Ethnic Groups / Ethnic Minorities in Ningxia AR :
Among the various different ethnic groups that live in the province are first and foremost Hui. The Hui(回族) make up about 1/3 third of the Population inside the Autonomous Region, where the Han (漢族) are the majority Ethnic Group.
The Hui can be seen as the far descendants of Iranian, Persian and Arabian traders who traveled along the ancient Silk Road to eventually settle within China. Thus, the Hui are a very mixed group of both Chinese and Persian/Arabian 'blood'. For the Complete explanation, read: "History of Islam in China", as well as our section on the Hui Ethnic Minority Group.
After the Han and Hui Peoples, the third Ethnic Group in Ningxia are the Manchu(滿族),who however only make up 0.4 % of the Population. Members of yet another 28 ethnic groups can be found in Ningxia Region, albeit in in smaller numbers. Among these are the Tibetans, the Mongols and the unique (Western) Chaoxian (Korean).

Due to historic influences derived from the Silk Road and history the predominant religions in Ningxia AR are Islam and Buddhism. The Hui are the main proponents of Islam, whereas both Mongolians and Tibetans adhere to their own variation of Buddhism (Lamaism).

Regardless of its history and Autonomous Status today, the pre-dominant Language in Ningxia is Mandarin Chinese. Since 1949 AD active policies for the development and integration of all 56 Minorities within the newly founded State government policies have insisted that all minorities are thought to speak Mandarin Chinese as their first language. Although Mandarin Chinese is the accepted language in daily life, trade and commerce, due to the remoteness of some enclaves as well as national prowess some Minority members still speak Tibetan and Mongolian.

Read the Complete Story in: 'Ethnic Minorities of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region'.
Transportation & Travel Connections in Ningxia Autonomous Region :
This page was last updated on: July 12, 2017
NingXia Hui Autonomous Region is one of China's Northern-most central Provinces lying in the upper Center of the country, far west of Hebei Province with the National Capital Beijing. It is the smallest 'Province' of the Peoples Republic.

The Three Neighboring Provinces of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region are in clockwise direction; the very large Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region surrounding the territory on Ningxia in the North-West, North and North-East (and Gobi Desert), Shaanxi Province in the East, and to the South-East, South and South-West lies another large territory, that of Gansu Province.

The Topography of Ningxia Province can general be seen as follows: In the North and North-West beyond the Yellow River and Helan Shan and pass lies the arid and historically notorious Tengger Desert, a sandy section of the much larger Gobi Desert. Immediately North of Ningxia AR lies the Gobi Desert, which makes up almost half of Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region.
In the North-East lies the Ordos Desert, the border of which used to be demarcated by the Great Wall of China,
You Tube Clip: ReDiscover China-Yinchuan, Ningxia.
Introduction to NingXia (宁夏) Hui Autonomous Region (回族自治区) of China
History of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
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Click to Go to Large Scale Map 1A NingXia Province
Pingluo, Pingluo County, Shizuishan Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.).
Qingshui River
Otog Qianqi
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Pingliang, Pingliang Prefecture, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.).
Yinchuan, Capital of Ningxia Province
NingXia Hui AR of China
Highlights, Monuments & Scenic sites of Ningxia Autonomous Region
Zhongwei (+City Prefecture)
Traditionally the most important railroad in Ningxia Province is the so-called Baotou-Lanzhou
Capital of NingXia Hui Autonomous Region - Yinchuan
Surface Area / Size - 66.400 square kilometers
(25,600 square miles )
Population - 6.1 Million (2008 Census)
Yinchuan - Hedong National Airport
Yinchuan - Helan Shan Airport
Zhongwei - Zhongwei Xiangshan Airport
Inner Mongolia AR
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Asia Report - Maps - Distribution Islamic Faith Asia, Africa , Europe
A Geographic Map depicting the Distribution of the Islamic Faith in China and Asia, as well as Europe and the majority of the continent of Africa.
Sunni Islamic Areas are depicted in Green, whereas the Shia (Minority) Areas are depicted Darker Green.
The predominantly Muslim Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region of China, Parts of Gansu Province and Small Ningxia Hui clearly stand out as the main muslim areas in China.
Map of Languages & Distirbution in China !
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Satellite Image Overview of China (PRC) at Night + Cities
This Satellite Image provides an overview of all cities and provinces within the Peoples Republic of China and wider Regions.
Locations visible lie roughly between Kabul in Aghanistan in the West, Osaka in Japan in the East, Krasnoyarsk in the North and Sanya on Hianan Island in the South
Find the large coastal cities and main Chinese Civilization Centres on the Chinese Plains between Beijing i/t North o/t Plains and Hong Kong, Macau and Guanzhou (Canton) in the Extreme South. Follow the Flow of the Yellow River and cities and towns strewn along it from Xining in Qinghai Province, through Lanzhou, Gansu and Yinchuan, Ningxia to flow along the Western Shanxi Province Border and find the black holes created by the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts as wel as Tibet-Qinghai Plateaux.
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Sanggin Dala
Sanguankou - Helan Pass Great Wall of China (Ningxia-Inner Mongolia AR Border)
Otog Qianchi
Yanchi Great Wall of China
Dingbian Great Wall of China
Kongtong Shan
Yellow River
Main Rivers and Waterways of Ningxia Hui AR :
Main Cities & Population Centres of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region :
Economy of Ningxia Autonomous Region :
Climate in Ningxia Autonomous Region :
The Ningxia Autonomous Region is known throughout China for its spectacular green valley's among the Deserts. The Regional Capital City Yinchuan is often cited as one of China’s Top Ten Cities of because of its Tranquility and good quality of Life.
Apart from this Ningxia possesses a great number of historic sites, among which the Tombs of the Kings Early Western Xia (Xixia or Tangut) Empire are found the most attractive. The most prominent of these famous Tombs are located at a site only some 30 km west of Yinchuan, however in fact the remnants of nine Western Xia emperors' tombs and two hundred other tombs lie within a 50-km area around Yinchuan giving plenty of archeological sites to visit.
Ningxia Autonomous Region enjoys a temperate continental climate , The annual mean temperature is 5-10 C' and the yearly precipitation is 200-600 mm (8 to 24 inches) with most of the sparse rain falling in the south of the region.

