Source: Global Times [18:06 July 14 2009]
Full Name: Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese Name: å·´éŸ³éƒæ¥žè’™å¤æ—è‡ªæ²»å·ž (bÄ yÄ«n guÅ lèng méng gÇ” zú zì zhì zhÅu)
Area: 482,700 square kilometers (186,372 square miles)
Nationalities: Uygur, Hui, Mongol, Han
During the early years of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD), there were thirty-six city states and kingdoms in the western region of China and eleven of these states existed in the region of Xinjiang. Since the year 60BC, the central government began to set up protectorates to administer the area. When Korla was brought into the prefecture in 1960, the prefecture government simultaneously moved to Korla.
Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture is situated in the southeast of Xinjiang, with neighboring provinces Gansu and Qinghai to the east. It is separated from Tibet by the Kunlun Mountains in the south. Within the Xinjiang Bayingolin Prefecture, it is bordered by Hotan in the west, and is in neighborhood of Ili, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan and Kumul with the Tianshan Mountains in the north acting as the boundary between Bayingolin and these regions.
The whole prefecture fits into three morphologic regions: Tianshan Mountains, Tarim Basin and Kunlun-Arjin Mountains. Mountainous regions make up forty-nine percent of Bayingolin's territory. In addition, it has the Takla Makan Desert in the center and vast plains in the north.