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Xi'an is known as "the Cradle of Chinese Nationality". It is not only the birthplace of Chinese Nationality, but also the important human birthplace and one of the prehistoric culture centers in Asia. There is a saying, "Xi'an located in the center of Qinling had been made capital since the ancient times." Xi'an is a city with a long history, in which many ancient Chinesedynasties established their capitals. From Xizhouwith the flourishing slavery to Tang Dynastywith the peak of feudalism, there had been a total of 12 dynasties that built capitals here. As an ancient capital with thousands of years of history and the starting point of the "Silk Road", Xi'an served as an important pivot and center in ancient foreign economy and culture exchange. After the 10th Century A.D., with the focus of Chinese economy, politics and culture moved eastward, Xi'an attracted high attentions from rulers of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing,because it was, first of all, taken as an important town militarily and politically in northwest, serving as an important strategic position to maintain the stability in northwest and guard the safety in central China.
Xi'an is a city with glorious revolutionary traditions. In 841 B.C. the National Insurrection in Haojing was a very famous large-scale mass insurrection which expelled the king in Chinese history. Red Eyebrow and Lulin Peasant Rebellion at the end of Xihan, Tang-eng Huangchao Peasant Rebellion and Ming-end Li Zicheng Peasant Rebellion all once built Peasant Rebellion Political Powers in Xi'an. During Tongzhi years of Qing Dynasty, the Muslim peasants in Shaanxi rose in rebellion, and set off an upsurge of peasant rebellion in Xi'an and Guanzhong area. On Oct. 22,1911, Shanxi Revolutionary Political Party members and Gelaohui jointly rose in rebellion, and after 2 days of hot fighting, they took control in Xi'an and overthrew Qing's ruling in Xi'an. During the Anti-Japanese War, Xi'an was both a gateway to guard the Vast Northwest and a hub of communication for connecting the anti-Japanese base areas in enemy's rear with the Big Rear Area, and contributed greatly to the victory of the Anti-Japanese War. On May 20,1949, PLA liberated Xi'an, and the People's Government of Xi'an proclaimed its founding.
xi'an is located in the guanzhong Basin of the middle section of Yellow RiverValley in the center area of mainland China. The total area of Xi'an is 9,983 square kilometers. Qinling Mountains span in the south of the city, and the absolute altitude of its ridge is 2,000-2,800 meters. Also it is an important geographical dividing line of South and North China. To the north of Xi'an, along the border of Huangtu Highland, the Beishan mountain system consist of Liang mountain, Yellow Dragon Mountain, Yaowang Mountain and Long Mountain which echo one another at a distance with Qinling Mountains, which forms a barrier around the Guanzhong Plain. Wei River, the largest branch of Yellow River, flows across Guanzhong Plain. Guanzhong Plain came into being due to the alleviation of Wei River and its branches, so it is also called Weihe Plain. The Plain begins from Baoji in the west, and reaches the Yellow River in the east, known as "800-li Qinchuan".
There are sharp distinctions among seasons in Xi'an. Because Xi'an is in the area of Eastern Asia warm temperate zone continental monsoon climate, the climate in Xi'an is warmer and more humid than its surroundings, with an annual average temperature between 6.4 and 13.4 degrees. The annual average temperature of the urban district and the counties on the plain area is between 13.0 and 13.4 degrees, and the annual average precipitation of this area is between 537.5 and 1028.4mm. The annual average precipitation of the urban district is 584.9mm.
Natural Ecological Environment
Xi'an is located with its south
Xi'an is located with its south to Qinling Mountains and its north to the Weihe River. It has fertile soils and crowded rivers. The climate is warm and humid and the natural environment is fine. The types of mountainous young plants are numerous. The plain abounds in grain, cotton and various kinds of fruit. Due to the increase of the earth's surface heat, there are 5 big earth heat areas inside Xi'an City, and all of them have hot mineral water with high medical value.to Qinling Mountains and its north to the Weihe River. It has fertile soils and crowded rivers. The climate is warm and humid and the natural environment is fine. The types of mountainous young plants are numerous. The plain abounds in grain, cotton and various kinds of fruit. Due to the increase of the earth's surface heat, there are 5 big earth heat areas inside Xi'an City, and all of them have hot mineral water with high medical value.