Temperatures range from an annual average maximum of 27 °Celsius (80 °F) to an annual average minimum of 14 °Celsius (7 °F).  Seasonal extreme temperatures can reach 39°Celsius in summer and -30°Celsius in winter. The Temperature difference between night and daytime in summer is 17°C (on average).
Overall Ninxgia is a very arid region with a harsh climate. Temperatures drop far below zero in winters, whereas summers are searing hot with virtually no rainfall. Most life in Ningxia depends on the Yellow River for its water.

Ningxia Region boasts of no less than 300 days of wind power per year, which means things can get dusty. Dust storms arise mainly from the West in Inner-Mongolia where the Hei River Basin and Minqin River and Lake are drying out. Dust storms are most frequent between March and early May, but may arise at any time even in fall. Prolonged periods of drought since 2002 AD have increased the frequency of dust storms.
Dust Storms are dangerous. During a Dust Storm visibility may be heavily reduced, and dust particles can lead to burning eyes, coughing and asthmatic reactions. Prolonged exposure can cause chronic lung failure ('silicosis o/t lungs').
As described Ningxia is a sparsely populated Region where most of the population can be found in the fertile Northern Plain of the Yellow River.
The region is predominantly rural and historically most of the population were farmers engaged in pasturing and farming the land.
he main life-stock animal were sheep, a special kind descended from the argali sheep of eastern Mongolia which produce especially high quality soft wool. Ningxia is famous throughout the Nation as the origin of most 'Halal' Meat (Meat prepared according to Islamic prescriptions), mostly mutton or lamb.
The Islamic Hui do not eat or raise pigs, however the local Manchu Minority traditionally specialize in breeding and raising pigs.
Traditionally incomes and education levels are low, and even today Ningxia is among the least developed provinces of the Nation.

The irrigated lands of the Yellow River Plain of North Ningxia produce abundant wheat and good-quality rice. In fact, the quality of the rice was so good, that it is historically famous: Due to its exceptionally high quality, Ningxia Pearl Rice was an article of tributes to the imperial family in the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD).
Surprisingly though, today the main bulk agricultural product are sugar beets. Ningxia's farmers further grow millet, potatoes, corn, sorghum, millet, rapeseed, soybeans, flax and hemp.
In the 1950's and 1960's an intricate system of new irrigation canals has improved agricultural yields in the region many fold. As was the demand of the Central State at the Time agricultural output in all regions were maximized to feed the booming population. As is often the case, economic growth has come at a cost to the environment.
Grounds water levels throughout the region have dropped dramatically, damming of the yellow river for agricultural use and the production of hydro-electric energy have reduced the flow of the River and increased deposit of silt. Water in Ningxia is increasingly brackish and often polluted with fertilizers and industrial wastes.
Although modernization measures have increased water-efficiency in agriculture and reduced the use of chemical fertilizers in Ningxia well to below the national average, Ningxia's water-supply for the future is far from ensured. Currently more programs are in operation to collect the sparse rainwaters and store them in underground tanks.

The proudly announced "Five Treasures of Ningxia" are the nationally famous special agricultural products that come in five colours. These include the fruit of Chinese wolfberry which is colored red, the licorice root that is colored yellow, the inkstone which stands for the color blue, the white of Tan-sheepskin and the flagelliform nostoc with its color pitch black.
Especially the Chinese Wolfberry of Ningxia has been hailed Nationally and Internationally as a natural medicine against a wide variety of ailments. Its high content of anti-oxidants and vitamins is credited with being the essential cause of the longevity of the inhabitants of Ningxia Autonomous Region who regularly reach over 100 years of age.
Other traditional agricultural produce are similar to other western Chinese desert destinations; Sweet Melons and Water Melons, apricots, grapes and a variety other fruits.
China Report - Map of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty
its pathway creating the Provincial Borders between Ningxia and adjacent regions.

