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Sub-provincial city
Clockwise from top: Anshun Bridge, Jinli, Chengdu Panda Base, and Sichuan University.
Official seal of Chengdu
Nickname(s): 蓉城 (The Hibiscus City)
Location of Chengdu City jurisdiction in Sichuan
Location of Chengdu City jurisdiction in Sichuan
Chengdu is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 30°39′31″N 104°03′53″E / 30.65861°N 104.06472°E / 30.65861; 104.06472Coordinates: 30°39′31″N 104°03′53″E / 30.65861°N 104.06472°E / 30.65861; 104.06472
Country China
Province Sichuan
Established 311 BC
Municipal seat Wuhou District
 - County-level

9 districts, 4 county-level cities, 6 counties
 • Type Sub-provincial city
 • CPC Party Chief Huang Xinchu
 • Mayor Tang Liangzhi (唐良智)
 • Sub-provincial city 12,163.16 km2 (4,696.22 sq mi)
 • Urban 2,174.6 km2 (839.6 sq mi)
 • Metro 3,287.5 km2 (1,269.3 sq mi)
Elevation 500 m (1,600 ft)
Highest elevation 5,364 m (17,598 ft)
Lowest elevation 378 m (1,240 ft)
Population (2010 census)[1][2]
 • Sub-provincial city 14,047,625
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 7,415,590
 • Urban density 3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)
 • Metro 9,209,890
 • Metro density 2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)
 • Major Nationalities Han
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 610000-611944
Area code(s) +86 (0)28
GDP (nominal) Total (2014) ¥ 1.006 trillion (US$163.7 billion)
GDP (nominal) Per Capita (2014) ¥ 71,589 (US$11,653)
License Plate Prefix 川A
Tree Ginkgo biloba
Flower Hibiscus mutabilis
Chengdu name (2).svg
"Chengdu", as written in Chinese
Chinese 成都
Hanyu Pinyin Chéngdū
About this sound [Listen] 
Sichuanese Pinyin Cen2du1 ([tsʰən˨˩tu˥])
Postal Chengtu
Literal meaning Become Capital

Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is the provincial capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China,[3] as well as a major city in Western China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status.[4] The administrative area houses 14,047,625 inhabitants: 7,415,590 within the municipality's nine urban districts[5] and 6,632,035 in the surrounding satellite towns and counties' urban, suburban and rural area. According to the 2010 census, Chengdu is the fifth-most populous city in China.[6] Chengdu is one of the most important economic, financial, commercial, cultural, transportation, and communication centers in Western China. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the 40 busiest airports in the world, and Chengdu Railway Station is one of the six biggest railway stations in China. Chengdu also hosts many international companies and more than 12 consulates. More than 260 Fortune 500 companies have established branches in Chengdu due to huge demand of Western China. In 2006, it was named China's 4th-most liveable city by China Daily.[7]

The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is also known as the "Country of Heaven" (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tiānfǔzhiguó), a phrase also often translated as "The Land of Abundance". The discovery of the Jinsha site suggests the area of Chengdu had become the center of the bronze age Sanxingdui culture around the time of the establishment of the state of Shu, prior to its annexation by Qin in 316 BC.[8]



Chengdu is the original city name which dates back to its founding over 2000 years ago. However, its following nicknames are well known in China.[9][10]

  • The City of Hibiscus (Chinese: ; pinyin: Róngchéng): In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960), Mengchang, the king of the Later Shu Kingdom, ordered the planting of hibiscus on the fortress wall surrounding the city. After this, Chengdu started being called the City of Hibiscus. Nowadays, the hibiscus is still the city flower of Chengdu, but the last city wall was torn down in the 1960s, along with the Royal Palace situated in the middle of the city, where the statue of Mao Zedong now stands.
  • The Brocade City simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 錦城; pinyin: Jinchéng: In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 23), brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. An emperor created the office of Jin Guan (錦官) to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called "Jin Guan Cheng" (錦官城) meaning "Brocade Official's City", or in its short form, "Jin Cheng" (錦城) meaning "Brocade City."
  • The Turtle City (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 龜城; pinyin: Guichéng): According to the ancient legend, when Chengdu was built in AD 310, the chief architect Zhang Yi followed the routes of a turtle to decide the city's borders. It coincides with the fact that the city does resemble the shape of a turtle on a map.


Chengdu unveiled its city logo in 2011. The design was inspired by the Golden Sun Bird artifact excavated from Jinsha Ruins.[11]


The archaeological site of Jinsha is a major discovery in Chengdu in 2001.

Archaeological discoveries at the Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites have established that the Chengdu region was inhabited over four thousand years ago and was an important centre of a unique ancient culture during the period of Shang and Zhou dynasties.[12]

In the early 4th century BC, the 9th king of the state of Shu, Kaiming IX, moved his capital from today's nearby Pixian to the city's current location. The Song dynasty geographical work Tai Ping Huan Yu Ji states that the king was inspired by King Tai of Zhou's statement that a settlement needed "one year to become a settlement; two years to become a town; three years to become a capital."[13][14] Following this, the king named the new city Cheng Du: literally, "become the capital". There are, however, several versions of why the capital was moved to Chengdu, and more recent theories of the name's origin point to it stemming from, or referring to, earlier non-Han inhabitants and/or their languages.

The state of Shu was conquered by the State of Qin in 316 BC, and a new city was founded by the Qin general Zhang Yi (who as a matter of fact had argued against the invasion). This can be seen as the beginning of the Chinese Chengdu. Chengdu is the only major city in China to have remained in the same location with the same name after more than 2000 years,[15] although it was also known as Yizhou () for a long time, and was given other names at other times.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System built in 256 BC still functions today.

As a central city for at least 2000 years, Chengdu's influence gradually expanded from the Sichuan basin to Western China. At its height, Chengdu was once named "One of the Five Metropolis" in China and was the second largest (扬一益二 Yangzhou first Yizhou (Chengdu) second) in history. During the Three-Kingdom period, Zhuge Liang, the prime minister of Shu kingdom, called Chengdu "the land of abundance". Li Bai, the famous poet during the Tang dynasty, eulogized the city as "Chengdu lies above empyrean". Su Shi, the eminent writer during the Song dynasty, hailed Chengdu as "the southwestern metropolis".

During the partition following the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty—i.e., the era of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei founded the southwest kingdom of Shu-Han (221–263) with Chengdu as its capital. Over time, Chengdu had been the capital of six local feudal reigns of which Shu-Han is the best known.

During the Tang dynasty, both the "Poet God" Li Bai and the "Poet Sage" Du Fu spent some part of their lives in Chengdu. Du Fu constructed the celebrated "Caotáng" (thatched cottage or grass-hut) in the second year of his four-year stay (759–762). But today's Caotang, a rather sumptuous house in the traditional style, was only constructed in 1078 in memory of Du Fu. During the Tang dynasty more than 1,200 years ago, Chengdu became one of the foremost commercial cities in China, second only after Yangzhou (simplified Chinese: 扬一益二; traditional Chinese: 揚一益二; literally: "Yangzhou first Yizhou (Chengdu) second").

Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world (Northern Song dynasty, around 960 AD). The Qingyang Gong Taoist temple was built in Chengdu in the 9th century, meaning "Green Goat".

In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Chengdu again became the capital of an independent kingdom: Shu was founded in 907 AD by Wang Jian and was conquered by the Later Tang in 925. Later Shu was founded in 934 by Meng Zhixiang and was conquered by the Song Dynasty in 965.

At around the end of Song dynasty, a rebel leader set up the capital of a short-lived kingdom in Chengdu, called Dashu (Chinese: ; pinyin: Dà shǔ).

