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Hohhot (aka Huhehot or Huhhot), is a city in north-central China and the capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, serving as the region's administrative, economic, and cultural centre.

The city was founded by Mongol ruler Altan Khan in the late 16th century. It was chosen as the region's administrative centre in 1952, replacing Ulanhot. A city with a rich cultural background, Hohhot is known for its historical sites and temples and is one of the major tourist destinations of Inner Mongolia. It is also nationally known as the home of China's dairy giants Mengniu and Yili, and was declared "Dairy Capital of China" by the national government in 2006.

The name of the city in Mongolian means "Blue City." The color blue in Mongolian culture is associated with the sky, eternity and purity. In Chinese, the name can be abbreviated to Hu Shi (呼市) or translated as Qing Cheng.

Hohhot was founded by Altan Khan around 1580. Altan Khan and his successors constructed temples and fortress in 1579, 1602 and 1727. The Tumed Mongols had long been semiagricultural there. Hui merchants gathered north of the gate of the city's fortress, building a mosque in 1693. Their descendants forms the nucleus of the modern Hui people's district.

The Qing Dynasty built strong garrison town near Hohhot, supervising southwestern Inner Mongolia in 1735-39. In 1913, the government of the new Republic of China united the garrison town and Hohhot as Guisi. With the occupation of the Japanese Empire in 1937, the city was renamed Hohhot. After the World War II, Prince Demchugdongrub's autonomous government in Hohhot surrendered to the Republic of China.

Culture and Demographics
As of 2005, 87.3% is Han Chinese, 9.6% of the city's registered population is of ethnic Mongol origin, 1.6% is Hui, 1.2% is Manchu, and the rest belong to smaller minorities, including Korean and Uyghur. Most Han in Hohhot are descendants of people from Shanxi who have settled in the area over the past several decades, or those who have migrated from Northeastern China and Hebei province after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, supported by government initiatives at the time to promote the development of border regions. Having been integrated into mainstream urban society, most Mongolians in the city speak fluent standard Mandarin in addition to Mongolian. However, younger speakers are moving towards speaking Mandarin amongst themselves as well. A significant portion of the population is of mixed ethnic origin.

The majority of Hohhot residents can converse fluently in Mandarin, but there exists a linguistic divide between "old-town" folk (comprising today's Huimin District), with a large Muslim Hui minority, who tend to converse in raw Hohhot dialect, a branch of the Jin language from neighboring Shanxi province. This spoken form can be difficult to understand for a standard Mandarin speaker or even Mandarin speakers from the other side of the city. The newer and more educated residents, mostly concentrated in Xincheng and Saihan Districts, speak Hohhot-based Mandarin Chinese, the majority also with a noticeable accent and some unique vocabulary.

Due to its relatively diverse cultural make-up, and despite its characteristics as a mid-sized Chinese industrial city, the Hohhot street scene has no shortage of ethnic minority elements. Tongdao Road, a major street in the old town area, is decorated with Islamic and Mongol exterior designs on all its buildings. A series of government initiatives in recent years have emphasized Hohhot's identity with ethnic minority groups, especially in increasing Mongolian-themed architecture around the city. All street signs as well as public transportation announcements are regulated to be in both Chinese and Mongolian.

Food specialty in the area is mostly focused on Mongolian cuisine and dairy products. Commercially, Hohhot is known for being the base of nationally renowned dairy giants Yili and Mengniu. The Mongolian drink suutei tsai ("naicha" in Chinese, "milk tea" in English), which has become a typical breakfast selection for anyone living or visiting the city. The city also has rich traditions in the making of hot pot and shaomai. There is also a large selection of Korean and Muslim restaurants, in addition to cuisine from other regions of China.

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