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (宁夏回族自治区) is a unique region in China (P.R.C.) situated in the middle reaches of the Huang He or the Yellow River. The Huang He is China's second largest River and is named after the yellow color of its sediment, an abundance of yellow dust that is deposited throughout the Yellow River Basin as loess lands.
The region extends across the Loess Plateau and Inner Mongolia Plateau, with an average height of over 1000 meters above sea level. Mountainous areas occupy 15.8% of its total land area.

In essence Ningxia Autonomous Region can be divided in two different Zones depending on Landscape and Nature of the Soil.
Bayan Hot (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Tongxin, Tongxin County, Wuzhong Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.).
Pengyang, Pengyang County, Guyuan Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.)
Yanchi, Yanchi County, Wuzhong Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.).
Dingbian (Shaanxi Province)
Otog Qianqi (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Longde, Longde County, Guyuan Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.)
Yingyuan, Yingyuan County, Guyuan Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.)
Gantang (Gansu Province)
Dingxi, Dingxi Prefecture, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.).
Qingyang, Qingyang Prefecture, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.).
Shizuishan (New City)
Bayan Hot
Yellow River
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region(Níngxià Huízú Zìzhìqū or 寧夏回族自治區)  Administratively  divided into 5 Prefecture Level cities and 16 provincial Townships.

The Main City of Ningxia Autonomous Region is its Capital City of Yinchuan, located on the Yellow River, historically between The Great
Wall Passage of Helan into Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert and the next fortified City along China's Great Wall, Yulin Fortress in Northern Shaanxi Province.
Other cities in Ningxia are Wuzhong and Shizuishan located near Yinchuan on the Yellow River Plain, Zhongwei - a Tourism Hotspot, and the City of Guyuan in the South along the Qingshui River.
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The Main River system in Ningxia Province is the acclaimed Yellow River (黃河), China's second largest River.
Ningxia itself lies in the wider Region known as the Yellow River Basin, a region shaped by the yellow river and its loess lands, deposited over many 1000's of Years. The Basin is essentially formed by a curve of the Yellow River which has its up-sweep through Ningxia after which the River is curved westwards deflected by the Sands and Hills of the Gobi Desert in Inner-Mongolia. Ningxia thus forms the Western section of the Basin. The Eastern section lies in Shaanxi and Shanxi Provinces along the down-sweep of the Yellow River. Dust and particles from the Basin can be found blown as far Eastwards as Beijing in Hebei Province.
The Yellow River runs across Ningxia from the west to the northeast for 397 kilometers and its basin, with its major tributary in the region, covers nearly 75 per cent of Ningxia's total land area.

The Yellow River in Ningxia has been dammed at the Town of Xintongxia (青銅峽), leading to the emergence of the Xintongxia Reservoir of the Yellow River. Since, more dams have been built mainly to help sustain large scale irrigation for agriculture. Hydro-electric dams are in operation for the local production of electricity.

The Main yellow River Port in Ningxia is located at Hengcheng, about 15 km to the east of Yinchuan. It serves
Yinchuan, Capital of Ningxia Province
Xincheng (New City of Yinchuan)
Yanchi, Yanchi County, Wuzhong Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.).
Dingbian (Shaanxi Province)
Qingshui River
Yingyuan (Gansu Province)
Pingchuan (Gansu Province)
Dingxi (Gansu Province)
Pingliang, Pingliang Prefecture, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.).
Longde, Longde County, Guyuan Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.)
Parts of Ningxia Autonomous Region have been inhabited for many 1000's of years however the first recorded settlement in this area date from the Han Dynasty Era (206 BC - 221 AD). During the first Century BC the first irrigation networks were built along the length of the yellow river sustaining the first settled Han population in this region.

The parts of Ningxia south of the Yellow River (Huang He) were incorporated into Han Chinese Territory and its cultural sphere by the Qin empire in the 3rd century BC, at which time a first version of The Great Wall of China was built in the Ningxia Region.
This first 'wall' was by no means continuous but it provided several military strong-points from which to patrol, deal with raiders and give early warning of invading armies. One Garrison was stationed at Yinchuan which was later turned into a fortified walled City. Still others were stationed at Yanchi and Dingbian, with another Fortress 100s of kilometers to the East at Yulin in Shaanxi Province.
A Full Google Earth Supported Map of Ningxia
BeiDaChi Great Wall of China
Otog Qianqi (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Beidachi (Inner-Mongolia AR)
NiuShou Shan (Height 1774 Meters)
Zhongwei (Songwei) Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China at Shikong
Helan Shan (Height 3556 Meters)
Bayan Hot (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Bayan Hot
Luanying (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Sanggin Dala (Inner-Mongolia AR)
Schematic Map of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region with the locations of Main Cities + Towns and sites of Interest.
the entire city of Yinchuan and surrounding industrial area's. The Yellow River is (in principle) navigable downstream as far as Baotou in Inner-Mongolia AR and upstream to Zhongwei and Zhongning. However, periods of drought and excess deposits of silt have limited traffic in recent years..

