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About Inner Mongolia

[Date:04-12] Source:  Author: [Font:Big Normal Small]

General Introduction

Geography 

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is located in the north of the People's Republic of China. It stretches over 2400 km from east to west and over 1700 km from north to south, covering 1.183 million km2 or 1/8 of China's total land area. Most of Inner Mongolia is a plateau with a temperate continental climate.

Administrative Divisions 

Inner Mongolia is made up of 12 prefecture-level divisions, which are further divided into 102 county-level divisions. The prefecture-level divisions are Huhhot which is the capital city of Inner Mongolia, Baotou, Hulunbuir, Tongliao, Chifeng, Ulanqab, Ordos, Bayannur, Wuhai, Hinggan, Xilingol and Alxa. Erenhot and Manchuria are sub-prefecture-level cities.

Demographics 

There are 55 ethnic groups in Inner Mongolia including the Mongolians which is the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy, the Han Chinese which has the largest population, the Manchus, the Hui, the Daur, the Evenks, the Oroqen, the Koreans, the Xibo, the Tujia, the Dongxiang and the Miao. The total population of Inner Mongolia is approximately 25 million, of which 4.58 million are Mongolians.  

Regional Autonomy 

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the first provincial-level autonomous region in China, was established on May 1st.of 1947. The organs of self-government in Inner Mongolia are the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regional People’s Congress and its standing committee and the People’s Government of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which exercise self-government rights. The chairperson of the People’s Government of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region shall be a citizen of the Mongolians. The spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities are protected by law. Alongside Chinese, Mongolian is the official provincial language of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Development Background

Resources

Inner Mongolia is rich in natural resources. The area of arable land, forests and grasslands are 1.32 billion mu (about 880,000 km2), 373 million mu (about 248,666 km2) and 120 million mu (about 80,000 km2) respectively, the per capita area of which tops in China. The proven reserves of 38 kinds of minerals are among the top three in China, 17 kinds of which top in China including coal and rare earth. Inner Mongolia enjoys rich and characteristic tourism resources: magnificent grasslands, primeval forests, vast deserts, beautiful lakes as well as the splendid history, ethnic cultures and arts, all of which make Inner Mongolia a fantastic travel destination for domestic and international tourists.

Regional Conditions 

Inner Mongolia is endowed with an advantageous regional location. It is on the frontier of China’s opening to the north and stretches across the northern part of China from east to west, bordering Mongolia and Russia in the north and neighboring 8 domestic provinces. Inner Mongolia is not only the hinterland for Bohai Economic Rim which surrounds Beijing and Tianjin but also a key economic gateway to connect North China and West China because it is close to both ports and important cities in China. There are 16 ports opening to Russia and Mongolia in Inner Mongolia, of which Manchuria and Erenhot are the largest land ports on the border of China with Russia and Mongolia respectively.

Policies 

Since the start of the 21st century, China has launched a number of strategies such as the China Western Development and the Revitalizing Old Industrial Bases of Northeast China, and introduced the policy of Suggestions on Promoting Sound and Fast Social and Economic Development in Inner Mongolia, which have facilitated the regional development to a large extent. Inner Mongolia is blessed with great development opportunities as its proximity to Mongolia and Russia will be given full play to with the goal of building key windows opening to the north, which is clearly stated in the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road issued in March, 2015 by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce of the PRC.

Economic Development

With the strong support from the central government, Inner Mongolia has made great achievements in the economic and social development, ethnic unity and social stability since it was established over 60 years ago. Inner Mongolia has undergone significant changes in the social and economic development and realized phenomenal developments with continuous advancement of industrialization, urbanization and the modernization of agriculture and animal husbandry.

Inner Mongolia’s GDP reached 1.77695 trillion yuan in 2014 which ranked 15th in China and the GDP per capita amounted to 71,044 yuan (about 11,565 US dollars). Revenue in the general public budgets reached 184.32 billion yuan and the expenditure reached 388.42 billion, up by 7.1% and 5.4% respectively. The average annual disposable income of urban residents of Inner Mongolia was 28,350 yuan ranking 10th in China with an increase of 9% and the average disposable income of rural residents was 9,976 yuan ranking 16th with an increase of 11%, both of which grew faster than the economic growth.