In 1279, the Mongols sacked Chengdu and over a million of its inhabitants were estimated by author Charles Horner to have been killed.[16] During the Yuan dynasty, Marco Polo visited Chengdu and wrote about the Anshun Bridge (or an earlier version of it) in Chengdu. He referred to Chengdu as "Sindafu" ("Cheng Du Fu") as the capital of the province of the same name.[17][18][19]

In 1644, at the end of the Ming dynasty, Zhang Xianzhong, a rebel leader established a short-lived Daxi Kingdom (大西) in Sichuan, which he renamed Xijing (西京 'Western Capital'), as the capital.[20] Zhang was said to have massacred large number of people in Sichuan and Chengdu.The depopulation of Sichuan necessitated the resettlement of millions of people from other provinces during the Qing dynasty. In 1911, the Railway Protection Movement centered in Chengdu helped trigger the Wuchang Uprising, which led to the Xinhai Revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty.[21][22]

Huangchengba in 1911

During the War of Resistance/World War II, the capital city of China was forced to move inland from Nanjing to Wuhan in 1937 and from Wuhan to Chengdu, then from Chengdu to Chongqing in 1938, as the Kuomintang (KMT) government under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ultimately retreated to Sichuan to escape from the invading Japanese forces. They brought with them into Sichuan business people, workers and academics, who founded many of the industries and cultural institutions which continue to make Chengdu an important cultural and commercial production center. Chengdu had become a military center for the KMT to regroup in the War of Resistance, and while out of reach of the Imperial Japanese ground forces and escort fighter planes, the then highly advanced twin-engine long-ranged G3M "Nell" medium bombers were routinely flown in to conduct massive aerial bombardments of both civilian and military targets in Chongqing and Chengdu;[23] the massed formation of the G3M bombers provided heavy firepower against Chinese fighter planes assigned to the defense of Chongqing and Chengdu, which continued to cause problems for the Japanese attacks.[24][25] However, in late 1940, unbeknownst to the Americans and European allies, the Imperial Japanese appeared in the skies over Chongqing and Chengdu with the world's most advanced fighter plane at the time: the A6M "Zero" fighter that dominated the skies over China against the increasingly obsolete Russian-made Polikarpov I-15/I-153s and I-16s that were the principal fighter planes of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force; that which would later prove to be a rude awakening for the Allied forces in the Pacific War following the attack on Pearl Harbor.[26] One of the first American ace fighter pilots of the war and volunteer for the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, Major Wong Sun-shui (nicknamed "Buffalo" by his comrades) died as a result of battling the Zero fighters in defense of Chengdu on 14 March 1941.[27][28]

40th Bombardment Group Boeing B-29-5-BW Superfortress 42-6281 "20th Century Unlimited" at Hsinching Airfield (A-1), China, advanced China Base of the 40th Bomb Group after completion of a raid on Anshan, Manchuria. Mission #4, 29 July 1944

In 1944, the American XX Bomber Command launched Operation Matterhorn, an ambitious plan to base B-29 Superfortresses in Chengdu and strategically bomb the Japanese Home Islands.[29] The Operating base was located in Xinjin Airport in the southwestern part of the Chengdu metropolitan area.[30][31] Because the operation required a massive airlift of fuel and supplies over the Himalayas, it was not a significant military success, but it did earn Chengdu the distinction of launching the first serious retaliation against the Japanese homeland.[32]

During the Chinese Civil War, Chengdu was the last city on the Chinese mainland to be held by the Kuomintang. President Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defence of the city from Chengdu Central Military Academy until 1949, when the city fell into Communist hands. The People's Liberation Army took the city without any resistance after a deal was negotiated between the People's Liberation Army and the commander of the KMT Army guarding the city. On 10 December the remnants of the Nationalist Chinese government evacuated to Taiwan.[33]

The industrial base is very broad, including light and heavy manufacturing, aluminum smelting and chemicals. The textile industry remains important, with cotton and wool milling added to the traditional manufacturing of silk brocade and satin.

Chengdu is the headquarters of the Chengdu Military Region.

The Chengdu Tianfu District Great City is a sustainable planned city that will be outside of Central Chengdu, and is expected to be completely built later in the decade. The city is also planned to be self-sustaining, with every residence being a two-minute walk from a park.[34]


The vast plain on which Chengdu is located has an elevation ranging from 450 meters to 720 meters.

Northwest Chengdu is bordered by the high and steep Longmen Mountain and in the west by the Qionglai Mountains, the elevation of which exceeds 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and includes Miao Jiling (5,364 m, 17,598 ft) and Xiling Snow Mountain (5,164 m, 16,942 ft). The western mountainous area is also home to a large primitive forest with abundant biological resources and a giant panda habitat. East of Chengdu stands the low Longquan Mountain and the west bordering area of the hilly land of middle reaches of Min River, an area noted by several converging rivers. Since ancient times, Chengdu has been known as "the Abundant Land" owing to its fertile soil, favorable climate, and novel Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

Chengdu is located at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin and sits on the Chengdu Plain; the dominating terrain is plains. The prefecture ranges in latitude from 30° 05' to 31° 26' N, while its longitude ranges from 102° 54' to 104° 53' E, stretching for 192 kilometres (119 mi) from east to west and 166 km (103 mi) south to north, administering 12,390 square kilometres (4,780 sq mi) of land. Neighbouring prefectures are Deyang (NE), Ziyang (SE), Meishan (S), Ya'an (SW), and the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (N). The urban area, with an elevation of 500 m (1,600 ft), features a few rivers, three of them being the Jin, Fu, and Sha Rivers. Outside of the immediate urban area, the topography becomes more complex: to the east lies the Longquan Range (龙泉山脉) and the Penzhong Hills (盆中丘陵); to the west lie the Qionglai Mountains, which rise to 5,364 m (17,598 ft) in Dayi County. The lowest point in Chengdu Prefecture, at 378 m (1,240 ft), lies in the southeast in Jintang County.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Chengdu has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) and is largely mild and humid. It has four distinct seasons, with moderate rainfall concentrated mainly in the warmer months, and relieved from both sweltering summers and freezing winters. The Qin Mountains (Qinling) to the far north help shield the city from cold Siberian winds in the winter; because of this, the short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze. The 24-hour daily mean temperature in January is 5.6 °C (42.1 °F), and snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is hot and humid, but not to the extent of the "Three Furnaces" cities of Chongqing, Wuhan, and Nanjing, all which lie in the Yangtze basin.[35] The 24-hour daily mean temperature in July and August is around 25 °C (77 °F), with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33 °C (91 °F); sustained heat as found in much of eastern China is rare. Rainfall is common year-round but is the greatest in July and August, with very little of it in the cooler months. Chengdu also has one of the lowest annual sunshine totals nationally, with less sunshine annually than much of Northern Europe, and most days are butty and overcast even if without rain. This is especially so in the winter months, when it is typically interminably grey and dreary, compounding the poor air quality. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 16 percent in December to 38 percent in August, the city receives 1,073 hours of bright sunshine annually. Spring (March–April) tends to be sunnier and warmer in the day than autumn (October–November). The annual mean is 16.14 °C (61.1 °F), and extremes have ranged from −5.9 °C (21 °F) to 37.3 °C (99.1 °F).[36]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Chengdu is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over 9 districts, 4 county-level cities and 6 counties:

