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Encyclopedia > Gulja

Yining (also Kuldja, Kulja, Gulja, Ghulja, Ining) (Simplified Chinese: 伊宁; Traditional Chinese: 伊寧; pinyin: Yzh) is a city in western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China, and the capital of the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. Population: 216,600.

Kulja was also a name of the Ili region in the past.


Yining was seized by the Russians in 1871 during Yakub Beg's independent rule of Kashgaria. It was restored to China in 1881.

Yining became the capital of an autonomous district in 1954. In 1962, major Sino-Soviet clashes took place along the Ili River.


Yining is located on the Ili River in the Dzungarian basin, near the border with Kazakhstan, and about 390 km west of Urumqi. The Ili River valley is far wetter than any other part of Xinjiang and has rich grazing land.


Yining is the chief city, agricultural market, and commercial centre of the Ili River valley. It is an old commercial center trading in tea and cattle, and it is still an agricultural area with extensive livestock raising. It has fruit orchards. Iron and coal are mined nearby.



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