is the most southwestern province in China, with the Tropic
of Cancer running through its southern part. The province
has an area of 394,000 square km, 4.1 percent of the nation's
total. The province borders Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
and Guizhou Province in the east, Sichuan Province in the
north, and Tibet Autonomous Region in the northwest. It shares
a border of 4,060 km with Myanmar in the west, Laos in the
south, and Vietnam in the southeast. The highest point in
the north is the Kagebo Peak in Deqin County on the Deqin
Plateau, which is about 6,740 meters high; and the lowest
is in the Honghe River Valley in Hekou County, with an elevation
of 76.4 meters.
Yunan abounds in natural resources. It is
known as the kingdom of plants, animals and home of non-ferrous
metals and medicinal herbs.
The province not only has more plant species
of tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frozen zones than
any other province in the country, but also has many ancient,
derivative plants, as well as species introduced from foreign
countries. Among the 30,000 species of plants in China, 18,000
can be found in Yunan.
than 150 kinds of minerals have been discovered in the province.
The potential value of the proven deposits in Yunan is 3 trillion
yuan, 40 percent of which come from fuel minerals, 7.3 percent
from metallic minerals, and 52.7 percent from nonmetallic
Yunan has proved deposits of 86 kinds of
minerals in 2,700 places. Some 13 percent of the proved deposits
of minerals are the largest of their kind in China, and two-thirds
of the deposits are among the largest of their kind in the
Yangtze River valley and in south China. Yunan ranks first
in the country in deposits of zinc, lead, tin, cadmium, indium,
thallium, and crocidolite.
Yunan has sufficient rainfall and many rivers
and lakes. The annual water flow originating in the province
is 200 billion cubic meters, three times that of the Yellow
River. The rivers flowing into the province from outside add
160 billion cubic meters, which means there are more than
10,000 cubic meters of water for each person in the province.
This is four times the average in the country. The rich water
resources offer abundant hydro-energy.
Yunan is attractive with its rich tourism
resources, including beautiful landscape, colorful ethnic
customs, and a pleasant climate.
has the highest number of ethnic groups among all provinces
and autonomous regions in China. Among the country's 56 ethnic
groups, 25 are found in Yunan. Some 38.07 percent of the province's
population are members of minorities including the Yi, Bai,
Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan,
Jingpo, Blang, Pumi, Nu, Achang, Jino, Mongolian, Drung, Manchu,
Shui, and Bouyei. Each minority has at least 8,000 people.
Ethnic groups are widely distributed in
the province. Some 25 minorities live in compact communities,
each of which has a population of more than 5,000. Ten ethnic
minorities living in border areas and river valleys include
the Hui, Manchu, Bai, Naxi, Mongolian, Zhuang, Dai, Achang,
Bouyi and Shui, with a combined population of 4.5 million;
those in low mountainous areas are the Hani, Yao, Lahu, Va,
Jingpo, Blang and Jino, with a combined population of 5 million;
and those in high mountainous areas are Miao, Lisu, Tibetan,
Pumi and Drung, with a total population of 4 million.
The 886 km first-level national railway from Nanning to Kunming
links Yunan with Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous
Region. Second-level railways include those from Guangtong
to Dali, and from Kunyang to Yuxinan.
Second-level national highways stretch 958 km, third-level
highways, 7,571 km and fourth-level highways, 52,248 km. The
province has formed a network of communication lines radiating
from Kunming to Sichuan and Guizhou provinces and Guangxi
and Tibet autonomous regions, and further on to Myanmar, Laos,
Vietnam and Thailand.
In 1995, the province put an investment of 171 million yuan
to add another 807 km of navigation lines. It built 2 wharfs
with an annual handling capacity of 300,000-400,000 tons each
and 4 wharfs with an annual handling capacity of 100,000 tons
each. The annual volume of goods transported was 2 million
tons and that of passengers transported, 2 million.
The province has 19 domestic air routes from Kunming to Beijing,
Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Haikou, Chongqing, Shenyang,
Harbin, Wuhan, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Nanning,
Shenzhen, Guiyang, Changsha, Guilin and Hong Kong; three provincial
air routes from Kunming to Jinghong, Mangshi and Simao; and
three international air routes from Kunming to Bangkok, Yangon
The Wujiaba Airport in Kunming is a national
first-class airport and Xishuangbanna, Mangshi and Simao airports
are second-class terminals.