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Karamay, an oil city in West China

By He Yunsheng and Ge Jieru Updated: 2015-04-09

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Hidden in the remote desert, it's more like warm humid Southern land,                                                               Though without fisherboats, sweet melodies and songs are lingering.                                                           Charming and enchanting, the blossoms flourished across green fields in spring,                                       Exceedingly fascinating, the views are most alluring.                                                                                       Brilliant lights are lit through the evening

                                                                                  Ode to Karamay by Yi Zhongtian


The city of Karamay, located in the northwestern part of Xinjiang's Junggar Basin, has four administrative districts including Karamay district, Dushanzi district, Baijiantan district and Wuerhe district. It has a total area of 7700 square kilometers. The city’s name is derived from the Uygur words for "black oil", owing to the fact that the area provided the first large oilfield for the new People's Republic of China in 1949. Karamay is also known as the eldest son of the new People's Republic of China and has been honored as an important western area of China's oil industry.

One of China's largest oilfields, named the same as the city, was discovered there on Oct 29, 1955, sparking the development of a what is now one of China's key oil and gas bases. On May, 29, 1958, the State Council approved the official foundation of Karamay city. Ever since then, a new city of oil was born in the Gobi desert and her achievement was called a "Beautiful Story" by Zhu De, one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party.

In the last half century since its foundation, Karamay has gradually developed from a desert land without grass, lakes or birds into a modernized city. At present, Karamay city is home to a rapidly developing economy and a friendly living environment. The city has been awarded with such honors as "National Civilized City", "National Model City in Environmental Protection", "National Sanitary City", "National Garden City", "China's Outstanding Tourism City" and "China's Model in Living Environment". In addition, the city has been designated as a national sustainable development experimental zone, a key new industrialized city and a pilot city of cyclic economy in Xinjiang.

Karamay is a new, modern industrialized city with powerful economic strength. The city is located in an area with abundant gas and oil resources and has already built a complete industrial chain in the oil and petroleum industries.

Karamay is a young and thriving city with vigor and vitality. A world-leading digital oilfield has been constructed there and the city has launched the construction of a cloud computing industry base. At the same time, Karamay is endowed with attractive natural scenic spots including the Yardang Ghost Town, China’s most splendid Yadang landform; Black Oil Hill, a scenic spot of geological wonders; and Karamay River, the only national 4A level tourism attraction spot built in the desert. All these attractions help provide tourists to a fantastic view of the city in the desert.

Karamay is also an attractive city with a great living environment and benefits from the convenient of a modern transportation system. Railway connections make it easier for local people to travel around China. In this city, where green has become the primary color, people can enjoy the blue sky and green fields along with flowing waters.

According to the AQI (mainly PM 2.5) indicator, Karamay's air quality ranks top among key cities in China. In the morning or evening, whether you are strolling around the Century Park or having a rest in the Cultural Industrial Park, visitors and residents can always have a good time enjoying the traditional Chinese culture and modernized urban culture found there.

Ai Qing, regarded as one of the finest modern Chinese poets, described Karamay as "the most silent solider with the most powerful heart".

Today, with the rapid development of Karamay, local residents are making efforts to build the city into a richer more beautiful, civilized and livable place.

Karamay is a city in the hearts of many and a city with wonderful dreams. With development going from strength to strength, the city is opening its arms to welcome those from different backgrounds and from all corners of the globe to travel, invest and prosper here.

Karamay, an oil city in West China
Central scenic spots beside Karamay River [Photo provided to Chinadaily.com.cn]

Karamay, an oil city in West China
The No 1 Well of Karamay Oilfield [Photo provided to Chinadaily.com.cn]

Karamay, an oil city in West China
Apartments of the Xinjiang Oilfield Company [Photo provided to Chinadaily.com.cn]

Karamay, an oil city in West China
Karamay Century Park [Photo provided to Chinadaily.com.cn]
Edited by Jacob Hooson