Yinchuan[a] is the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China,[4] and was the capital of the Tangut-led Western Xia dynasty. It has an area of 8,874.61 km2 (3,426.51 sq mi) and a total population of 2,859,074 according to the 2020 Chinese census, and its built-up area was home to 2,564,918 inhabitants spread between three urban districts and Helan and Yongning counties largely being urbanized. The city's name literally means "silver river".

The territory of Yinchuan prefecture-level city (yellow) within Ningxia
The territory of Yinchuan prefecture-level city (yellow) within Ningxia
Yinchuan is located in Ningxia
Location of the city center in Ningxia
Yinchuan is located in China
Yinchuan (China)
Coordinates (Ningxia People's Government): 38°29′06″N 106°13′30″E / 38.485°N 106.225°E / 38.485; 106.225
Autonomous regionNingxia
Municipal seatJinfeng District
 • TypePrefecture-level city
 • BodyYinchuan Municipal People's Congress
 • CCP SecretaryZhang Zhu
 • Congress ChairmanLi Hongru
 • MayorZhao Xuhui
 • CPPCC ChairmanMa Kai
 • Prefecture-level city6,945.9 km2 (2,681.8 sq mi)
 • Urban
3,919.9 km2 (1,513.5 sq mi)
 • Metro
3,919.9 km2 (1,513.5 sq mi)
1,100 m (3,608 ft)
 (2020 census)[1]
 • Prefecture-level city2,859,074
 • Density410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Prefecture-level cityCN¥ 149.4 billion
US$ 24.0 billion
 • Per capitaCN¥ 69,595
US$ 11,174
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code0951
ISO 3166 codeCN-NX-01
License plate prefixes宁A
Websitewww.yinchuan.gov.cn (Chinese)
"Yínchuān" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese银川
Traditional Chinese銀川
Hanyu PinyinYínchuān
Literal meaning"Silver River"

Yinchuan is now the permanent site for the China-Arab Expo, a platform for cultural and economic exchanges between China and Arab countries.

The city is also home to Ningxia University, the largest regional comprehensive university under Ningxia's Project 211.


Map including Yinchuan

The area that is now Yinchuan was home to Shuidonggou, China's earliest paleolithic site. It dates from over 30,000 years ago,[5] Later in Chinese prehistory, rock art was created in the Helan mountains adjacent to modern-day Yinchuan.[6][7]

Yinchuan was originally a county under the name of Fuping in the 1st century BCE; its name was changed to Huaiyuan in the 6th century CE.

Western Xia and Mongol Conquest


After the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907, Yinchuan came under the control of the Tanguts. In 1038, the Tangut leader Yuanhao declared himself emperor of the Great Xia and made Yinchuan his capital, at that time known as "Xingqing" (simplified Chinese: 兴庆; traditional Chinese: 興慶; pinyin: Xīngqìng).[8] This provoked much of the native Han population to emigrate.[9] Several of Yinchuan's important cultural sites were built under the Western Xia, such as the Pagoda of Chengtian and the Western Xia mausoleums.[10][11]

In the autumn of 1209, the Mongols invaded Western Xia. They laid siege to Yinchuan, which by this point was known as "Zhongxing". The garrison of 150,000 managed to hold out against the Mongols, although Western Xia submitted to Mongol suzerainty regardless.[9][12] After Xia attempted to reassert its independence, in 1227 the Mongols returned and slaughtered the city's entire population. Ghenghis Khan died during the siege under debated circumstances.[13][14] The Mongols knew the city as "Iryai".

Ming and Qing dynasties


Under the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, it was a prefecture of Ningxia. During the Dungan revolt, Dungan forces massacred 100,000 people in Yinchuan.

In 1739, the city was heavily affected by the Yinchuan–Pingluo earthquake. A maximum intensity of XII was determined on the Chinese seismic intensity scale, and XI on the Mercalli intensity scale. The earthquake collapsed most houses, temples, offices, and a city wall 10 m (33 ft) tall and 6 m (20 ft) wide. Ground fissures up to an meter wide, and 100 m (330 ft) long, and great subsidence were accounted in historical records.[15] Over 15,300 people killed and the city was completely levelled. Blazing fires burned all the way through the night as many canals were destroyed, shutting off the flow of water. The ground opened for more than 100 m (330 ft), where sand and black water erupted.[16] Aftershocks persisted for more than two years with the largest being a 5.5 on February 13 that same year.[16]

20th century


In 1928, when the province of Ningxia was formed from part of Gansu, Yinchuan became the capital city. In 1954, when Ningxia province was abolished, the city was put in Gansu province; but, with the establishment of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in 1958, Yinchuan once again became the capital.