Actively adapting to the New Normal, Inner Mongolia has channeled great efforts into the robust development of the economy and coordinated the advancement of agriculture, animal husbandry, industries and the tertiary industry with greater attention placed on structural adjustments. In 2014, Inner Mongolia topped in China in regard of the sales of cashmere products, the production of mutton, milk, raw coal and rare earth compound as well as the volume of electricity delivered to other parts of China, and ranked 2nd in the natural gas production. The primary, secondary and tertiary sectors contributed 9.1%, 51.9% and 39% of the regional GDP, which showed that Inner Mongolia had achieved the historic transformation from the primary-industry-oriented economy to the secondary-industry-oriented economy. The industries of energy, metallurgy and construction, the processing of agricultural and livestock products, chemistry, equipment manufacturing and high-tech are Inner Mongolia’s economic pillars, which also produce a number of enterprises renowned domestically and internationally including Ordos, Yili, Mengniu and NHI. Urban and rural areas have taken on new looks with an urbanization rate of over 60% due to poverty-alleviation policies and projects of improving people’s living standards such as “10 Comprehensives”.

Infrastructure Development

Inner Mongolia has promoted infrastructure construction in fields of transportation, waterworks, agriculture, animal husbandry and utilities through major projects on basis of overall planning in order to improve development capabilities and facilitate the social and economic development. The fixed asset investment(FAI) reached 1.20742 trillion yuan in 2014, up by 15.6% over last year.

The construction of comprehensive transportation system has been accelerated. The total mileage of the motorway is 170,000 km ranking 12th nationwide, of which 4237 km are the expressways connecting all the 12 prefecture-level divisions. The rail-line is 120,000-km long, which ranks high on the national list. The bullet train between Huhhot and Baotou starts a new chapter in Inner Mongolia’s high-speed-rail development. There are 18 civil airports across Inner Mongolia. Therefore, a comprehensive transportation network has been built, enabling convenient communications within Inner Mongolia as well as across China and with eighborhood countries and regions.

Key infrastructure projects in energy and waterworks have been advanced. The substation capacity of West Inner Mongolia Power Grid exceeded 100 million VA in 2014, which was a historic breakthrough. The transmission channel of high voltage electricity from Xilingol to Jinan (in Shandong Province) was under construction. All the projects concerning improving and upgrading power networks in rural areas were finished. With an investment of 15 billion yuan, waterworks projects witnessed remarkable progresses. Projects launched a few years ago on flood control in the Yellow River were finished; the main part of Haibo Wan water control project and Hulun Lake ecology project reached substantial completion; Zhadun water control project progressed well; and the irrigation canal construction was started in the downstream of Nierji water control project.

Ecology & Environment

Inner Mongolia has made substantial progresses in green and sustainable development. With the encouragement from the central government, six ecology projects have been initiated in succession to preserve natural forests, reconvert farmland to forest, treat root causes of sandstorms in Beijing and Tianjin, enhance forestation in the north, facilitate the construction of natural reserves for wildlife conservation and promote fast-growing-and-high-yield plantation, which have brought about many positive changes. Both the area and stock volume of forests have been increased, while the area of deteriorated land has been decreased. Forests have covered 21% of the total area of Inner Mongolia, with the percentage of grassland vegetation being restored to 44% from 30.58% in 2001.The average frequency of dust storms has fallen to 9 times per year in recent 5 years from nearly 20 times per year last century with fewer areas being affected and a shorter duration. More than 3000 enterprises have been shut down which cause severe pollutions, or consume excessive amount of energy or water. Therefore, Inner Mongolia lives up to its responsibilities in China’s campaign on energy saving and emission reduction. What’s more, the air quality of the cities in Inner Mongolia monitored for pollution by the central government is rated at level 2 for around 350 days out of a year on average, which has risen from about 200 days in the past.

Inner Mongolia has been enhancing the conservation of natural reserves, grasslands, forests, wetlands, sandy areas and other areas, which perform ecological functions. There are 182 natural reserves covering 12.619 million hectares, of which 29 are national and 60 are provincial.

Education & Training

Education has always been a top priority on Inner Mongolia’s development agenda. Investments in larger scale have improved school conditions and led to a moderately comprehensive education system with ethnic characteristics, thus solid progresses have been achieved in academic competence and performance. There were 559,000 children attending kindergartens in 2014, up by 8.43%. The gross enrollment ratio reached 85.42% regarding children who went to kindergartens 3 years before entering elementary schools, 14.92% higher than the national average. All school-age children were enrolled in primary schools with 1.2965 million students in 2174 schools. There were 669,700 students in 725 junior high schools with a gross enrollment ratio of 97.3%. There were 484,000 students in 278 high schools with the same ratio. There were 231,900 students in 258 secondary vocational schools. There were 50 colleges and universities, up by 1 over last year. There were 406,400 undergraduates and postgraduates, of which postgraduates were increased by 2.3% to 17,278. There were 111,700 college graduates, up by 3.19%. There were 10 eligible educational institutions offering higher education for postgraduates, which enrolled 5,987 students up by 1.7%. Inner Mongolia has been endeavoring to develop ethnic education which is considered crucial. In terms of school conditions, ethnic elementary and high schools are the same as non-ethnic schools of the same level in the same region, while some are better.

