Shaanxi, in the middle reaches of the
Yellow River and the eastern part of northwest China, has an area of more than
205,600 square kilometers. It is situated 105'29"-111'15" east longitude and
31'42"-39'35" north latitude, neighboring Shanxi, Henan provinces in the east,
Hubei, Sichuan provinces in the south, Gansu in the west, and Ningxia, Inner
Mongolia in the northwest. Shaanxi has a varied terrain. In the north are
plateaus, in the middle, plains and in the south, mountainous areas.
From north to south, the climate belongs to
semi-dry monsoon temperate zone, semi-wet and semi-dry monsoon warm temperate
zone and moist monsoon sub-tropical zone respectively. Annual temperature and
precipitation varies greatly with regions.
Administrative Division and Population
It is divided into 10 prefecture-level
cities, 4 county-level cities and 83 counties, with a population of 36.05
million as of 2000, mainly including ethnic groups of Han, Manchu, Hui,
Mongolian, and Tibetan.
Yangrou Paomo (shreded cake in beef and
mutton soup), Yulin Bean Curd, etc.
Qinqiang (Shaanxi Opera), Han Opera,
Xintianyou (a kind of Shanxi local melody), and Yangge (popular rural folk
Shaanxi Province is called Shaan
for short, with Xi'an as the provincial capital. In the middle reaches
of the Yellow River and the eastern part of northwest China, Shaanxi is one of
the cradles of the Chinese nation. Lantian Man of 800,000 years ago and Dali Man
of 200,000 years ago all lived in this area. Xi'an was also the capital of 13
dynasties from the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century -771BC) to the
Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Tang period, Chang'an (present-day Xi'an) was
an international metropolis, attracting many scholars from Japan, western Asian
and Europe. It was officially named as Shaanxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Shaanxi has well developed agriculture and
stockbreeding. In agriculture, the main products are wheat, cotton, silk cocoon,
and tobacco, while flax is the important cash crop. The main industries include
coal, machinery, textile, electronics and chemistry, etc. The coal reserve here
is among the top in the country.
Shaanxi Province is one of the central areas
of ancient civilization of China. It abounds in places of historic interest and
scenic beauty, including The Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor in ancient times,
the Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), tomb figures
of terra-cotta warriors and horses, the Great Wall, Xi'an City Wall, Forest of
Steles, the Tower of Big Goose, the Banpo Museum, Huashan Mountain,
Zhongnan Mountain, Taibai Mountain, and the Hukou Waterfall, etc.
Yan'an with some other places in northern
Shaanxi was the seat of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
from October 1935 to 1948.