I Largest Prefecture of China
Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture is located in the middle of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. With an area of 471,526 sq. km, which accounts for one-forth of Xinjiang's total,it is the biggest autonomous prefecture there, also the biggest administrative region of prefecture level in China.Bayangol means "wealthy valley" in Mongolian.
New look of the City of Pear; Panoramic view of Korla City, the capital of Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture
In ancient times, Bayangol was very important geographically, as it was the gate to southern Xinjiang and a traffic hub of the region. At present, five out of seven national highways within Xinjiang territory pass through Bayangol, Nanjiang Railway goes across this area, air flights to Beijing, Urumqi and other places have been opened, all these make Bayangol one of few prefectures enjoying a multi-dimensional traffic network involving roads, railways, flights and pipelines.
Tazhong Oilfield Airport
Bayangol has a long history. Thousands of years ago, there were already human beings on this land. The history surged and fell with exciting comics and heart-stirring tragedies, played by ethnic peoples of Tarim, Qiang, Tochari, Longle and Han in ancient times, as well as Uygur and Mongol later. Ancient civilizations from Greece, Egypt, India and China gathered together here, enlightening and attracting people. During the Han Dynasties (206 B.C. to 220 A.D.), Bayangol once served as the gravity of the Western Region politically, economically and culturally. As early as in the early Western Han Dynasty,The Western Region was divided into 36 states, including Ruoqiang, Qiemo, Xiaowan, Shanguo, Wulei, Luntou, Quli, Yanqi, Weixu, etc. In 60 B.C., Western Han's government established Protectorate the Western Region in Wulei (now Luntai County within the Prefecture). In 91 A.D. (the 3rd year of Yongyuan period, the Eastern Hah Dynasty), Zhangle Office was set up by the royal court to administrate states in The Western Region. In 648 A.D. (the 22nd year of Zhenguan Period of Tang Dynasty), the government established Viceroy Office to Yanqi for handling local affairs in Bayangol. In 1795 (the 24th year of Emperor Qianlong period, the Qing Dynasty), Kalashaer Minister was set up. Under his administration, Yanqi, Korla and Buguer implemented the Burke System (a local administrative system implemented in Uygur region by the Qing Government).Kaqiang (today's Qiemo County of Bayangol Prefecture) and Kakelike (now Ruoqiang County) along the south route of the Silk Road were under the administration of Yutian Minister. In 1771 (the 36th year of Emperor Qianlong period), Turghut Tribe and Huxut's Mongol Tribe returned to the motherland. Fifty-four Sumus (Sumu means arrow in Mongolian, equals County in terms of administrative division) from four banners of southern division of previous Turghut Tribe Wunaen Suzhuketu League,together with eleven sumus from three banners of middle division of Huxut Tribe Batu Seletu League, lived a nomadic life in Zhule Dusi (now Yanqi area), ruled by Kalashaer Minister and controlled by Ili General. In 1884 (the 8th year of Guangxu Period, the Qing Dynasty) when the Xinjiang Province has been established, Kalashaer Zhili Office was set up, which was upgraded as Yanqi Prefecture in 1901 (the 8th year of Emperor Guangxu period), administrating Xinping (now Yuli), Ruoqiang and Luntai Counties. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Yanqi Prefectural Commissioner's Office was established on April 12, 1950, which was canceled on June 23, 1954 when Bayangol Mogol Autonomous Prefecture (administrating Yanqi, Hejing and Heshuo Counties) and Korla Prefectural Commissioner's Office (administrating Korla, Luntai,Yuli, Ruoqiang and Qiemo Counties) were established.