Pre-Imperial ChinaIn the (722–403 BC), the state of Jin was located in what is now Shanxi Province. It underwent a three-way split into the states of state of Han, Han, state of Zhao, Zhao and state of Wei, Wei in 403 BC, the traditional date taken as the start of the Warring States period (403–221 BC). By 221 BC, all of these states had fallen to the state of Qin, which established the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC).
Imperial ChinaThe Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) ruled Shanxi as the zhou (political division), province of Bing (province), Bingzhou. During the invasion of northern nomads in the Sixteen Kingdoms period (304–439), several regimes including the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, and Later Yan continuously controlled Shanxi. They were followed by Northern Wei Dynasty, Northern Wei (386–534), a Xianbei kingdom, which had one of its earlier capitals at present-day in northern Shanxi, and which went on to rule nearly all of northern China. The Tang Dynasty (618–907) originated in Taiyuan. During the Tang Dynasty and after, present-day Shanxi was called ''Hedong Commandery, Hédōng'' (), or "east of the (Yellow) river". Empress Wu Zetian, one of China's only female rulers, was born in Shanxi in 624. During the first part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960), Shanxi supplied rulers of three of the Five Dynasties. Among the Ten Kingdoms, it was the only one located in northern China. Shanxi was initially home to the ''jiedushi'' (commander) of Hedong, Li Cunxu, who overthrew the first of the Five Dynasties, Later Liang (Five Dynasties), Later Liang (907–923) to establish the second, Later Tang (923–936). Another ''jiedushi'' of Hedong, Gaozu of Later Jin, Shi Jingtang, overthrew Later Tang to establish the third of the Five Dynasties, Later Jin (Five Dynasties), Later Jin, and yet another ''jiedushi'' of Hedong, Liu Zhiyuan, established the fourth of the Five Dynasties (Later Han (Five Dynasties), Later Han) after the Khitans destroyed Later Jin, the third. Finally, when the fifth of the Five Dynasties (Later Zhou) emerged, the ''jiedushi'' of Hedong at the time, Liu Chong, rebelled and established an independent state called Northern Han, one of the Ten Kingdoms, in what is now northern and central Shanxi. Shi Jingtang, founder of the Later Jin (Five Dynasties), Later Jin, the third of the Five Dynasties, ceded a piece of northern China to the Khitan people, Khitans in return for military assistance. This territory, called the Sixteen Prefectures, Sixteen Prefectures of Yanyun, included a part of northern Shanxi. The ceded territory became a major problem for the Song dynasty's defence against the Khitans for the next 100 years because it lay south of the Great Wall. The later Zhou, the last dynasty of the Five Dynasties period was founded by Guo Wei, a Han Chinese, who served as the Assistant Military Commissioner at the court of the Later Han which was ruled by Shatuo Turks. He founded his dynasty by launching a military coup against the Turkic Later Han (Five Dynasties), Later Han Emperor, however his newly established dynasty was short-lived and was conquered by the Song Dynasty in 960. In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127), the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of contention between the Song dynasty and the Liao Dynasty, Liao dynasty. Later the Southern Song Dynasty abandoned all of , including Shanxi, to the Jurchens, Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in 1127 after the Jingkang Incident of the Jin campaigns against the Song Dynasty, Jin-Song wars. The Mongol Yuan Dynasty administered China into provinces but did not establish Shanxi as a province. Shanxi only gained its present name and approximate borders during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) which were of the same land area and borders as the previous Hedong Commandery of the Tang Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), Shanxi extended north beyond the Great Wall to include parts of , including what is now the city of Hohhot, and overlapped with the jurisdiction of the Eight Banners and the Guihua Tümed banner (Inner Mongolia), banner in that area. For centuries, Shanxi served as a center for trade and banking. The "Shanxi merchants" were once synonymous with wealth. The well-preserved city and UNESCO World Heritage site Pingyao shows many signs of its economic importance during the Qing dynasty.