Enormous efforts being made to implement talent strategies and to promote “Grassland Talent” project, Inner Mongolia has managed to build platforms to attract top talents from different industries especially from the IT industry and enable the communication and cooperation between Inner Mongolia and Beijing, which contribute to the utilization of experts and professionals and the systematic improvement of talent pooling. Inner Mongolia accelerated the development of skilled personnel, bolstering up 175 entrepreneurial teams, 42 business incubators and 712 experts in “Grassland Talent” project. Training programs for highly-skilled personnel were carried out through 9 training centers at both national and provincial level and 14 masters’ studios. The number of new technical specialists reached 590,000 in 2014. In addition to the introduction of 97 domestic and international experts, 77 international intelligent projects and 74 institutions and enterprises for technological cooperation, Inner Mongolia launched another 6 postdoctoral stations and 32 academician work stations while bringing in 83 academicians. With all these achievements, the talent development in Inner Mongolia has taken the lead in western provinces in China.

Culture & Sport

As the cradle of grassland culture, Inner Mongolia, where once many nomadic groups resided including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Tujue, the Wuhuan, the Qidan and the Jurchen, enjoys a long history and glorious cultures. Esteeming nature, openness and good faith, grassland culture not only constitutes an indispensable part of the Chinese civilization but also demonstrates cultural diversity.  

There are over 500,000 relics in museums and 150,000 sites of cultural relics in Inner Mongolia of which 141 are under national protection and 247 under provincial protection. In addition, Inner Mongolia is also a grand museum featuring ethnic cultures due to its richness of ethnic music, dances, literature, paintings, carvings, handcrafts, cuisine cultures, costumes and customs.

In order to fulfil the strategic target of vitalizing ethnic cultures, Inner Mongolia has adopted innovative ways to develop ethnic cultural industries and has achieved major progresses. Inner Mongolia has realized progressive improvements in cultural utilities. There are 116 public libraries, 105 cultural centers, 135 museums and 1038 township-level cultural stations. Radio programs have covered 98.42% of the people and TV programs 98.57%. The fast cultural development has given rise to 6 national and 34 provincial level demonstration bases of cultural industries. Great efforts have been devoted into creating quality shows featuring grassland culture, which not only produces over 1500 performances including the bowl dances but also makes a number of art groups rise to fame, such as Ulan Muqir, Mongol Cappella Chorus and Colorful Hulunbuir. Inner Mongolia has enhanced the protection of historical relics. The 6th of September is designated as Grassland Cultural Relics Protection Day. The upper capital of Yuan Dynasty in Xilingol has been inscribed on the World Heritage List. At the same time, the Mongolian long tune and khoomei have been added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Up to now, there have been 405 items inscribed on national and provincial intangible cultural heritage lists. The conservation system is being improved.

Sport and physical activities contribute a lot to people’s health, which are highly valued by Inner Mongolia. More than 1000 sport activities are held every year and over 38% of people participate in regular exercises. Inner Mongolia won 287 medals in domestic and international competitions in 2014 including the National Game, the Asian Game and the Winter Olympics, which set a record high. Ethnic sport has also experienced robust developments, and a number of ethnic minorities’ games with distinct regional and ethnic characteristics have been held. Bökh (Mongolian wrestling), Mongolian hockey and Naadam (a traditional Mongolian festival) are inscribed on the first national intangible cultural heritage list. Sports lottery tickets worth 2.936 billion yuan were sold in Inner Mongolia in 2014.

Health & Medicine

Inner Mongolia has made substantial progresses in improving rural and urban public health systems in line with the requirements of satisfying basic needs, strengthening grassroots organizations and upgrading systems. Over half rural and urban areas are covered by the systems owing to the deepened healthcare reform and the promotion of pilot trails in public hospitals. There were 23,426 health agencies of all kinds by the end of 2014, of which 639 were hospitals, 1335 township-level clinics and 14,000 village clinics in rural areas, 119 disease control and prevention centers, 117 health institutes for children and women, 53 specialty hospitals and institutions. The number of hospital beds rose by 7.5% to 129,000. The number of medical staff reached 154,000, of which 62,000 were practicing physicians and physician assistants, and 18,000 worked in villages. The urban resident basic medical insurance (URBMI) covered 97.84% of urban residents and 98% of rural residents were covered by the new rural cooperative medical scheme (NRCMS). The average life expectancy of people in Inner Mongolia has reached 73 by the end of the twelfth “Five-Year Plan” (2011-2015).

