|Coordinates (Shaanxi provincial government): Coordinates:|
|Municipal seat||Weiyang District|
|• Type||Sub-provincial city|
|• Body||Xi'an Municipal People's Congress|
|• CCP Secretary||Wang Hao|
|• Congress Chairman||Hu Runze|
|• Mayor||Li Mingyuan|
|• CPPCC Chairman||Yue Huafeng|
|• Sub-provincial & prefecture-level city||9,983 km2 (3,854 sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|1,088 km2 (420 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,866.25 km2 (1,492.77 sq mi)|
|Elevation||405 m (1,329 ft)|
|• Sub-provincial & prefecture-level city||8,467,838|
|• Density||850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|• Metro density||3,300/km2 (8,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (CST)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-SN-01|
|– Total||CNY1002 billion|
|– Per capita||CNY98205 (US$15,108)|
|License plate prefixes||陕A,陕U|
|City Flower||Pomegranate flower|
|City Tree||Pagoda tree|
|Literal meaning||"Western Peace"|
|Literal meaning||"Perpetual Peace"|
|Xi'an dialect (Zhongyuan Mandarin) name|
|Xi'an dialect (Zhongyuan Mandarin)||西安: [ɕi²¹.ŋã²¹] |
Xi'an (UK: // shee-AN, US: // shee-AHN; Chinese: 西安; pinyin: Xī'ān; Chinese: [ɕí.án] (listen)), alternately romanized as Sian, is the capital of Shaanxi Province. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in Northwest China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, the oldest prefecture capital and one of the Chinese Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, Northern Zhou and Tang. The city is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the UNESCO World Heritage set Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
Since the 1980s, as part of the economic growth of inland China especially for the central and northwest regions, Xian has re-emerged as a cultural, industrial, political and educational centre of the entire central-northwest region, with many facilities for research and development, national security and space exploration. Xian currently holds sub-provincial status, administering 11 districts and 2 counties. The city is the third most populous city in Western China, the other two being Chongqing and Chengdu, as well as the most populous city in Northwestern China. In 2020, Xi'an was ranked as Beta- (global second-tier) city from the Globalization and World Cities Research Network biannual city rankings, and, according to the country's own ranking, ranked 17th.
Xi'an is ranked in the top 40 cities in the world by scientific research output as tracked by the Nature Index, and home to multiple China's prestige universities, including Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xidian University, Northwest University, Shaanxi Normal University, Chang'an University, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology and Shaanxi University of Science and Technology. Notably, Xi'an Jiaotong University is one of the elite C9 League universities and the hub of the University Alliance of the Silk Road.
"Xi'an" is the atonal pinyin romanization of the Mandarin pronunciation of its name 西安, which means "Western Peace" in Chinese. (The apostrophe – known in Chinese as a 隔音符號, géyīn fúhào – should be included to distinguish its pronunciation from the single syllable xian.) The name was adopted in 1369 under the early Ming dynasty. Jesuit missionaries recorded its name as "Si-ngan" or "Si-ngan-fou" from its status as the seat of a prefecture (府, fǔ). This form still appears in the Latin name of the Catholic diocese of Xi'an, archidioecesis Singanensis. The name was later romanized as "Hsi-an" by Wade & Giles and as "Sianfu" or "Sian" by the Qing imperial post office, both of which were common until the general adoption of pinyin.
The area of present-day Xi'an has been the site of several important former Chinese cities. The capital of the Western Zhou were the twin cities of Feng and Hao, known collectively as Fenghao, located on opposite banks of the Feng River at its confluence with the southern bank of the Wei in the western suburbs of present-day Xi'an. The Qin capital Xianyang was erected north of the Wei during the Warring States period and was succeeded by the Western Han capital of Chang'an (長安), meaning "Perpetual Peace", which was located south of the Wei and covered the central area of present-day Xi'an. During the Eastern Han, Chang'an was also known as Xijing (西京) or the "Western Capital", relative to its position to the main capital at Luoyang. Under the Sui, its name became Daxing (大興, "Greatly Prosperous") in AD 581. Under the Tang, the name reverted to Chang'an in 618. Under the Mongolian Yuan dynasty (13th & 14th centuries), it held a succession of names: Fengyuan (奉元), Anxi (安西, "Peaceful West") and Jingzhao (京兆). The Ming name "Xi'an" was changed back to Xijing ("Western Capital", as above) between 1930 and 1943.
