|Coordinates (Ningxia People's Government):|
|Municipal seat||Jinfeng District|
|• Type||Prefecture-level city|
|• Body||Yinchuan Municipal People's Congress|
|• CCP Secretary||Zhang Zhu|
|• Congress Chairman||Li Hongru|
|• Mayor||Zhao Xuhui|
|• CPPCC Chairman||Ma Kai|
|• Prefecture-level city||8,874.61 km2 (3,426.51 sq mi)|
|• Urban||2,045 km2 (790 sq mi)|
|• Metro||2,045 km2 (790 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,100 m (3,608 ft)|
|• Prefecture-level city||2,859,074|
|• Density||320/km2 (830/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-NX-01|
|License plate prefixes||宁A|
|Literal meaning||"Silver River"|
Yinchuan (UK: //, US: /-/; simplified Chinese: 银川; traditional Chinese: 銀川; pinyin: Yínchuān) is the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, and was the capital of the Tangut-led Western Xia dynasty. It has an area of 8,874.61 km2 (3,426.51 sq mi) and a total population of 2,859,074 according to the 2020 Chinese census, and its built-up area was home to 1,901,793 inhabitants spread between three urban districts. The city's name literally means "silver river".
Yinchuan is now the permanent site for the China-Arab Expo, a platform for cultural and economic exchanges between China and Arab countries.
The city is also home to Ningxia University, the largest regional comprehensive university under Ningxia's Project 211.
The area that is now Yinchuan was home to Shuidonggou, China's earliest paleolithic site. It dates from over 30,000 years ago, Later in Chinese prehistory, rock art was created in the Helan mountains adjacent to modern-day Yinchuan.
Yinchuan was originally a county under the name of Fuping in the 1st century BCE; its name was changed to Huaiyuan in the 6th century CE.
After the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907, Yinchuan came under the control of the Tanguts. In 1038, the Tangut leader Yuanhao declared himself emperor of the Great Xia and made Yinchuan his capital, at that time known as "Xingqing" (simplified Chinese: 兴庆; traditional Chinese: 興慶; pinyin: Xīngqìng). This provoked much of the native Han population to emigrate. Several of Yinchuan's important cultural sites were built under the Western Xia, such as the Pagoda of Chengtian and the Western Xia mausoleums.
In the autumn of 1209, the Mongols invaded Western Xia. They laid siege to Yinchuan, which by this point was known as "Zhongxing". The garrison of 150,000 managed to hold out against the Mongols, although Western Xia submitted to Mongol suzerainty regardless. After Xia attempted to reassert its independence, in 1227 the Mongols returned and slaughtered the city's entire population. Ghenghis Khan died during the siege under debated circumstances. The Mongols knew the city as "Iryai".
Under the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, it was a prefecture of Ningxia. During the Dungan revolt, Dungan forces massacred 100,000 people in Yinchuan.
In 1739, the city was heavily affected by the Yinchuan–Pingluo earthquake. A maximum intensity of XII was determined on the Chinese seismic intensity scale, and XI on the Mercalli intensity scale. The earthquake collapsed most houses, temples, offices, and a city wall 10 m (33 ft) tall and 6 m (20 ft) wide. Ground fissures up to an meter wide, and 100 m (330 ft) long, and great subsidence were accounted in historical records. Over 15,300 people killed and the city was completely levelled. Blazing fires burned all the way through the night as many canals were destroyed, shutting off the flow of water. The ground opened for more than 100 m (330 ft), where sand and black water erupted. Aftershocks persisted for more than two years with the largest being a 5.5 on February 13 that same year.
In 1928, when the province of Ningxia was formed from part of Gansu, Yinchuan became the capital city. In 1954, when Ningxia province was abolished, the city was put in Gansu province; but, with the establishment of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in 1958, Yinchuan once again became the capital.
Traditionally, Yinchuan was an administrative and commercial center. In the 1950s, the city had many commercial enterprises, and there were some handicrafts, but no modern industry. The city has since grown considerably. Extensive coal deposits discovered on the eastern bank of the Yellow River, near Shizuishan, 100 km (62 mi) to the north, have made Shizuishan a coal-mining center.
Yinchuan, however, remains largely non-industrial. The immediate plains area, intensively irrigated by a system developed as long ago as the Han (206 BC–AD 220) and Tang (618–907) dynasties, is extremely productive. Yinchuan is the chief agricultural market and distribution center for this area and also deals in animal products from the herds tended by nomads in the surrounding grasslands. It is a market for grain and has flour mills, as well as rice-hulling and oil-extraction plants. The wool produced in the surrounding plains supplies a woolen-textile mill.
During the nationwide 1989 Protests that followed the death of Hu Yaobang, Yinchuan was the site of student demonstrations responding to the April 26 Editorial. On May 28 numbers dropped drastically when only 3,000 students took to the streets. A similar number of people would march again, this time with wreaths and banners, when they heard the news about the June 4 crackdown in Beijing.
On July 23, 1993, China Northwest Airlines Flight 2119, in route from Yinchuan Xihuayuan Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, crashed into a lake after it was unable to get airborne while attempting to take off at Yinchuan Airport, killing 54 passengers and 1 crew member on board.
On 21 June 2023, a gas explosion inside of a barbecue restaurant in Yinchuan killed at least 31 people and injured 7 others.
