province in the upper Yangtze and Yellow river valleys
in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
in the southern part of northwestern China takes its name
from its large salt lake, Qinghai. It has an area of 720,000
square kilometers and a population of 3.77 million, of
which 20 per cent live in the cities and the rest in the
rural areas. The bulk of the population is concentrated
in the farming area in the east which makes up only 5
per cent of the province's total area. Of its total population,
1.43 million are from the Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui, Tu,
Salar, Kazak and other minority nationalities.
Maixiu Scenic Zone
province with its high terrain is topographically known
as the Qinghai Plateau, which is an important part of
the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The Altun and Qilian mountain
areas in the north are mostly more than 4,000 meters above
sea level. The Huanghe and Huangshui river valley lands
in the northeastern corner, about 2,000 meters in elevation,
are the lowest-lying region and the most important farming
area of Qinghai. The Qinghai Lake Basin consists of a
vast lake deposit plain well suited for farming and animal
husbandry. The Qaidam, a large inland basin walled in
by the Altun, Qilian and Kunlun mountains in the northwest,
slopes from northwest to southeast and is interspersed
with numerous salt lakes and swamps. The plateau in the
south, which makes up more than half of the province's
total area and exceeds 4,500 meters in elevation, includes
the Kunlun range and its branches, the Hohxil, Bayanhar
and Anyemaqen mountains and provides headwaters for the
Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers.
with its scores of large rivers has abundant hydropower
resources. Its exterior rivers include the Huanghe, the
Tongtian (upper stream of the Yangtze), the Zaqu (upper
stream of the Lancang), the Huangshui and the Datong.
Of its numerous lakes, Qinghai Lake is the largest inland
lake in China and Gyaring and Ngoring are the largest
freshwater lakes in the province.
has a continental climate, the greater part of it being
dry and cold and with long winters, short summers, frequent
winds, little rainfall, long hours of sunshine and great
differences in temperature between day and night. It has
a mean annual temperature of 0?-8ºC and a mean annual
precipitation generally below 300 mm.
Trunk communication lines in Qinghai include the Lanzhou-Qinghai
Railway and the Qinghai-Tibet, Qinghai-Xinjiang, Qinghai-Sichuan
and Gansu-Qinghai highways. It has a railway mileage of
1,260 kilometers and a highway mileage of 15,495 kilometers.
Another rail line, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, is under