Traditionally, Yinchuan was an administrative and commercial center. In the 1950s, the city had many commercial enterprises, and there were some handicrafts, but no modern industry. The city has since grown considerably. Extensive coal deposits discovered on the eastern bank of the Yellow River, near Shizuishan, 100 km (62 mi) to the north, have made Shizuishan a coal-mining center.

Yinchuan, however, remains largely non-industrial. The immediate plains area, intensively irrigated by a system developed as long ago as the Han (206 BC–AD 220) and Tang (618–907) dynasties, is extremely productive. Yinchuan is the chief agricultural market and distribution center for this area and also deals in animal products from the herds tended by nomads in the surrounding grasslands. It is a market for grain and has flour mills, as well as rice-hulling and oil-extraction plants. The wool produced in the surrounding plains supplies a woolen-textile mill.

During the nationwide 1989 Protests that followed the death of Hu Yaobang, Yinchuan was the site of student demonstrations responding to the April 26 Editorial.[17] On May 28 numbers dropped drastically when only 3,000 students took to the streets.[18] A similar number of people would march again, this time with wreaths and banners, when they heard the news about the June 4 crackdown in Beijing.[19]

On July 23, 1993, China Northwest Airlines Flight 2119, in route from Yinchuan Xihuayuan Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, crashed into a lake after it was unable to get airborne while attempting to take off at Yinchuan Airport, killing 54 passengers and 1 crew member on board.[20]

21st century


On 21 June 2023, a gas explosion inside of a barbecue restaurant in Yinchuan killed at least 31 people and injured 7 others.


Satellite image of Yinchuan in 2005

Yinchuan lies in the middle of the Yinchuan Plain.[21] It is sheltered from the deserts of Mongolia by the high ranges of the Helan Mountains to its west. The Yellow River runs through Yinchuan from southwest to northeast. The average elevation of Yinchuan is 1,100 meters (about 3,608 feet). The urban center of Yinchuan lies about halfway between the Yellow River and the edge of Helan Mountains.



Yinchuan has a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk) with an annual rainfall of 194 mm (7.64 in). Yinchuan has distinct seasons, with dry, cold winters, late springs and short summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −6.8 °C (19.8 °F) in January to 24.4 °C (75.9 °F) in July, with the annual mean at 10.1 °C (50.2 °F). Diurnal temperature variation tends to be large due to the aridity, which also partly contributes to the sunny climate; with monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 58 percent in January to 67 percent in November, the city receives 2,761 hours of bright sunshine annually. There are 158 frost-free days.

Climate data for Yinchuan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1935–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) −0.2
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −12.1
Record low °C (°F) −30.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.8 1.2 2.0 2.9 4.4 5.5 7.2 7.7 6.6 3.4 1.6 1.0 45.3
Average snowy days 2.9 2.0 1.3 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 1.6 1.5 10.1
Average relative humidity (%) 54 45 40 37 42 49 58 63 64 58 59 56 52
Mean monthly sunshine hours 177.9 190.5 228.6 251.3 282.8 280.6 276.8 252.6 220.2 228.0 193.0 178.8 2,761.1
Percent possible sunshine 58 62 61 63 64 63 62 61 60 67 65 61 62
Source 1: China Meteorological Administration[22][23][24]
Source 2: Pogodaiklimat.ru (extremes)[25]

Administrative divisions

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Xiao'erjing Population
Area (km2) Density (/km2)
City proper
Xingqing District 兴庆区 Xīngqìng Qū ثٍْ‌ٿٍْ ٿِيُوِ 755,441 768 984
Jinfeng District 金凤区 Jīnfèng Qū ڭٍ‌فٍْ ٿِيُوِ 369,296 290 1,273
Xixia District 西夏区 Xīxià Qū ثِ‌ثِيَا ٿِيُوِ 362,842 987 368
Satellite cities
Lingwu City 灵武市 Língwǔ Shì لِئٍ‌وُ شِ 296,122 4,639 64
Yongning County 永宁县 Yǒngníng Xiàn يٌ‌نِئٍ ثِيًا 245,570 1,295 190
Helan County 贺兰县 Hèlán Xiàn حَ‌لًا ثِيًا 263,832 1,600 165



