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Nei Menggu (Inner Mongolia)

Population: 23.8 million

Urban population: 9.5 million

Nationalities: Mongolian (79%), Han (17%), Daur (0.3%), Hui (0.9%), and Manchu (2%)

Local Weather:Click for Bugt (Heilungkiang), Nei Mongol Zizhiqu Forecast

Area: 1,183,000 km2

GDP (2007): CNY601.9 billion

Climatic features:

Temperate, continental climate; cold, long winters with frequent blizzards; warm, short summers; from west to east, the climate changes from arid to semi-humid, and to humid in the northeast.

Average temperature: -23oC to -10oC in January, 17oC to 26oC in July.

Annual average rainfall: 50 - 450 mm; high precipitation in the east; 70 percent of the rain falls during the summer.

Physical features: In the northeast is the Greater Hinggan Range with dense forests; west of the range is the Hulunbuir Plateau, with vast grasslands for grazing; the rest of the Inner Mongolia Plateau consists of numerous deserts, sands, salt and alkali lakes, and scattered highlands.

Mountains: Greater Hinggan Range and Yinshan Mountains.

Plateaus: Hulunbuir Plateau in the north; Xilingol and Ju Ud Plateaus in the east; Alxa Plateau in the west; Ordos Plateau south of the Yellow River.

Deserts and sands:

Hulunbuir Sands in the north; Horqin Sands in the east; Lesser Tengger Sands in the central east; Hobq Desert and Muus Sands south of the Yellow River; Ulanbuh and Tengger Deserts in the central west, Badainjaran Desert in the west.

Rivers: Yellow River, Ergun River and upper reaches of Liaohe River.

Products:

Wheat, naked oats, millet, sorghum, corn, potatoes, rape, sugar beet, soybeans; flax, wool; shiny-leaved yellowhorn, musk, bezoar, licorice root, Chinese ephedra; iron, coal, alkali, salt, graphite, mica, sulphur.

Administrative divisions: 16 cities, 18 counties, 51 banners and 3 autonomous banners.

Capital: Hohhot

Neighboring areas: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Neighboring countries: Russia and Mongolia.

Major cities: Hohhot, Baotou, Wuhai, Hailar, Manzhouli, Tongliao, Chifeng, Jining, Erenhot, Ulanhot.

Elevation extremes:

Besides hills, plains, deserts, rivers and lakes, Inner Mongolia has plateau landforms, mostly over 1,000 meters above sea level, including the Inner Mongolia Plateau, the second largest among the four major plateaus in the country.

Climate:

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.

Natural resources:

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% 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% of the country's total, 86.67 million hectares of grasslands, or 73.3% of the country's total, and 18.67 million hectares of forests, 15.8% 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% of the world's total and over 90% 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% of the country's total volume and ranking as the third largest in the country.

Tourism resources:

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).