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Sheep on the plateauXining, located in the eastern part, is the capital of Qinghai Province as well as the center of politics, economy, culture, and communications. In 121 B.C., the Han stationed troops in the Huangshui River valley, and General Huo Qubing (140117 B.C.) established the military base named Xipingting. In 1104, the third year of Emperor Chongning of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Xipingting was renamed Xining, which was first recorded. The year 1929 witnessed the founding of Qinghai Province, and Xining was made the capital seat.

With the continental highland semi-dry climate, Xining has neither cold winter nor hot summer, and the annual mean temperature is 6.5¢Xc, making the city an ideal summer resort. Xining has an area of 400 square kilometers and a population of 1 million, 23 percent of whom are minority peoples, including Hui, Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu, Tus, and Salar.

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