Early Republic of China (1912–1937)With the collapse of the Qing dynasty, Shanxi became part of the newly established Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China. From 1911–1949, during the period of the Republic of China's period of rule over mainland China, Shanxi was mostly dominated by the warlord Yan Xishan until Communists took full control in 1949; Communists had already set up secret bases in 1936, but did not completely overturn Yan and the KMT until 1949. Early in Yan's rule he decided that, unless he was able to modernize and revive the economy of his small, poor, remote province, he would be unable to protect Shanxi from rival warlords. Yan devoted himself to modernizing Shanxi and developing its resources during his reign over the province. He has been viewed by Western biographers as a transitional figure who advocated using Western technology to protect Chinese traditions, while at the same time reforming older political, social and economic conditions in a way that paved the way for the radical changes that would occur after his rule.Gillin, Donald G
War with Japan and the Chinese Civil War (1937–1949)The Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937 led the Japanese to invade China, and Shanxi was one of the first areas the Japanese attacked. When it became clear to Yan that his forces might not be successful in repelling the Japanese army, he invited Communist military forces to re-enter Shanxi. Zhu De became the commander of the Eighth Route Army active in Shanxi and was named the vice-commander of the Second War Zone, under Yan himself. Yan initially responded warmly to the re-entry of the arrival of Communist forces, and they were greeted with enthusiasm by Yan's officials and officers. Communist forces arrived in Shanxi just in time to help defeat a decisively more powerful Japanese force attempting to move through the strategic mountain pass of Battle of Pingxingguan, Pingxingguan. The Battle of Pingxingguan was the largest battle won by the Communists against the Japanese.Gillin, Donald G. ''Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911–1949''. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. pp. 263–264 After the Japanese responded to this defeat by outflanking the defenders and moving towards Taiyuan, the Communists avoided decisive battles and mostly attempted to harass Japanese forces and sabotage Japanese lines of supply and communication. The Japanese suffered, but mostly ignored the Eighth Route Army and continued to advance towards Yan's capital. The lack of attention directed at their forces gave the Communists time to recruit and propagandize among the local peasant populations (who generally welcomed Communist forces enthusiastically) and to organize a network of militia units, local guerrilla bands and popular mass organizations. Genuine Communist efforts to resist the Japanese gave them the authority to carry out sweeping and radical social and economic reforms, mostly related to land and wealth redistribution, which they defended by labeling those who resisted as ''hanjian''. Communist efforts to resist the Japanese also won over Shanxi's small population of patriotic intellectuals, and conservative fears of resisting them effectively gave the Communists unlimited access to the rural population. Subsequent atrocities committed by the Japanese in the effort to rid Shanxi of Communist guerrillas aroused the hatred of millions in the Shanxi countryside, causing the rural population to turn to the Communists for leadership against the Japanese. All of these factors explain how, within a year of re-entering Shanxi, the Communists were able to take control of most of Shanxi not firmly held by the Japanese. During the Battle of Xinkou, the Chinese defenders resisted the efforts of Japan's elite Seishirō Itagaki, Itakagi Division for over a month, despite Japanese advantages in artillery and air support. By the end of October 1937, Japan's losses were four times greater than those suffered at Pingxingguan, and the Itakagi Division was close to defeat. Contemporary Communist accounts called the battle "the most fierce in North China", while Japanese accounts called the battle a "stalemate". In an effort to save their forces at Xinkou, Japanese forces began an effort to occupy Shanxi from a second direction, in the east. After a week of fighting, Japanese forces captured the strategic Niangzi Pass, opening the way to capturing Taiyuan. Communist guerrilla tactics were ineffective in slowing down the Japanese advance. The defenders at Xinkou, realizing that they were in danger of being outflanked, withdrew southward, past Taiyuan, leaving a small