Yunnan is one of the 23 provinces of China. It occupies an area of about 152,000 square miles in southwestern China. Yunnan is surrounded by various Chinese provinces (Sichuan, Guizhou, and Guangxi), Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Yunnan situated is in a mountainous region with its lowest point being in the southeast and highest elevation being in the northwestern parts of the province. The province has eight autonomous prefectures and eight prefecture-level cities. The capital of Yunnan province is Kunming.
The Capital City of Yunnan
Kunming is the biggest city in the province which is the cultural, economic, communications, and political center of the region. Kunming is home to headquarters of numerous large companies in the province. It serves as Southwest China’s transportation hub that is linked to Laos and Burma by road and to Vietnam by rail. Its geographical position makes it an important trade center in Southwest China. The city served as a US Air Base and Chinese military center during the Second World War.
Geography of Kunming
The city is situated in the east-central part of the province, and it occupies an area of about 8,340 square miles. Kunming is bordered by mountains to the eastern, western, and northern sides. Kunming is situated on the northern shoreline of Dianchi Lake. It is the largest lake in the province and the sixth-biggest freshwater lake in the country which occupies an area of about 130 square miles. Mazong Ridge of Mount Jiaozi is the city’s highest point at 13,934 feet high. The Stone Forest is one of Kunming's main attractions that is compost of pavilions, arches, and rock caves.
Climate of Kunming
The city experiences long, humid and warm summers and chilly, dry short winters with crisp nights and mild nights and. The temperature rarely exceeds 30°C in summer, but the city receives heavy snowfalls in some winters. Kunming has an annual average temperature of 15.52°C. The city has 230 frost-free days and an average rainfall of about 38.5 inches per year. Kunming has 2,198 hours of bright sunlight with the city’s extreme temperatures ranging from 31.3°C to -7.8°C.
Demographics of Kunming
Kunming had about 6,626,000 residents by 2014 and a population density of approximately 820 individuals per square mile. The city had an urban population of roughly 4,575,000 people in 2014. Out of the over 5 million registered residents of the city in 2006, 4 million were Han Chinese. The largest minority groups in Kunming in 2006 were the Yi people (400,200) and the Hui people (149,000). The smallest ethnic group in Kunming was the Dulong people (75). A huge percentage of the population resides in the eastern parts of Yunnan.
Economy of Kunming
The city has three economic advantages over all the other cities in the region; mild climate, large consumer market, and natural resources. It is the primary commercial hub for a huge percentage of Yunnan’s natural resources due to its position. The key industries in Kunming include zinc, lead, and copper production. Kunming has the largest phosphate and salt mines in China. Other sectors in Kunming include manufacturing of automobiles, equipment, electric machinery, machine tools, and tobacco processing. Kunming has textile, cement, and plastics factories, and chemical industry.