Xi'an has a rich and culturally significant history. The Lantian Man was discovered in 1963 in Lantian County, 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Xi'an, and dates back to at least 500,000 years before the present time. A 6,500-year-old Neolithic village, Banpo, was discovered in 1953 on the eastern outskirts of the city proper, which contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements carbon dated to 5600–6700 years ago. The site is now home to the Xi'an Banpo Museum, built in 1957 to preserve the archaeological collection.
Xi'an became a cultural and political centre of China in the 11th century BC with the founding of the Zhou dynasty. The capital of Zhou was established in the twin settlements of Fengjing (丰京) and Haojing, together known as Fenghao, located southwest of contemporary Xi'an. The settlement was also known as Zōngzhōu (宗周) to indicate its role as the capital of the vassal states. In 738 BC, King Ping of Zhou moved the capital to Luoyang due to political unrest.
Following the Warring States period, China was unified under the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) for the first time, with the capital located at Xianyang, just northwest of modern Xi'an. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army and his mausoleum just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne.
In 202 BC, the founding emperor Liu Bang of the Han dynasty established his capital in Chang'an County; his first palace, Changle Palace (長樂宮, "Perpetual Happiness") was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an. Two years later, Liu Bang built Weiyang Palace (未央宮, "Never Ending Palace") north of modern Xi'an. Weiyang Palace was the largest palace ever built on Earth, covering 4.8 square kilometres (1,200 acres), which is 6.7 times the size of the current Forbidden City and 11 times the size of the Vatican City. The original Xi'an city wall was started in 194 BC and took 4 years to finish. Upon completion, the wall measured 25.7 km (15.97 mi) in length and 12 to 16 m (39.37–52.49 ft) in thickness at the base, enclosing an area of 36 km2 (13.90 sq mi). In the year 190, amidst uprisings and rebellions just prior to the Three Kingdoms Period, a powerful warlord named Dong Zhuo moved the court from Luoyang to Chang'an in a bid to avoid a coalition of other powerful warlords against him.
Following several hundred years of unrest, the Sui dynasty united China again in 582. The emperor of Sui ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing. It consisted of three sections: the Imperial City, the palace section, and the civilian section, with a total area of 84 km2 (32 sq mi) within the city walls. At the time, it was the largest city in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an by the Tang dynasty. In the mid-7th century, after returning from his pilgrimage to India, the Buddhist monk Xuanzang established a translation centre for Sanskrit scriptures.
Construction of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda began in 652. This pagoda was 64 m (209.97 ft) in height, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India by Xuanzang. In 707, construction of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda began. This pagoda measured 45 m (147.64 ft) tall at the time of completion, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras by Yijing. The massive 1556 Shaanxi earthquake eventually damaged the tower and reduced its height to 43.4 m (142.39 ft).
The Nestorian Stele is a Tang Chinese stele erected in 781 that documents 150 years of early Christianity in China. It is a 279 cm tall limestone block with text in both Chinese and Syriac describing the existence of Christian communities in several cities in northern China. It reveals that the initial Nestorian Christian church had met recognition by the Tang Emperor Taizong, due to efforts of the Christian missionary Alopen in 635.
Chang'an was devastated at the end of the Tang dynasty in 904. Residents were forced to move to the new capital city in Luoyang. Only a small area in the city continued to be occupied thereafter. During the Ming dynasty, a new wall was constructed in 1370 and remains intact to this day. The wall measures 11.9 km (7.4 mi) in circumference, 12 m (39.37 ft) in height, and 15 to 18 m (49.21–59.06 ft) in thickness at the base; a moat was also built outside the walls. The new wall and moat would protect a much smaller city of 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi).
In October 1911, during the Xinhai revolution, revolutionaries stormed the Manchu fort in Xi'an. Most of the city's 20,000 Manchus were killed. The city's Hui Muslims (Mohammedans) joined the revolutionaries, although Hui Muslims in Shaanxi and Gansu generally supported the Qing. Some wealthy Manchus survived by being ransomed. Wealthy Han Chinese enslaved Manchu girls and poor Han Chinese troops seized young Manchu women as wives. Hui Muslims also seized young pretty Manchu girls and raised them as Muslims.
A British missionary who witnessed the massacre commented that "Old and young, men and women, children alike, were all butchered... Houses were plundered and then burnt; those who would fain have laid hidden till the storm was past, were forced to come out into the open. The revolutionaries, protected by a parapet of the wall, poured a heavy, unceasing, relentless fire into the doomed Tartar (Manchu) city, those who tried to escape thence into the Chinese city were cut down as they emerged from the gates."
