Qinghai is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake. It borders Gansu on the northeast, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region on the northwest, Sichuan on the southeast, and Tibet Autonomous Region on the southwest.
A large part of Qinghai, until the early 20th century most often referred to by its Mongol name Kokonur in English, lies outside of China proper and has been an ethnic melting pot for centuries, mixing Tibetan, Mongol, Turkic, Han Chinese influences. Although it preserved cultural and ethnic ties with central Tibet, it was ruled by local authorities during the last several centuries. It was a battleground during the Tang and subsequent Chinese dynasties when they fought against successive Tibetan tribes.