force of 6,000 men to hold off the entire Japanese army. A representative of the Japanese Army, speaking of Battle of Taiyuan, the final defense of Taiyuan, said that "nowhere in China have the Chinese fought so obstinately". The Japanese suffered 30,000 dead and an equal number wounded in their effort to take northern Shanxi. A Japanese study found that the battles of Pingxingguan, Xinkou, and Taiyuan were responsible for over half of all the casualties suffered by the Japanese army in North China. Yan himself was forced to withdraw after having 90% of his army destroyed, including a large force of reinforcements sent into Shanxi by the central government. Throughout 1937, numerous high-ranking Communist leaders, including Mao Zedong, lavished praise on Yan for waging an uncompromising campaign of resistance against the Japanese. Possibly because of the severity of his losses in northern Shanxi, Yan abandoned a plan of defense based on positional warfare, and began to reform his army as a force capable of waging guerrilla warfare. After 1938 most of Yan's followers came to refer to his regime as a "guerrilla administration". After the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War, Yan Xishan was notable for his ability to recruit thousands of Japanese soldiers stationed in northwest Shanxi in 1945, including their commanding officers, into his army. By recruiting the Japanese into his service in the manner that he did, he retained both the extensive industrial complex around Taiyuan and virtually all of the managerial and technical personnel employed by the Japanese to run it. Yan was so successful in convincing surrendered Japanese to work for him that, as word spread to other areas of north China, Japanese soldiers from those areas began to converge on Taiyuan to serve his government and army. At its greatest strength the Japanese "special forces" under Yan totaled 15,000 troops, plus an officer corps that was distributed throughout Yan's army. These numbers were reduced to 10,000 after serious American efforts to repatriate the Japanese were partially successful. Yan's Japanese army was instrumental in helping him to retain control of most of northern Shanxi during much of the subsequent Chinese Civil War, but by 1949 casualties had reduced the number of Japanese soldiers under Yan's command to 3,000. The leader of the Japanese under Yan's command, Hosaku Imamura, committed suicide on the day that Taiyuan fell to Communist forces. Yan Xishan himself (along with most of the provincial treasury) was airlifted out of Taiyuan in March 1949. Shortly afterwards Nationalist planes stopped dropping food and supplies for the defenders due to fears of being shot down by the advancing Communists. The Communists, depending largely on their reinforcements of artillery, launched a major assault on April 20, 1949, and succeeded in taking all positions surrounding Taiyuan by April 22. A subsequent appeal to the defenders to surrender was refused. On the morning of April 22, 1949, the PLA bombarded Taiyuan with 1,300 pieces of artillery and breached the city's walls, initiating bloody street-to-street fighting for control of the city. At 10:00 am, April 22, the Taiyuan Campaign ended with the Communists in complete control of Shanxi. Total Nationalist casualties amounted to all 145,000 defenders, many of whom were taken as POWs. The Communists lost 45,000 men and an unknown number of civilian laborers they had drafted, all of whom were either killed or injured.Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China, W.W. Norton and Company. 1999. p.488 The fall of Taiyuan was one of the few examples in the Chinese Civil War in which Nationalist forces echoed the defeated Southern Ming, Ming loyalists who had, in the 17th century, brought entire cities to ruins resisting the invading Manchus. Many Nationalist officers were reported to have committed suicide when the city fell. The dead included Yan's nephew-in-law, who was serving as governor, and his cousin, who ran his household. Liang Huazhi, the head of Yan's "Patriotic Sacrifice League", had fought for years against the Communists in Shanxi until he was finally trapped in the massively fortified city of Taiyuan. For six months Liang put up a fierce resistance, leading both Yan's remaining Chinese forces and his thousands of Japanese mercenaries. When Communist troops finally broke into the city and began to occupy large sections of it, Liang barricaded himself inside a large, fortified prison complex filled with Communist prisoners. In a final act of self-sacrifice, Liang set fire to the prison and committed suicide as the entire compound burned to the ground.