In 1936, the Xi'an Incident took place inside the city during the Chinese Civil War. The incident brought the Kuomintang (KMT) and Communist Party of China to a truce in order to concentrate on fighting against the Japanese Invasion.
On March 11, 1938, an aerial battle broke out for the first time over Xi'an as Imperial Japanese Army Air Force aircraft attacked the city and was engaged by Chinese Air Force I-15 fighter planes led by Lt. Cen Zeliu of the 5th Pursuit Group, 17th Squadron. While repeatedly attacked by air, Shaanxi was heavily fortified by units of the Eighth Route Army; Xi'an was never taken by the Japanese forces.
The city borders the northern foot of the Qin Mountains (Qinling) to the south, and the banks of the Wei River to the north. Hua Shan, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km (62 mi) away to the east of the city. Not far to the north is the Loess Plateau.
At the beginning of Han dynasty, Prime Minister Zhang Liang advised the emperor Liu Bang to choose Guanzhong as the capital of the Han dynasty: "Guanzhong Plain, which is located behind Xiao Pass and Hangu Pass, connects Long (Gansu) and Shu (Sichuan). Lands of thousand miles rich in harvest be found here, as if this place belongs to the nation of heaven." (关中左崤函，右陇蜀，沃野千里，此所谓金城千里，天府之国也) Since then, Guanzhong is also known as the 'Nation of the Heaven'.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Xi'an has a temperate climate that is influenced by the East Asian monsoon, classified under the Köppen climate classification as situated on the borderline between a semi-arid climate (BSk) and humid subtropical climate (Cwa). The Wei River valley is characterised by hot, humid summers, cold, dry winters, and dry springs and autumns. Most of the annual precipitation is delivered from July to late October. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long. Dust storms often occur during March and April as the city rapidly warms up. Summer months also experience frequent but short thunderstorms. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from around the freezing mark in January to 27.0 °C (80.6 °F) in July, with an annual mean of 14.08 °C (57.3 °F). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 31 percent in December to 47 percent in August, the city receives 1,536 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −20.6 °C (−5 °F) on January 11, 1955, to 41.8 °C (107 °F) on June 21, 1998. A highest record of 42.9 °C (109 °F) was registered in another station on June 17, 2006.
|Climate data for Xi'an (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1951–2013)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.0
|Average high °C (°F)||5.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−20.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||6.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||3.4||4.0||6.4||7.8||8.2||8.8||9.9||10.0||11.6||9.9||5.5||3.6||89.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||65||62||64||64||65||61||68||75||77||76||73||68||68|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||88.4||96.1||116.6||142.8||169.5||179.7||181.1||168.1||121.0||98.9||92.4||81.0||1,535.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||32||34||33||38||40||43||44||47||34||32||32||31||37|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration, all-time extreme temperature|
National Time Service Centre
The Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was established in 1966. In 1975, according to the Geodetic Origin Report of the People's Republic of China, 'in order to avoid bias in the mensuration as much as possible, the Geodetic Origin would be in central mainland China.' Lintong (临潼), a town near Xi'an was chosen. Since 1986, Chinese Standard Time (CST) was set from NTSC. The National Time Service Centre (NTSC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences is an institute which is mainly engaged in the service and research on time and frequency. NTSC takes charge of generating and maintaining the national standard time scale, disseminating the time and frequency signals. The autonomous standard time scales of universal time and atomic time and the dissemination techniques with LF radio and HF radio were established successively during the 1970s and 1980s, which meet all the requirements for different applications on the whole, such as the scientific researches, national economy, etc.
As of 2010 Xi'an has a population of 5.4 million. Compared to the census data from 2007, the population has increased by 1.4 million persons. The population is 51.66 percent male and 48.34 percent female. Among its districts, Yanta has the largest population, with around 1.08 million inhabitants.