The second main River in Ningxia, much more modest in volume, is the Qingshui River ((清水河), a Tributary of the Yellow River (Huang He). The Qingshui River runs northward from the South-Eastern reaches of Gansu Province past the City of Guyuan to the Yellow River at Zhongning. The Valley of the Qingshui River froms the main passable connection into the fertile central Provinces of China.
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Overview of Asia showing Territories, Tribes and Nations around the Year 565 AD. CLICK MAP TO GO TO FULL VERSION !
In the 6Th Century Ningxia was part of the territory of the large and Powerful Gokturk khanate and Islamic Nation which had reclaimed the fertile Yellow River from the Han Chinese. Parts of Gansu Province and the Hexi Corridor were held by the Chinese Northern Qi Dynasty with the defensive line roughly along the pathway of The Great Wall of China. The Ordos Desert of what is now Eastern Ningxia was hostile territory notorious for its appearing raiding parties.
A first true Great Wall was built in the Region during the Sui Dynasty (589 AD - 618 AD) some 1400 years ago.

During the 11Th and 12Th Century Ningxia became part of the Kingdom of the Tangut people (Western Xia or Xi Xia), whose Empire became rich and influential due to its strategic location along essential trade-routes in the Region. The Tangut Empire included Ningxia as well as large parts of Western Inner-Mongolia
and the earliest Capital of the Tangut's was named Xinching and located at Yinchuan.
The Tanguts saw their demise due to its powerful neighbors, the Mongol People who around the same Time organized themselves under the Leadership of Genghis Khan (1162 AD - 1227 AD). After several wars in the early 13th century the new Tangut capital at Kharakoto (Heicheng) at the Hei River Delta in Western Inner-Mongolia was eventually captured by Genghis Khan who was allegedly wounded in this Battle and died of his wounds very shortly afterwards.

After being conquered by the rapidly emerging Mongol Empire the Tangut civilization was absorbed into the larger Culture of the Mongolian Empire, however the legacy,language, script and cultural specifics of the Tanguts were preserved hidden inside a Stupa, and rediscovered in the early 20Th Century by Russian Archeologists/Explorers. The now famous archeological finds derived from several expeditions to the ruined site are today preserved in St. Petersburg and several world museums. The Tombs of the Western Xia Kings near Yinchuan in Ningxia remain among the top tourist destinations of the Autonomous Region.
Image: Rough Schematic Map of China, the Path of the Great Wall and its relation to Cities, Nations, Rivers and the Pathway of the Ancient Silk Road in China with Lanzhou as the crossing point of the Yellow River.
Lanzhou - Crossing the Yellow River
Kashgar - Passes to Central Asia / Pamir Mountains
Dunhuang Oasis - Start North & South Routes of the Silk Road
Xi'An - Former Chang'An - Qin, Han, Tang Dynasty Capital of China - Starting Point of Chinese Silk Road
JiaYuGuan + Fortress - "End Lock in Connection" - Western End o/t Great Wall of China
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In Southern Ningxia the grounds are greyish and often barren with sharp eroded edges such as are found on the Loess Plateau of the Yellow River that extends into Gansu Province, with the Liupan Mountains as the main ridge on the border of both these Chinese Territories. As can be clearly seen on satellite imagery of this part of China, the entire southern region is covered with a thick layer of loess (wind-deposited soil)—which in some places is more than 300 feet (90 metres) deep. Although the loess plateux of southern Ningxia is essentially flat or level, deep eroded gorges make for a hard to traverse landscape at many points.
Northern Ningxia Autonomous Region
Satellite Image Map of the Entire Gobi Desert Region. Map overviews North-Eastern Qinghai Province, Gansu Province, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and North and North-Eastern China giving a Full Overview of the Gobi Deserts and a large part of the flow and path of the yellow river.
essentially consists of a wide flow-plain of the Yellow River known as the Ningxia plain of the Yellow River (Huang He). The Yellow river originates in Qinghai Province (formerly East Tibet) and flows east through Gansu Province and then north into Ningxia.
In the South-West of Ningxia, near the famous location of The Great Wall of China at Zhongwei, the Yellow River meets the sand dunes of the Tengger Desert which deflect the flow of the River and bends it North-East ward.
Further up North the Capital of Ningxia, Yinchuan City, lies at only a short distance from the Yellow River inside the Northern Flow-plain surrounded by irrigated lands. Due West of the plain across the River are the Helan Mountain (賀蘭山) and Mountain Plateaux. With a Peak elevation of 3556 meters and running from South to North, the Helan mountains serve as a natural barrier that protects the yellow river and its flow plain from being absorbed by the sands of the Tengger (Tengri) Desert. The Helan Pass or Sanguan Kou is the only pass into Inner-Mongolia and another historic location of the Great Wall of China.
(Some ways North of the Helan Plateaux inside Inner-Mongolia the yellow river is once more deflected Eastwards by the Gobi-Desert sands and passes through resonants sands Gorge).

