Ningxia with its capital at Yinchuan is oficially known as Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region(NHAR) 宁夏回族自治区. Formerly a province, Ningxia was reconstituted as an autonomous region for the Hui people, one of the 56 officially recognised nationalities of China. Ningxia is sparsely settled, mostly desert and lies partially on the Loess Plateau and in the vast plain of the Yellow River. he Ningxia ecosystem is one of the least studied regions in the world. Some plant genera in Ningxia have been estimated at over 40,000 years old.