Kunming (/kʊnˈmɪŋ/; Chinese: 昆明; pinyin: Kūnmíng), also known as Yunnan-Fu, is the capital and largest city of Yunnan province, China. It is the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of the province as well as the seat of the provincial government. The city was of great significance during World War II as a Chinese military center, American air base, and transport terminus for the Burma Road. In the middle of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is at an altitude of 1,900 metres (6,234 feet) above sea level and a latitude just north of the Tropic of Cancer. The city is the fourth most populous city in Western China, after Chongqing, Chengdu, and Xi'an, as well as the third most populous city in Southwestern China after Chongqing and Chengdu. As of 2020 census, Kunming had a total population of 8,460,088 inhabitants, of whom 5,604,310 lived in its built-up (or metro) area made of all urban districts but Jinning, not conurbated yet. It is at the northern edge of Dian Lake, surrounded by temples and lake-and-limestone hill landscapes.
Kunming consists of an old, previously walled city, a modern commercial district, residential zones, and university areas. The city is also one of the major centers for scientific research and education in Southwestern China. As of 2023, it was listed among the top 125 cities in the world by scientific research output. The city has an astronomical observatory, and its institutions of higher learning include Yunnan University, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming Medical University, Yunnan Normal University, Yunnan Agricultural University and Southwest Forestry University. On the northeast mountainous outskirt is a bronze temple dating from the Ming dynasty, the largest of its kind in China.