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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 2005 - The Year in Review 2004 in Review

General Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP)

GDP for 2005 was 54.32 billion yuan, up 12.2% from the previous year. The per capita GDP stood at 10,043 yuan, up by 11.2%.

GDP ratio (primary, secondary and tertiary industries)

The primary industry yielded a value added of 6.279 billion yuan, 5.3% more than that of the previous year; the secondary industry, 26.461 billion yuan, a growth of 15.9%; the tertiary industry, 21.58 billion yuan, a growth of 10.0%. The GDP ratio of the three sectors is 11.6 : 48.7 : 39.7.

Revenue and expenditure

Provincial revenue was 6.333 billion yuan, an increase of 23.5% over the previous year. Provincial expenditure was 16.976 billion yuan, a growth of 23.6%.

Consumer price index (CPI)

CPI was up 0.8% from the previous year.

Investment in fixed assets

Fixed asset investment was valued at 36.715 billion yuan, up 15.4% from the previous year.

Major Industries


The grain output totaled 932,600 tons, up 5.4% from the previous year.


The industrial added value totaled 20.394 billion yuan, an increase of 21%.


The added value of high-tech industries was 443 million, up 52.4%.


Its added value was 6.067 billion yuan, up 2.1%.


Freight carried by various means of transport for the year was 6.6% up from the previous year to reach 15.624 billion ton-kilometers, which included 9.878 billion ton-kilometers by railway, up 7.6%; 4.827 billion ton-kilometers by highway, up 6.5%; and 6 million ton-kilometers by air, up 45.8%.

The number of passengers carried by various means of transport was 4.7% up to reach 4.724 billion person-kilometers, which included 1.869 billion person-kilometers by railway, up 0.3%; 2.465 billion person-kilometers by highway, up 6.3%; and 389 million person-kilometers by air, up 18.2%.

Postal services

The annual turnover of postal operations totaled 177 million yuan, 8.9% up from the previous year.


The annual turnover of telecom services was 2.966 billion yuan, up 15.1%. At the end of 2005, the number of fixed line subscribers reached 1.135 million, up by 22.0% from 2005; and the number of mobile phone subscribers reached 1.316 million.


The annual turnover from retail sales reached 16.051 billion yuan, an increase of 13.7% from the previous year.


Foreign exchange earnings from tourism totaled US$11.02 million, up 21.0%. Revenue from domestic tourists totaled 2.484 billion yuan, up 27.0%.

Continued Effects of Market Reform

Imports & exports

The annual value of imports and exports totaled US$413 million, down by 28.2% from the previous year. Of this figure, US$323 million were from exports, down by 28.9%, while US$90 million were from imports, down by 25.3%.

Foreign investment

Foreign direct investment realized in monetary terms was US$266 million, up 18.2% from the year before.

Social Undertakings

Science and technology

The annual expenditure on R&D totaled 351 million yuan, up 15.6%.


There were 8 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 403 and 11,600 respectively. The nine-year compulsory education covered 86.8% of the school-age population.


The province had a total of 14 professional performing organizations, 44 cultural centers, 15 museums, 45 public libraries and 62 archives. About 86.5% and 92.5% of the provincial population respectively had access to various radio and TV programs. The cable TV subscribers numbered 317,000 at the year-end.

Public health

There were a total of 5,692 medical and healthcare institutions equipped with 16,000 beds and staffed with some 20,044 medical professionals and technicians at the year-end.


Athletes from the province won 9 first prizes, 15 second prizes and 13 third prizes in international and national competitions.

Welfare and aid

About 205,000 urban residents received basic living allowances from the government. An aid system is now in place in the poor rural areas, covering a total population of 229,000.

Population, Employment, Social Security and Living Standards


The year 2005 saw births of 84,900, or a birth rate of 15.7‰, and deaths of 33,600, or a mortality rate of 6.21‰. The natural growth rate of the population stood at 9.49‰. At the end of the year, the total population stood at 5.432 million.


The employed population stood at 2.978 million at the end of 2005. About 28,500 laid-off workers got re-employed during the year.

Registered unemployment rate

The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.93%.

Social security

In 2005, insurance plans for endowments, unemployment and medical treatment covered a population of 599,000, 332,000 and 620,000 respectively.

Residents' income

The disposable income of urban residents was 8,058 yuan per capita, up 10.1% from 2004. Rural residents' per capita net income was 2,165 yuan, a growth of 8.0% 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 107 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 hectares 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.

By the end of 2005, there were 11 nature reserves in the province, covering a total area of 21.76 million hectares, accounting for 30.12% of the province's territory.

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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