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Yining is a county-level city in western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China, and the capital of the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. Also known in ancient times as Almaliq.

Area and Population

Administratively, the City of Yining is a county-level administrative unit. As of 2004, it occupied 629 km? with the population of 430,000 people.[1] The city is located at the elevation of about 640 meters.

The land area and population of the City of Yining were smaller before 2004; the increase resulted from the transfer of 2 villages with some 100 km?of land from the adjacent Yining County (which is a separate administrative unit from the City of Yining).


Yining is located on the northern side of the Ili River in the Dzungarian basin, near the border with Kazakhstan, and about 710Km west of Urumqi. The Ili River valley is far wetter than any other part of Xinjiang and has rich grazing land.

The City of Yining borders on Huocheng County in the west and the Yining County in the east; across the river in the south is Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County.


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.


Regular bus service is available to other cities in the region, and taxis are available locally. A few km North of town there is an airport, with commercial service to Urumqi only. There is no rail service.

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