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  Shannan Prefecture  

The Shannan Prefecture of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region is located at the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River south of the Kangdese Mountains - the Nyainqentanglha Mountains on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is bounded by the capital city Lhasa to the north, Xigaze to the west, Nyingchi to the east, and India and Bhutan to the south. With an area of 73,500 square kilometers, Shannan occupies one-fifteenth of the total area of Tibet. With a boundary line of more than 600 kilometers, it has great strategic importance and serves as China's southwestern border area.

Shannan includes 12 counties, including four -- Cona, Lhongzi, Nanggarze, and Lhoza -- which are in border areas. It has a population of more than 290,000 people. There are 144 township-level towns, 5 neighborhood committees, and 719 village committees. Of the 144 townships, there are 71 agricultural townships, 18 involved in animal husbandry, and 57 that combine these two sectors.

Shannan's topography is typical of the southern Tibetan valley area, with a terrain gradually declining from west to east and at an average elevation of about 3,700 meters. The Yarlung Zangbo River, the mother river of Tibetan people, runs 424 kilometers from west to east through the seven counties of Nanggarze, Gonggar, Chahang, Nedong, Sangri, Qusum, and Gyacha.

In addition, Shannan has 41 rivers that run down high mountains and deep valleys all year round, with a river area of 38,000 square kilometers. There are 88 lakes in the prefecture, including Yamzhog Yumco, Namco, Chigu, and Purmo Yumco, which are well known and, like green gemstones, are inlaid in the mountains of Shannan.

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