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
Area (km2) Density
City Core
Qingyang District 青羊区 Qīngyáng Qū 828,140 66 12,548
Jinjiang District 锦江区 Jǐnjiāng Qū 690,422 61 11,318
Jinniu District 金牛区 Jīnniú Qū 1,200,776 108 11,118
Wuhou District 武侯区 Wǔhóu Qū 1,083,806 77 14,075
Chenghua District 成华区 Chénghuá Qū 938,785 109 8,613
Suburban districts
Longquanyi District 龙泉驿区 Lóngquányì Qū 767,203 558 1,375
Qingbaijiang District 青白江区 Qīngbáijiāng Qū 381,792 392 974
Xindu District 新都区 Xīndū Qū 775,703 481 1,613
Wenjiang District 温江区 Wēnjiāng Qū 457,070 277 1,650
Shuangliu County 双流县 Shuāngliú Xiàn 1,158,516 1,067 1,086
Pi County 郫县 Pí Xiàn 756,047 438 1,726
Satellite cities
Dujiangyan 都江堰市 Dūjiāngyàn Shì 657,996 1,208 545
Pengzhou 彭州市 Péngzhōu Shì 762,887 1,420 537
Qionglai 邛崃市 Qiónglái Shì 612,753 1,384 443
Chongzhou 崇州市 Chóngzhōu Shì 661,120 1,090 607
Jintang County 金堂县 Jīntáng Xiàn 717,225 1,156 620
Dayi County 大邑县 Dàyì Xiàn 502,198 1,327 378
Pujiang County 蒲江县 Pújiāng Xiàn 239,562 583 411
Xinjin County 新津县 Xīnjīn Xiàn 302,199 330 916


Most bridges, streets and alleys were well-preserved until 1949 when new construction started.[citation needed]

As of July 2013, the world's largest building, the New Century Global Centre is located in the city. At 328 feet (100 m) high, 1,640 feet (500 m) long, and 1,312 feet (400 m) wide, the Centre houses retail outlets, a 14-theater cinema, offices, hotels, the Paradise Island waterpark, an artificial beach, a 164 yards (150 m)-long LED screen, skating rink, pirate ship, fake Mediterranean village, 24-hour artificial sun, and a 15,000-spot parking area.[38]

Ancient fortress wall[edit]

The ancient fortress wall of Chengdu, 10 metres (33 ft) high and 11 km (6.8 mi) long, was built during the Qing Empire Era. Surrounding the city, the wall's bottom measures 10 m (33 ft) wide while the top measures 6 m (20 ft) wide, almost equivalent to the width of a street. 8,122 crenels, four octagons and four turrets were built on the wall.

Four gates were constructed on all sides of the wall, with hibiscus trees planted outside.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1953 857,000 —    
1964 1,583,000 +84.7%
1970 6,922,918 +337.3%
1975 7,819,732 +13.0%
1980 8,225,399 +5.2%
1985 8,626,770 +4.9%
1990 9,195,004 +6.6%
1995 9,715,977 +5.7%
2000 10,392,531 +7.0%
2005 10,820,285 +4.1%
2010 14,047,625 +29.8%
Population size may be affected by changes on administrative divisions.

The municipality was home for 14,047,625 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 7,415,590 in the city considered as 9 urban administrative districts. The built-up (or metro) area was home to 9,209,890 inhabitants, besides, Qingbaijiang District still separated of core built-up area, while Shuangliu County (Tianfu New District) and Pi County being urbanized quickly.


Jinli historical district of Chengdu


Some of China's most important literature comes from Chengdu: Chengdu has been home to literary giants, such as Sima Xiangru and Yang Xiong, two masters of Hanfu, a mixture of descriptive prose and verse during the Han dynasty; Li Bai and Su Shi, the most eminent poets of the Tang and Song dynasties respectively; Yang Shen'an, a famous scholar of the Ming dynasty; and Guo Moruo and Ba Jin, two well-known modern writers. Chang Qu, a historian of Chengdu during the Jin dynasty, compiled the earliest local historical records, the Record of Hua Yang State. Zhao Chongzuo, a poet in Chengdu during the Later Shu Kingdom, edited Among the Flowers, the first anthology of Ci in China's history. Meng Chang, the king of Later Shu, wrote the first couplet for the Spring Festival, which says, "A harvest year accepts celebrations, good festivals foreshadow long springs."

Fine art[edit]

During the period of the Five Dynasties, Huang Quan, a painter in Chengdu, initiated the Fine-Brush Flower-and-Bird Painting school with other painters. At that time, "Hanlin Painting Academy" was the earliest royal academy in China.


Wen Weng, administer of Chengdu during the Han dynasty, established the first local public school now named Shishi (literally a stone house), in the world. The school site has not changed for more than 2,000 years, which remains the site of today's Shishi High School.[39]


The saying "Shu opera towers above all other performances in the world" reflects the achievement of Sichuan Opera and Zaju (an ancient form of comedic drama involving dancing, singing, poetry, and miming). In the city, the first named opera "Bullfighting" was written in the Warring States Period.[clarification needed] The first detailed recorded opera was staged in the royal court of Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdom Period. China's first clearly recorded Zaju was also performed in Chengdu. Tombs of witty Han dynasty poets were excavated in Chengdu. And face-changing masks and fire breathing remain hallmarks of the Sichuan Opera.


The native language in Chengdu is Sichuanese, otherwise referred as Sichuan dialect. More precisely, "Chengdu Dialect" (成都话/成都方言) is widely used in lieu of "Sichuanese" due to the largely different accents of Sichuanese speakers residing elsewhere.

Culinary art and tea culture[edit]

See also: Sichuan cuisine
Teahouse in Chengdu

The distinct characteristic of Sichuan cuisine is the use of spicy chilies and peppercorns. Local dishes include Grandma Chen's Tofu (Mapo doufu), Chengdu Hot pot, and Dan Dan Mien (meaning "Noodles carried on a pole" Dan Dan Noodles). All three dishes are spicy. Mapo Doufu and Dan Dan Mien contain Sichuan peppers to give them additional flavor. An article[40] by the Los Angeles Times (2006) called Chengdu "China's party city" for its carefree lifestyle. Chengdu has more tea houses and bars than Shanghai despite having less than half the population.

Sichuanese cuisine features careful pairings of boldness and subtlety in dishes, snacks, banquets, and hotpot. A characteristic adage goes: 'one dish, one style; one hundred dishes, one hundred flavors; flexible use of hot chilis and delicate flavors.' Of thousands of dishes, each has a story behind it.

The local snacks in Chengdu are known for creative ingredients, skilled preparation, wide variety, and cheap prices. Tastes range from sweet and spicy to sour and hot in a range of cooking techniques including frying, stewing, baking, steaming and boiling. Common snacks found across town include noodles, wontons, dumplings, pastries, tangyuan (sweet rice balls), drinks, salads and soups.

With over a thousand years of history, Chinese tea culture is perhaps best exemplified by the bamboo chairs and wooden tables found in the hundreds of tea houses throughout Chengdu, with jasmine tea served as the local staple. As early as the Western Han period, both tea trade and tea culture were very prosperous in Sichuan with Chengdu the starting point of the Southern Silk Road.

Chengdu is an officially-recognised UNESCO City of Gastronomy.[41]


Traditional tea houses in Chengdu usually feature bamboo chairs and wooden tables and offer jasmine, long jing and biluochun tea.

Modern tea houses can be spotted on almost every city corner. The price for tea varies from 5 RMB to several hundred. Besides tea and snacks, almost all tea houses offer Majiang sets, tables, and sometimes separate majiang rooms. Most locals go to tea houses to play majiang with friends. Some luxury tea houses in Chengdu also offer live entertainment such as Sichuan opera shows.[42]



Mahjong has been an essential part of most local people's life. Almost every household in Chengdu has at least one set of mahjong. People play majiang at home or in tea houses. On sunny days, local people like to play mahjong on the sidewalks, especially in the area nearby the Fu Nan River. Most people play with money to make the game more exciting.

