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 Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

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Lying on China's northern border, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is 1,183 million square kilometers in area.It borders on Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces to the east; Hebei, Shanxi, and Shaanxi provinces to the south; the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu Province to the west; and Mongolia and the Russian Federation to the north. The bordering line extends 4,221 kilometers in North, Northeast, and Northwest China. The topography is mainly composed of plateaus that stretch for 3,000 kilometers from northeast to southwest. Most of the land in Inner Mongolia is more than 1,000 meters in elevation. The area of grassland is 880,000 square kilometers, accounting for 21.7% of the total of China, topping the list of the country's five largest grasslands. Scattered from east to west are grassy marshland, typical grassland, desert steppe, grassy wilderness, and desert, which are interspersed with upland meadows, low-lying wet meadows, or everglades. The eastern part of Inner Mongolia features a vast expanse of virgin forests in the Greater Hinggin Mountains while the western part mainly consists of the Ordos Plateau with large tracts of deserts. The extended areas of the plateau are the Hetao and Liaonen plains in the Huanghe (Yellow) and Liaohe river valleys. The two rivers branch off into more than 1,000 tributaries flowing in the mountains, highlands and plains.

In ancient times, the people of more than ten minority groups in northern China lived and multiplied in Inner Mongolia. In the 12th century, the Mongolian ethnic group rose, and Genghis Khan unified various tribes on the Mongolian Plateau and established a political power of the nomadic nobles. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), provinces were set up, and the areas of today's Inner Mongolia were under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat and several provinces. In the second half of the 15th century, Dayen Khan, a descendant of Genghis Khan, reunited areas north and south of the vast desert. Later, Altan Khan of the Tumd tribe, grandson of Dayen Khan, put under his control the entire western part of Inner Mongolia and formed close political and economic ties with the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During the Cling Dynasty (1644-1911). Inner Mongolia had a closer relationship with the hinterland of China. In the last century, the people of various ethnic groups in Inner Mongolia took an active part in the revolutionary movement. Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, they embarked on a correct road of ethnic autonomy. On May 1, 1947 the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was founded, thus putting an end to the several hundred-year history in which the region was under separate rule and the people of various ethnic groups were in dispute.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has a population of 23.449 million from 49 ethnic groups, including the Han, Mongolian, Hui, Manchu Daur, Ewenki, and Orogen, with people of the Mongolian ethnic group making up the majority. People of various minority groups have their own traditions in production, life, culture, and recreation, forming a colorful ethnic charm.

Animal husbandry held a dominant position in the development of the economy in Inner Mongolia. People in the region used to lead a nomadic life, creating a rich, brilliant culture.


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