Skip to main content


Ürümqi or Urumchi (both: ōōrōōm´chē), city (1994 est. pop. 1,130,300), capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, NW China, in the Dzungarian basin. Ürümqi is an administrative and commercial center at the junction of several historical caravan routes from Central Asia, Lanzhou (Gansu prov.), and Kashi (Kashgar), and it remains a market and transshipment center for China's trade with Central Asia and Russia. It is linked to the Chinese rail network via Lanzhou. The main industrial center of Xinjiang, Ürümqi has benefited from the discovery of large petroleum deposits at Karamay. It has oil refineries, iron- and steelworks, textile mills, and plants manufacturing motor vehicles, agricultural machinery, chemicals, machine tools, and cement. Coal, tin, and silver mines are nearby. The population is mostly Uigur with minorities of Manchus, Chinese, and Kazakhs. Chinese influence began about 122 BC when Emperor Wu Ti of the Han dynasty conquered E Xinjiang. Ürümqi is the seat of Xinjiang Univ.; there is also a medical college, several technical institutes, and a museum with a rare collection of mummies. The city was called Dihua (Tihwa) until 1954.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ürümqi." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 17 Jun. 2019 <>.

"Ürümqi." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (June 17, 2019).

"Ürümqi." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.