The General Introduction of Xi’an
Being located in the center of Guanzhong Plain, Xi’an is bounded by Weihe River on the north and by Qinling Mountain on the south. With an average altitude of 424 meters, it has temperate continental climate. Its average annual temperature is 15℃and its average annual rainfall is 589.5 mm. As a world famous historical and cultural city and an international tourist city, Xi’an is an important base of scientific research, higher education, national defense science and technology industry and high-tech industries in China and is largest center city in the Longhai- Lan in China of the new Eurasian continental bridge. At a sub-provincial city , Xi’an has 9 districts and 4 counties: New City District, Beilin District, Lianhu District, Baqiao District, Weiyang District, Yanta District, Yanliang District, Lintong District, Chang’an District, Lantian District, Zhouzhi County. With a total area of 10,108 square meters, its resident population is 8,225,200 in 2006.
Xi’anwas called Chang’an in the ancient times and it also had other names, such as Xidu, Xijing, Daxing Town, Jingzhao City, Fengyuan City and so on. As a city which has experienced the most dynasties and has the longest history, Xi’an is honored as “ Natural Historical Museum” of Chinese culture and is one of the four ancient capitals of the world. It took about1,100 years to develop from Xizhou when slavery reached its peak to Tang Dynasty when the feudal society achieved its peak. During this long history , 13 dynasties, like Xizhou, Qin, Xihan, Donghan, Xinmang, Xijin [ Emperor Min], Qianzhao, Qianqin, Houqin, Xiwei, Beizhou, Sui, Tang etc. established their capitals in Xi’an. Besides, it also was taken as the capital of the regime in peasant uprising ,such as Chimei, Lvlin, Daqi[ Huangchao], Dashun[ Li zicheng] and so on. From about the 11thcentury BC to 9thcentury AD, Xi’an used to be the center of politics, economy and culture of ancient China in the long history and local executive authorities- state, county, Fu, Lu and Chang’an County and Xianning County were located there. In most dynasties, Xi’an belonged to county and Fu system—Jing Zhao Fu[ county] area. In Yuan Dynasty, it was changed into Anxi Lu[ later, Fengyuan Lu]. In 1369 AD, Xi’an Fu was established instead of Fengyuan Lu. That is where the name of Xi’an came from. In 1928, Xi’an was established as a town for the first time. In 1948, Xi’an, a provincial city, was changed to the Executive Yuan city of the National Government. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Xi’an used to be Shaanxi- Gansu-Ningxia Border Region city, the Northwest Administrative Region city, the central municipality, independent city out of plan. From the year of 1954 on, Xi’an has been the provincial capital of Shaanxi Province. China Cassia tree is the city tree of Xi’an and flower for Dan Liuhua.
In 1986, the bill that local government will take Dan Liuhua as Xi’an city flower passed in the 27thmeeting of the 9thPeople’s Congress Standing Committee of Xi’an. Since then, Xi’an has its own flower- Dan Liuhua. Pomegranate has ancient names like An Shi liu or pomegranate flower. According toBo Wu Zhiwritten by Zhanghua in Xijin Dynasty, it reads: "Zhang Qian visited the west countries and went back with a pomegranate named An Shi Liuthat is where the name came from.”[ Ashmore, the ancient name of Iraq]. Pomegranates are widely planted in Guanzhong since the ancient time. Lintong of Xi’an is the most famous one and has been honored as “ pomegranates in Lintong Jia Tian Xia”[pomegranates in Lintong are the best].
Pomegranate red, warm and colorful, is a symbol of passion, celebrating and auspiciousness, which is beloved by people. There is a poem, written by Bai Juyi, a poet of Tang Dynasty : “ Ri She Xue Zhu Jiang Di Di, Feng Fan Huo Yan Yu Shao Ren.” [ Pomegranate is like blood drop which is about to drop to the ground and is like flames of fire which may burned people.] From this, we can feel the unique charm of pomegranate.
In folk culture, there is “ Liu Yu Bai zi” when pomegranate is mentioned. It means that pomegranate is a symbol of prosperity, unity, having many children, having boys to be successors, which are the very wishes of people in the long history. In the late spring and early summer, groups of Dan Liuhua are in full bloom, just like flames of fires. Watching from the distance, it seems that there is a sea of flower full of vitality, which adds charm to the ancient city Chang’an.
As Xi’an city flower, Dan Liuhua embodies a spirit of passion, being vigorous, being open and realistic, unity and fighting. Just like the horn in the march and the red guide light, it creates a warm atmosphere of the development of the West Region and Xi’an.