Mahjong is the most popular entertainment choice among locals for several reasons. Chengdu locals have simplified the rules and made it easier to play as compared to, Cantonese mahjong. A small amount of gambling is regarded as harmless entertainment. Friends and families chat over mahjong tables, making mahjong an important social vehicle. In fact, many business people negotiate deals while playing mahjong.[43]

Rural tourism: Nong Jia Le[edit]

Chengdu claims to have first practiced the modern business model of 'Nong Jia Le' (Happy Rur loal Homes). It refers to the practice of suburban and rural residents converting their houses into restaurants, hotels and entertainment spaces in order to attract city dwellers.

Nong Jia Le features different styles and price levels and have been thriving around Chengdu. They provide gateways for city dwellers to escape the city, offer delicious and affordable home-made dishes, and provide mahjong facilities.

Some of the most popular ones are located in Sansheng Village east of Chengdu, and Nongke Village in Pixian County, northwest of Chengdu.

Customs and festivals[edit]

Grand Temple Fair[edit]

Chengdu's annual Grand Temple Fair is held every year during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) in Wuhou Shrine, Jinli, the Culture Park, and several other city parks. The 15-day-long festival showcases both traditional Sichuan folk art and modern fashions of the city. Food stalls on site offer over 100 varieties of freshly made local snacks. ,l/

Lantern Festival[edit]

Chengdu’s annual Lantern Festival is held every year during the Spring Festival in Tazishan Park in the eastern part of Chengdu. Lanterns of different designs and themes are on display with traditional art performances including Sichuan opera, acrobatics shows, and local talk shows.

Dujiangyan Water Releasing Festival[edit]

The Dujiangyan Water-Releasing Festival takes place on 5 April each year in Du Jiang Yan, 58 km (36 mi) away from Chengdu. Residents dress up in ancient costumes and read elegies for Li Bing and his sons, in order to honor them for their contribution to the irrigation project they built over 2,000 years ago.

Huanglongxi Fire Dragon Festival[edit]

Fire Dragon Festival of HuangLongXi is celebrated from the 2nd to the 15th day of the first lunar month of each new year.

The festival originated from South Song dynasty (1127–1279 AD). Celebrations include lighting paper dragons, a lion dance, floating lanterns on the water, and various street activities.

South China Snow and Ice Festival[edit]

The South China Snow and Ice Festival takes place from January to March at the Xiling Snow Mountain Ski Resort, 95 kilometres (59 miles) west of downtown Chengdu. The festival is popular among locals, especially children, since it rarely snows in Chengdu and people relish the sight of snow. A large variety of snow activities are offered during the festival.

Home of the giant panda[edit]

Pandas, in Chengdu

The giant panda, a Chinese national treasure, is one of the rarest animals in the world. The total number is estimated to be 1,500, including those living in the wild, 80 percent of which are in Sichuan Province.

A breeding center for giant pandas called Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was founded in the north suburbs of Chengdu. It is the only one of its kind in the world that's located in a metropolitan area. In order to better protect wild giant pandas, Chengdu has established nature reserves in Dujiangyan City, Chongzhou City, and Dayi County. Sichuan Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, the biggest of its kind in the world, is only 130 km (81 mi) outside Chengdu. After the Wenchuan Earthquake, mostly was moved to Yanan.

The western world came to know giant pandas only after a French missionary named David first encountered this species in Sichuan in 1869.[44] Now, the somewhat clumsy giant panda is a symbol representing the World Wildlife Fund. They are also a messenger of friendly communication between Chengdu and international cities. Currently, giant pandas are also reared in U.S.A, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Thailand as well as Mexico.

Chengdu has established the world-renowned breeding and research base for giant pandas, which attracts almost 100,000 visitors each year. Covering tens of hectares with bamboo groves and a native-like habitat, the base is the only one of its kind located in an urban area. A museum is open to the public throughout the year.

In 2008, after the release of the American animation movie Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and other DreamWorks members visited the city of Chengdu. In addition to seeing live pandas, crew members learned about the local culture. Katzenberg has stated that Kung Fu Panda 2 incorporates many elements of Chengdu in the film. The film's landscape and architecture also found inspiration from those found at Mount Qingcheng, a renowned Taoist mountain. In an interview with Movieline, Berger stated that ‘we never really thought of this as a movie set in China for Americans; it's a movie set in a mythical, universalized China for everyone in the world'.

On 11 January 2012, six captive-bred pandas were released to a "semi-wild" environment in Dujiangyan, Chengdu. Scientists believe that success in the reintroduction project would potentially help save the endangered giant panda. Retired NBA basketball star and animal activist Yao Ming attended the ceremony.

Main sights[edit]

World natural and cultural heritage sites[edit]

Mount Qingcheng[edit]

Mount Qingcheng is amongst the most important centres of Taoism (Daoism) in China. It is situated in the suburbs of Dujiangyan City and connected to downtown Chengdu 70 km (43 mi) away by the Cheng-Guan Expressway.

With its peak 1,600 m (5,200 ft) above sea level, Mount Qingcheng enjoys a cool climate, but remains a lush green all year round and surrounded by hills and waterways. Mount Qingcheng's Fujian Temple, Tianshi Cave, and Shizu Hall are some of the existing more well-known Taoist holy sites. Shangqing Temple is noted for an evening phosphorescent glow locally referred to as "holy lights".

Dujiangyan Irrigation System[edit]

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System (58 km (36 mi) away from Chengdu proper) is the oldest existing irrigation project in the world with a history of over 2000 years diverting water without a dam to distribute water and filter sand with an inflow-quantity control. the great engineer was built by Libing and his son,The irrigation system contains floods and droughts throughout the Plain of Chengdu,and people in Chengdu sing the praises of their great job that have done for them.

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries[edit]

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries

Covering a total of 9,245 km2 (3,570 sq mi) over 12 distinct counties and 4 cities, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, lie on the transitional alp-canyon belt between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. It is the largest remaining continuous habitat for giant pandas and home to more than 80 percent of the world’s wild giant pandas. Globally speaking, it is also the most abundant temperate zone of greenery. The reserves of the habitat are 100–200 km (62–124 mi) away from Chengdu.

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries are the most well-known of their kind in the world, with Wolong Nature Reserve, generally considered as the "homeland of pandas". It is a core habitat with unique natural conditions, complicated landforms, and a temperate climate with diverse wildlife. Siguniang Mountain, sometimes called the "Oriental Alpine" is approximately 230 km (140 mi) away from Chengdu, and is composed of four adjacent peaks of the Traversal Mountain Range. Among the four peaks, the fourth and highest stands 6,250 m (20,510 ft) above sea level, and is perpetually covered by snow.

Culture of poetry and the Three Kingdoms[edit]

Wuhou Shrine[edit]

Wuhou Shrine (Temple of Marquis Wu) is perhaps the most influential museum of Three Kingdoms relics in China. It was built in the Western Jin period (265–316) in the honor of Zhuge Liang, the famous military and political strategist who was Prime Minister of the Shu Han State during the Three Kingdoms period (220–280). The Shrine highlights the Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple and the Hall of Liu Bei (founder of the Shu Han state), along with statues of other historical figures of Shu Han, as well as cultural relics like stone inscriptions and tablets. The Hui Mausoleum of Liu Bei represents a unique pattern of enshrining both the king and his subjects in the same temple, a rarity in China.

Du Fu thatched cottage[edit]

Du Fu was one of the most noted Tang dynasty poets; during the Lushan-Shi Siming Rebellion, he left Xi'an (then Chang'an) to take refuge in Chengdu. With the help from his friends, the thatched cottage was built along the Huanhua Stream in the west suburbs of Chengdu, where Du Fu spent four years of his life and produced more than 240 now-famous poems. During the Song dynasty, people started to construct gardens and halls on the site of his thatched cottage to honor his life and memory. Currently, a series of memorial buildings representing Du Fu's humble life stand on the river bank, along with a large collection of relics and various editions of his poems.