Mongolian medicine has developed at a high speed with an increase in popularity, which has attracted experts from many countries and regions to visit Inner Mongolia, such as the U.S., Japan, Korea, Netherlands and Hong Kong and Taiwan. Two Mongolian medical experts have received national-level awards. As an independent hospital, Inner Mongolia International Mongolian Medicine Hospital is the largest provincial Mongolian medicine hospital in China, and so is the Mongolian Medicine Factory of Inner Mongolia. There are over 10,000 international patients coming to Inner Mongolia for Mongolian medical treatment because it is recognized by more and more people.

Social Security

With the implementation of employment-first strategy and active policies, Inner Mongolia has set up a moderately comprehensive system of employment policies which creates more jobs in urban and rural areas. In 2014, Inner Mongolia’s workforce hit 14.876 million people with an increase of 794,000 or 5.6% over last year. There were 7.404 million urban employees, of which 4.373 million were in the private sector. There were 62,000 people reemployed and 69,000 disadvantaged people helped into employment. The registered unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 3.59% which was quite low. Inner Mongolia managed to help 2.567 million rural migrant workers get employed through varied methods. There were 145,000 graduates employed.

Inner Mongolia has spared no efforts to promote social security systems in both urban and rural areas focusing on the basic pension insurance, the basic medical insurance and the urban and rural recipients of subsistence allowances in accordance according to the principles of expanding coverage, satisfying basic needs, implementation at different levels and sustainability. In 2014, there were 5.249 million employees involved in the urban basic endowment insurance, up by 5.7%, and 7.619 million people in the urban and rural social endowment insurance. Basic pensions for enterprise retirees rose by 191 yuan per month on average. The subsistence allowances for urban and rural residents were averagely increased by 28 yuan and 267 yuan respectively. The fiscal subsidies in the urban resident basic medical insurance (URBMI) and the new rural cooperative medical scheme (NRCMS) were increased to 320 yuan from 280 yuan. The medical insurance fund covered over 80% and 70% of the cost of in-patient treatment for urban employees and residents respectively. The number of social security card holders in Inner Mongolia reached 10.12 million.

Ethnic Minorities & Religions

There are 55 ethnic groups in Inner Mongolia including the Mongolians which is the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy, the Han Chinese which has the largest population, the Manchus, the Hui, the Koreans, the Daur, the Evenks and the Oroqen. The government of Inner Mongolia has fully implemented the national policy of regional autonomy for ethnic minorities and formulated 285 local regulations in this regard. The rights of the people of ethnic minorities are guaranteed to become masters of their own areas and manage the internal affairs of their own regions, which contributes to a relationship of equality, mutual assistance and harmony among ethnic groups, and the common development through joint efforts from all ethnic groups.

Education for ethnic minorities has witnessed great achievements. An ethnic education system with the characteristics of ethnic minorities and local features has been established with ethnic schools of all categories and of all levels, which is compatible with the general education system in Inner Mongolia. There are 177 kindergartens which conduct teaching in Mongolian and 571 independent primary and high schools for ethnic minorities with 343,000 students. Over 100 majors in 20 general colleges and universities are taught in Mongolian. There are 35 general colleges and universities running classes and preparatory classes for ethnic students.

Ethnic spoken and written languages and their use are under good protection. Alongside Chinses, Mongolian is the official provincial language of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. With the introduction of Regulations on the Mongolian Language in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region issued by the government in 2005, the Mongolian citizens’ rights to learn, employ, study and develop the Mongolian language are protected by law. The Mongolian language is widely used in governments, judicial authorities, schools, radio and TV programs and publications of all kinds.

Inner Mongolia respects the freedom of ethnic minorities’ religious belief. Inner Mongolia is home to many ethnic minorities and religions including Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity, Protestantism and Orthodox. Tibetan Buddhism is mostly followed by the Mongolian, Buddhism and Christianity mostly by the Han Chinses, Islam mostly by the Hui and Orthodox mostly by the ethnic Russians. There are many renowned Tibetan Buddhist temples in Inner Mongolia, such as Dazhao Temple and Xilituzhao Temple in Huhhot, Wudangzhao Temple and Meidaizhao Temple in Baotou, Beizi Temple in Xilingol and Yanfu Temple in Axla.

Tourism Resources

Inner Mongolia enjoys abundant tourism resources, such as splendid landscapes, the long history and characteristic cultures of ethnic groups.

