Beitun is a city in the north of Xinjiang. Administratively, it is a county-level city under the direct administration of the regional government, though it is geographically located in Altay Prefecture.
Beitun City was established on 28 December 2011, becoming the youngest city of the PRC. Previously, Beitun was a town within Altay City.
Beitun City covers an area of 4195 square kilometers and has a population of 76,300. The city is located on the Irtysh River, the only river flowing into the Arctic Ocean from China, and originates from the southwest slope of the Altay Mountains in China. Beitun’s name comes from the accolade "China's northernmost cultivation land".
As a terminus of the Kuytun–Beitun Railway, Beitun is an important transportation hub between Mongolia, northern Xinjiang, Russia and Kazakhstan. Beitun Station, located a few kilometers southwest of the city center, has direct passenger railway service from Urumqi.
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