“ Painting and Calligraphy of Chinese City Flowers Exhibition” is an important platform for us to show the beauty of city flowers, to spread the culture of city flowers in order to strength cultural communication and spreading patriotism. Xi’an will grasp this chance to improve the quality of Dan Liuhua, to show its beauty and charm, to spread its spirit: unity, working hard and struggling upward. According to the requirements of scientific development concept and building a harmonious society, we are trying to develop scientifically and rapidly so that Xi’an can become international modern city with unique history and culture as soon as possible.
Xi’an has a high production of cash crops, such as wheat ,cotton and so on and special local products. The well –known ones are pomegranates, persimmons, kiwi etc. The north territory of Qinling Mountain, 1500- 3500 meters in altitude, is rich in mineral resources, such as gold, copper, graphite, quartz, crystal, marble and so on. Seed plants there is 40% of the total types of seed plants in China and it is the important “ gene bank” of seed plants in China. There are more tan 230 types of birds. Xi’an also is the habitat for wild animals , such as rare golden monkeys, giant pandas, takins, golden pheasants, giant salamanders and so on.
There are plenty of cultural heritage in Xi’an. With unique landscapes of human resources and beautiful natural scenery, tourism resources in Xi’an have characteristics like being resources-dandified, well-preserved and high-ranked which make Xi’an become first choice of tourists at home or abroad as a sight-seeing city with many famous tourism brands mainly like Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, imitated antique-style into the city, imitated Tang Dynasty music and dance etc. In 1998, Xi’an was given a title “”. In 2003, it was one of the four cities which were introduced to the world for the first time as the best tourism destinations.
General Introduction of Xi’an
As the capital city of Shanxi Province and a world well- known historical and cultural city, Xi’an is an important base for scientific research, high-education, science and technology industry for national defense and high- tech industries. It was confirmed by State Council as inland open city in July, 1992 and become the biggest center city of the new Eurasian continental bridge Long Hai-Lan New Line in China. Xi’an was called “ Chang’an” in ancient times. With a population of 8,305,400, Xi’an has 9 districts and 4 counties, which is an area of 10,108 square kilometers. It is the jumping-off point of ancient silk road and visiting card for culture of China. Xi’an today is full of vitality and charm. Xi’an, not only the first biggest city of northwest China but also crucial center of economy, culture, science and technology, business and trade, finance and information, occupies a very important position in 21stcentury regional development strategy in China. Nowadays, with the advantages of rich culture, developed science and education, convenient transportation and beautiful natural scenery, Xi’an become one of the most vital and the most attractive districts and is an ideal place for investors at home or abroad.
With the advantages of connecting the east and the west of China in economical layout, Xi’an plays an important role in West Development Strategy. Its advantages lie in three aspects : being full of world well-known tourism resources; being a base of scientific research and education and high-tech industries of China; being a center of finance, commercial trade ,transportation and information. Xi’an has become an important inland open city of China through deepening reform and opening wider to the outside.
Eight significant advantages of Xi’an as an opening city
1. With convenient traffic information, Xi’an has a distinct advantage in location. Being located in the origin of the vast city of China and the center of land territory of China, it has become the largest node city in the trunk road network of the whole country and an important traffic hub to connect north-south “Grand Cross” railway network. It just takes over 2 hours by air to arrive the farthest cities in north, south ,east and west of China. With convenient transportation and developed communications, Xi’an has complete city facilities to provide services. In 2005, international flights from Xi’an to London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver have been opened. With 29 international flights, Xi’an has become the fourth-largest international air hub city. Take Xi’an as the center, highway construction formed a radical trunk highway system shaped like a Chinese character “米”. The Second Ring Road has been put into practice while the Third Ring Road is under construction. A number of overpasses for pedestrians and underground channel are finished. All of counties under the jurisdiction are connected to urban districts with highway. With the rapid development of information technology , Xi’an has built up modern telecommunication network to connect the whole country and the world. In economical layout , as the largest economic center city of Long Hai- Lan of the new Eurasian Continental Bridge and an important hub city to connect Centre Asia, West Asia and Europe, Xi’an is located in an important strategic position to connect the north, south ,east and west of China and have broad economic hinterland and market space. With a long history and being an important town in the northwest, Xi’an has become an important hub for trade, finance and distribution of resources. In 2007, the total of retail sales of consumable goods in Xi’an reached 92,158,000,000 yuan and the total value of import and export reached $5,361,000,000.
