 55 454,300 GS 甘(陇)
Qīng 63 Qinghai Province 青海省
Qīnghǎi Shěng
Xining 5,923,957 8.2 721,200 QH
Níng 64 Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region 宁夏回族自治区
Níngxià Huízú Zìzhìqū
Yinchuan 7,202,654 110 66,400 NX
Xīn 65 Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区
Xīnjiāng Wéiwú'ěr Zìzhìqū
Ürümqi 25,852,345 16 1,660,400 XJ

Cities with urban area over one million in population

# City Urban area District area City proper Prov. Census date
1 Xi'an 11,904,805 12,283,922 12,952,907 SN 2020
2 Ürümqi 3,575,000 4,054,369 XJ 2020
3 Lanzhou 3,474,858 3,042,863 4,359,446 GS 2020
4 Yinchuan 1,901,793 1,901,793 2,859,074 NX 2020
5 Xining 1,954,795 1,954,795 2,467,965 QH 2020
6 Baoji 1,862,118 1,475,962 3,321,853 SN 2020
7 Tianshui 1,212,791 1,212,791 1,212,791 GS 2020

Outer Northwest China

Outer Northwest China (Chinese: 外西北; pinyin: Wài Xīběi) refers to the portions of territories of the Qing dynasty that were later annexed by the Russian Empire through the Convention of Peking, Treaty of Tarbagatai, Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881) and other unequal treaties referred by Chinese interpretation. During Qing rule, the territories formed parts of far-western Xinjiang and far-northwestern Outer Mongolia.

Tuva, at the time a part of the larger Tannu Uriankhai region in northwestern Outer Mongolia, is sometimes also included as it is now part of Russia and share a land border (thus geographically contiguous) with the territories that was ceded through the aforementioned unequal treaties. However, this inclusion is somewhat uncommon and does not conform to stricter definitions of Outer Northwest China as Tuva was not ceded to the Russian Empire during the Qing dynasty but was annexed during Soviet times after more than three decades of de facto independence from China following the Qing's collapse.

Prior to Qing rule, Outer Northwest China was part of the Dzungar Khanate but the region was annexed into the Qing Empire in the aftermath of the Dzungar–Qing Wars.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the region is now divided among four successor states of the Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia.

See also


  1. ^ Chen, Yaning (2014-03-23). Water Resources Research in Northwest China. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-94-017-8017-9.
  2. ^ Dillon, Michael (2013-12-16). China's Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-80940-8.
  3. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Chinese Section of the Silk Road: Land routes in Henan Province, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Sea Routes in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province and Quanzhou City, Fujian Province - from Western-Han Dynasty to Qing Dynasty". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  4. ^ CHGIS. "Database Design". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ ISO 3166-2:CN (ISO 3166-2 codes for the provinces of China)

Coordinates: 36°48′00″N 95°48′00″E / 36.8000°N 95.8000°E / 36.8000; 95.8000