Kubuqi is Mongolian language, meaning of “bowstring with victory in charge” and it once was a fertile grassland two thousand years ago. Viewed from the landscape, the shape of Yellow River seems like a bow while Kubuqi is the bowstring on the bow. It is recorded by The Book of Songs that in the western Zhou dynasty three thousand years ago, Shuofang ancient city once existed at the Kubuqi grassland.
At the end of Qin dynasty and the early of Han dynasty, hundreds of thousands of cavalrymen marched into the south when Hun Kingdom was at its prime prosperity, and it launched a dozen big invasions within ten years. Mt. Yinshan had to be taken to stop the invasion of Hun Kingdom. In particular, the strategic position of the southern foothill of Mt. Yinshan was so important that anyone was able to control the north-south transport gateway if they had taken this place. In 127 BC, Emperor Wu sent troops to attack Hun Kingdom and got a big victory and recaptured the southern region of Hetao. Shuofang County was set up thus. During the nine-year war, Han finally beat Hun and got a buffer zone with an area stretching tens of thousands of miles around and safeguarded the security of inner land.
Han dynasty engaged actively in the development for the northwestern region and set up prefectures and counties along the river while a large number of people immigrated to the border regions. Dwellers in Shuofang County and garrison mainly stayed within Hetao region for “taking river as the solid while the Yellow River as the natural moat”. But due to the large population, the degree of cultivation was comparatively high. It is recorded by Commentary on the Waterways Classic that drift sands appeared at the north of Shuofang County in Han dynasty, though they were not yet inter-connected. But as the sand area increased, finally came the existing Kubuqi desert.