The Xian metropolitan area was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as of 2010[update], a population of 12.9 million, of which 5,740,000 is urban.
|Division||Permanent residents||Hukou residents|
|Total||Percentage||Population density (persons/km2)|
|Division code||English||Chinese||Pinyin||Area in km2||Seat||Postal code||Subdivisions|
|610100||Xi'an||西安市||Xī'ān Shì||10,096.81||Weiyang District||710000||113||55||766||2984|
|610102||Xincheng District||新城区||Xīnchéng Qū||30.13||Xiyi Road Subdistrict
|610103||Beilin District||碑林区||Bēilín Qū||23.37||Zhangjiacun Subdistrict
|610104||Lianhu District||莲湖区||Liánhú Qū||38.32||Beiyuanmen Subdistrict
|610111||Baqiao District||灞桥区||Bàqiáo Qū||324.50||Fangzhicheng Subdistrict
|610112||Weiyang District||未央区||Wèiyāng Qū||264.41||Zhangjiabao Subdistrict
|610113||Yanta District||雁塔区||Yàntǎ Qū||151.45||Xiaozhai Road Subdistrict
|610114||Yanliang District||阎良区||Yánliáng Qū||244.55||Fenghuang Road Subdistrict
|610115||Lintong District||临潼区||Líntóng Qū||915.97||Lishan Subdistrict
|610116||Chang'an District||长安区||Cháng'ān Qū||1,588.53||Weiqu Subdistrict
|610117||Gaoling District||高陵区||Gāolíng Qū||285.03||Luyuan Subdistrict
|610118||Huyi District||鄠邑区||Hùyì Qū||1,279.42||Ganting Subdistrict
|610122||Lantian County||蓝田县||Lántián Xiàn||2,005.95||Languan Subdistrict
|610124||Zhouzhi County||周至县||Zhōuzhì Xiàn||2,945.20||Erqu Subdistrict
Xi'an has many areas that are easily accessible on foot. In many commercial, residential, educational zones in the city, especially in the shopping and entertainment districts around the Bell Tower, underpasses and overpasses have been built for the safety and convenience of pedestrians.
A bicycle-sharing network started operating in Xi'an from the year 2013 and today has 52,000 bikes, used by over 200,000 people per day. Taxi services are numerous, but many citizens of Xi'an still commute to work using the city's 270 official municipal bus routes serviced by a fleet of over 7,800 buses, with an average system-wide ridership of over 4 million people per day. The bus network is complemented by a rapidly expanding subway system that carries over 1.5 million commuters per day. There are more than 2 million registered automobiles in Xi'an; the growing number of personal automobiles also means traffic jams are a common urban issue.
Line 2, running through the city from north (North Railway Station) to south (Weiqu Nan), was the first line opened to the public on September 16, 2011. Operations began on September 28, 2011. This line is 19.9 kilometres (12.4 miles) long with 17 stations. Line 1 opened on September 15, 2013. As a west–east railway, its 19 stations connect Houweizhai and Fangzhicheng. Line 3 runs from northeast (Baoshuiqu) to southwest (Yuhuazhai) and opened on November 8, 2016. Line 4, which is basically parallel to Line 2 on its east except for the northern parts, runs from the North Square of the North Railway Station [Beikezhan (Beiguangchang)] to south (Hangtianxincheng) and was available publicly on December 26, 2018. Line 5 opened on December 28, 2020. This line is 41.6 kilometres long with 31 stations from Matengkong to Chuangxingang.
The subway system covers some of the most famous attractions, such as Banpo Museum (Banpo Station, Line 1), Bell and Drum Tower (Line 2), Fortifications of Xi'an (Line 2), the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (Line 3 and Line 4), the Daminggong National Heritage Park (Line 4) and Shaanxi History Museum (Line 2, 3 and 4), etc.
The first metro departure time for Line 1, 2, 3 and 4 is 6:00, the last metro departure time for Line 3 and 4 is 23:00, for Line 1 is 23:30, and for Line 2 is 23:50.
On December 30, 2008, a fire accident occurred that was extinguished within an hour and all workers evacuated safely. Sixty-six hours later, on January 2, another fire occurred at another station on Line 2.
Xi'an's railway station, located just north of Xi'an walled city, is one of the eight major national railway stations, and the main railway transportation hub of Shaanxi Province. The new Xi'an North railway station, situated a few miles to the north, is the station for the high-speed trains of the Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway. With 34 platforms, it is the largest railway station in Northwest China. Construction of the station began on September 19, 2008. The station was opened on January 11, 2011. As of May 2012, Xi'an North Station is served only by the fast (G-series and D-series) trains running on the Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway; one of them continues south to Hankou. The city's other stations include Xi'an West, Xi'an East, Xi'an South, Sanmincun, and Fangzhicheng railway stations.
