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Lying in the southeast of Qinghai Province, Tongren County borders Xiahe County of Gansu Province to the east, Guide County to the west, Zeku County to the south and Xuanhua and Jianzha counties to the south, and is 181 kilometers from Xining City, the capital city of Qinghai Province. It has under its jurisdiction two counties, ten villages and 75 hamlets.

Tongren was a place for nomadic ethnic minorities in history. As early as in the Later Han Dynasty (947-951), the place had been a battlefield. In the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), the north of Tongren became the place that had garrison troops or peasants open up wasteland and grow grains. In the reign of Emperor Zhongzong in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was a state of Princess Jincheng conferred to Tubo. In the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, the garrison troops from the central government were stationed here, forming the ruling system that combined Tibetan Buddhism and politics with the Longwu Temple as the center. Tongren was established as a county in 1992.

Situated at the transitional zone between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Loess Plateau, the Longwu River runs across the city from south to north. Belonging to the cold-temperate arid climate zone, Tongren is a natural summer resort. It abounds in mineral resources, wild plants and animals, and rare medicinal herbs as well.

Tongren County is also the birthplace of the Regong Art. As an important art school of Tibetan Buddhism, Regong Art has a history of more than 700 years. The Tangka, barbola and sculptures of Regong Art feature refined craftsmanship and fancy colors, and enjoy great fame in the Southeast Asia, America and Germany, etc. Regong, which means golden valley, is the appellation for Tongren area in the Tibetan language. Most of the murals, barbolas and sculptures in Tibetan areas were the works of Regong artists here.

In Tongren, there is one cultural relics site under the nation-level protection -- the Longwu Temple. In the Anduo area, the temple is only next to the Labrang Monastery in Gansu Province and the Ta'er Temple in Qinghai Province in terms of scale, position and influence. Small temples of the Sa-skya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism were built here as early as in the fifth year (1301) of the Dade reign in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the Xiaricang Living Buddha system was formed here, and Tongren brought the area around the Longwu River alley.

Tongren is the only national level historical and cultural city in Qinghai Province.

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