Shaanxi (, ; alternately
Shensi) is a landlocked province
of the People's Republic of China
. Officially part of Northwest China
, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi
(NE, E), Henan
(NW) and Inner Mongolia
Shaanxi covers an area of over with about 37 million people, the 16th highest in China. Xi'an
– which includes the sites of the former Chinese capitals Fenghao
– is the provincial capital
as well as the largest city in Northwest China and also one of the oldest cities in China
and the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals
, being the capital for the Western Zhou
, Western Han
and Tang dynasties
, which served as the Qin dynasty
capital, is just north across Wei River. The other prefecture
into which the province is divided are Ankang
Shaanxi is geographically divided into three parts, namely Northern
and Southern Shaanxi
. Northern Shaanxi (or "Shaanbei
") makes up the southeastern portion of the Ordos Basin
, and mainly comprises the two prefectural cities of Yulin
on the northern Loess Plateau
, demarcated from the Ordos Desert
and the grasslands of Inner Mongolia
's Ordos City
by the Ming Great Wall
. Central Shaanxi (or "Shaanzhong") is also known as the Guanzhong
region, and comprises the drainage basin
of lower Wei River
east of Mount Long
and north of the Qinling Mountains
, where the majority of Shaanxi's population reside. Southern Shaanxi (or "Shaannan
") comprises the three prefectural cities in the edge of the historical Bashu
region south of the Qinling Mountains, and includes the three mountainous cities of Hanzhong
. Along with areas of adjacent Shanxi
provinces, it formed the cradle of Chinese civilization.
The vast majority of the population of Shaanxi is Han Chinese
. Mandarin is mainly spoken in Shaanxi, including Zhongyuan Mandarin
and Southwestern Mandarin
; another variety of Chinese, Jin
, is also spoken.
Shaanxi is China's 15th largest economy
, ranking within the middle among China's administrative divisions. The fossil fuel and high technology sectors compose the two largest industries in Shaanxi Province. The high technology sector includes aircraft and aerospace industries, and Shaanxi produces more than 50% of the R&D and manufacturing equipment for the country's domestic commercial aviation
The name "Shaanxi" is an irregular romanization
of the Mandarin
pronunciation of the Chinese name , meaning "and
West of the Shan Pass
". This pass in Henan
, now part of Sanmenxia
's Shanzhou District
, was considered to be the place where the Yellow River
left the Loess Plateau
and entered the North China Plain
Because the Mandarin pronunciation of Shaanxi and its eastern neighbour Shanxi
differs only in tone
, their spelling in pinyin
romanization differs only by tone marks (''Shǎnxī'' and ''Shānxī'', respectively). The People's Republic of China
therefore adopted the special official spelling "Shaanxi". The first syllable is derived from Gwoyeu Romatzyh
romanization, which reflects the tones of the words' vowels in their spelling. Before the adoption of pinyin, Shaanxi was romanized as Shensi in the Chinese postal romanization
scheme. When tone marks are noted, it is spelled ''Shǎnxī'' rather than ''Shǎanxī'' or ''Shaǎnxī''.
The name first appeared as a ''lu'' (circuit) established by the Song dynasty
[Dictionary of the Ben cao gang mu, Volume 2: Geographical and Administrative Designations First Edition, Paul Unschuld, Series Editor Edition
by Hua Linfu (Author), Paul D. Buell (Author), Paul U. Unschuld (Editor)]
Shaanxi is considered one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. Thirteen feudal dynasties established their capitals in the province during a span of more than 1,100 years, from the Zhou dynasty to the Tang dynasty.
The province's principal city and current capital, Xi'an
, is one of the four great ancient capitals of China
and is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road
, which leads to Europe, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa.
Under the Han dynasty, the Northern Silk Road
was expanded to advance exploration and military purposes to the west. This Northern Silk Road is the northernmost of the Silk Road
s and is about in length. It connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an to the west over the Wushao Ling Pass
and emerging in Kashgar
before linking to ancient Parthia
The Northern Song dynasty established a Shaanxi Lu, (circuit) in the area, governed from modern Xi'an in 997. The Yuan dynasty
established Shaanxi Province (Yuan dynasty)
, governed by a Branch Secretariat
Under the Ming dynasty
, Shaanxi was established with the founding of the Saanxi Provincial Administration Commission in 1376, whose administration also included the modern provinces of Gansu
, and part of Qinghai
One of the most devastating earthquakes
in history occurred near Hua Shan
, in south-eastern part of Shaanxi Province on January 23, 1556, killing an estimated 830,000 people (see 1556 Shaanxi earthquake
After the founding of the Qing dynasty, Gansu was split from Shaanxi, but both provinces were governed under the Viceroy of Shaan-Gan
The end of the short-lived Jiangxi Soviet
signaled the beginning of the Long March
by Mao Zedong
and the Chinese Communists
to the Shaanxi Soviet
The Lantian Man
site, with hominin fossils of one million years ago, was found in Lantian County in northwestern Shaanxi province, near the city of Xi'an. Scientists classify Lantian Man as a subspecies of Homo erectus. The fossils are displayed at the Shaanxi History Museum
, Xi'an, China.