People's Republic of China (1949–present)After Yan's time Shanxi became the site of Mao Zedong's "model brigade" of Dazhai, Xiyang County, Dazhai: a utopian communist scheme in Xiyang County that was supposed to be the model for all other peasants in China to emulate. If the people of Dazhai were especially suited for such an experiment, it is possible that decades of Yan's socialist indoctrination may have prepared the people of Shanxi for Communist rule. After the death of Mao, the experiment was discontinued, and most peasants reverted to private farming.
GeographyShanxi is located on a plateau made up of higher ground to the east ( ) and the west (Lüliang Mountains) and a series of valleys in the center through which the Fen River runs. The highest peak is Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) in northeastern Shanxi with an altitude of 3,058 m. The Great Wall of China forms most of the northern border with . The Zhongtiao Mountains run along part of the southern border and separate Shanxi from the east-west part of the Yellow River. Mount Hua is to the southwest. The Yellow River forms the western border of Shanxi with . The Fen River, Fen and Qin rivers, tributaries of the Yellow River, run north-to-south through the province, and drainage basin, drain much of its area. The north of the province is drained by tributaries of the Hai River, such as Sanggan River, Sanggan and Hutuo River, Hutuo rivers. The largest natural lake in Shanxi is Xiechi Lake, a salt lake near Yuncheng, Shanxi, Yuncheng in southwestern Shanxi. Shanxi has a Continental climate, continental monsoon climate, and is rather arid. Average January temperatures are below 0 °C, while average July temperatures are around 21–26 °C. Winters are long, dry, and cold, while summer is warm and humid. Spring is extremely dry and prone to dust storms. Shanxi is one of the sunniest parts of China; early summer heat waves are common. Annual precipitation averages around , with 60% of it concentrated between June and August. Major cities: * * * Changzhi * Yangquan The outline of Shanxi's territory is a parallelogram that runs from southwest to northeast. It is a typical mountain plateau widely covered by loess. The terrain is high in the northeast and low in the southwest. The interior of the plateau is undulating, the valleys are vertical and horizontal, and the types of landforms are complex and diverse. There are mountains, hills, terraces, plains, and rivers. The area of mountains and hills accounts for 80.1% of the total area of the province, and the area of Pingchuan and river valleys accounts for 19.9% of the total area. Most of the province's altitude is above 1,500 meters, and the highest point is the Yedoufeng, the main peak of Mount Wutai, Wutai Mountain, with an altitude of 3061.1 meters, which is the highest peak in northern China.
ClimateShanxi is located in the inland of the mid-latitude zone and belongs to the temperate continental monsoon climate in terms of climate type. Due to the influence of solar radiation, monsoon circulation and geographical factors, Shanxi's climate has four distinct seasons, synchronous rain and heat, sufficient sunshine, significant climate difference between north and south, wide temperature difference between winter and summer, and large temperature difference between day and night. The annual average temperature in Shanxi Province is between 4.2 and 14.2 °C. The overall distribution trend is from north to south and from basin to high mountain. The annual precipitation in the whole province is between 358 and 621 mm, and the seasonal distribution is uneven. In June–August, the precipitation is relatively concentrated, accounting for about 60% of the annual precipitation, and the precipitation distribution in the province is greatly affected by the terrain.
AreaThe province has a length of and a width of from east to west, with a total area of , accounting for 1.6% of the country's total area.
Administrative divisionsShanxi is divided into eleven prefecture-level divisions: all Prefecture-level city, prefecture-level cities: The 11 prefecture-level cities of Shanxi are subdivided into 118 Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China#County level, county-level divisions (23 District of China, districts, 11 county-level cities, and 84 Counties of the People's Republic of China, counties). Those are in turn divided into 1388 Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China#Township level, township-level divisions (561 town of China, towns, 634 Townships of the People's Republic of China, townships, and 193 Subdistricts of China, subdistricts). At the end of 2017, the total population of Shanxi is 37.02 million.