Ethnic groups


As of 2019, 72.43% of the city's population is Han Chinese, 25.79% is Hui, and 1.78% are other ethnic minorities.[26] Of the city's six county-level divisions, all have a super-majority of Han Chinese people sans the county-level city of Lingwu, which is majority Hui.[26]



Of the city's population, 79.05% live in urban areas as of 2019.[26] This proportion is highest in Xixia District, where 91.28% of the population lives in urban areas, and is lowest in Lingwu, where 58.22% of the population lives in urban areas.[26]



The city's gross domestic product per capita was ¥31,436 (US$4,526) in 2008, ranking 197th of 659 Chinese cities. In 2010, Yinchuan was designated as the site for the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.[citation needed] At the national level, Yinchuan hosts various events such as the China-Arab States Expo, to function as a commercial link between China and Arab States.[citation needed] Yinchuan has an aircraft tire plant owned by Singapore-based Giti Tire.[27]

Yinchuan classifies itself as a 'smart city', where modern technology is employed such as facial recognition for public transport payments, connected trash bins and digital citizen service centres.[28][29][30][31]


Yinchuan railway station



Although most residents are Han Chinese, Yinchuan is a center for the Muslim Hui people, who constitute slightly over a quarter of the population.[26] Hui Muslims play a vital role as being middlemen in trade between the Middle East and China, and the China-Middle East trade has become increasingly important to the country. Consequently, the national government has started constructing a $3.7 billion Islamic theme park called "World Muslim City" in Yinchuan. Unlike Uyghurs, who faces far more restrictions in religious freedoms, Hui Muslims generally do not seek independence from China and have a cultural affinity to the Han, and are far more assimilated into mainstream Chinese life.[33]

A number of cultural festivals are celebrated in Yinchuan. These include an Internet Film Festival, a Car and Motorcycle Tourism Festival, and an International Poetry Festival.[34][35][36] Until 2000, Yinchuan was also the traditional host of an August festival celebrating the harvesting of Goji berries (a major product of Ningxia).[37]


Taizi Great Mosque
A mosque in Yinchuan.
Yinchuan Drum Tower

The city's attractions include the Sand-lake, the Western Xia tombs, and the China Western film Studios.

Sand Lake is a lake in a desert 35 miles north of Yinchuan with birds, reeds, lotus and fish.

The Western Xia Imperial Tombs are 15.5 miles west of Yinchuan on east side of Mt. Helan. Since June 1972, nine imperial tombs and 253 lesser tombs have been unearthed, which are as grand as Ming Tombs in Beijing. With a total area of more than 19.3 square miles, it is unique among royal burials.

China West Film Studio, which has been famed as 'One Superb in China, and Treasure of Ningxia Province', is at the eastern foot of the magnificent Helanshan Mountain, 25 kilometers from the railway station of Yinchuan City, and 48 kilometers from Hedong Airport. It produced The Herdsman, Red Sorghum, Lover's Grief over the Yellow River, New Dragon Gate Inn, Ashes of Time, A Chinese Odyssey, Qiao's Grand Courtyard (TV series) and nearly one hundred other films. In 2018, John Cena lived for five months in Yinchuan while working on a film, Project X-Traction, with Jackie Chan (the movie was never ultimately released).[38][39]

There are two pagodas in Yinchuan that are part of the 'Eight Famous Scenery of Ningxia': one is the Haibao Pagoda in the northern suburb and the other is the Chengtiansi Pagoda in the west.

Parts of the Great Wall are near the city.