Ancient Shu civilization[edit]

Jinsha Ruins[edit]

The Jinsha Ruins are the first significant archeological discovery in China this millennium and were selected in 2006 as the key conservation unit of the nation. The Jinsha Relics Museum is located in the northwest of Chengdu, about 5 km (3.1 mi) from downtown. As a theme-park-style museum, it is for the protection, research, and display of Jinsha archaeological relics and findings. The museum covers 300,000 m2 (3,200,000 sq ft), primarily housing the relics, exhibitions, and a conservation center.[45]

Golden Sun Bird[edit]

The Golden Sun Bird was excavated by archaeologists from Jinsha ruins on 25 February 2001. In 2005, it was designated as the official logo of Chinese cultural heritage by the China National Relic Bureau.

The round, foil plaque dates back to the ancient Shu people and is 94.2 percent pure gold and extremely thin. It contains four birds around the perimeter, representing the four seasons and directions. The center cutout contains 12 beams of sunlight, representing the 12 months. The exquisite design is remarkable for a 3,000-year-old piece.

Sanxingdui Museum[edit]

Situated in the northeast of the state-protected Sanxingdui Site, Sanxingdui Museum is 40 km (25 mi) north of Chengdu, covering a total area of 7,000 square meters.

The main collection highlights the Ancient City of Chengdu, Shu State & its culture, while displaying thousands of valuable relics including earthenware, jade wares, bone objects, gold wares, and bronzes that have been unearthed from Shang dynasty sacrificial sites.

Buddhist and Taoist cultures[edit]

Chengdu Daci Monastery[edit]

Known as the "Nonpareil Monastery" in China, the Daci Monastery in downtown Chengdu was first built during the Wei and Jin dynasties, with its cultural height during the Tang and Song dynasties. Xuanzang, an eminent Tang dynasty monk, was initiated into monkhood and studied for several years here; during this time, he gave frequent sermons in Daci Monastery.

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery[edit]

Also named Xinxiang Monastery, Wenshu Monastery is the best preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. Initially built during the Tang dynasty, it has a history dating back 1,300 years. Parts of Xuanzang's skull are held in consecration here (as a relic).

Baoguang Monastery[edit]

Located in Xindu District, Baoguang (meaning divine light) Monastery enjoys a long history and a rich collection of relics. It is believed that it was constructed during the East Han period and has appeared in written records since the Tang dynasty. It was destroyed during the Ming dynasty in the early 16th century. In 1607, the ninth year of the reign of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty, it was rebuilt.

Qingyang Taoist Temple

Qingyang Taoist Temple[edit]

Located in the western part of Chengdu, Qingyang Temple ('Green Goat Temple') is not only the largest and oldest Taoist temple in the city, but also the largest Taoist temple in Southeast China. The only existing copy of "Daozang Jiyao", a collection of classic Taoist scriptures, is preserved in the temple.

According to history, Qingyang Temple was the place where Lao Tzu preached his famous Dao De Jing to his disciple, Ying Xi.

Featured streets and historic towns[edit]

The Wide and Narrow Lanes[edit]

The Wide and Narrow Lanes (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi) were first built during the Qing dynasty for Manchu soldiers. The lanes remained residential until 2003 when the local government turned the area into a mixed-use strip of restaurants, teahouses, bars, avant-garde galleries, and residential houses.

Historic architecture has been well preserved in the Wide and Narrow lanes.

The night of Jin Li


Nearby Wuhou Shrine, Jinli is a popular commercial and dining area resembling the style of traditional architecture of western Sichuan. "Jinli" (锦里) is the name of an old street in Chengdu dating from the Han dynasty and means "making perfection more perfect".

The ancient Jinli Street was one of the oldest and the most commercialized streets in the history of the Shu state and was well known throughout the country during the Qin, Han and Three Kingdoms periods.

Many aspects of the urban life of Chengdu are present in the current-day Jinli area: teahouses, restaurants, bars, theatres, handicraft stores, local snack vendors, and specialty shops.

Huanglongxi Historic Town

Huanglongxi Historic Town[edit]

Facing the Jinjiang River to the east and leaning against Muma Mountain to the north, the ancient town of Huanglongxi is approximately 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Chengdu. It was a large military stronghold for the ancient Shu Kingdom. The head of the Shu Han State in the Three Kingdoms period was seated in Huanglongxi, and for some time, the general government offices for Renshou, Pengshan, and Huayang counties were also located here.

The ancient town has preserved the Qing dynasty architectural style, as seen in the design of its streets, shops, and buildings.

Chunxi Road[edit]

Located in the center of downtown Chengdu, Chunxi Road (春熙路) is a trendy and bustling commercial strip with a long history. It was built in 1924 and was named after a part of the Tao Te Ching.

Today, it is one of the most well-known and popular fashion and shopping center of Chengdu, lined with shopping malls, luxury brand stores, and boutique shops.

Anren Historic Town[edit]

Anren Historic Town is located 39 km (24 mi) west of Chengdu. It was the hometown of Liu Wencai, a Qing dynasty warlord, landowner and millionaire. His 27 historic mansions have been well preserved and turned into museums. Three old streets built during the Republic of China period are still being used today by residents. Museums in Anren have a rich collection of more of than 8 million pieces of relics and artifacts. A museum dedicated to the memorial of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake was built in 2010.

Luodai Historic Town[edit]

Luodai was built, like many historic structures in the area, during the period of the Three Kingdoms. According to legend, the Shu Han emperor Liu Shan dropped his jade belt into a well when he passed through this small town. Thus, the town was named 'lost belt' (落带). It later evolved into its current name 洛带 with the same pronunciation, but a different first character.

Luodai Historic Town is one of the five major Hakka settlements in China. Three or four hundred years ago, a group of Hakka people moved to Luodai from coastal cities. It has since grown into the largest community for Hakka people.


Map of Chengdu showing infrastructures and land use, made by the CIA in 1989. It's less than half of the city's current size (as of 2012).

China's state council has designated Chengdu as the country's western center of logistics, commerce, finance, science and technology, as well as a hub of transportation and communication. It is also an important base for manufacturing and agriculture.

According to the World Bank's 2007 survey report on global investment environments, Chengdu was declared "a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China".[46]

Also based on a research report undertaken by the Nobel economics laureate, Dr. Robert Mundell and the celebrated Chinese economist, Li Yining, published by the State Information Center in 2010, Chengdu has become an "engine" of the Western Development Program, a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China, and a major leader in new urbanization.

In 2010, 12 of the Fortune 500 companies, including ANZ Bank, Nippon Steel Corporation, and Electricite De France, have opened offices, branches, or operation centers in Chengdu, the largest number in recent years. Meanwhile, the Fortune 500 companies that have opened offices in Chengdu, including JP Morgan Chase, Henkel, and GE, increased their investment and upgraded the involvement of their branches in Chengdu. By the end of 2010, over 200 Fortune 500 companies had set up branches in Chengdu, ranking it first in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies in Central and Western China. Of these, 149 are foreign enterprises and 40 are domestic companies.

According to the 2010 AmCham China White Paper on the State of American Business in China, Chengdu has become a top investment destination in China.

The main industries in Chengdu—including machinery, automobile, medicine, food, and information technology—are supported by numerous large-scale enterprises. In addition, an increasing number of high-tech enterprises from outside Chengdu have also settled down there.

Chengdu is becoming one of the favorite cities for investment in Central and Western China.[47] Among the world's 500 largest companies, 133 multinational enterprises have had subsidiaries or branch offices in Chengdu by October 2009.[47] These MNEs include Intel, Cisco, Sony and Toyota that have assembly and manufacturing bases, as well as Motorola, Ericsson, and Microsoft that have R&D centers in Chengdu.,[47] The National Development and Reform Commission has formally approved Chengdu's proposed establishment of a national bio-industry base there. The government of Chengdu has recently unveiled a plan to create a 90 billion CNY bio pharmaceutical sector by 2012.[48] China's aviation industries have begun construction of a high-tech industrial park in the city that will feature space and aviation technology. The local government plans to attract overseas and domestic companies for service outsourcing and become a well-known service outsourcing base in China and worldwide.