Situated at an elevation of 1,100–1,200 metres (3,600–3,900 feet) above sea level, the Ningxia plain slopes gradually from south to north. The plain is an arid area, but the Huang He provides irrigation.

Overall, the Ningxia Autonomous Region consists mostly of desert and wastelands. Most desert area's are sparsely settled. The majority of the Population of the Province can be found settled in the vast plain of the Huang He (Yellow River) in the north of Ningxia, an area that has been irrigated for two millenia; since the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949 AD an even more extensive system of canals has been built. Eversince the agricultural production of the Region as well as it population have multiplied.
Today however, area's of Gansu, Inner-Mongolia and Ningxia suffer increasingly from prolonged droughts and dangerously fallen levels of groundwater due to years of industrial and agricultural overusage. Regardless of problems the willow-lined canals and paddy fields of Ningxia Province astound visitors with their resemblance to the lush southern provinces of China. Ningxia (along with Zhangye in Gansu) have been known as the Green Valleys of the North.
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Satellite image of China and North-East Asia, with a super-imposed schematic Map of the location and Path of the Great Wall as constructed during the Reign of the Ming Dynasty. Included for reference are City names, geographical features of landscape, Names and locations of Passes on the Great Wall of China.
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Map Great Wall China - Layers of Dynasties and Era's
A Schematic Map of China and East-Asia, with a super-imposed schematic of the various layers of the Great Wall of China.
Features Pre-Qin Dynasty Wall, Qin Dynasty Wall, Western Han Great Wall of China, the (Northern) Jin Dynasty Great Wall and finally the Ming Dynasty Great Wall as mainly remains today.
Main Features are Names and locations location of Passes on the Great Wall of China, outer layer and inner layer. Includes Shanhai Pass, Huangya Guan (Yellow Cliff) Pass, JiYunGuan Pass, Ningwu Guan Pass, Pingxin Guan, YaMen Guan Pass, Pian Guan Pass, JiaYuGuan pass, YuMen Guan Pass (Jade Gate) and Yang Guan Pass.
Further included for reference are City names, geographical features of landscape and main mountain ranges. Updates occur several times a year adding new pass locations and photo-virtual tours of Passes throughout China.
From 1949 to 1954 the province was subject to the authority of the Northwest Military Administrative Committee. Ningxia was then made directly subordinate to the central government as part of Gansu Province. At the same time, autonomous Hui prefectures were established on the east and west bank sections of the Ningxia irrigated yellow river plain and in the foothills of the Liupan Mountains. In 1958 AD these areas were combined to form the Hui Autonomous Region of Ningxia, an autonomous part of The Peoples Republic based on the Ethnic Majority Population of the Hui. Since, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is the largest Hui Ethnic enclave in China.

A Part of the Tengger Desert region which was incorporated into Ningxia AR in the year 1969 AD was reverted back to Inner Mongolia in 1979 AD.

Read More Details in: 'History of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region'.
View the Land & Maritime Silk Road (of the Yuan Dynasty Era)
Map Trade Routes in Asia in the 13Th Century.
A Schematic Map of the Eurasian Trade Routes existing in the 13Th Century. Clearly marked in Red Accent on the Map are the cities of the network of land-bound trading routes through Central Asia known as the Silk Road (the path of Marco Polo and others).
A second wave of Islamic Migrants reached western China during the religiously tolerant years of the Mongol Empire and the Yuan Dynasty of China, a time at which nearly the entire Eurasian continent was united eliminating various obstacles to immigration. Muslims, as allies against the Han in the subjection of China were especially welcomed by the Yuan Rulers and enjoyed a high social status.
Read more in: "History of Islam in China".

Around the Years 1269/1270 AD Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region was visited by the renowned medieval European traveler Marco Polo. There are however no passages about the local situation in Ningxia in his book due to the fact that the Book describes his second Journey only, when Ningxia was bypassed and a more Northern Route was followed.

Ningxia as well as Gansu Province saw important Islamic uprisings during several periods of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) and Ching Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD) Era's.
During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) parts of Ningxia were incorporated into the Shaan-Gan-Ning border region (better known as the Ningxia-Hopei-Chahar Region). However, due to the dilapidated and sparse roads, lack of railroad connections and difficult navigation of the Yellow River Japanese Forces were never able to control Ningxia and adjacent regions. The main threat came from Japanese Aircraft. Therefor, it was in the Ningxia-Hopei-Chahar border region where -after their arrival from the Long March in 1936 AD- the Chinese Communist Party founded their new (and only) Communist Base Area.
Although support from the local peasantry was strong in other rural area's in Ningxia enthusiasm was far less high. The Communists usually appealed to local ethnic groups for support by proclaiming respect for their cultural and promises of equality and far reaching political rights. However, although some Hui leaders joined the communists and rose to positions of influence in the Red Army and Party, most members of the then dominant Hui Ethnic Group distrusted these promises and were far more interested in their own independence through the ruling of their Leading Ma clan (Ma=Horse, is a common name among the Hui).