The geography of the area is described as being part of the Ordos Desert
in the north along the border with Inner Mongolia, the Loess Plateau
in the central part of the province, the Qin Mountains
(Qinling) running east to west in the south central part, and subtropical climate south of the Qinling. In between the Loess Plateau and the Qinling lies the Wei River
Valley, or Guanzhong
, a cradle of early Chinese civilization.
Going clockwise, Shaanxi borders Shanxi
(E, NE), Henan
(NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). In terms of number of bordering provincial-level divisions, Shaanxi ties Inner Mongolia.
Due to its large span in latitude, Shaanxi has a variety of climates. Under the Köppen climate classification
, the northern parts
, including the Loess Plateau, have either a cold arid
(Köppen ''BWk'') or cold semi-arid
(Köppen ''BSk''), with cold and very dry winters, dry springs and autumns, and hot summers. The area known as Guanzhong is mostly semi-arid, though there are a few areas with a humid subtropical climate
(Köppen ''Cwa''), with cool to cold winters, and hot, humid summers that often see early-season heatwaves. The southern portion
is much more humid and lies in the humid subtropical zone, with more temperate winters and long, hot, humid summers. Annual mean temperature is roughly between , with January temperatures ranging from and July temperatures ranging from .
Besides the provincial capital of Xi'an, other cities include: Baoji
Shaanxi consists of ten prefecture-level division
s: all prefecture-level cities
(including a sub-provincial city
The ten prefecture-level cities of Shaanxi are subdivided into 107 county-level division
s (30 district
s, 4 county-level cities
, and 73 counties
The politics of Shaanxi is structured in a triple party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.
The Governor of Shaanxi
is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Shaanxi. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor is considered to have less power than the Shaanxi Communist Party of China
Provincial Committee Secretary (), colloquially termed the "Shaanxi CPC Party Chief
"; since the Governor is always ranked as the First-Deputy Secretary in the Shaanxi Communist Party of China Provincial Committee.
Shaanxi was established as a provincial government since Qing dynasty
. On 10 January 1950, the People's Government of Shaanxi was established in Xi'an
. Ma Minfang was then appointed as the first Governor of Shaanxi.
As of the mid-19th century, Shaanxi exported animal skins, wine, liquor, and musk
. Money loans were also common, with Shaanxi business people involved in the Guangzhou loan business. Shaanxi commonly imported European animal skins, watches, Chinese language books, and cloth.
The fossil fuel and high technology sectors compose the two largest industries in Shaanxi province. During 2009, the province ranked third in China for production of coal, natural gas and crude oil.
As the home of several of the leading universities and research institutes in Western China, Shaanxi province also plays a major role in China's burgeoning aircraft and aerospace industries, producing more than 50% of the R&D and manufacturing equipment for the country's domestic commercial air industry.
Nominal GDP for 2011 was 1,239 billion RMB (US$
196.7 billion) and GDP per capita was 21,729 RMB (US$3,179), ranking 17th in the PRC.
In the first half of 2019, Shaanxi's total production value reached 1,162.557 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 5.4%. The added value of the primary industry was 55.319 billion yuan, an increase of 4.5%; the second industry was 557.935 billion yuan, an increase of 4.2%; the tertiary industry was 549.303 billion yuan, an increase of 6.8%.
Economic and technological development zones
Baoji Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Established in 1992, Baoji Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was approved as a national hi-tech zone by the State Council. It has a long-term planned area of . The transportation system around the zone includes Xi'an-Xianyang International Airport and National Highway 310, and industries operating within the zone include auto parts, electronics, IT, pharmaceuticals and bioengineering industries and new materials.