2. Xi’an is a city with solid science an technology foundations and high innovation ability. It is an important base of scientific research, higher education ,national defense science and high[tech industries in China and is in the third of China in terms of comprehensive strength of science and technology. At present, there are over 3000 various types of scientific research institutions, including 93 national key laboratories, 29 national scientific research or industry testing centers and the number of professional technical personnel is more than 400,000. Among them, there are 47 academicians. All of those, such as China’s first rocket engine, the first integrated circuit computer, the first civilian airliner, the firs high -speed cameras, the first digital color television, the first group of power semiconductor devices etc., were all born in Xi’an. It also was in Xi’an that the propellant rocket engine of “shenzhou V” and “shenzhou VI”, an arrow on-board computer and remote sensing devices etc are produced. Over 1/3 of China’s space research and development strength is brought to Xi’an. That is to say, Xi’an is really a city of knowledge, science and technology, and talents.
3. Xi’an has complete industry category and developed leading industry. As an important old industry base after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Xi’an has formed a categories relatively perfect industrial system mainly for mechanical equipment, transportation, electronic information, aerospace, bio-medicine, food and beverage, petrochemical and has become a research and development center and production base of China at present for high-voltage power transmission equipment, aircraft and aircraft engines, heavy-duty trucks, digital program- controlled switchboards, color picture tubes, air –conditioning compressor, the large-scale industrial fans, computer software, dairy products and Chinese and western medicines etc. after decades of development. In 2007, the total output value of city- scaled industries was 159,064,000,000 yuan with an industrial added value of 46,173,000,000 yuan. At present, Xi’an has developed a number of industries with unique advantages. The five leading industries, such as high-tech industry, equipment manufacturing , tourism industries, modern services industries and cultural industries, have played an important supporting role in the economical development of Xi’an. In 2007, the industries added value (exclude repetition) of the five leading industries reached 72,958,000,000 yuan, accounting for 42.0% of GDP of the city.
4. Xi’an has adequate supply of energy and human resources. In this respect, Xi’an is better than many other cities of China. Being in proximity of important energy base of the north of Shaanxi Province, Xi’an is rich in coal, natural gas and oil etc.and has an adequate energy supply for industrial and residential use. Compared with eastern coastal cities, Xi’an has a stronger advantage in price of energy. In terms of human resources ,Xi’an still has obvious advantages. On the one hand, human resources are adequate, continuous, of high quality and relatively stable. Meanwhile, the human resources cost in Xi’an is about 1/3 of the average cost of eastern coastal areas. There are about 800,000 students in total in universities or private colleges in Xi’an. Each year, about 10,000 excellent students with master’s degree or doctoral degree are graduated. With a population of 820,000 who have received college or higher education, human resources and technical foundation can meet any kind of needs. At the same time, a large number of skilled workers are cultivated to support the development of manufacturing industries invested by domestic and foreign businessmen.
5. Xi’an has large number of cultural relics and abundant tourism resources. As we all know, Xi’an was a center for politics, economy, culture and foreign exchange in ancient China. Long history, rich cultural heritage, unique landscape of human characteristics and beautiful natural sceneries make an ancient city Xi’an become a tourism brand. Xi’an has integrated cultural heritage and relics, which are in the first place of China in number, density and rank. After years of construction and development, Xi’an tourism infrastructures and industrial system has been well-established. There are 20 scenic spots which can receive 100,000 tourists each year and 9 national 4A level scenic spots in Xi’an. In 2003, it has been indentified as the best tourist destination city by the World Tourism Organization. In 2007, it received a total of 31,180,000 tourists both at home and abroad, including 1,000,000 foreign tourists. The total annual tourism revenue reached 23,720,000,000 yuan .
6. Xi’an has broad financing channels and relatively complete financial system. At present , various types of financial institutions are focused in Xi’an and a more comprehensive financial system taking specialized banks and insurance companies as the main body has formed. The entry of foreign banks ,such as Hong Kong Bank of East Asia, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada, HSBS of Hong Kong etc. and the well- known accounting firms, foe example, PricewaterhouseCooper, highlights the position of Xi’an as a regional financial center and a capital market. In 2007, the deposit of the city’s financial institutions reached 456,031,000,000 yuan, which can provide comprehensive financial services for all kinds of enterprises. In the future, Xi’an will vigorously foster and develop the capital market and speed up the process of high- quality enterprises of Xi’an to become listed ones both at home and abroad and make the listed enterprises become bigger and stronger. At the same time, the bond market should be fostered and developed actively so that key projects and capable enterprises to raise funds by issuing bonds.