Colleges and universities


See also



  1. ^ UK: /jɪnˈwæn/, US: /-wɑːn/;[3] Chinese: 银川; pinyin: Yínchuān


  1. ^ "China: Níngxià (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map". Archived from the original on 20 September 2021. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  2. ^ 宁夏统计年鉴2016
  3. ^ "Yinchuan". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Illuminating China's Provinces, Municipalities and Autonomous Regions". PRC Central Government Official Website. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  5. ^ Tiballi, Anne. "SHUIDONGGOU – A Time And Space Tunnel Of China's Archaeology Study – Li Li". Penn Museum Blog. Penn Museum. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  6. ^ Sun Jinji; Feng Yongqian; Su Tianjun; The Editorial Committee of Integrated Chinese Archaeology. Integrated Chinese Archaeology. Beijing Publishing House. pp. 5062–.
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Rebecca (2018). "East Asia: Rock Art". Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (2 ed.). Springer. pp. 1–11. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3131-1. ISBN 978-3-319-51726-1.
  8. ^ Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank (1994). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368. Cambridge University Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.
  9. ^ a b Jack Weatherford Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, p.85
  10. ^ Xu, Cheng 许成 (1989). 宁夏考古史地研究论集 [Collected research papers on the archaeology, history and geography of Ningxia]. Yinchuan: Ningxia renmin chubanshe. p. 84.
  11. ^ Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (1993). "The Tangut Royal Tombs near Yinchuan". Muqarnas. 10. Brill Publishers: 369–381. doi:10.2307/1523201. JSTOR 1523201.
  12. ^ May, Timothy (2012). The Mongol Conquests in World History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 1211. ISBN 9781861899712.
  13. ^ Mote, Frederick W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0674012127.
  14. ^ Boland-Crewe, Tara; Lea, David, eds. (2002). The Territories of the People's Republic of China. London: Europa Publications. p. 215. ISBN 9780203403112.
  15. ^ ZHANG BUCHUN, LIAO YUHUA, GUO SHUNMIN, ROBERT E. WALLACE, ROBERT C. BUCKNAM, AND THOMAS C. HANKS (1986). "Fault scarps related to the 1739 earthquake and seismicity of the Yinchuan graben, Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu, China". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 76 (5): 1253–1287. Bibcode:1986BuSSA..76.1253Z. CiteSeerX doi:10.1785/BSSA0760051253.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ a b National Geophysical Data Center (1972). "Significant Earthquake Information CHINA: NINGXIA". National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): NCEI/WDS Global Significant Earthquake Database. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  17. ^ Zhang Liang. The Tiananmen Papers. New York: PublicAffairs, 2001. ISBN 978-1-58648-122-3. p. 181.
  18. ^ Zhang Liang. The Tiananmen Papers. New York: PublicAffairs, 2001. ISBN 978-1-58648-122-3. p. 316.
  19. ^ Zhang Liang. The Tiananmen Papers. New York: PublicAffairs, 2001. ISBN 978-1-58648-122-3. p. 393.
  20. ^ "Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 07231993". airdisaster.com. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  21. ^ Soil Bulletin, Volume 15. Sciences Press. 1983. pp. 171–.
  22. ^ 中国气象数据网 - WeatherBk Data (in Chinese (China)). China Meteorological Administration. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  23. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年). China Meteorological Administration. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  24. ^ CMA台站气候标准值(1991-2020) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  25. ^ "Climate Yinchuan". Pogoda.ru.net. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d e f 2019年末银川市常住人口229.31万人 (in Chinese). Yinchuan City Statistics Bureau. 27 February 2020. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Triangle Group to add aircraft radials to range". Rubber News. 17 May 2012.
  28. ^ Dahad, Nitin (9 October 2016). "Yinchuan: China's leading smart city shows how government and technology can help improve the life of its citizens". Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  29. ^ "ZTE Partners with TM Forum and City of Yinchuan on Smart City Innovation Center". Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  30. ^ Guerrini, Federico. "Cities Cannot Be Reduced To Just Big Data And IoT: Smart City Lessons From Yinchuan, China". Forbes. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  31. ^ Carrington, Daisy (11 October 2016). "In Yinchuan, China, your face is your credit card". CNN. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  32. ^ "BYD's First Commercial SkyRail Line Launched in Northwest China". Mass Transit. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
  33. ^ "If China Is Anti-Islam, Why Are These Chinese Muslims Enjoying a Faith Revival?". Time. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  34. ^ [1] "Yinchuan News"
  35. ^ Yang, Feiyue (15 June 2016). "Yinchuan gears up to host self-drive festival". China Daily. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  36. ^ ""容嬷嬷"李明启出席互联网电影节开幕典礼,到场的还有这些明星". Sina (in Chinese). 1 November 2019. Archived from the original on 4 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  37. ^ [2] Xinhua News Agency, Opening ceremonies of Ningxia wolfberry festival, 3 August 2005.
  38. ^ "John Cena Talks Filming 'Project X-Traction' with Living Legend Jackie Chan". Collider. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  39. ^ Laman, Lisa (25 April 2023). "John Cena and Jackie Chan Made a Movie Together That We May Never See". Collider. Retrieved 27 June 2023.