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Governor: Song Xiuyan

Capital: Xining

Government office telephone: 0971-848 3618


Geographic location

Qinghai Province got its name from its Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saltwater lake in the country. It lies on the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in west China, bordering Gansu, Sichuan, Xinjiang and Tibet. As the origin of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers, Qinghai has an area of 720,000 sq km. Its territory includes 31.6 million ha of grassland, 589,900 ha of cultivated land and 250,000 ha of forests. The remaining are mountains, lakes, deserts, gobi and glaciers.
Qinghai 2004 - The Year in Review

General Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP)

GDP for 2004 was 46.573 billion yuan, up 12.3% from the previous year.

GDP ratio (primary, secondary and tertiary industries)

The primary industry yielded a value added of 5.781 billion yuan, 3.8% more than that of the previous year; the secondary industry, 22.706 billion yuan, a growth of 16.4%; the tertiary industry, 18.086 billion yuan, a growth of 10.2%. The proportion of the three sectors is 12.4:48.8:38.8.

Revenue and expenditure

Provincial revenue was 5.119 billion yuan, an increase of 17.2% over the previous year. Provincial expenditure was 13.733 billion yuan, a growth of 12.5%.

Consumer price index (CPI)

CPI was up 3.2% from the previous year.

Investment in fixed assets

Fixed asset investment was valued at 31.806 billion yuan, up 11.6% from the previous year.

Major Industries


The grain output totaled 884,700 tons, up 1.9% from the previous year.


The industrial added value totaled 15.864 billion yuan, an increase of 22.1%.


The import value of high-tech products was US$12 million, up 136%.


Its added value was 6.842 billion yuan, up 4.4%.


The annual volume of goods handled by various modes of transportation was 13.947 billion tons, up 9.1% while annual passenger flow reached 4.512 billion, up 11.5%.

Postal services

The annual turnover of postal operations totaled 163 million yuan, 6.0% up from the previous year.


The annual turnover of telecom services was 2.476 billion yuan, up 24.5%.


The annual turnover from retail sales reached 11.56 billion yuan, an increase of 12.6% from the previous year.


Foreign exchange earnings from tourism totaled US$9.12 million, up 93.2%. Revenue from the domestic tourists totaled 1.949 billion yuan, up 36.9%.

Continued Effects of Market Reform

Imports & exports

The annual value of imports and exports totaled US$576 million, an increase of 69.7% from the previous year.

Foreign investment

Foreign direct investment realized in monetary terms was US$225 million, up 33.0% from the year before.

Urban Construction and Management

Road transport

By the end of 2004, a total of 28,059 km of highways had been open to traffic, an increase of 3,682 km from the 2003 figure. Express highways open to traffic amounted to 171 km.

Social Undertakings

Science and technology

The annual expenditure on R&D totaled 57.58 million yuan, up 49.5%.


There were 9 institutions of higher learning at the year-end. The number of students enrolled in postgraduate schools and institutions of higher learning during the year stood at 320 and 9,500 respectively. The nine-year compulsory education covered 83% of the school-age population.


The province had a total of 14 professional performing organizations, 43 cultural centers, 16 museums, 38 public libraries and 56 archives.

Public health

There were a total of 5,677 medical and healthcare institutions equipped with 16,500 beds and staffed with some 20,000 medical professionals and technicians at the year-end.


Athletes from the province won 17 first prizes, 16 second prizes and 22 third prizes in international and national competitions.

Welfare and aid

A total of 125 million yuan was allocated as relief fund for 1.02 million of victims of natural disasters. An aid system is now in place in the poor pastoral areas, covering a total population of 207,500.

Poverty relief

A poverty relief and development program was implemented in 179 villages in 39 counties, helping 115,000 local residents get out of absolute poverty.

Population, Employment, Social Security and Living Standards


The year 2004 saw births of 87,500, or a birth rate of 16.32‰, and deaths of 34,600, or a mortality rate of 6.45‰. The natural growth rate of the population stood at 9.87‰. At the end of the year, the total population stood at 5.386 million.


The employed population stood at 2.933 million at the end of 2004 at the year-end. About 10,800 laid-off workers got re-employed during the year.

Registered unemployment rate

The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.9%.

Social security

In 2004, insurance plans for endowments, unemployment and medical treatment covered a population of 585,000, 331,000 and 601,000 respectively. About 201,000 urban residents received minimum living allowances from the government.

Residents' income

The disposable income of urban residents was 7,320 yuan per capita, up 8.7% from 2003. Rural residents' per capita net income was 2,005 yuan, a growth of 10.3% from the previous year.

Geography and Natural Conditions

Elevation extremes

The average elevation is more than 3,000 meters above sea level, varying from 1,650 meters to 6,860 meters, while 54% of the area is between 4,000 and 5,000 meters. The province is divided into the Qilian Mountains, the Qaidam Basin, and the Qingnan Plateau.


It has a plateau continental climate thanks to its elevation, topography, latitude and atmospheric circulation. The province has a long and not-cold winter and a short and cool summer. The temperature varies greatly in the province with an average annual temperature of -5.6℃-8.7℃. The precipitation also varies noticeably, the southeast area receiving 450-600 ml of rainfalls annually.

Natural resources

A total of 125 minerals have had their deposits verified. Of these, 50 are among the top ten in terms of reserves in the country and 11, including potassium chloride and magnesium salts, have the largest deposits of their kinds in China. Of the 45 urgently needed minerals in China, 21 have been found in the province, their deposits all ranking among the top ten in the country. In addition, Qinghai has more than 30 salt lakes with proved reserves of 70 billion tons. Qinghai is also rich in nonferrous metals and non-metallic minerals. Its asbestos reserve leads other provinces and regions in China. The famed Qaidam Basin is abundant in natural gas and oil. There are 16 oilfields and six gas fields. The total oil reserve is 1.244 billion tons, of which 200 million tons has been explored; the explored gas reserve is 47.2 billion cubic meters.

Hydraulic energy:
The province has 178 hydropower stations with a total installed generation capacity of 21.66 million kw, which has an exploitable capacity of 18 million kw, and generate 77 billion kwh annually. The province plans to build seven more medium-sized hydropower stations, which, with a total installed generation capacity of 11 million kw, will produce 36.8 billion kwh each year. The construction cost of each power station in Qinghai is 20-40% lower than that of the national average. The province is also rich in solar, wind and geothermal energy.

Qinghai is one of the five major pasturelands in China. It boasts 31.6 million ha of grazing land, accounting for 15% of the country's total. Among the 940 species of grass growing in its grasslands, 190 species are of high nutrition with crude protein, crude fat and low coarse fiber. The livestock includes sheep, yak, horse, camel and goat, all cold-resistant. Qinghai's domestic yaks top the country in number and account for one-third of the world's total.

Wild animals and plants:
Of the wild plants discovered in Qinghai, some 1,000 have economic value, including over 100 medicinal herbs. Its Chinese caterpillar fungus, in particular, is famous in China and abroad. Qinghai has 290 kinds of birds and 109 species of mammal beasts, 21 of them being under first-class state protection, 53 being under second-class state protection, 36 being under provincial protection, and 22 having been listed in the International Trade Convention on Endangered Wild Animals and Plants, Appendixes I and II.

Tourism resources

Qinghai features ethnic custom tours unique to the plateau. It has over ten scenic spots including the Birds Islet, the Mengda Natural Reserves, Ta'er Monastery, snow-capped A'Nyemaqen Mountain, Sun-and-Moon Hill, and Longyang Gorge Reservoir, the largest artificial reservoir in China, and the Dulan International Game Land.

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