Kunming, also known as Yunnan-Fu, is the capital and largest city of Yunnan province, China. It is the political, economic, communications and cultural center of the province as well as the seat of the provincial government. The headquarters of many of Yunnan’s large businesses are in Kunming. In the middle of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is at an altitude of 1,900 meters (6,234 feet) above sea level and a latitude just north of the Tropic of Cancer. As of 2020 census, Kunming had a total population of 8,460,088 inhabitants.
Kunming’s economic importance derives from its geographical position. It is near the border with Southeastern Asian countries, serving as a transportation hub in Southwest China, linking by rail to Vietnam and by road to Burma, Laos and Thailand. This positioning also makes it an important trade center in the region. As a gateway to Southeast Asia and South Asia, the Kunming Changshui International Airport is one of the top 40th-busiest airports in the world. Kunming also houses some manufacturing, chiefly the processing of copper, as well as various chemicals, machinery, textiles, paper and cement. Kunming has a nearly 2,400-year history, but its modern prosperity dates only to 1910, when the railway from Hanoi was built. The city has continued to develop rapidly under China’s modernization efforts. Kunming’s streets have widened while office buildings and housing projects develop at a fast pace. Kunming has been designated a special tourism center.