Shaanxi Xi'an Export Processing Zone
Shaanxi Xi'an Export Processing Zone (XEPZ) was approved on 21 June 2002 by the State Council for its establishment and was put on 5 April 2004. As the first state-level export processing zone in northwest China, XEPZ has become one of the seven pioneer EPZs with the function of bonded logistics in China. XEPZ is under the leadership of the Administrative Committee of Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone (XETDZ), which is designated by Xi'an municipal government to exercise economic and administrative power within the zone. XEPZ is a special economic zone. By now, there are more than 40 enterprises home and abroad settled in XEPZ. The pillar industries feature aviation, machinery, electronics and new energy.
The Western Triangle
is a new economic zone composing the three major city-level economies of Western China: Xi'an
. It is believed that the addition of Xi'an to the Triangle will spur economic growth in the region and allow the city an opportunity to capitalize on the commercial potential of its high-technology industries.
Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone
Established in 1993, Xi'an Economic and Technology Development Zone was approved as a national zone in 2000. The zone is 20 minutes from Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, and national highways pass through. It has formed four pillar industries: automotive, electronics, food, and new materials industries. So far, the zone has attracted more than 1,700 enterprises.
Xi'an High-tech Industrial Development Zone
Xi'an HTDZ opened its gates in 1991. It was established as a "pivotal location" for investment by high-tech industry companies in central and northwest China. Established in 1991, Xi'an Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone is a national high-tech zone. It is surrounded by national highways and it is 30 minutes from Xi'an International Airport. Furthermore, it is ranked in the top three high-tech zones in China.
Xi'an Software Park
Xi'an Software Park, established in December 1998, is the professional park for Xi'an to develop scale software and service outsourcing industries. The park has been appraised as a software industry base under the National Torch Program, national software industry base, national software export base, city demonstrational area of national service outsourcing base. It is one of the four parks with "double bases" of software in China. Xi'an Software Park assembles 90% of enterprises engaging in software and service outsourcing in Xi'an. There were nearly 780 companies, of which foreign-funded enterprises account for 170, and over 71,000 jobholders in the park by the end of 2008.
Yangling Agriculture Hi-Tech Industrial Zone
Yangling Agriculture Hi-Tech Industrial Zone was approved as a national-level hi-tech development zone by State Council in 1997. It is from Xi'an to the east and from Xi'an Xianyang International Airport.
Nearly all the people in Shaanxi are ethnic Han Chinese
, with pockets of Hui
population in the northwestern region (adjacent to Ningxia). Shaanxi province is one of the centers of ancient Chinese civilization. The southern part of Shaanxi, known as Guanzhong
, where the provincial capital Xi'an is located, is more populous compared to the northern part.
The predominant religions in Shaanxi are Chinese folk religion
s, Taoist traditions
and Chinese Buddhism
. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 7.58% of the population believes and is involved in ancestor veneration
, while 1.57% of the population identifies as Christian.
The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 90.85% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities
, Buddhism, Confucianism
, Taoism, folk religious sects
, and small minorities of Muslim
* Catholic Church in Shaanxi
* Catholic Church in Zhifang
, destroyed in 2017
* Golden Lampstand Church
, destroyed in 2018
* Shaanxi cuisine
, the representative folk opera of Shaanxi.
* Also see Xi'an#Culture
Neolithic village, near Xi'an
, one of the five best known mountains in China.
*Taibaishan (Mount Taibai), the highest peak of the Qinling
*Mausoleum and Terracotta Army Museum
of the First Qin Emperor
in Xi'an (World Heritage Site
*The city of Xi'an: City Walls, Great Mosque, Bell Tower
and Drum Tower
, Forest of Stone Steles Museum
, Shaanxi History Museum
, Wild Goose Pagoda
*Yan'an, the destination of the Long March
and the center of Chinese Communist revolution from 1935 to 1948
, one of the "ten strange wonders of Shaanxi" ()
* Shaanxi Radio
serves Xi'an and the surrounding Shaanxi province area with music, and news.
* The Story of Yue Fei
, a 17 – 18th century wuxia
fiction novel about the life of Song dynasty
general Yue Fei
, says his military arts teacher, Zhou Tong
, was from Shaanxi.
[Qian, Cai. ''General Yue Fei''. Trans. Honorable Sir T.L. Yang. Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd., 1995 ()]
Professional sports teams based in Shaanxi include:
* Chinese Basketball Association
** Southern Division: Shaanxi Kylins
** National Basketball League (NBL): Shaanxi Wolves
** Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA): Shaanxi Red Wolves
* Chinese Football Association
** China League One: Shaanxi Chang'an Athletic F.C.
* List of prisons in Shaanxi
* Major national historical and cultural sites in Shaanxi
Economic profile for Shaanxi
Category:Provinces of the People's Republic of China