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Shuanghu Special Administrative Zone

Northwest of the Nakchu Region, Shuanghu Special Administrative Zone is famous because it has the highest altitude (5,000 m/16,404 ft above sea level), the lowest population density (an area of 120,000 sq km/46,332 sq miles inhabited by a population about 10,000), and the richest wildlife and mineral resources in China. Once classified as an 'uninhabited area', Shuanghu has grown into a small village in the last forty years. Its name, Shuanghu, literally means 'double lakes' in Chinese, but actually one can find no lakes in present Shuanghu at all. The county seat has been moved several times, and the two lakes, from which the place got its name, were no longer within the area. Shuanghu is part of Changtang Nature Reserve, the second largest nature reserve in the world. More than forty wild species, most of which are under national first-class or second-class protection, make their home here. When one is traveling through the vast plateau, wild yaks, chirus (Tibetan antelope), kiangs (Tibetan wild donkey), and foxes are the commonest encounters. The locals live with the wildlife in a harmonious relationship and assume the responsibility of protecting the animals.
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