Since the founding of the PRC, Xi'an has developed from a poor and backward deformed consuming city in Old China into our nation's important city of modern processing industry base, scientific research and higher education base, international tourist city and commerce and trade center. With a number of large and middle enterprises and machinery, electronics, textile and defense industries as the backbone, Xi'an has formed a modem industrial production system with many types of light industry, chemical industry, food, metallurgy, construction materials, electric and medical production, etc. Her industries such as high-voltage transmitting and transforming electricity equipment, airplane manufacturing, electronic and communication equipment, automation instruments, petroleum prospecting instruments, optical instruments, refrigeration equipment, railway tanker, wristwatch and sewing machine, etc. are among the best in the country.
Native arts and handicrafts
The total industrial output value of Xi'an accounts for 21% of that of all provinces and districts in the northwest area, and 40% of Shaanxi Province; the original value of her industrial fixed assets and paid taxes account for beyond 40% of Shaanxi Province. In addition, the Electronic Industry Zone, the Nation-level Xi'an High and New Technology Develop Zone and Xi'an Economic Technology Develop Zone that have been established since Reform and Opening up, together with those rapidly developed foreign-funded enterprises, stock enterprises, town enterprises and private enterprises, have become a new growth point and newly-born power in Xi'an industry.
Xi'an is the gateway to Central China from the 5 provinces in the northwest, possessing the advantage of the largest commercial and trade center in the northwest. During "the Eighth Five Years" period, the total investment of the city's commercial and trade facilities projects was 1.7 billion RMB and finished building 211 commercial and trade facilities, including more than 30 high-level large-scale commercial and trade facilities. The city has set up a number of fairly large wholesale markets and trade centers. Among those there are 33 wholesale markets of every type of meat, non-staple food, vegetables, general merchandise, clothing, hardware and chemical industry products, etc. and 34 grain wholesale markets, primary markets and exchanges, and 38 material buildings, wholesale centers and trade centers of steel, timber, coal, gas and motor vehicles. There are a total of 458 fair trade markets of every type, among which there are 19 ones with an annual business volume over 100 million RMB. The development of merchandise market encourages that of production elements market. The intermediary organizations of circulation improve day after day and the city's open market system of multi-level, multi-channel and multi-dimension has gradually taken shape.
A Survey of Tourist Industry
Xi'an is a world famous historical culture city and is one of the cities with the most profound tourist resource throughout the country. It enjoys exceptional advantages in developing tourist industry. Qinshihuang's Warriors and Horses Figurine Pit is known as "the world 8th miracle". Ming's ancientcity wall is the ancient castle most complete in preservation and most broad in scale so far in the world. The Steles Forest Museum is the largest stone-book storehouse in our country. And the Banpo Ruins Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, the Tang Great Wild Goose Tower, the Small Wild Goose Tower, Ming Bell Tower, Drum Tower,Huajue Temple Mosque inside the urban area of Xi'an, the Gong Wang Mountains Lantian Ape Ruins, Water-land Temple, Wuzhen Temple, Tower Watch Post, etc. inside Xi'an tourist area, andHuang Di Tomb, Han Mao Tomb, Tang Qian Tomb, Fa Men Temple etc. in Xi'an's surrounding areas are all well-known scenic spots at home and abroad. Xi'an's boasts its natural scenic resources with high mountains, straight peaks, precipitous cliffs, and unique beauty. There are natural scenic spots of West Mountain Huashan, Zhongnan Mountain, Taibai Mountain, Wangshun Mountain, Lishan Huaqing Pond, Tower Watch Post, and Lantian Karst Caves, etc. inside and in the neighborhood of the city. Humanity and nature, ancient city and new looks combine together to make up the unique style of the ancient capital of Xi'an. It draws a strong attraction to tourists at home and abroad.
Xi'an takes full advantages of its resources and makes great effort in developing its tourist industry, and have made great achievements :
Tourist facilities are being perfected day by day.
There are currently 36 foreign-related tourist hotels (among which, 18 are 3-star and 4-star, 4 are 5-star) in Xi'an, with over 20,000 beds and an annual receiving capability of more than 2,400,000 tourists. There are outstanding improvements in tourist transportation. Xi'an Xianyang International Airport opens several domestic international lines; Xi'an Railway Station has an average delivering capability of more than 60,000 tourists per day. There are more than 2,800 km roads in Xi'an and 5 backbones of nation-roads running through here. The construction of high-grade expressways of Xi-Lin, Xi-Tong and Xi-Bao Expressways, etc. makes a convenient transportation for Xi'an to east, south, west and north. There are 9 special tourist lines in the city, and there are more than 7,000 tourist rental cars and more than 600 middle and large luxurious cars for receiving overseas tourists. Local characteristics has gradually come into shape in the production of tourist merchandise, such as replicas of Qin Figurine, Qin Embroidery, handicraft pottery, Hu County peasant Painting, Guanzhong paper-cut and other folk handicrafts. There are a total of 21 foreign-related tourist designated shops and large-scale shopping centers as Min Sheng, Kai Yuan, Tang City and Qiu Lin, etc. They can fairly satisfy the shopping needs of tourists at home and abroad.