PoliticsThe Governor of Shanxi is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Shanxi. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor is subordinate to the provincial Communist Party Committee Secretary (), colloquially termed the "Shanxi Party Committee Secretary". As is the case in almost all Chinese provinces, the provincial party secretary and Governor are not natives of Shanxi; rather, they are outsiders who are, in practice, appointed by the central party and government authorities. The province went through significant political instability since 2004, due largely to the number of scandals that have hit the province on labour safety, the environment, and the interconnected nature between the provincial political establishment and big coal companies. Yu Youjun was sent by the central government in 2005 to become Governor but resigned in the wake of the 2007 Chinese slave scandal, Shanxi slave labour scandal in 2007. He was succeeded by Meng Xuenong, who had been previously sacked as Mayor of Beijing in the aftermath of the SARS outbreak. Meng himself was removed from office in 2008 after only a few months on the job due to the political fallout from the 2008 Shanxi mudslide. In 2008, provincial Political Consultative Conference Chair, one of the highest-ranked provincial officials, Jin Yinhuan, died in a car accident. Since Xi Jinping's ascendancy to General Secretary of the Communist Party of China at the 18th Party Congress, numerous highly ranked officials in Shanxi have been placed under investigation for corruption-related offenses, including four incumbent members Bai Yun (politician), Bai Yun, Chen Chuanping, Du Shanxue, Nie Chunyu of the province's highest ruling council, the provincial Communist Party Standing Committee. They were all removed from office around August 2014. The following were also removed from office: * Ling Zhengce, the provincial Political Consultative Conference vice-chair and the older brother of Ling Jihua; * Ling Jihua, the province's Vice Governor Ren Runhou; * Shen Weichen, former Taiyuan party secretary; * Liu Suiji, Taiyuan police secretary; * Jin Daoming, vice-chair of the provincial People's Congress; * Wang Maoshe, Yuncheng party secretary; and * Feng Lixiang, party secretary Shanxi was therefore the "hardest hit" province during the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping. Targeted corruption investigations on such a massive scale were unprecedented; it amounted to a wholesale 'cleansing' of Shanxi's political establishment. In the aftermath of the 'political earthquake', party secretary Yuan Chunqing was removed from his post in September 2014, with Wang Rulin 'helicoptered' into the provincial Party Secretary office.
EconomyThe GDP per capita of Shanxi is below the national average. Compared to the provinces in east China, Shanxi is less developed for many reasons. Its geographic location limits its participation in international trade, which involves mostly eastern coastal provinces. Important crops in Shanxi include wheat, maize, millet, legumes, and potatoes. The local climate and dwindling water resources limit agriculture in Shanxi. Shanxi possesses 260 billion metric tons of known coal deposits, about a third of China's total. As a result, Shanxi is a leading producer of coal in China and has more coal companies than any other province, with an annual production exceeding 300 million metric tonnes. The Datong (), Ningwu (), Xishan (), Hedong (), Qinshui (), and Huoxi () coalfields are some of the most important in Shanxi. Shanxi also contains about 500 million tonnes of bauxite deposits, about a third of total Chinese bauxite reserves. Industry in Shanxi is centered around heavy industries such as coal and chemical production, power generation, and metal refining. There are countless military-related industries in Shanxi due to its geographic location and history as the former base of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, one of China's three satellite launch centers, is located in the middle of Shanxi with China's largest stockpile of nuclear missiles. Many private corporations, in joint ventures with the state-owned mining corporations, have invested billions of dollars in the mining industry of Shanxi . Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing made one of his largest investments ever in China in exploiting coal gas in Shanxi. Foreign investors include mining companies from Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. The mining-related companies include Daqin Railway Co. Ltd., which runs one of the busiest and most technologically advanced railways in China, connecting and Qinhuangdao exclusively for coal shipping. The revenue of Daqin Railway Co. Ltd. is among the highest among Shanxi companies due to its export of coal to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Shanxi's nominal GDP in 2011 was 1110.0 billion yuan (US$176.2 billion), ranked 21st in China. Its per-capita GDP was 21,544 yuan (US$3,154). Shanxi is affected by cases of bad working conditions in coal mining and other heavy industries. Thousands of workers have died every year in those industries. Cases of child labour abuse were discovered recently.