Electronics and IT industries[edit]

Chengdu has long been established as a national base for the electronics and IT industries. The first telecom R&D centre was set up by an Indian company called Primetel in 1996 and since then the city has developed as the global centre for the telecom R&D industry. Chengdu's growth accelerated alongside the growth of the telecom services sector in India and China, which together account for over 70 percent of the world telecommunications market. Several key national electronics R&D institutes are located in Chengdu. Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has attracted a variety of multinationals, at least 30 Fortune 500 companies and 12,000 domestic companies, including Intel, IBM, Cisco, Nokia, Motorola, SAP, Siemens, Canon, HP, Xerox, Microsoft, Tieto, NIIT, MediaTek, and Wipro, as well as domestic powerhouses such as Lenovo.[49] Dell plans to open its second major China operations center in 2011 in Chengdu as its center in Xiamen expands in 2010.[50]

Intel Capital acquired a strategic stake in Primetel, Chengdu's first foreign technology company in 2001. Intel's Chengdu factory, set up in 2005 is its second in China, after its Shanghai factory, and the first such large-scale foreign investment in the electronics industry in interior mainland China. Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, has invested US$525 million in two assembly and testing facilities in Chengdu. Following the footsteps of Intel, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the world's third largest foundry, set up an assembly and testing plant in Chengdu. Intel's rival AMD is likewise set to open an R&D center in this city.

In November 2006, IBM signed an agreement with the Chengdu High-Tech Zone to establish a Global Delivery Center, its fourth in China after Dalian, Shanghai and Shenzhen, within the Chengdu Tianfu Software Park. Scheduled to be operational by February 2007, this new center will provide multilingual application development and maintenance services to clients globally in English, Japanese and Chinese, and to the IBM Global Procurement Center, recently located to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.[51] On 23 March 2008, IBM announced at the "West China Excellent Enterprises CEO Forum" that the southwest working team of IBM Global Business Services is now formally stationed in Chengdu. On 28 May 2008, Zhou Weikun, president of IBM China disclosed that IBM Chengdu would increase its staff number from the present 600 to nearly 1,000 by the end of the year.[52][53]

Over the past few years, Chengdu's economy has flourished rapidly. Chengdu is a major base for communication infrastructure, with one of China's nine top level postal centers and one of six national telecom exchanges hub.

In 2009, Chengdu hosted the World Cyber Games Grand Finals (11–15 November). It was the first time China hosted the world's largest computer and video game tournament.[54]

Financial industry[edit]

Chengdu is positioning itself to be a financial center for Western China and has attracted a large number of foreign financial institutions, including Citigroup, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. In 1988, Dr. Joseph Fowler, a British professor of optoelectronics from Cambridge founded Scsi Capital, Asia's first venture capital firm focused on opportunities in the digital age, in Chengdu. Scsi currently manages an active portfolio in excess of CNY 300 billion and has operations in India, Israel, Singapore and USA. Scsi Capital is the world's largest private equity investor and fund of funds in the photovoltaic, compound semiconductor, multilayer cmos, ceramic packaging, display and advanced materials sector.

Historically, Chengdu has marked its name in the history of financial innovation. The world's first paper currency 'Jiao Zi' was seen in Chengdu in the year 1023, during the Song dynasty.

Now, Chengdu is not only the gateway of Western China for foreign financial institutions, but also a booming town for Chinese domestic financial firms. The Chinese monetary authority, People's Bank of China (China's central bank), set its southwest China headquarters in Chengdu City. In addition, almost all domestic banks and securities brokerage firms located their regional headquarters or branches in Chengdu. At the same time, the local financial firms of Chengdu are strengthening their presences nationally, notably, Huaxi Securities, Sinolink Securities and Bank of Chengdu. Moreover, on top of banks and brokerage firms, the flourish of local economy lured more and more financial service firms to the city to capitalise on the economic growth. Grant Thornton, KPMG, PWC and Ernst & Young are the four global accountants and business advisers with West China headoffices in the city.

It is expected that by 2012, value-added financial services will make up 14 percent of the added-value service industry and 7 percent of the regional GDP. By 2015, those figures are expected to grow to 18 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Modern logistic industry[edit]

Because of its logistic infrastructure, professional network, and resources in science, technology, and communication, Chengdu has become home to 43 foreign-funded logistic enterprises, including UPS, TNT, DHL, and Maersk, as well as a number of well-known domestic logistic enterprises including COSCO, CSCL, SINOTRANS, CRE, Transfar Group, South Logistic Group, YCH, and STO. By 2012, the logistic industry in Chengdu will realize a value added of RMB 50 billion, with an average annual growth exceeding 18 percent. Ten new international direct flights will be in service; five railways for five-scheduled block container trains will be put into operation; and 50 large logistic enterprises are expected to have annual operation revenue exceeding RMB 100 million.

Modern business and trade[edit]

Chengdu is the largest trade center in western China with a market covering all of Sichuan province, exerting influence on a population of 250 million in six provinces, cities, and districts in western China. Chengdu ranks first among cities in western China in terms of the scale of foreign investment in commerce and trade. Out of the 40 World Top 250 retail enterprises based in China, 15 have opened branches in Chengdu. In downtown Chengdu, there are 71 department stores whose business area exceeds 10,000 sq. m, with the total business area reaching 2,600,000 sq. m. By 2012, total retail sales of consumer goods in Chengdu will exceed RMB 300 billion, up 18 percent annually on average; the total wholesales will exceed RMB 400 billion, with an annual increase of 25 percent. Total retail sales of the catering industry will exceed RMB 60 billion, up 20 percent annually; and the total exports and imports of Chengdu will be above US$35 billion, increasing 30 percent annually.

Convention and exhibition industry[edit]

Boasting the claim as "China’s Famous Exhibition City", Chengdu takes the lead in central and western China for its scale of convention economy. It has become one of the five largest convention and exhibition cities in China. In 2010, direct revenue from the convention and exhibition industry was RMB 3.2 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 26.9 percent. The growth reached a historical high.

More than 13.2 million people have come to Chengdu to participate in conventions and exhibitions from foreign countries and other parts of China. Numerous convention and exhibition companies have invested in Chengdu such as the UK-based Reed Exhibition, as well as domestic companies such as the Chinese European Art Center, Sanlian Exhibition, and Eastpo International Expo.

Software and service outsourcing industry[edit]

Chengdu is one of the first service outsourcing bases in China. More than 150,000 people in Chengdu are engaged in software-related work. Among the Top 10 service outsourcing enterprises in the world, Accenture, IBM, and Wipro are based in Chengdu. In addition, 20 international enterprises including Motorola, Ubi Soft Entertainment, and Agilent, have set up internal shared service centers or R&D centers in Chengdu. Maersk Global Document Processing Center and Logistic Processing Sub-center, DHL Chengdu Service Center, Financial Accounting Center for DHL China, and Siemens Global IT Operation Center will be put into operation. In 2010, offshore service outsourcing in Chengdu realized a registered contract value of US$336 million, 99 percent higher than the previous year.

New energy industry[edit]

Chengdu is the "National High-Tech Industry Base for New Energy Industry", as approved by the National Development and Reform Commission. Leading enterprises are operating in Chengdu and providing research and technology support such as Tianwei New Energy Holding Co., Ltd., Sichuan Sanzhou Special Steel Tube Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Tianma Bearing Co., Ltd., and key research institutions such as the Nuclear Power Institute of China, Southwestern Institute of Physics, Southwest Electric Power Design Institute.