During the ending months of 1935 AD and in early 1936 AD Ningxia saw the so-called Ningxia Campaign, a part of the Long March gone badly wrong.
Although official sources often claim communist victory in the Ningxia Campaign of 1936 AD, in reality the People’s Liberation Army lost its strongest units -nearly the entire 4Th Red Army- in a useless battle with the armies of the Ma clan of Warlords that held control over Ningxia and parts of Gansu Province. Several historic events, records, statements and documents point to the fact that the Ningxia Campaign arose from a split within the highest regions of the Communist Party and its Army, and the Ningxia Campaign ended with the convenient disposal of Mao Zedong's main rival for Central Control over the entire movement, one Zhang Guotai.
Although eventually militarily of little consequence the political events leading up to the Campaign were crucial in the shaping of The Peoples Republic of China under leadership of Mao Zedong
(Read the Full Story: Gaotai 5Th Red Army Corps Martyrs Monument).
New Industries have arrived in Ningxia after the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949 AD. First and Foremost agricultural development was boosted with enhanced methods and a large scale expansion of irrigated lands within the Province along the Yellow River. In 1958 AD the opening of the Baotou-Lanzhou Railway Line finally opened a direct long-distance transportation connection with this far western region, leading to a variety of new economic developments. Henceforth: the abundant agricultural produce of the Autonomous Region could be exported to the hungry mouths of China's Main Population centres and Ningxia's raw materials were connected to two main industrial Cities, Baotou to the North-East in Inner-Mongolia and Lanzhou, to the South-West in Gansu Province.

Mineral wealths of the Province could be begun to be exploited.
Mineral resources of Ningxia consist mainly of coal reserves (lignite, bituminous coal and cooking coal), with four main coal fields dispersed throughout the region: in the north near the Inner Mongolian border, around Xiangshan in the west-central area, near Lingwu in east-central Ningxia, and around Guyuan in the far south.
Historically Coal was mined on a small scale for millenia however large scale explorations have only become viable since the construction of the Baotou-Lanzhou railroad. Today Ningxia Autonomous Region is of the major bases of coal mining and thermal power generation in northern China. The main locations of industry are Yinchuan, Qingtongxia(青銅峽), Shizuishan and Wuzhong cities also known as the Helan Mountain Industrial Zone (賀蘭山工業區).
Satellite Image of Central and Southern China clearly showing the 'Yellow Cloud'-phenomenon. Industrial pollutants mix with dust particles shrouding out large swaths of the Nation. In the North all Territories East of Ningxia are emersed in a yellowish mist channeling between mountains.
Thus, the autonomous region has experienced considerable economic development, initially carried by agricultural expansion as well as construction of roads and railway connections, and since led by exploitation of its mineral resources, mainly coal.
Since the year 2005 AD development programs for the under-developed West have added heavy industries, mining and manufacturing and increased Tourism, however agriculture and pasturing remain central to the (rural) economy.
Today Ningxia Autonomous Region has more than 5 large and medium-sized power plants providing Electricity to even the most remote village. These include first and foremost hydroelectric power station of Qingtong Gorge (Xintongxia)(青銅峽)on the Yellow River and a further three thermal (coal fired) power plants. A 6Th Coal Fired electricity plant, the Daba Power Plant(大霸電廠)with designed generation capacity of 2 million kWh is under construction.  More power plants are under construction near Shapotou(沙坡頭)and Daliushu(大柳樹). The Shabotou power plant is Nationally featured as one of the ten key projects in the current Five-Year Plan to include the poor internal provinces in the economic prosperity of the Coastal Provinces.