Taiyuan Economic and Technology Development ZoneTaiyuan Economic and Technology Development Zone is a state-level development zone approved by the State Council in 2001, with a planned area of . It is only from Taiyuan Airport and from the railway station. National Highways 208 and 307 pass through the zone. So far, it has formed a "four industrial base, a professional industry park" development pattern.
Taiyuan Hi-Tech Industrial Development ZoneEstablished in 1991, Taiyuan Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone is the only state-level high-tech development zone in Shanxi, with total area of . It is close to Taiyuan Wusu Airport and Highway G208. The nearest port is Tianjin.
TransportationThe transport infrastructure in Shanxi is highly developed. There are many important national highways and railways that connect the province with neighboring provinces.
RoadShanxi's road hub is in the capital, Taiyuan. The major highways in province form a road network connecting all the counties. Examples of major highways are: *Datong–Yuncheng Expressway *Taiyuan-Jiuguan Expressway *Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway *Beijing–Tianjin–Tanggu Expressway
RailShanxi has extensive rail infrastructure to neighboring provinces. The rail network connects to major cities Taiyuan, Shijiazhuang, Beijing, Yuanping, Baotou, Datong, Menyuan and Jiaozuo. The province also have extensive rail network to coastal cities such as Qinhuangdao, Qingdao, Yantai and Lianyungang. The province has a rail network called the Shuozhou-Huanghua Railway. It will service Shenchi county in Shanxi with Huanghua port in Hebei. It will become the second largest railway for coal transport from west to east in China.
AviationShanxi's main aviation transport hub is Taiyuan Wusu Airport . The airport has routes connecting Shanxi to 28 domestic cities including Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Chongqing. There are international routes to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Russia. There is also another airport in , which has domestic routes to other mainland cities.
DemographicsThe population is mostly Han Chinese with List of Chinese ethnic groups, minorities of Mongol, Manchu, and the Hui people, Hui. In 2004, the birth rate was 12.36 births/1,000 population, while the death rate was 6.11 deaths/1,000 population. The human sex ratio, sex ratio was 105.5 males/100 females.
ReligionThe predominant religions in Shanxi are Chinese folk religions, Taoism, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 15.61% of the population believes and is involved in Chinese ancestral religion, cults of ancestors, while 2.17% of the population identifies as Christian. The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 82.22% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in Chinese folk religion, worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese salvationist religions, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims. Military police demolished a large Christian church known as Jindengtai ("Golden Lampstand") in Linfen, Shanxi, in early January 2018.
HealthIn the 2000s, the province was considered to be one of the most polluted areas in China. The pollution, caused in part by heavy coal mining, has caused significant public health challenges.
LanguageThe dialects spoken in Shanxi have traditionally been included in the Northern or Mandarin dialects, Mandarin group. Since 1985, some linguists have argued that the dialects spoken in most of the province should be treated as a top-level division called Jin Chinese, Jin, based on its preservation of the Middle Chinese entering tone (stop-final) category, unlike other dialects in northern China. These dialects are also noted for extremely complex tone sandhi systems. The dialects spoken in some areas in southwestern Shanxi near the borders with Henan and Shaanxi are classified in the Zhongyuan Mandarin subdivision of the Mandarin group.
