Geography and Natural Resources
– Yunnan is located in southwest China and shares borders with Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangxi, and Tibet, as well as Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.
– The province has high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast.
– Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the largest reserves of aluminium, lead, zinc, and tin in China.
– The province has diverse geographical features, including plateaus, mountains, and rivers.
– Yunnan has abundant water resources and significant hydro-energy potential.
– The province is designated as the Center of Plant Diversity, a Global 200 List Priority Ecoregion, an Endemic Bird Area, and a Global Biodiversity Hotspot.
– Yunnan has proven deposits of 86 kinds of minerals, including zinc, lead, tin, cadmium, indium, thallium, and crocidolite.
– Yunnan has a wide variety of minerals, including iron, coal, copper, gold, mercury, silver, antimony, and sulfur.

Population and Ethnic Diversity
– Yunnan has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018).
– Ethnic minorities account for about 34 percent of the total population.
– Major ethnic groups in Yunnan include Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Hui, Tibetan, and Deang (Taang) communities.
– Yunnan is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in China.
– Yunnan’s population has been steadily growing over the years, with a 58.7% increase between 1982 and 2000.

– Yunnan has a long history, with parts of the region forming the Dian Kingdom during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
– The Han dynasty conquered the Dian Kingdom in the late 2nd century BC and established the Yizhou Commandery.
– Yunnan was later ruled by the Sino-Tibetan-speaking kingdom of Nanzhao and the Bai-ruled Dali Kingdom.
– After the Mongol conquest in the 13th century, Yunnan was ruled by the Ming dynasty.
– Yunnan experienced population movements from Han-majority areas in northern and southeast China.

Etymology and Prehistory
– The name Yunnan first referred to a place when the Han dynasty created Yunnan County near modern Xiangyun.
– The etymology of Yunnan has various theories, including ‘south of colorful clouds’ and ‘south of Yun Range.’
– The Yuan dynasty created the Yunnan Province after occupying the Dali Kingdom.
– The Yuanmou Man, a Homo erectus fossil, is the oldest-known hominid fossil in China and was found in Yunnan.
– By the Neolithic period, there were human settlements in the area of Lake Dian.
– The Dian Kingdom was established in the 3rd century BC, bringing Chinese influence and migration to Yunnan.
– The Qin and Han dynasties extended their authority into Yunnan, establishing commanderies and counties.
– Yunnan had advanced agricultural technology during this time and was inhabited by people related to the Tai.

Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Ming and Qing Dynasties, and Post-Imperial Period
– Yunnan was settled by local tribes, clans, and cultures before the 8th century.
– Nanzhao emerged as the Southern Kingdom and brought the Erhai Lake-area under its authority.
– The Dali Kingdom was established in 937 by Duan Siping and was later conquered by the Mongol Empire.
– The Ming and Qing dynasties saw the native chieftain system administering large areas of Yunnan.
– Yunnan experienced war with Burma in the 1760s and the Panthay Rebellion in the 19th century.
– Yunnan became strategically significant during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Tibetan Rebellion in 1905.
– Yunnan has been a focus of study by naturalists, with significant contributions to paleontology and biodiversity research.
– The province has a generally mild climate, influenced by both the Pacific and Indian oceans.
– Yunnan has approximately 17,000 species of higher plants, with an estimated 2,500 being endemic.
– Yunnan has 11 national and regional nature reserves, covering about 510,000 hectares.
– The political landscape in Yunnan has played a significant role in shaping the province’s development and governance.Sources: