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About Qinghai

Qinghai (青海; formerly romanised as Tsinghai or Kokonur), is a province of the People’s Republic of China located in the northwest of the country. As one of the largest province-level administrative divisions of China by area, the province is ranked fourth-largest in area, and has the third-smallest population.

China's Qinghai Province

Qinghai province was established in 1928 under the Republic of China period during which it was ruled by Chinese Muslim warlords known as the Ma clique. The Chinese name, “Qinghai” is named after Qinghai Lake (cyan sea lake), the largest lake in China. The province was known formerly as Kokonur in English, derived from the Oirat name for Qinghai Lake.

China's Qinghai Province

During China’s Bronze Age, Qinghai was home to the Qiang people who traditionally made a living in agriculture and husbandry, the Kayue culture. The eastern part of the area of Qinghai was under the control of the Han dynasty about 2000 years ago. It was a battleground during the Tang and subsequent Chinese dynasties when they fought against successive Tibetan tribes.

China's Qinghai Province

By area, Qinghai is the largest province in the People’s Republic of China (excluding the autonomous regions). Qinghai Lake is the largest salt water lake in China, and the second largest in the world. The Qaidam basin lies in the northwest part of the province. About a third of this resource rich basin is desert. The basin has an altitude between 3000 and 3500 meters. The average elevation of Qinghai is over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) above sea level. Mountain ranges include the Tanggula Mountains and Kunlun Mountains, with the highest point being Bukadaban Feng at 6,860 metres (22,510 ft).

China's Qinghai Province

The Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve, is located in Qinghai and contains the headwaters of the Yellow River, Yangtze River, and Mekong River. The reserve was established to protect the headwaters of these three rivers and consists of 18 subareas, each containing three zones which are managed with differing degrees of strictness.

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