History of Xining

Xining has a history of over 2,100 years and was a chief commercial hub on the Hexi Corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times. The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the 1st century BC after efforts by the Han dynasty to control this route.

Under the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) a county called Linqiang was established to control the local Qiang tribesmen. It was again a frontier county under the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties; during the 7th and early 8th centuries it was a center of constant warfare with Tuyuhun and Tibet. In 763, it was overrun by the Tibetans and while under Tibetan control was known to the Chinese as Qingtangcheng. Recovered by the Song dynasty in 1104, it received the name Xining (meaning “peace in the west”) and has been the seat of a prefecture or superior prefecture under that name since that time. In the late 16th century, the Kumbum Monastery was founded some 19 km (12 mi) to the southeast, establishing Xining as an important religious center for the Gelug School of Buddhists.

A major earthquake occurred May 22, 1927, measuring at a magnitude of 7.6. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in China with a total count of over 40,000 deaths. It also caused large land fractures.

Xining was the extraterritorial capital of the Koko Nor territory and remained in Gansu until 1928, when it became the provincial capital of the newly established independent province of Qinghai.

Xining was subjected to aerial bombardment by Japanese warplanes in 1941 during the Second-Sino Japanese War. The bombing spurred all ethnicities in Qinghai, including the local Qinghai Mongols and Qinghai Tibetans, against the Japanese. The Salar Muslim General Han Youwen directed the defense of the city of Xining during air raids by Japanese planes.

Xining was given municipal status in 1945.

Under the rule of Governor Ma Bufang, Xining, like the rest of Qinghai, underwent industrialization and modernization. In 1947 the USA sold Ma Bufang a piped water (sewage) system which was installed in Xining. Ma Bufang also promoted education. He made businessmen methodically clean up Xining by serving as insect exterminators, killing flies and neatly throwing them away.

Since the late 1950s, when the Liujia Gorge Dam and hydroelectric project came into operation in neighboring Gansu province, Xining has been linked by a high-tension electrical grid to both Liujia and Lanzhou. It also uses local coal from mines at Datongxian to the north. A modern woollen mill was installed at Xining before 1957. The city also has a leather industry and is a market for salt from the Qaidam region. During the late 1950s medium-sized iron and steelworks were built there, supplying metal to Lanzhou.

Construction of a highway to the mineral-rich Qaidam basin, and completion in 1959 a link to the Chinese rail network via Lanzhou in Gansu province, has spurred industrial development. This effort was part of a plan of the central government to rapidly exploit oil and pasturage in the Xining area beginning in the 1950s.
Source from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xining#History