In 2010, the new energy enterprises above realized 31.1 billion RMB in revenue from main operations, 43.2 percent more than the previous year. Chengdu ranked first again in the list of China's 15 "Cities with Highest Investment Value for New Energies" released at the beginning of 2011, and Shuangliu County under its jurisdiction entered "2010 China's Top 100 Counties of New Energies". By 2012, Chengdu's new energy industry will realize an investment over 20 billion RMB and sales revenue of 50 billion RMB.

Electronics and information industry[edit]

Chengdu is home to the most competitive IT industry cluster in western China, an important integrated circuit industry base in China, and one of the five major national software industry bases.

Manufacturing chains are already formed in integrated circuits, optoelectronics displays, digital video & audio, optical communication products, and original-equipment products of electronic terminals, represented by such companies as IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson, Dell, Lenovo, Foxconn, Compal, Wistron, and others.

Automobile industry[edit]

Chengdu has built a comprehensive automobile industry system, and preliminarily formed a system integrated with trade, exhibitions, entertainment, R&D, and manufacturing of spare parts and whole vehicles (e.g., sedans, coaches, sport utility vehicles, trucks, special vehicles). There are whole vehicle makers, such as Volvo, FAW Volkswagen, FAW Toyota, and Sinotruk Wangpai, as well as nearly 200 core parts makers covering German, Japanese, and other lines of vehicles.

In 2011, Volvo announced that its first manufacturing base in China with an investment of RMB 5.4 billion was to be built in Chengdu. By 2015, the automobile production capacity of Chengdu's Comprehensive Function Zone of Automobile Industry is expected to reach 700,000 vehicles and 1.25 million in 2020.

Modern agriculture[edit]

Chengdu enjoys favorable agricultural conditions and rich natural resources. It is an important base for high-quality agricultural products. A national commercial grain and edible oil production base, the vegetable and food supply base as well as the key agricultural products processing center and the logistics distribution center of western China are located in Chengdu.

Defense industry[edit]

Located within the city limits is the Chengdu Aircraft Company which produces the recently declassified J-10 Vigorous Dragon combat aircraft as well as the JF-17 Thunder, in a joint collaborative effort with Pakistan Air Force. Chengdu Aircraft Company is also currently developing the J-20 Black Eagle stealth fighter. The company is one of the major manufacturers of Chinese Military aviation technology.


The Chengdu Statistics Bureau reports that the total investment in fixed assets in 2008 was 301.29 billion yuan (US$43.38 billion). Domestic investment was 180.52 billion yuan (US$26 billion), an increase of 23.5 percent from 2007. The total amount of foreign direct investment reached US$2.25 billion, an increase of 97.3 percent from 2007.

Industrial zones[edit]

Chengdu Economic and Technological Development Zone
Chengdu Export Processing Zone
Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Chengdu National Cross-Strait Technology Industry Development Park

This was established in 1992 as the Chengdu Taiwanese Investment Zone.[55]

Real estate[edit]

In 1988, The Implementation Plan for a Gradual Housing System Reform in Cities and Towns marked the beginning of overall housing reform in urban areas of China. More than 20 real estate companies set up in Chengdu, which was the first step for Chengdu's real estate development. The comprehensive Funan River renovation project in the 1990s had been another step towards promoting Chengdu environmental development. In 1992, Singapore capitals brought into Chengdu helped constructing Jinxiu Garden (锦绣花园), which was the first elite residential area. Its advertisement was "Driving Volkswagen, Living in Jinxiu Garden.". In 1992, the first real estate management service company set up in Chengdu.

Chengdu started the Five Main Roads & One Bridge project in 1997. Three of the roads supported the east part of the city, the other two led to the south. It established the foundation of the Eastern and Southern sub-centers of Chengdu. The two major sub-centers determined people's eastward and southward living trends. Large numbers of buildings appeared around the east and south of the 2nd Ring Road. The Shahe River renovation project together with Jin River project also set off a fashion for people living by the two rivers. It was said that the map of Chengdu should update every three months.[56]

In 2000, dozens of commercial real estate projects also appeared.[57] While promoting the real estate market, the Chinese government encouraged citizens to buy their own houses by providing considerable subsidies. Houses were included in commodities.

In 2013, Chengdu along with Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were regarded as the Tier One Cities in terms of real estate market in mainland China.



Terminal 1, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

Chengdu is served by the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport located in Shuangliu County 16 km (9.9 mi) southwest of downtown. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the busiest airport in Central and Western China and the nation's 5th-busiest airport, with a total of 37.75 million in terms of passenger traffic in 2014.[58]

The airport has two runways and is capable of landing the Airbus A-380, currently the largest passenger aircraft. Chengdu is the fourth city in China with two commercial-use runways, after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. On 26 May 2009, Air China, Chengdu City Government and Sichuan Airport Group signed an agreement to improve the infrastructure of the airport and increase the number of direct international flights to and from Chengdu. The objective is to increase passenger traffic to more than 40 million by 2015, making Chengdu Airport the fourth-largest international hub in China, after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.[59][60]


Chengdu is the primary railway hub city and rail administrative center in southwestern China. It is the terminus for Baoji-Chengdu Rail, Chengdu-Chongqing Rail, Chengdu-Kunming Rail and Chengdu-Dazhou Rail, as well as the Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu High-speed Rail, Chengdu-Lanzhou Railway, Xi'an-Chengdu High-speed Railway, Chengdu-Guiyang High-speed Railway, and Chengdu-Dujiangyan High-Speed Railway. Chengdu Railway Bureau manages the railway system of Sichuan Province, Chongqing City, Guizhou Province and Yunnan Province.

Since April 2013, companies are able to ship goods three times a week (initially it was one train a week)[61] to Europe by trains originating at Chengdu Qingbaijiang Station with the final destination of Łódź, Poland. It is the first express cargo train linking China and Europe, with a transit time of 12 days.

Chengdu has four main freight railway stations. Among them, the Chengdu North Marshalling Station is one of the largest marshalling stations in Asia.[62]

There are three major passenger stations servicing Chengdu. They are Chengdu Railway Station (commonly referred to as the "North Station"), Chengdu South Railway Station (Chengdu nan Railway Station) and Chengdu East Railway Station (Chengdu dong Railway Station). In addition, Chengdu West Railway Station is under construction and will open in 2016.

Chengdu–Dujiangyan High-Speed Railway is a high-speed rail line connecting Central Chengdu with the satellite city of Dujiangyan and the World Heritage of Mountain Qingcheng. The line is 65 km (40 mi) in length with 15 stations. CRH1 train sets on the line reach a maximum speed of 220 km/h (140 mph) and makes the full trip in 30 minutes. The line was built in 18 months and entered into operation on 12 May 2010.[63]

CRH trains services from Chengdu to Chongqing are in operation via the Chengdu-Suining-Chongqing Railway. Also, the Chengdu-Chongqing High-speed Rail is planned to operate from 1 October 2015.[64]

CRH Trains also provide service from Chengdu (Chengdu East Railway Station) to Suining, Nanchong and Dazhou on the Dazhou-Chengdu Railway. In addition, Jiangyou, Mianyang, Deyang, Meishan, Leshan and Emeishan are connected to Chengdu by the Jiangyou-Chengdu-E'meishan High-speed Railway. Passengers can take the CRH trains to travel to the cities above at Chengdu East(Dong) Railway Station, Chengdu South(Nan) Railway Station and Shuangliu Airport Station (Terminal 2, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport).

Furthermore, passengers can take CRH train from Chengdu to Wuhan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Zhengzhou etc.

Moreover, the Xi'an-Chengdu High-speed Rail, Chengdu-Guiyang High-speed Rail, Chengdu-Lanzhou High-speed Rail and Chengdu-Kunming High-speed Rail are under construction.