Xi'an Railway Station covers 597,000 square metres (6,430,000 square feet), has 5 passenger platforms, and 24 tracks. It provides 112 services to 80 000 people daily. Among the destinations served by direct trains from Xi'an are Beijing, Zhengzhou, Lanzhou, Baoji, and Mount Hua. China Railway High-speed 2 now run an express services from Xi'an to Baoji and Xi'an to Zhengzhou; with a total running time to Baoji of under 90 minutes, and 2 hours to Zhengzhou. The Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway also serves Xi'an. Construction work began on September 25, 2005, the railway opened for service on February 6, 2010. The railway has made air service between Zhengzhou and Xi'an uncompetitive. All passenger flights between the two cities were suspended within 48 days of start of regular high-speed rail service.
Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (airport code: XIY) is the major airport serving the city and it is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China. It is 25 miles northwest of Xi'an city centre, and 8 miles northeast of the centre of Xianyang. China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines are the main airlines using the airport. Terminal 3 and the second runway were opened on May 3, 2012.
Other than linking to most Chinese cities, the airport also has flights to several major Asian cities. One incident, however, is in 1994, when China Northwest Airlines flight 2303 broke up in mid-air and crashed near Xi'an, en route to Guangzhou from Xian. A maintenance error was responsible. All 160 people on board died. As of 2016[update], it remains the deadliest airplane crash ever to occur in mainland China.
Culture and Religion
Liang pi (cold rice noodles; simplified Chinese: 凉皮; traditional Chinese: 涼皮; pinyin: liángpí ) are wheat or rice noodles served cold with vinegar and chili oil.
Biangbiang mian, also known as youpo chemian (simplified Chinese: 油泼扯面; traditional Chinese: 油潑扯麵; pinyin: Yóupō chěmiàn), are thick and long hand-pulled noodles, typically served with red hot pepper.
Roujiamo (meat buns; simplified Chinese: 肉夾馍; traditional Chinese: 肉夾饃; pinyin: Ròujiāmó) is a bun filled with pork.
Qinqiang (Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Another one would be the Empress of the Great Tang is China's first Tang Dynasty dance and music show. The story is based on the life of the famous Chinese historical figure, Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty. Through live performances by a classical Chinese orchestra and state-of-the-art stage design, this show will take you back to the glory of the legendary Empress Wu Zetian and the Great Tang Empire.
Chinese traditional religion and Taoism
The most influential religions in Xi'an are the Chinese traditional religion and Taoist schools, represented by many major and minor temples. Among these there are a City God Temple, completely reconstructed in the 2010s, and a Temple of Confucius.
The first recorded Christian missionary in China was Alopen, a Syriac-speaker, who arrived in Xi'an (then known as Chang'an) in 635 along the Silk Road. The Nestorian Stele, now located in Xi'an's Beilin Museum, is a Tang Chinese stele erected in 781 that documents the 150 years of early Christianity in China following Alopen. It is a 279-centimetre-tall (110-inch) limestone block with text in both Chinese and Syriac describing the existence of Christian communities in several cities in northern China. The Daqin Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda in Zhouzhi County of Xi'an, has been suggested to have originally been a Nestorian Christian church from the Tang Dynasty.
Xi'an has a large Muslim community, the significant majority are from the Hui group, there are an estimated 50,000 Hui Muslims in Xi'an. There are seven mosques in Xi'an, the best known being the Great Mosque.
As part of the China Western Development policy, Xi’an became a major target for accelerated attention. From 1997 to 2006, the industrial output value of Xi’an's service industry increased at an annual average rate of 13 percent, compared to traditional service industries of 0.74 percent, representing a growth from US$8.113 billion to US$25.85 billion. Xi'an is the largest economy of the Shaanxi province, with a GDP of 324.1 billion Yuan in 2010. On average this value increases by 14.5 percent annually, and accounts for approximately 41.8 percent of Shaanxi's total GDP. At least fifty-eight countries have established over 2,560 enterprises in Xian, including nineteen of the Fortune 500 enterprises. These include ABB, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Coca-Cola Company and Boeing.
Important industries include equipment manufacturing, tourism, and service outsourcing. The manufacturing industry had an annual output of RMB 36.5 billion, accounting for 44.5 percent of the city's total. Furthermore, as one of China's four ancient capitals, Xi'an's many cultural sites, including the Terracotta Army, the City Wall of Xi'an, and the Famen Temple, make tourism an important industry as well. In 2010, 52 million domestic tourists visited Xi'an, earning a total income of RMB 40.52 billion. On average, revenue increases by 36.4 percent per year, and foreign-exchange earnings (530 million in 2009) increase by around 35.8 percent.
