Digital relief map of Chinghai province, China

Chinghai (Qinghai), also known in 1941 as Tsinghai or Kokonor, is a province of western China. The province lies on the northern Tibetian Plateau, mostly at an altitude of 14,000' (4300m) or higher, but the Tsaidam (Qaidam) Basin in the northwest part of the province is significantly lower, at about 10,000' (3300 m). The Tsaidam Basin is separated from the higher terrain to the south by the Kunlun Mountains and from Kansu to the north by the Ch'i-lien (Qilian) Mountains. The entire province is arid, and about a third of the Tsaidam Basin is covered by saline lakes and playas, including Tsinghai Lake, which is the second largest salt lake in the world. The provincial capital, Sining (Xining; 101.767E 36.633N), was historically an important stop on the southern Silk Road.

The province is rich in mineral resources, but these would not begin to be developed significantly until decades after the Pacific War.

As one of China's most desolate and isolated provinces, Chinghai was relatively untouched by the war, for good or ill. It was largely controlled by the Muslim warlord Ma Pu-fang, The Japanese planned to add Tsinghai to their puppet Mongolian state, but nothing ever came of the plan.


International Military Tribunal for the Far East (1948; accessed 2014-5-22)

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