Ningxia full name Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is a Hui autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located on the northwest Loess highland, the Yellow River flows through a vast area of its land. The Great Wall of China runs along its northeastern boundary. Ningxia is the home of the Hui, one of the officially recognized Nationalities of China. The capital of the region is Yinchuan.
Ningxia is bounded by Shaanxi and Gansu provinces and Inner Mongolia autonomous region and has an area of 66,400 sq km. Formerly a province, Ningxia was incorporated into Gansu in 1954 but was detached and reconstituted as an autonomous region for the Hui people in 1958. In 1969, Ningxia received a part of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, but this area was returned in 1979. It is nearly coextensive with the ancient kingdom of the Tangut people, whose capital was captured by Genghis Khan in the early 13th century. The region is mostly desert and is sparsely settled, but the vast plain of the Yellow River in the north has been irrigated for centuries; over the years an extensive system of canals has been built. Desert and grazing land make up most of the area. Extensive land reclamation and irrigation projects have increased cultivation. The northern section, through which the Yellow River flows, is the best agricultural land. One railroad, linking Lanzhou with Baotou, crosses the region. A highway has been built across the Yellow River at Yinchuan.
The region is 1,200 km from the sea and has a continental climate with average summer temperatures rising to between 17 and 24¡ãC in July and average winter temperatures dropping to between -7 and -10¡ãC in January. Seasonal extreme temperatures can reach 39¡ãC in summer and -30¡ãC in winter. The diurnal temperature variation in summer is 17¡ãC. Annual rainfall averages from 190 to 700 millimeters, with more rain falling in the south of the region.
One of Ningxia's main tourist spots is the famous Xixia Tombs site located 30 km west of Yinchuan. The remnants of nine Western Xia emperors' tombs and two hundred other tombs lie within a 50-km2 area. Other famous sites in Ningxia include Helan Shan, the mysterious 108 dagobas, the twin pagodas of Baisikou and the desert research outpost at Shapatou.