There are a total of 27 foreign-related tourist designated restaurants, which supply each kind of delicious dishes, such as the top 8 Chinese Food and Euro-American Western Food, Japanese Food, Korean Roast Food, and Southeastern Flavored Food, etc. They have also explored more than 120 kinds of replicas of Tang Dishes, forming traditional dishes focused on Tang Dishes and modem dishes focused on Shaan Dishes. Snacks and Jiaozi Banquet with local characteristics in particular attracts customers from all over the world. In order to enrich tourists' entertainment and satisfy their vacationing needs, the City of Xi'an builds a great number of entertainment facilities, such as Tangle Palace, Ancient Capital Grand Theater, Garden Song and Dance Theater, Shaan Song Grand theater, Yisu Grand Theater, Taoyuan Lake Bowling Club, Weiyang Lake Polo Club, Weiyang Lake Amusement Park and New Taohuayuan Leisure Villa, etc. And the City promotes culture and art programs of "Tang Chang'an Music Dance" and "Replica of Tang Music Dance", etc. and they have a lasting show-life and win high praises from audiences at home and abroad. The Government of Xi'an City started in 1996 to develop and construct the Qujiang River Resort of 155,000 square kilometers, so to further improve Xi'an tourist set facilities.
High Performance Receiver Team and High Level Service Quality
By the end of 1997, there have been more than 400 units of various kinds engaged in tourist business in Xi'an area, among which there are 155 foreign-related ones. There are more than 30,000 service personnel directly engaged in tourist reception and up to more than 120,000 indirectly engaged in tourist reception. In every previous speciality skill contest held in national tourist industry and in every service quality poll, Xi'an's tour guides and hotel attendants won top prizes and good comments from tourists at home and abroad for several times. Their tour-guiding level in particular is generally acknowledged as the first class by tourists and colleagues at home and abroad. Three universities in the city has established Tour Department, training superior talents engaged in tourist administration. In addition, there are more than 10 tour profession training schools, training a great number of students for tourist industry. The establishment of the education training network at 3 levels of superior, intermediate and junior satisfies the needs for Xi'an tourist industry education and training on the whole. The city's responsible authorities for tour impose the business license system on the tour units throughout the city for them to practice tourism business; and establish a fairly perfect control, complaint, supervision system of tourist service quality.
Fasting and Stable Development Tendency
During the 20 years since Reform and Opening up, the tourist industry in Xi'an has speedily developed. In 1997, a total of 485,000 tourists were received, higher than that of the same period of the last year by 6.92%; tour foreign exchange income was 201,000,000 US dollars, higher than the same period of the last year by 9.3%; domestic tourists received are 9,620,000, higher than the same period of the last year by 8.7%. The total tour income is 6,700,000,000 RMB. The tourist industry further stabilized its position as a backbone industry in national economy.
In 1998, Xi'an City received 479,836 overseas tourists and 10,580,000 domestic tourists, and the total tour income was 7,200,000,000 RMB, accounting for 12.6% of Xi'an GNP.
An old saying in China tells the unique position of this legendary city: "If you want to see China of 100 years ago, visit Shanghai; China of 500 years ago, Beijing; China of 2000 years ago, Xi'an". As the cradle of Chinese culture, the city was capital to the first dynasty of China, and also many of its successors. The position as the cultural and political center of the country has left the city with a great heritage, whose physical and spiritual evidence still dominates the ancient city.
Many of the sites to visit are outside Xi'an and the surrounding countryside offers a treasure trove of historical and religious relics. The most famous site is the Terracotta Army, built to protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, whose Mausoleum lies close the warriors. Both these sights are to the east of Xi'an. There are other less famous but equally fascinating places worth visiting too.
The Famen Temple claims to house the Buddha's fingers and still draws crowds of practicing monks (and tourists) to marvel at the fingers and the Tang dynasty treasures which are kept here. The countryside around Xi'an is also attractive and there are numerous mountains, including Mount Huashanwhich are a great break from the city.
The easiest way to see the sights around Xi'an is either to join an organized tour. On top of these, the Xi'an City Defense Wall is the best kept wall in all of China's ancient cities. The Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, both typical for China's ancient cities, are also in good condition, among the bustle of central modern Xi'an.
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