Vast Grasslands

The area of grasslands is 1.32 billion mu (about 880,000 km2) in Inner Mongolia, which tops in China. It also wins the nickname of “natural museum of grasslands” from the experts since all kinds of grasslands can be found here including meadow steppes, typical steppes, desert steppes and alpine steppes, which are classified according to the different conditions in landscape, climate, soil, vegetation and regional distribution.

Unique Mongolian Culture

Tourists may experience the unique Mongolian culture in an all-round way in Inner Mongolia. They may have some traditional Mongolian milk tea and specially-prepared mutton, take the Lele Cart, visit Mongolian yurts, try on a deel (a kind of Mongolian dress), ride horses, watch the performances of wrestling, horse racing and archery and listen to long tunes (a kind of Mongolian folk songs), which will leave them a deep impression of the nomadic people’s lives and help them appreciate the romance and essence of the Mongolian culture.

Beautiful Forests and Snow Scenery

The forests in Inner Mongolia span from the Great Khingan in the east to the Helan Mountain in the west, covering a total area of 373 million mu (about 248,666 km2) and embracing 35 national forest parks. Since Inner Mongolia is located in the cool temperate zone, the earliest snowfall in the mid-eastern areas comes in mid-October and all the snow and ice won’t be gone until the end of next April. Hence, the long duration presents magnificent snow sceneries.

Big Deserts

Most of the deserts in Inner Mongolia are in the Midwest, such as the Badain Jaran Desert, the Tengger Desert, the Ulanbuh Desert, the Mu-Us Desert and the Kubuqi Desert. Every desert in Inner Mongolia is not only decorated with lakes but also capable of producing the sound of automobile engines, which set them apart from other deserts. Xiangshawan is a 5A tourist resort in Oros, which is nicknamed “Sounding Sand Desert”.

Unusual Landscape

There are more than 1,000 lakes in Inner Mongolia, big and small. Lakes, grasslands, deserts and forests together constitute the unique landscapes in Inner Mongolia. The Heshigten Global Geopark, which is in Chifeng City, is famous for its granite forests and glacial potholes. While exhibiting the majestic grandeur, the Arshihaty granite forest takes on new looks with the change of seasons, which makes it one of best granite forests.

Tourism is an important drive for the economic development in Inner Mongolia. In 2014, the revenue from tourism aggregated 180.53 billion yuan, up by 28.6%. The number of inbound tourists grew by 3.4% to 1.671 million, which increased the foreign exchange earnings by 4.2% to 1 billion US dollars. The number of domestic tourists rose by 12.1% to 74.149 million, which contributed an income of 174.5 billion yuan with an increase of 29.9%.

Opening-up

The Expansion of International Trade

Since the reform and opening-up, Inner Mongolia has actively boosted opening-up and made formidable achievements. The volume of foreign trade in Inner Mongolia hit 14.553 billion US dollars in 2014, which was 3.67 times that of 2003 (3.114 billion US dollars).The total imports in 2014 reached 8.159 billion US dollars and exports 6.394 billion US dollars. There were 8,909 import and export enterprises which traded with over 170 countries and regions.

The Increase in Foreign Direct Investment

With the expansion of opening-up and the improvement of the investment environment, Inner Mongolia has broadened channels for attracting foreign investments and played an active role in bringing in strategic investors, which improves the quality of FDI and realizes better utilization. By the end of 2014, there were 2276 foreign-invested enterprises and the actually-used FDI added up to 17.94 billion US dollars. Industries of agricultural and livestock products processing, chemistry and wind power remain big attractions for foreign investments.

The Steady Development of International Economic and Technological Cooperation

Inner Mongolia utilizes its proximity to Mongolia and Russia to encourage and assist quality enterprises to go abroad. By the end of 2014, the aggregate revenue from the projects of international economic and technological cooperation reached 1.242 billion US dollars. The number of enterprises established in foreign countries and regions added up to 339 with a total contractual investment of 7.082 billion US dollars from the Chinese part. Inner Mongolia has developed economic cooperation with Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and Oceania in more and more fields.

The Enhancement of Opening-up in All Respects

As the economy is growing at a high speed, Inner Mongolia has attached close attention to wider opening-up via strengthening domestic and international communication and cooperation. Guided by the neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, Inner Mongolia will implement the strategy of opening-up in an all-round way and boost opening to the north through active participation in the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, which will enhance pragmatic collaborations in infrastructure, business and people-to-people culture and expand cooperation with Mongolia and Russia in more fields.

Welcome to Inner Mongolia, a place of beauty, prosperity, openness and inclusiveness.














 

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