Yingxian county, Shuozhou city [Photo/VCG]
Shuozhou city, with a population of 1.59 million in 2021, covers a total area of 10,600 square kilometers in the northern part of Shanxi province, bordering Inner Mongolia autonomous region to the northwest.
Shuozhou has a long history and rich cultural heritage. There are many places of interest in the region, including the world's oldest and tallest wooden pagoda –Wooden Sakyamuni Pagoda in Yingxian county, Chongfu Temple constructed in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), and China's largest tomb group in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) – Guangwu tombs in Shanyin county.
The city also has rich mineral resources, including coal, limestone, feldspar, and quartz. Shuozhou has coal reserves exceeding 42 billion tons, accounting for one-sixth of the provincial total. The coal mining areas cover 1,603 sq km, accounting for 15 percent of the city's total area.
Due to its rich mineral resources, Shuozhou is an important thermal coal production base in China with coal production, preparation and transportation capacity each reaching 200 million tons, ranking it first in the province.
The city's gross domestic product totaled 142.1 billion yuan ($22.43 billion) in 2021, increasing 9.8 percent year-on-year.