Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, referred to as Haibei Prefecture, is located in northeast of Qinghai Province. It borders Haidong City and Xining City in southeast, Hainan Prefecture in south, Haixi Prefecture in west, Zhangye City of Gansu Province in north, and Wuwei City of Gansu Province in east.
Located at southern foot of the middle section of Qilian Mountains, its terrain is high in north and low in south. Its northern part is formed by a series of parallel mountains and valleys, such as Nanshan, Lenglong Ridge, Tuoleshan, Shulenanshan, and Dabanshan, which stretch from northwest to southeast. Its southern part is lake and lakeside plain of Qinghai Lake, with vast grasslands. Datong River runs diagonally across entire territory from northwest to southeast. The main rivers include Black river, Huang river, Babao River, and Tole River. Haibei Prefecture seat is Xihai Town of Haiyan County.
In ancient times, Haibei Prefecture was a place where Xirong, Qiang, Tuyuhun and other ethnic groups lived together. Today, there are still many ethnic minorities living here. There are many tourist attractions, such as: China’s largest small rapeseed base, Xianmi National Forest Park, Black River Grand Canyon, Jinyintan Grassland, Qilian Mountain Grassland, which is one of the six most beautiful grasslands in China.
Cultural Relics Protection Units
As of 2007, there are 36 cultural relics in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
Among them, there are 1 site of Zhilongyi City (now Triangle City, Haiyan County) in Xihai County of Western Han Dynasty that belong to national cultural relics protection unit, which was announced on January 13, 1988;
11 provincial cultural relics protection units: Menyuan ancient city of Jinbatai of Tang Dynasty, Beishan Township; Ancient city of Menyuan in Song Dynasty, Ganglonggou Grotto Temple of Tang Dynasty, Ketu Ancient City of Ketu Village, Ancient Triangle City in Song Dynasty, Xiatangtai Culture site.
National key units
City Ruins of Sohai County
China first nuclear weapons development base
Menyuan Ancient City
There are total of 3 counties and 1 autonomous county under jurisdiction of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, including:
Geography and climate
Most of mountain peaks in Haibei Prefecture are around 4000 meters above sea level. The highest point is 5287 meters above sea level. Southern grassland is vast. Datong River is the largest outflow river in Haibei Prefecture, with a length of 560 kilometers and a drainage area of 15,000 square kilometers.
Haibei Prefecture is 413 kilometers long from east to west, 261 kilometers wide from north to south, and total land area is of 34,389.89 square kilometers.
The central part of Qilian Mountains in Haibei Prefecture is located on third stage of China’s topography. It is in northeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and western edge of Loess Plateau. The highest altitude is 5287 meters, and the lowest altitude is 2180 meters. The area is with an altitude of more than 3000 meters accounts for more than 85% of total area
From perspective of geomorphology, there are tectonic landforms, flowing water landforms, aeolian landforms and glacier landforms; from perspective of geomorphological form, there are valleys, basins, hills, low mountains, middle high mountains and high mountains. According to characteristics of Haibei topography, the whole prefecture is divided into three geomorphological areas:
-1), Qilian Mountain plateau landform area includes Qilian County and an area north of Datong Mountain Watershed in Gangcha Countyand Haiyan County. Geomorphic area presents a situation of “four mountains and four basins”. Between Nanshan and Tuoler Shan, Heihe and Babaohe rift basins are formed. Tole fault basin and Mole sag basin are formed between mountains, and Tole River and Mole River (i.e Datong River) flow through them.
-2), Lakeside landform area in northern part of Qinghai Lake is a part of Qinghai Lake inland basin in China. It includes Haiyan county, south of Datongshan watershed in Gangcha County, north of Qinghai Lake and upper valley of Huangshui. The north is high mountain, the middle is low mountain and hilly land, the south is lakeside plain and Huangshui valley. Buha River, Gilmen River, Uhaalan River, Shaliu River, Hargai River and Ganzi River are important source of supply for Qinghai Lake.
-3), Landform area of Haomen River Valley includes all of Menyuan County, with Jingyangling in northwest, Lenglongling in north, and Daban Mountain in south. Between two mountain ranges, it is Mesozoic and Cenozoic that are widely distributed and deposited during Quaternary. In rift basin, the low mountains and five mountains in northwest are widely spread, and There is a deep mountain valley area in east. Haomen River flows through it from northwest to southeast.
Haibei Prefecture is with long cold period, and short warm period, sufficient sunlight, strong solar radiation, distinct dry and wet seasons, night rain and strong wind. The annual average temperature is -2.4℃～1.4℃, the highest temperature is 33℃, and the lowest temperature is -36℃. The annual average precipitation is 427 mm, the highest precipitation is 479 mm, and the lowest precipitation is 341 mm. There is no absolute frost-free period.
Population and ethnic group
Haibei Prefecture is a multi-ethnic region, including Salar, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Buyi, Zhuang, Korean, Manchu, Yao, Tujia, Kazakh, She, Gaoshan, Dongxiang, Qiang, Baoan, Yugu,Li, Dong, and Dai. Among total population, Tibetans are the most widely distributed among ethnic groups.
As of end of 2017, permanent population of Haibei Prefecture was 283,000. The minority population is 201,200, accounting for 67.79%.
Among permanent population, Han nationality accounts for 36%; minority population accounts for 64%. Among them: Tibetan people account for 24%; Hui people account for 31%; Mongolian people account for 5.00%; Tu people account for 2.64%; Salar people account for 0.33%; other ethnic minorities account for 0.27%.
In 4th year of Emperor Ping of the Han Dynasty (AD 4), Haibei area was under the jurisdiction of central government of Han dynasty
In 26th year of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty (AD 738), Haibei area was under the jurisdiction of central government of Tang dynasty
In 2nd year of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1724 AD), Haibei area was under the jurisdiction of Xining
In 26th year of Emperor Qianlong (1761 AD), Haibei area was set up
In 1953, Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Region was established
In 1955, Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Region was changed to Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.