Find Out More Details in: 'Economy of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China'.
A large base for the production of energy and chemicals (utilizing coal) has been under development around Yinchuan and in eastern Ningxia (Ningdong) since the year 2000 AD in an attempt to feed a booming economy with much needed energy and raw materials. There also are reserves of petroleum, natural gas, gypsum (Plaster), quartz sandstone, barite, silex (silica), and limestone found within the territory.
Yinchuan Hedong National Airport
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Helpful Geographic Map of Inner-Mongolia showing the importance and pathway of the railroad Baotou Connection.
Baoji Railway which is a branch line of the Lanzhou-Baotou railway which travels from Leijia Shawo across the Yellow River to Xuanhezhen, then heads Southward to Tongxin and further passes along the Qingshui through Guyuan to extend south to Baoji in Shaanxi Province. This is the only passable route through the mountainous terrain and th route roughly corresponds to the local pathway of the ancient Silk Road.
There are however many more smaller cities and Towns.
Schematic Map depicting the multiple layers of the Great Wall of circling Beijing and North and North-East China.
YanMenguan Pass at Datong, Shanxi Province
Lanzhou, Capital of Gansu Province
Old Dragon's Head - East Terminus at QinhuangDao
Xining, Capital of QingHai Province
Xi'An, Shaanxi Province
Zhengzhou, Capital of Henan Province
Jinan, Capital of Shandong Province
Hohhot, Inner Mongolia AR
Yinchuan, Ningxia Province
Beijing, Capital of China
Yulin, Shaanxi Province
Dingbian, Shaanxi Province
Pianguan Pass at Yellow River, Shanxi Province
Pingxing Guan, Hunyuan, Shanxi Province
The other main tourist destinations within Ningxia Autonomous Region are the various visitable locations of the Great Wall of China, and several sites located along the flow-path of the Yellow River. There are six visitable locations of the Great Wall within Ningxia. The three most popular of these are from East to West: Yanchi Great Wall, Helan Pass or Sanguankou due West of Yinchuan and Zhongwei in the South-West. Lesser known but of Great Archeological and historical value are the Beidachi Great Wall remnants near
Subujing due North-West of Yanchi with ancient sections dating to early Dynasties, and the nearly lost and forgotten Great Wall at Sikong, which lies abandonned and overblown by sand north out of Sikong in the Tengger Desert.
A last historical location is the Great Wall at Guyuan, which consists of an Inner-Layer of the complicated Defenses in this region. The earliest Great Wall sections around Guyuan date from the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 207 BC). Even more wall remnants can be found along the Gorges of the Yellow River (Huang He).
Ningxia - Great Sheep Forward ?
The Ningxia Provincial Museum, which was opened in 1988, contains relics from the Western Xia and the Northern Zhou Archeological finds in the Region, as well as many items specific to the local Hui Ethnic History and Culture. Interestingly, the rich history of ethnic uprisings in Ningxia is far less advertized.
In 2008 AD a completely new Museum was opened to highlight the achievement of the Baotou-Lanzhou Railway. This new museum, the Ningxia Transportation Museum is located near Yinchuan.

Other famous sites in Ningxia include the Yellow River Dam at Xintongxia, the twin pagodas of Baisikou, Haibao Tower, Chentian temple and the desert research outpost at Shapotou. At this research center the Zhongwei Sand Harnessing Center of the Lanzhou Research Institute of
Wuwei, Gansu Province
Zhangye, Gansu Province
Jiayuguan, Gansu Province
Ningxia: All is well, that Ends well ?
Part of the China Hui Ethnic Culture Park in the village of Najia, Yongning County, Yinchuan.
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In 221 BC China's the 'Warring States' of China were united under the Banner of the Last Man Standing, Ch'In Shi Huangdi, after who China was named. During his Terrible Reign construction was started on what has long been regarded as the first-ever-version of The Great Wall of China.
As is famously hailed in documents and writings of the Time the Great Wall of Qin resembled a gigantic dragon, extending from Lintao in the west to Liaodong in the east. Thus it was named 'Wanli Changcheng' (Ten Thousand Li Great Wall).
To be exact the Qin wall wound it way across the continent from present day Min County in Gansu Province, winding through Inner Mongolia eastwards to end as far away as in Tonghua County in Jilin Province on the current North-Korean (DPRK) Border. Thus it included the extreme southern parts of today's Ningxia within the Empire and sections of Qin Wall remain there near Guyuan.

In the past many people, including the Chinese, held the believe that it was Emperor Qin who first ordered construction of Defensive Walls along important borders. But since research of historical records and actual wall section showed that before Qin's Great Wall, the six ducal states had already built their own walls to prevent attacks from each other and the Huns. Thus the Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty was built by connecting sections of defensive walls built earlier by states conquered by the Q'In. It is now known that the ducal states Qin, Zhao and Yan were included in the Qin Great Wall, and that several thousands of miles of the Great Wall of Qin were constructed by an army of conicted slaves under guard of the Qin Army.
In 1914 the Ningxia Territory shortly became a part of of Gansu Province but this situation was reversed in 1928 AD by the Kuomintang Nationalist Government under Leadership of Chiang Kai-Chek (Jing Jieshi). At the time it was (re)constituted as the province of Ningxia.
A Third direction of Travel is west to Wuwei in Gansu Province. Again this is a branch line based upon the Main Lanzhou-Baotou Railway. Trains travel from Yinchuan to Zhongwei and Shapotou. The Line branches at Gantang (Zhen=Sub-Prefecture Level City) on the Border of Ningxia and Gansu Provinces, and travels directly to Wuwei, gateway to the Hexi Corridor and the Far West.

A new railway, linking from Zhongwei in Ningxia across Shaanxi and Shanxi Provinces to Taiyuan the Capital of Shanxi Province is under
The Yellow River arrives from the Loess Plateaux of Gansu to the Sands of the Tengger Desert at Shapotou in Ningxia.
construction at this Time. Named the Zongtai line(中太鐵路: Zongwei-Taiyuan 中衛-太原)the new line is expected to become operational in 2010 AD.