Yinchuan lies in the middle of the Yinchuan Plain. It is sheltered from the deserts of Mongolia by the high ranges of the Helan Mountains to its west. The Yellow River runs through Yinchuan from southwest to northeast. The average elevation of Yinchuan is 1,100 meters (about 3,608 feet). The urban center of Yinchuan lies about halfway between the Yellow River and the edge of Helan Mountains.
Yinchuan has a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk) with an annual rainfall of 186 mm (7.32 in). Yinchuan has distinct seasons, with dry, cold winters, late springs and short summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −7.3 °C (18.9 °F) in January to 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) in July, with the annual mean at 9.5 °C (49.1 °F). Diurnal temperature variation tends to be large due to the aridity, which also partly contributes to the sunny climate; with monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 63 percent in three months to 71 percent in November, the city receives 2,906 hours of bright sunshine annually. There are 158 frost-free days.
|Climate data for Yinchuan (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1951–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.7
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−12.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||1.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1.2||1.4||2.3||2.6||4.1||5.6||7.9||8.7||5.7||3.4||1.4||0.8||45.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||55||49||45||40||46||53||61||66||66||60||62||60||55|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||205.7||201.1||232.6||255.5||287.1||285.3||281.8||267.2||240.2||231.9||214.3||203.1||2,905.8|
|Percent possible sunshine||68||67||63||65||65||64||63||63||65||67||71||69||66|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration (precipitation days and sunshine 1971–2000)|
|Name||Simplified Chinese||Hanyu Pinyin||Xiao'erjing||Population
|Area (km2)||Density (/km2)|
|Xingqing District||兴庆区||Xīngqìng Qū||ثٍْٿٍْ ٿِيُوِ||755,441||768||984|
|Jinfeng District||金凤区||Jīnfèng Qū||ڭٍفٍْ ٿِيُوِ||369,296||290||1,273|
|Xixia District||西夏区||Xīxià Qū||ثِثِيَا ٿِيُوِ||362,842||987||368|
|Lingwu City||灵武市||Língwǔ Shì||لِئٍوُ شِ||296,122||4,639||64|
|Yongning County||永宁县||Yǒngníng Xiàn||يٌنِئٍ ثِيًا||245,570||1,295||190|
|Helan County||贺兰县||Hèlán Xiàn||حَلًا ثِيًا||263,832||1,600||165|
As of 2019, 72.43% of the city's population is Han Chinese, 25.79% is Hui, and 1.78% are other ethnic minorities. Of the city's six county-level divisions, all have a super-majority of Han Chinese people sans the county-level city of Lingwu, which is majority Hui.
Of the city's population, 79.05% live in urban areas as of 2019. This proportion is highest in Xixia District, where 91.28% of the population lives in urban areas, and is lowest in Lingwu, where 58.22% of the population lives in urban areas.
The city's gross domestic product per capita was ¥31,436 (US$4,526) in 2008, ranking 197th of 659 Chinese cities. In 2010, Yinchuan was designated as the site for the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. At the national level, Yinchuan hosts various events such as the China-Arab States Expo, to function as a commercial link between China and Arab States. Yinchuan has an aircraft tire plant owned by Singapore-based Giti Tire.
Yinchuan classifies itself as a 'smart city', where modern technology is employed such as facial recognition for public transport payments, connected trash bins and digital citizen service centres.
Although most residents are Han Chinese, Yinchuan is a center for the Muslim Hui people, who constitute slightly over a quarter of the population. Hui Muslims play a vital role as being middlemen in trade between the Middle East and China, and the China-Middle East trade has become increasingly important to the country. Consequently, the national government has started constructing a $3.7 billion Islamic theme park called "World Muslim City" in Yinchuan. Unlike Uyghurs, who faces far more restrictions in religious freedoms, Hui Muslims generally do not seek independence from China and have a cultural affinity to the Han, and are far more assimilated into mainstream Chinese life.
A number of cultural festivals are celebrated in Yinchuan. These include an Internet Film Festival, a Car and Motorcycle Tourism Festival, and a International Poetry Festival. Until 2000, Yinchuan was also the traditional host of a August festival celebrating the harvesting of Goji berries (a major product of Ningxia).
The city's attractions include the Sand-lake, the Western Xia tombs, and the China Western film Studios.
Sand Lake is a lake in a desert 35 miles north of Yinchuan with birds, reeds, lotus and fish.
The Western Xia Imperial Tombs are 15.5 miles west of Yinchuan on east side of Mt. Helan. Since June 1972, nine imperial tombs and 253 lesser tombs have been unearthed, which are as grand as Ming Tombs in Beijing. With a total area of more than 19.3 square miles, it is unique among royal burials.
China West Film Studio, which has been famed as 'One Superb in China, and Treasure of Ningxia Province', is at the eastern foot of the magnificent Helanshan Mountain, 25 kilometers from the railway station of Yinchuan City, and 48 kilometers from Hedong Airport. It produced The Herdsman, Red Sorghum, Lover's Grief over the Yellow River, New Dragon Gate Inn, Ashes of Time, A Chinese Odyssey, Qiao's Grand Courtyard (TV series) and nearly one hundred other films. In 2018, John Cena lived for five months in Yinchuan while working on a film, Project X-Traction, with Jackie Chan (the movie was never ultimately released).
There are two pagodas in Yinchuan that are part of the 'Eight Famous Scenery of Ningxia': one is the Haibao Pagoda in the northern suburb and the other is the Chengtiansi Pagoda in the west.
Parts of the Great Wall are near the city.
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