7. Xi’an has six investment platforms, which are unique and provide all-round services. At present, a new pattern of economic development named “Four Districts and Two Bases” has been established in Xi’an. It refers to High-tech Industry Development Zone, Economic and Technological Development Zone, Qujiang New District, Chan Ba River Ecological Zone, Yan Liang Aerial High-tech Industry Base and Xi’an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. “ Four Districts and Two Districts” is a place for gathering leading industries, growth of economy and a modern Model Town area. Among them, the Xi’an High-tech Industry Development Zone is one of the four high-tech districts which have been the first batch of China to access to the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation science and technology districts network and it is always in the top 5 among 53 national development zones in terms of comprehensive strength. It is working hard towards the goal of “ Six World-class Districts”. Later, there will be a special introduction about it. Mainly aimed at building base of modern manufacturing and export- oriented processing, Economic and Technological Development Zone gathers more transnational corporations of manufacturing in north-west of China. One of National cultural industry demonstration districts Qujing New District is built as cultural tourism demonstration plot to show Chinese civilization, to spread historical heritage context and to embody the image of being an ancient capital city. Chan Ba River Ecological Zone promote regional development through watershed management and support ecological construction through developing new districts and build a new ecological urban area gathering exhibition and trade, tourism and leisure industries and eco- housing industries. Yan Liang Aerial High-tech Industry Base is the only national aerial high- tech industry base in the whole country. There are aircraft design, manufacture and test and it is the largest aircraft city in Asia, known as “China’s Seattle.” Xi’an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base is built by local government and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group. Taking aerospace power and space technology application industries as the center and focusing on the development of information technology and the application of new aerial materials and special aerial technology etc., it will built a high-tech industries cluster to pull the development of regional economy.
8. Xi’an has good investment environment and is suitable for the development of entrepreneurship. It is located in the center of Guangzhong Plain and at the same time is a city with mountains and waters which is rare in inland district. In recent years, construction investment in Xi’an is increased year by year and urban infrastructures are become more and more complete. In Xi’an, the main city road network has basically taken shape and the frame of the city is spreading. A series of conditions have been further improved, such as city roads, afforestation, , gas supply, water supply, power supply, heat supply, telecommunication, sewage and garbage disposal. The annual water supply is about 289,760,000 cubic meters and the attainment rate of the quality of urban drinking water reaches 100% with the best water quality among major cities; the annual supply of natural gas is about 674,000,000 cubic meters ; the central heating area is about 27,470,000 square meters; the number of days with good air is over 290. The city’s comprehensive service function has been improved significantly and it’s the same of the quality of living environment. Compared with the east and central region of China, it has significant comparative advantage in the aspect of investment cost. The internalization of service in Xi’an become more and more complete, such as providing English voice services in public places, opening a English navigation service hotline 960110, further improving English logo, providing more and more complete facilities of restaurants, entertainment and fitness for foreign friends. There is another example. Major tourist spots, like the Shaanxi Museum of History, have been open to the public free of charge and a large number of public toilets with complete facilities are open to people for free, which are all the symbols of the internalization of services. In addition, Xi’an International School is established in accordance with international standards of education to provide a good study environment for foreign children so that foreigners don’t need to worry about the education of their children and they can live and work in peace and contentment in Xi’an.
Xi’anis an ancient and modern city. It not only boasts rich history and culture but also is full of vitality and hopes.
Resource Advantages in Xi’an
Since the ancient times, Xi’an has been titled as “ Ba Shui Rao Chang’an” [ Chang’an ,the former name of Xi’an among eight rivers]. There are 54 rivers, such as Weihe, Jinghe, Bahe, Feng River, ? River, Laohe, Heihe, Ishikawa River etc.. Among them, Weihe ,Jinghe and Ishikawa River are rivers crossing while the rest are rivers in this territory, which are all originated in Qinling Mountain District and Li Shan Plateau and Hill District, which belong to Weihe River basin of the Yellow River water system. It is mainly Heihe Water Control Project that supplies water to the city and the daily water supply is 1,100,000 tons.
Xi’anis rich in plant resources. As one of important “gene banks” of seed plants, it has 138 Branch, 681 genera and 2224 kinds of wild plants, including more than 1,200 kinds with higher economic value. The main crops are wheat, corn, rice, beans and tube crops. The main cash crops are cotton, rapeseed, vegetables and melons and fruit. Peanuts, sweet potatoes, sugar beet, tobacco and cannabis etc. are also planted there as cash crops. There are various fruit, like apples, peaches, pears, pomegranates, grapes, Shaguo, plums, hawthorns, persimmon and jujubes etc. There are Shanhuo specialty, like kiwi, chestnut, walnut, pepper, apricot, sumac, Eucommia, black fungus, cinnamon and rosin etc. There are 1,000 varieties of medicinal plant types, including 500-800 types of which are made use.
