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Baotou

Baotou is a prefecture-level city and the largest city in Inner Mongolia of China. The city's Mongolian name means "place with deer", and an alternate name in Chinese is "Deer City".

History
The area now known as Baotou was inhabited since ancient times by nomads, most notably the Mongols. Near the end of the Han Dynasty, Lü Bu, who would grow up to become China's mightest and least trustworthy warrior, was born here. Compared to the capital, Hohhot, Baotou's construction as a city came relatively late, being incorporated as a town in 1809. The city's site was chosen because it was in an arable region of the Yellow River's Great Bend.

A railway from Beijing was constructed in 1931, and the city began spurring some industrial sites. A German-Chinese joint-venture in 1934 constructed the Baotou Airport and opened a weekly route connecting Baotou with Ningxia and Lanzhou.

When young Owen Lattimore visited Baotou in 1925, it was still "a little husk of a town in a great hollow shell of mud ramparts, where two busy streets made a traders' quarter", but already already an important railhead. Qinghai and Gansu wool and hides were brought down the Huanghe by raft and boat from Lanzhou to Baotou, and shipped from Baotou by rail to the east (in particular, to Tianjin for export). The river traffic was one-way only, however, as the fast current made sailing up the Huanghe impractical. To travel from Baotou back to Lanzhou or Yinchuan, one would use a cart and camel road. There were also caravan roads from Baotou to Ordos and Alashan.

On September 19, 1949, after the September 19 Rebellion, Baotou fell under Communist control. The People's Government was formed in February 1950. In the early Communist years Baotou served as an industrial centre, with a significant portion of its economy coming from its steel production, and it continues this reputation until this day.

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