CuisineShanxi cuisine is most well known for its extensive use of vinegar as a condiment, as well as for a huge variety of noodle dishes, particularly daoxiao mian, knife-cut noodles (:zh:刀削面, zh) or ''daoxiao mian'' (), which are served with a range of sauces. A dish originating from , the provincial capital, is Taiyuan Tounao (). It is a breakfast dish; a porridge-like stew made with mutton, Chinese yam (), lotus roots, ''astragalus membranaceus'' (), tuber onions, and yellow cooking huangjiu, wine for additional aroma. It can be enjoyed by dipping pieces of unleavened flatbread into the soup, and is reputed to have medicinal properties. Pingyao is famous for its unique corned beef, salt beef, while the areas around Wutai Shan are known for wild mushrooms. The most popular local spirit is fenjiu, a "light fragrance" variety of baijiu that is generally sweeter than other northern Chinese spirits.
MusicShanxi Opera ( ''Jinju'') is the local form of Chinese opera. It was popularized during the late Qing Dynasty, with the help of the then-ubiquitous Shanxi merchants who were active across parts of China. Also called ''Zhonglu Bangzi'' (), it is a type of ''bangzi'' opera (), a group of operas generally distinguished by their use of wooden clappers for rhythm and by a more energetic singing style; Shanxi opera is also complemented by ''quzi'' (), a blanket term for more melodic styles from further south. Puzhou Opera ( ''Puju''), from southern Shanxi, is a more ancient type of ''bangzi'' that makes use of very wide linear interval (music), intervals.
Ancient commerceShanxi merchants ( ''Jinshang'') constituted a historical phenomenon that lasted for centuries from the Song to the Qing Dynasty. Shanxi merchants ranged far and wide from Central Asia to the coast of eastern China; by the Qing Dynasty they were conducting trade across both sides of the Great Wall. During the late Qing Dynasty, a new development occurred: the creation of ''piaohao'' (), which were essentially banks that provided services like money transfers and transactions, deposits, and loans. After the establishment of the first ''piaohao'' in Pingyao, the bankers in Shanxi dominated China's financial market for centuries until the collapse of Qing Dynasty and the coming of British banks.
TourismImage:PingYaoCity.jpg, 250px, A street in Pingyao. Shanxi is known for its abundance of heritage sites. There are 3 World Cultural Heritage sites in the province, namely Pingyao, Yungang Grottoes and Mount Wutai, 6 places "National Key Scenic Spots" (国家重点风景名胜区), 6 "National historic and cultural cities" (国家历史文化名城), 7 "National historic and cultural towns" (国家历史文化名镇) and 23 "National historic and cultural villages" (国家历史文化名村). It also possesses 452 Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level, Major Historical and Cultural Sites Protected at the National Level, a number that is by far the greatest among all Chinese provinces. Some of the more notable sites are listed below. * Jinci, a royal temple in Taiyuan, dating back to the Zhou Dynasty, noted for its temples, Song Dynasty paintings and architecture. * The Ancient City of Pingyao is a county town noted for its noted for its state of preservation; It boasts a variety of Ming Dynasty, Ming and Qing Dynasty, Qing Dynasties. * The Yungang Grottoes, its literal translation being the Cloud Ridge Caves, is a World Heritage Site near . The site consists of 252 shallow caves containing over 50,000 carved statues and reliefs of Buddhas and Boddhisatvas, dating from the 5th and 6th centuries, and ranging from 4 centimeters to 7 meters tall. * Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) is the highest point in the province. It is known as the residence of the bodhisattva Manjusri, and as a result is also a major Buddhism, Buddhist pilgrimage destination, with many temples and natural sights. Points of interest include Tang Dynasty (618–907) era timber halls located at Nanchan Temple (Wutai), Nanchan Temple and Foguang Temple, as well as a Sarira Stupa of Tayuan Temple, giant white stupa at Tayuan Temple built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). * Mount Heng (Shanxi), Mount Hengshan (Heng Shan), in Hunyuan County, is one of the "Five Great Peaks" of China, and is also a major Taoism, Taoist site. Not far from Hengshan, the Hanging Temple is located on the side of a cliff and has survived for 1,400 years despite earthquakes in the area. * Pagoda of Fogong Temple, in Ying County, is a pagoda built in 1056 during the Liao Dynasty. It is octagonal with nine levels (five are visible from outside), and at 67 m (220 ft) in height, it is currently the tallest wooden pagoda in the world. It is also the oldest fully wooden pagoda in China, although many no-longer-existing wooden pagodas have preceded it, and many existing stone and brick pagodas predate it by centuries. * Yongle Gong, a Song Dynasty Taoist temple complex noted for the wall paintings inside its three main halls. * Hukou Waterfall is located in the Yellow River on the Shanxi- border. At 50 meters, it is the second highest waterfall in China. * Zuoquan County, known for its Chinese Communist Party battlefield sites. * Dazhai, Xiyang County, Dazhai is a village in Xiyang County. Situated in hilly, difficult terrain, it was revered during the Cultural Revolution as exemplary of the hardiness of the proletariat, especially peasants. * Niangziguan Township is located in northeast Pingding County which is at the junction of Shanxi and Heibei Province. It is an old village noted for the Niangzi Pass.