Main Road connections within Ningxia correspond with local natural boundaries and ancient travel directions and trading paths. The largest Bridge on the Yellow River in Ningxia is the Taole Yellow River Expressway Bridge (陶乐黄河大桥).

The Most important Highway are the Jingzhang Expressway, a modern highway which recently replaced the historic G110 Road in function. Basically the Jingzhang Expressway follows the pathway of Baotou-Lanzhou Railway and the path of the Yellow River. Thus it reaches Ningxia from the North and connects to Yinchuan. From there it connects through to Zhongning on the Southern Bank of the Yellow River, a major transportation hub.
(Technically Jingzhai Expressway carries on further ending at Xingrengxiang further South-West but for practical purposes this is of little consequence).

The Second Important Highway in Ningxia is the connection to Yanchi in the East, famed for its Ruinous remains of the Great Wall of China, among which sections very early sections dating to the Qin Dynasty Era (221 BC -207 BC) and the many more wall remains of the Ming Dynasty Era.
Qingyin Expressway leads roughly south-eastward out of Yinchuan to pass North of its Hedong National Airport and leads through the desert to Yanchi. From there it leads into Shaanxi Province past Dingbian, another Great Wall location, as the Guwang Expressway.

A Third major traffic artery is the Fujin Expressway which connects the Town of Zhongning on the Xintong Gorge reservoir of the Yellow River with the souther reaches of Ningxia Autonomous Region, and in the Future through the Kongtong Mountains into Gansu Province and through to the City of Baoji in West-Shaanxi Province. As does the railroad, this highway follows the valley of the Qingshui River and passes an Inner-Layer of the Great Wall of China (Just North of Guyuan).
More Roads are expected open in 2010 AD.

Yinchuan Hedong National Airport is the main airfield in Ningxia AR. A secondary smaller airfield has been constructed near Zhongwei in West-Ningxia. Another airfield can be found at Wuhai, some ways North of the Ningxia Border at the Yellow River within Inner-Mongolia AR. The largest Regional Airport is Lanzhou Zhongcuan Airport. A new Airfield known as Yinchuan Helan Shan has been constructed but this is a military airfield lying West of Yinchuan.

Yinchuan Hedong Airport(銀川河東機場)provides more than 20 air routes connecting Yinchuan with Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, Xi'an, Urumqi, Wuhan, Shenyang, Lanzhou and other cities.

Read the Complete Story: Transportation & Travel Options in Ningxia Hui AR.
NingXia History
The Third main attraction, the Helan Pass and its associated cultural historic sites including rock paintings made by some of the earliest stone age civilizations recorded in China. The Top of Helan Shan can be reached by Cable Car for a breathtaking view across the Yellow River Flow-plain or in the other directions, away into nothing.
Equally popular as Helan Shan and more visited is the mysterious site of the 108 dagobas found near Xintongxia.

Mentioned here last, but certainly not least are important are ethnic cultures found within the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Apart from the pre-dominant Hui, a mixed Islamic Group of which members can be found in just about any Chinese Province, several other smaller but distinct cultures inhabit this part of the Yellow River Basin.

Read more about the Hui Islamic Minority or Hui Hui
People (回族) in their very own section in the Cultural Section of China Report, or read: "History of Islam in China".
Desertification works to find methods to battle desertification and other local environmental woes. Since its 2004 AD recognition by the United Nations as an important model facility, anti-erosion and
anti-desertification methods invented and tried at Shapotou have been copied throughout the world, a fact of which local authorities are quite proud.

Last but certainly not least must be noted the Xumi Shan buddhist Caves and Holy Mountain, with a rich history directly linked to the ancient Silk Road and the Rise of Buddhism in Eastern Asia.

Read more Details and Updates in:'Landmarks, Monuments & Scenic Sites of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region'.
Yinchuan Hedong National Airport
Yongning (County District of Yinchuan)
The 5Th Century Haibao Ta Pagoda Monastery (restored in the Qing Dynasty) in Yinchuan, Ningxia. One of the historic jewels of the City.
The Irrigation canals on the Northern plains of the Huang He are held to have been first established during the short-lived unification of China under the Qin Dynasty (221 AD–207 BC), after which during the Han Dynasty (206
BC–220 AD) and Tang Dynasty (618 AD–907 AD) the area was further settled and developed by Han Chinese. Eversince the region has been developped as an important if not vital agricultural zone for the region. Irrigation and agriculture were the initial key to success. However, the more the region developed and grew in importance, the more it became a interesting strategic target to all. Along the way Yinchuan became a pivotal garisson city on the yellow river wedged between two deserts. It was a precarious situation to live in.
For various reasons Ningxia fell out of the control of the
Central Han Chinese Empire after both the Han and Tang Dynasties but, as a fertile and strategic region, was always reconquered and gradually,  included within the defenses of the Great Wall of China as well. It lies lies roughly halfway, and through its geography is a crucial defensive point.
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Shenyang, Capital of Liaoning Province
Taiyuan, Capital of Shanxi Province
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