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Chahar (chä-här) [key], former province (109,527 sq mi/283,675 sq km), N China. Zhangjiakou (Kalgan) was the capital. It was abolished as a province in 1952; most of it was incorporated in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, and the rest was divided between Shanxi and Hebei provs. The southern tip of the region, economically the most important, includes the eastern terminus of the main road to the Republic of Mongolia and is well connected by rail. Kaoliang, wheat, and corn are raised in its fertile loess soil. The rest of the region, mainly inhabited by Mongolian herders, is a high, almost barren plateau, where livestock raising and animal trapping are the chief economic activities; horses, hides, fur, and wool are exported.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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