Metropolitan expressways[edit]

Chengdu's transport network is well developed, and Chengdu serves as the starting point for many national highways, with major routes going from Sichuan–Shanxi, Sichuan–Tibet, and Sichuan–Yunnan.

Several major road projects have been constructed: a 15 km (9.3 mi) tunnel from Shuangliu Taiping to Jianyang Sancha Lake; alteration of the National Expressway 321, from Jiangyang to Longquanyi. There will also be a road that connects Longquan Town to Longquan Lake; it is connected to the Chengdu–Jianyang Expressway and hence shorten the journey by 10 km (6.2 mi). By the end of 2008, there are ten expressways, connecting the centre of Chengdu to its suburbs. The expressways are Chenglin Expressway, extensions of Guanghua Avenue, Shawan Line, and an expressway from Chengdu to Heilongtan.

The toll-free Chengjin Expressway in the east of Chengdu is 38.7 km (24.0 mi) long. After it opens to the public, it will take only about half an hour to drive from central Chengdu to Jintang, half the time of the current journey.

The expressway between Chengdu to Heilongtan (Chengdu section), going to the south of the city, is 42 km (26 mi) long. It is also toll-free and a journey from downtown Chengdu to Heilongtan will only take half an hour.

The extension of Guanghua Avenue, going towards the west of the city. It make the journey time from Chongzhou City to Sanhuan Road to less than half an hour.

The extension of Shawan Road going north is designed for travel at 60 km/h (37 mph). After it is connected to the expressways Pixian–Dujiangyan and Pixian–Pengzhou, it will take only 30 minutes to go from Chengdu to Pengzhou.


There are many major intercity bus stations in Chengdu, and they serve different destinations.

Chadianzi (茶店子): Hongyuan, Jiuzhaigou, Rilong Town, Ruo Ergai, Songpan County, Wolong and Langzhong

Xinnanmen (新南门: Daocheng, Emei Shan, Jiǔzhàigōu, Kangding, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Ya'an and Leshan

Wuguiqiao (五桂桥): Chongqing

Jinsha (金沙): Qionglai, Pi County and Huayang (华阳)


  • National Highway G5 Beijing-Kunming
  • National Highway G42 Shanghai-Chengdu
  • National Highway G76 Xiamen-Chengdu
  • National Highway G93 Chengdu-Chongqing Region Circle
  • National Highway G4001 Chengdu 1st Circle
  • National Highway G4002 Chengdu 2nd Circle

Chengdu Metro[edit]

Main article: Chengdu Metro
Luomashi Station of the Chengdu Metro

The Chengdu Metro officially opened on 1 October 2010.[65] The North-South Line runs from Shengxian Lake to Guangdu; referred to as Line 1. Line 2 opened on September 2012. Line 3 (Phase 1), Line 4 (Phase 1), Line 5, Line 7 and Line 10 are currently under construction. Four more lines are planned to start construction before 2015. Future plans call for more than twenty lines.[66]


Bus transit is the most important mode of public transport in Chengdu. There are more than 400 bus lines in Chengdu. In addition, Chengdu BRT offers services on the Second Ring Road Elevated Road.

CDK6122LNG 成都八宝街

River transport[edit]

Historically, the Jin River was used for boat traffic in and out of Chengdu. However, due to the size of the river itself and the reduced water depth over time, the Brocade River is no longer capable of carrying any type of water traffic. Therefore, Chengdu has no direct access to the Yangtze River or any other larger river. However, to ensure that Chengdu's goods have access to the river efficiently, the port cities of Yibin and Luzhou—both of which are reachable from Chengdu within hours by expressways—on the Yangtze have commenced large-scale port infrastructure development. As materials and equipment for the rebuilding of northern Sichuan are sent in from the East Coast to Sichuan, these ports will see significant increases in throughput.


Chengdu is home to the greatest number of universities and research institutes in Southwestern China. It has 49 colleges and universities, including University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Sichuan University, and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. In 2010, over 140,000 students graduated from the colleges and universities, more than half of them majored in IT, finance, economics, business management, or foreign languages studies.

Colleges and universities[edit]

West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University

Chengdu is the center of higher education and scientific research in Southwest China.

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

International schools[edit]

Major secondary schools[edit]


The United States Consulate General at Chengdu opened on 16 October 1985. It was the first foreign consulate in west-central China since 1949. Currently fourteen countries have consulates in Chengdu. The United Kingdom also has a visa application center in Chengdu.

Consulate year Consular District
United States United States Consulate General Chengdu 1986 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou/Tibet AR
Germany Germany Consulate General Chengdu 2003 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
South Korea Republic of Korea Consulate General Chengdu 2004 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Thailand Thailand Consulate General Chengdu 2004 Sichuan/Chongqing
France France Consulate General Chengdu 2005 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Singapore Singapore Consulate General Chengdu 2006 Sichuan/Chongqing/Shaanxi
Pakistan Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu 2007 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Consulate Chengdu 2009 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou/Shaanxi
Australia Australia Consulate General Chengdu 2013 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Israel Israel Consulate General Chengdu 2014 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
New Zealand New Zealand Consulate General Chengdu 2014 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Poland Poland Consulate General Chengdu 2015 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Czech Republic Czech Consulate General Chengdu 2015 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
India India Consulate General Chengdu 2015 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou



Chengdu is the hometown of Grand Slam champions Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, who won the women's double championships at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. The recent tennis boom in China, has led to increased interest in tennis in Chengdu. Over 700 standard tennis courts have been built in the city in the past 10 years, and the registered membership for the Chengdu Tennis Association have grown to over 10,000 from the original 2,000 in the 1980s.[69]

Chengdu is now part of an elite group of cities to host an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Champions Tour tournament, along with London, Zürich, São Paulo and Delray Beach. Chengdu Open, an ATP Championships Tour starting in 2009, have successfully invited star players including Pete Sampras, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya, Tomas Enqvist, and Mark Philippoussis.[70]

Football/Chengdu Blades F.C. (association football)[edit]

Football is a popular sport in Chengdu. Currently, Chengdu Blades Football Club, Chengdu's football team, plays in the 42,000-seat Chengdu Sports Stadium in the Chinese League One. The club was founded on 26 February 1996 and was formerly known as Chengdu Wuniu (Five Bulls) named after their first sponsor, the Wuniu (Five Bulls) Cigarette Company. The English professional football club, Sheffield United F.C., took over the club on 11 December 2005.[71] The club was later promoted into the China Super League until they were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal in 2009. Punished with relegation the owners eventually sold their majority on 9 December 2010 to Hung Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd and Scarborough Development (China) Co., Ltd.[72][73] On 23 May 2013 the Tiancheng Investment Group announced the acquisition of the club.[74]

Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium was one of the four venues which hosted the 2004 AFC Asian Cup. Chengdu, along with Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan, hosted the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Major sports venues[edit]

Chengdu Sports Stadium

Chengdu Sports Stadium is located in downtown Chengdu, covering 140 acres (57 ha) and has 42,000 seats. As one of the landmarks of Chengdu, it's the first large multi-purpose venue in Chengdu that can accommodate sports competitions, trainings, social activities, and performances. It is the home stadium of the Chengdu Blades, Chengdu's football team. The stadium hosted 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Sichuan International Tennis Center

Located 16 km (10 mi) away from Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport, Sichuan International Tennis Center covers an area of 250,000 square meters. It is the largest tennis center in southwest China and the fourth tennis center in China meeting ATP competition standards, after Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. This center is equipped with 36 standard tennis courts and 11,000 seats. Since 2009, the Chengdu Open, an ATP Championship Tour tournament, is held here annually.

Sister or twin cities[edit]


See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Capital of the Republic of China
30 Nov 1949 – 27 Dec 1949
Succeeded by