There are domestic animals, such as cattle ,horses ,donkeys, mules ,pigs ,sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, bees, silkworms and so on, among which Qingchuan cattle and Guanzhong donkeys are well-known at home and abroad. There are a wild variety of wildlife in Qinling Mountain, such as birds: Zhu ?, Ring-necked pheasants, golden pheasants, pheasants blood, cuckoos etc. ,which are more than 177 kinds; 55 kinds of mammals, including pandas ,golden monkeys and takins which have been protected as the rare animals under first class protection, cranbrookis, Ling mane, swans and golden chicken, which are under second class protection, and zygomatics, leopards, golden cat etc. which are under third class protection; fishes, like silver carps, carps, breams etc. Wawa Yu, another kind of fish, living in mountain streams is listed as precious animals under state protection.
Xi’anhas a complex history of the geological development and diverse types of structures. Large areas of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks and the thick new generation of sedimentary rocks in ,Weihe River basin lay foundation for the gathering of a variety of metals, non-metals and energy resources. Now ,there are in total 47 kinds of minerals which have been identified, including 21 kinds of metallic minerals, 22 kinds of non-metallic minerals, 2 kinds of energy minerals and 2 other minerals. The main metallic ores are iron, manganese, chromium, titanium, copper, lead, zinc, copper zinc, molybdenum, gold, tungsten, uranium and aluminum mineral raw materials. The main non-metallic minerals are marble, feldspar, dolomite, limestone cement, graphite, building sand, quartz veins, “ Lan Tianyu”, sand stone line, Sulfur, and so on.
Xi’anhas a wide distribution of geothermal resources with large amount and high quality water. Only the city has an geothermal area of about 780 square kilometers. The city’s geothermal areas, mainly in the southeast suburb of the city and urban district, are ? River, Bahe region, Chang’an Qu Wei Qu, area from Mazhao Town of Zhouzhi County to Tangyu Town of Lantian County as well as the north region of Lintong Lishan Mountain etc. , in total of five areas. At present ,more than 100 shallow, middle deep geothermal points have been explored. The general temperature of water is above 40℃and some reach as high as 96℃. The content of fluoride, silica, sulfur, boric acid in high- temperature hot water has met or exceeded the content of these in medical mine water, which has high medical value.
Natural Environment of Xi’an
Xi’an is located in Guanzhong Basin , center of Yellow River Basin in the hinterland of China, stretching from 107 ° 40 ' east ~ 109 ° 49' east of longitude and 33 ° 39 ' north ~ 34 ° 45' north of latitude. With the boundary of Linghe and Bayuan Mountain on the east, it connects with Huaxian County, Weinan, Shangzhou, and Luonan County; with the boundary of Taibai Mountain and Green Mountain of the Loess Plateau on the west, it is bounded by Meixian County and Taibai County; on the south,, it stretches to the main ridge of north Qinling which separated Xi’an from Foping County, Ningshan County and Zuoshui County; on the north, it reaches to Weihe River and borders across Weihe River on the northeas Xiangyang City and Yangling District, Sanyuan, Jingyang, Xingping, Wugong counties etc. Fufeng County and Fuping County . Qinling Mountain whose ridge reaches 2000-2800 meters in altitude lies in the south of Xi’an and it is an important boundary line to separate the north from the south geographically in China.
To the north of Xi’an and beside Shaanxi and Gansu Loess Plateau, the northern mountains consisting of Liangshan Mountain, Huanglong Mountain, Yaowang Mountain and Longshan Mountain is the natural barrier of Guanzhong Plain with Qinling Mountain in the south. Guanzhong Plain is also named Weuhe Plain because it was made by Weihe River and its tributaries. It starts from Baoji in the west to the Yellow River in the east, known as “Ba Bai Li Qingchuan”[ a district named Qinchuan with a distance of 800 li].
At present, it has 9 districts and 4 counties [ New City District, Beilin District, Lianhu District, Baqiao District, Weiyang District, Yanta District, Yanliang District, Lintong District, Chang’an District, Lantian District, Zhouzhi County, Huxian County, Gaoling County]. With an area of 10,108 square kilometers, it has a population of 7,250,000, among which there are built–up areas of 222 square kilometers and the city population is 5,163,000.