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Urumqi,the Beautiful City in the Heart of Asian Continent(1)
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2010-July-22 17:52:20

The Beautiful City in the Heart of Asian Continent with the Farthest Distance to the Ocean

In west China, there is a vast and richly endowed land called Xinjiang. At the foot of the Tianshan Mountains, the backbone of Xinjiang is an ancient, beautiful and bright pearl, Urumqi,which means "beautiful pasture"in Mongolian. Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and is the center of politics, economics, culture and science for the whole Xinjiang region. It is situated at the transportation hub between north and south Xinjiang and serves as the bridgehead of the west section of the second Eurasia land bridge. Urumqi is an important gateway to the western part of China opening to the outside world.

Urumqi has a long history. Men began to live here as early as the Neolithic Age. The people who came to this place earliest were Cheshi people. In the early period of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD), the government of Han sent military officer called Shu Ji Xiao Wei to station at Jinman (now Jimsar).The garrison troops began to open up wasteland, grow food grain and maintain the security of the Silk Road.In the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), it was part of the Six States of Dongshi. In 640 AD, the Tang Dynasty set up Tingzhou at the north foot of the Tianshan Mountains and had four counties under its jurisdiction. This area was called Luntai County. The large-scale development of Urumqi started in the 20th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1755 AD)in the Qing Dynasty. The government of Qing encouraged to open up wasteland and grow food grain in this place and reduced tax on food grain. Urumqi became the richest place outside the Pass. In the 23rd year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1758AD),an earth town was constructed at the place where the south gate is today. "The perimeter of the earth town was one li and five fen and the height was one zhang and two chi." It was the original state of the city of Urumqi. In the 28th year of of the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1763 AD), the old earth town was extended northward and the perimeter increased to five li and four fen. When the construction was done, Emperor Qianlong gave it a name Dihua. In the 10th year of the Emperor Guangxu (1884 AD) in the Qing Dynasty, the administration center that the government of Qing has originally set up in Iii was moved to Dihu and Dihua became the capital city. In 1949, Xinjiang was peacefully liberated and the people's government of Dihua was set up. On February 1,1954, Dihua recovered its original name Urumqi. This city that has more than 1300 year history is a modern metropolis now.

Urumqi is located in the center of Xinjiang with a total area of 14,000 square kilometers. It borders Turpan in the east,Changji in the west, Toksun Country, Heshuo County in the south, Hejing County in the southwest and Jimsar County and Fukang City in the north. Forty nine ethnic groups including Han, Uygur, Hui, Kazakh, and Mongolians live in Urumqi and its total population is about 2.36 million, of which 637 million are ethnic minorities.

Urumqi is the inland city that is farthest to the ocean in the world.Geographically, it is the center of the Asian continent. Urumqi is situated at the north foot of the Tianshan Mountains and the south margin of the Dzungaria Basin. Urumqi is surrunded by mountains and rivers and has a vast expanse of fertile land. It is the well-known richly endowed land and is called the hometown of songs and dances. The ancient Urumqi river runs westward across the city of Urumqi. To the north of the city is the bright, shining and magnificent Bogda Feng at 5,400 meters. To the north of the city is the majestic Tianshan Mountains. Rising layers of ice-capped mountain peaks make a wonderful scene. To the west of the city is the mysterious Yaomo Shan (the Demon Mountain). In the center of Urumqi city is the Hong Shan (the Red Mountain). Hong Shan is small but stiff and seems it flew here from another place. On the top of the Hong Shan is a nine story brick tower rising into the sky with backdrop of icy snow mountains in the distance.

Urumqi is in the heart of Asian continent. It is under the control of middle temerate continental climate.The temperature here varies greatly between day and night. The "preciptation in Urumqi is small and decreases as latitude goes up. The winter here is cold and long and the four seasons are unevenly distributed. Spring comes late in Urumqi and the rain fall in spring accounts for the 40% of the annual precipitation. Summer is very hot, but not stifling, and the difference in temperatures between day and night is big. The average temperature in the urban area of Urumqi in summer is 23C, which makes Urumqi a nice summer holiday resort. When autumn comes, it is pretty mild in Urumqi. After the late ten day period of September, cold air starts to attack often and the temperature drops rapidly. In October, the difference in temperature between day and night becomes bigger. As the popular folk ballad goes,"People wear fur coat in the morning, but have to change to chiffon in the afternoon; People eat water melons while sitting around a fire." It is a vivid description about the late autumn in Urumqi. Because of the barrier of Tianshan Mountains, the cold air usually stays in the basin, which makes it very cold in winter. Lots of snows are expected in Urumqi and often coat the city with white apparel.

Urumqi, the garden at the foot of icy mountain peaks

Urumqi is rich in natural resources and has the name of "city on the coalfield". Up to now, 29 different minerals have been found, including coal, petroleum, copper, manganese, iron, gold, salt, Glauber's salt, and etc. The reserve of coal is 10 billion tons, which accounts for one fourth of the total reserve of coal in Xinjiang. The coal mines in Urumqi are of wide distribution, shallow burial depth, stable coal seam, high grade and a good assortment of kinds and easy to be mined.

(SOURCES:China Intercontinenal Press)Editor: Chengli

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