Xi'an is also one of the first service outsourcing cities in China, with over 800 corporations in the industry. The city's output value from this sector exceeded RMB 23 billion in 2008. Employment in the sector doubled from 1997 to 2006, from a base of 60,000, and computer consulting also doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. As a result of the importance of the software-outsourcing industry, the city planned construction of a Software New Town, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015 with 30 billion RMB investment. Other major export goods include lighting equipment and automobile parts, while its major import goods are mechanical and electrical products. Internationally, Xi'an's largest trade partner is the United States.
Software and Technological Industries
The growing economy of the city also supports the development of a software industry, and the city is a pioneer in software industry in China. The Xi'an Software Park within the Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone (XDZ) has attracted over 1,085 corporations and 106,000 employees as of 2012. Xi'an is described as having" large pool of cheap human resources from the 100 universities in the area, it hoovers up around 3,000 computer graduates every year, each earning approximately $120 a month—half the wages for the equivalent job in Beijing."
In November 2006, Xi'an and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation jointly set up Xi'an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. From its establishment, the base has focused on the development of the civil space industry, including equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing, new materials and solar photovoltaics.
Apart from the core area, the base will cover Xi'an and the Guanzhong area and the expansion zone will reach other parts of Northwest China and Southwest China. It is expected that by 2012 the total industry output can reach 2.8 billion us dollars with about 10 to 20 brand products with intellectual property rights and 5 to 8 products with global competitiveness.
In 2008, after the launch of the initial aerospace centre in Shanghai, the PRC is constructing another civil aerospace centre in the Shaanxi province. The State Development and Reform Commission approved the planning of Xi'an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base on December 26, 2007. The National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base of Xi'an, set to cover 23 km2 (8.9 sq mi), will focus on developing satellites, new materials, energies, IT and other technologies for civil applications.
There are a total of 60 universities in the city, with the most famous one being the Xi'an Jiaotong University (西安交通大学), which was ranked 290th worldwide. Other ones also include the Northwestern Polytechnical University (西北工业大学), Xidian University (西安电子科技大学), Chang'an University (长安大学), Northwest University (西北大学), Northwest University of Political Science and Law (西北政法大学) and; Shaanxi Normal University (陕西师范大学).
The city also hosted the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition.
Because of the city's many historical monuments and a plethora of ancient ruins and tombs in the vicinity, tourism has been an important component of the local economy, and the Xi'an region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.
The city has many important historical sites, and some are ongoing archaeological projects, such as the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army. There are several burial mounds, tombs of the Zhou dynasty kings located in the city. Xi'an also contains some 800 royal mausoleums and tombs from the Han dynasty, with some of them yielding hundreds of sculpted clay soldiers, and remains of sacrificial temples from the Han era. The city has numerous Tang dynasty pagodas and is noted for its history museum and its stele forest, which is housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from various dynasties.
Some of the most well-known sites in Xi'an are:
- The city is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall which was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming dynasty and was based on the inner imperial palace of Tang dynasty.
- The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km (25 mi) to the east of the city centre, in the city's suburbs.
- The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, both are located at the city's central axis.
- The city's Muslim Quarter, which is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an.
- The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes.
- The Stele Forest is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks
- The Famen Temple and its towering pagoda located 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Xi'an.
- Xi Ming Temple
- Wolong Temple at Kaitong lane.
- Xingjiao Temple at Shaolin Yuan.
- Jianfu Temple
- The Banpo Neolithic village.
- The Shaanxi History Museum, which has a large collection of historical artifacts.
- Mount Li
- Huaqing Hot Springs, at the foot of Mt. Li, have a history of 6,000 years, the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years. Ranked among the Hundred Famous Gardens in China, it also has the status as a National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area.
- Daming Palace National Heritage Park, site of the former royal residence of the Tang dynasty emperors
- Shaanxi History Museum
- Stele Forest
- Daming Palace National Heritage Park
- Mount Li National Forest Park
- Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park
Famous former professional sports teams in Xi'an include:
- Chinese Jia-A League
- Shaanxi Guoli F.C. (disbanded in 2005)
- Chinese Football Association Super League
- Shaanxi Renhe Commercial Chanba F.C. (moved in 2012 to Guangzhou)
- Chinese Basketball Association
Television and radio
- China Central Television's channel 1 through 12 is broadcast nationwide.
- Shaanxi Television (SXTV) provincial station, broadcasts on eight channels as well as a satellite channel for other provinces.
- Shaanxi Radio broadcasts music, news.
Xi'an's twin towns and sister cities are:
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