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N 46° 10′ 10′′, E 90° 54′ 24′′
1,143 MASL
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Chinese Provincial Road 320 runs along the north bank of the Bulgan River, connecting Takeshiken–Bulgan port with the rest of the Xinjiang Altay Prefecture. In 1981, the Bulgan Beaver Nature Reserve was established in Altay Prefecture’s Qinghe County, extending 500 meters from both river banks, and covering a 50-square-kilometer area between the Sino-Mongolian border and the confluence of the Qinggil and Bulgan Rivers.

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The Takeshiken border gate, with the Altai Mountains in the background. The Takeshiken–Bulgan Port has developed into a major distribution center for the import and export of commodities between China and Mongolia, and is now Mongolia’s largest center importing daily necessities. Takeshiken has evolved from a small Chinese border village into a sizable border town along with the port development and booming cross-border trade.

1761: The Khovd region to the north of the Altai Mountain came under the control of the Dzungar people in the early 17th century. Soon after Qing conquered Dzungaria in 1759, the Office of the Governor of Khovd, a Qing government unit responsible for all of western Mongolia, was established in 1761.


1851: Following the signing of the Treaty of Kuldja between Russia and Qing in 1851, the Bulgan River valley witnessed increasing trade of livestock and fur. Originated in the Altai Mountain, the Bulgan River flows southeast then west along the southern slope of the Altai Mountain, before feeding into the Ulungur River.


1871: During the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877), a Muslim rebellion in Xinjiang, China lost control of most of its western territory, and Russia occupied the Ili Territory in 1871.


1881: The 1881 Treaty of St. Petersburg restored Qing’s sovereignty, but at a high price. In addition to a large payment to Russia, six more towns were opened for Russian trade and consulates, including Kumul, Qitai, and Urumchi in Xinjiang, Jiuquan in Gansu, and Uliastai and Khovd in Mongolia.


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.


1924: The Mongolian People’s Republic was established but was not recognized by the Republic of China. The Republic government established Bulgan County, which straddles across the Sino-Mongolian border.


1946: The independence of Outer Mongolia, or Mongolian People’s Republic, was recognized by the Republic of China in 1946. The eastern half of Bulgan County became part of the Khovd Province in Mongolia, and the western half of Bulgan County became part of the Altai Special District in Xinjiang.


1947: Bulgan County was merged into Qinghe County. Qinghe, literally “Qing River,” acquired its name from the Qinggil River, another tributary of the Ulungur River that originated in the Altai Mountain.


1955: After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Sino-Mongolian relationship improved. Between 1955 and 1960, several agreements regarding Chinese aid and economic and technical assistance were signed between the two countries.


1962: To appease Mongolia within the context of the Sino–Soviet Split (1956–1966), Sino-Mongolian Border Treaty was signed in 1962 in favor of Mongolia’s territorial request. The boundary line in Khovd region follows the divide between the Qinggil and Bulgan Rivers.


1966: Mongolia and the Soviet Union signed the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between USSR and MPR.” Mongolia asked for the deployment of Soviet forces, leading to security concerns in China and the suspension of the Sino-Mongolian border trade.


1981: The Bulgan Beaver Nature Reserve was established on the Bulgan River in Qinghe County in 1980 to protect the Sino-Mongolian beaver, an endangered species that is found only in the basin of the Ulungur River.


1988: The Sino-Mongolian relationship remained tense until late 1980s when Mongolia started asserting a more independent policy. A treaty on border control was signed by China and Mongolia in 1988.


1989: The Takeshiken Port was established 15.5 kilometers west of the Sino-Mongolian border, opened seasonally in summer and autumn.


1998: With the rapid growth of the Takeshiken Port, Takeshiken Town was established in 1998.


2005: Efforts to promote transnational tourism in the Altai Mountains region have been made since early 2000s. The National Tourism Administration of China and the Ministry of Transport, Transportation, and Tourism of Mongolia signed an MoU on the Implementation Plan for Chinese Tour Groups visiting Mongolia.


2006: The “Takshiken Port Tourism Development and Cooperation Colloquium” was held in Qinghe County in April 2006.


2009: The power grid of Xinjiang Electric Power was extended from Takeshiken Port to Bulgan Port in Mongolia, 9.5 kilometers east of the Sino-Mongolian border. It was further extended east to export electricity to the three southmost counties of the Khovd Province in Mongolia.


2011: The Takeshiken Port started to open all year round. The Bulgan Gol-Ikh Ongog National Park was established on Mongolia’s side of the border.


2016: The cross‑border barter trade zone opened at the Takeshiken Port.


2017: The construction of the Tashkent (Qinghe County) to Chakurtu (Fuyun County) section of the S18 Highway started. The highway will connect the Tashkent and Jeminay Ports, located at the east and west ends of the Altay Prefecture, respectively.


2020: A feasibility study was conducted on the Fuyun–Qinghe–Takeshiken branch of the Afuzhun Railway (Altai–Fuyun–Dzungarian Basin), which will be mainly used for the transportation of coal and iron.

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