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Ganqimaodu–Gashuun Sukhait


N 42° 24′ 49′′, E 107° 34′ 46′′
1,079 MASL
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A 1930s photograph of the Beijing-Suiyuan Railway. Completed in 1909, the Beijing–Kalgan Railway connecting Beijing and Kalgan (now Zhangjiakou) was the country’s first railway designed and built with Chinese expertise. The railway was incorporated into the Beijing-Suiyuan Railway in 1916, and extended further west to Suiyuan’s capital Guisui (now Hohhot) in 1921 and to Baotou in 1923.

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Mongolia’s Tavan Tolgoi–Ganqimaodu Railway under construction. Designed with a coal carrying capacity of 30-50 million tonnes/year, the 258.4-kilometer railway line will connect with the 366.9-kilometer Wanshuiquannan–Ganqimaodu Railway, and then to the 170-kilometer Baotou–Shenmu Railway linking Inner Mongolia and Shanxi Province at Wanshuiquannan Station.

1862: Not long after it lost the Crimean War (1854–1855), Tsarist Russia rapidly expanded its control in the Far East. Amur Committee of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded that Russia’s goal should be to form an independent domain in Mongolia and Manchuria if Qing China was to ever collapse.


1895: Russian expansion into Mongolia was made feasible when St. Petersburg came to terms with Britain and later Japan. Russia and Britain exchanged identical notes delimiting their respective spheres of interest in China in 1895.


1907: Russia came to diplomatic understandings with Japan after the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). Russia and Japan signed a secret treaty dividing Manchuria and Mongolia into two spheres of interest in 1907.


1911: On the eve of the collapse of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese government decided that Inner and Outer Mongolia should be formally incorporated into China, and it opened a colonization bureau in Urga (Ulaanbaatar) to facilitate Han colonization directly.


1924: The rapid Han colonization in Mongolia, which was indented to resist the expansion of Russian influence in the region, exacerbated tensions in Mongolia. Outer Mongolia was established as Mongolian People’s Republic in 1924 and recognized by the Republic of China in 1946.


1928: Suiyuan, Chahar, and Jehol, three special regions within Inner Mongolia bordering Outer Mongolia and Manchuria, were established by the Republic government as provinces.


1930: In the early 1930s, Suiyuan, a high-arid plateau between the Gobi Desert and Yellow River, was occupied by Yan Xishan, a Chinese warlord and governor of Shanxi. Retired officers from Yan’s army tasked farmer soldiers from Shanxi to perform iron mining and wasteland reclamation in the region.


1936: In November 1936, the Japanese-supported Mongolian Army invaded Suiyuan, which is rich in mineral wealth.


1939: Mengjiang, which consisted of the previously Chinese provinces of Suiyuan and Chahar in Inner Mongolia, was formed as a puppet state of the Japanese Empire. Mengjiang is also known as Monkukuo, in analogy to Manchukuo, another Japanese puppet state in Manchuria established in 1931.


1945: The territory of Mengjiang returned to Chinese control after the defeat of the Japanese Empire in 1945.


1946: A soviet exploration team discovered one of the world’s largest untapped coking and thermal coal deposits at Tavan Talgoi in southern Mongolia in the 1940s. Exploratory drilling and feasibility studies lasted for four decades until the mid-1980s.


1954: As part of Suiyuan, the Urad Middle Banner was incorporated into the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.


1989: Ganqimaodu in the northern part of the Urad Middle Banner was approved as a temporary transit point for Sino–Mongolian border trade, with “Ganqimaodu” (Gants Mod), which means “a tree” in Mongolian.


1992: A new constitution of Mongolia was formed, and Ganqimaodu Port was established and opened seasonally.


2005: Upgrading of Ganqimaodu Port, including the construction of a joint inspection building, was completed. The port started to open throughout the year.


2012: Ganqimaodu Town was established. Several infrastructure projects were completed to facilitate the production and transportation of coal ore at Tavan Talgoi, located 240-kilometer north of Gashuun Sukhait–Ganqimaodu. Notably, the Wanshuiquannan–Ganqimaodu Railway and an electricity exploration project from China to Mongolia were completed.


2013: An agreement was signed between China and Mongolia about extending the Wanshuiquannan–Ganqimaodu Railway to Tavan Tolgoi Mine through Gashuun Sukhait–Ganqimaodu.


2018: Linhe–Ganqimaodu Highway (G242) was open to traffic. The construction of Tavan Tolgoi–Ganqimaodu Railway started, which is expected to be completed in 2022.

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