Notable individuals*Boyi and Shuqi (just after 1046 BCE), starved themselves in self-imposed exile *King Wuling of Zhao (325 BCE-299 BCE), ruler of State of Zhao during the Warring States period *Wei Qing (?–106 BC), military general of the Western Han dynasty whose campaigns against the Xiongnu earned him great acclaim *Huo Qubing (140 BC–117 BC), military general of the Western Han dynasty during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han *Huo Guang (?–106 BC), powerful official of the Western Han dynasty *Guan Yu (?－220), general serving under Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty who was known for his superior martial prowess on the battlefield *Zhang Liao (169–222), general serving under Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han dynasty who was known for his superior martial prowess on the battlefield *Xu Huang (?–227), general serving under Cao Cao in the late Eastern Han dynasty *Hao Zhao (220–229), general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China *Guo Huai (?–255), general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China *Guanqiu Jian (?–255), general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China *Qin Lang (227–238), general of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China *Jia Chong (217–282), official who lived during the late Three Kingdoms period and early Jin dynasty of China *Liu Yuan (Han Zhao), Liu Yuan (?–310), the founding emperor of the Xiongnu state Han Zhao in 308 *Liu Cong (Han Zhao), Liu Cong (?–318), emperor of the Xiongnu state Han Zhao *Liu Yao (?–329), the final emperor of the Xiongnu state Han Zhao *Shi Le (274–333), the founding emperor of the Jie state Later Zhao *Shi Hu (295–349), emperor of the Jie state Later Zhao, he was the founding emperor Shi Le's distant nephew *Murong Yong (?–394), the last emperor of the Xianbei state Western Yan *Wang Sengbian (?–394), general of the Liang Dynasty *Tuoba Gui (371–409), founding emperor of the Xianbei state Northern Wei *Tuoba Tao (408–452), an emperor of Xianbei state Northern Wei *Erzhu Rong (493–530), general of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei, He was of Xiongnu ancestry *Erzhu Zhao (493–530), general of the Northern Wei, He was ethnically Xiongnu and a nephew of the paramount general Erzhu Rong *Hulü Guang (515–572), general of the Chinese dynasty Northern Qi *Dugu Xin (503–557), a paramount general of the state Western Wei *Yuchi Jiong (?–580), a paramount general of the states Western Wei and Northern Zhou *Yuchi Jingde (585–658), general who lived in the early Tang dynasty and is worshipped as door god in Chinese folk religion *Wang Tong (philosopher), Wang Tong (587–618), Confucian philosopher and writer *Xue Ju (?–618), the founding emperor of a short-lived state of Qin at the end of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty *Pei Xingyan (?–619), general in Sui dynasty who was known for his superior fighting skills on the battlefield *Xue Rengui (614–683), general in Tang dynasty who was known for his superior martial prowess on the battlefield *Pei Xingjian (619–682), a Tang dynasty general who was best known for his victory over the Khan of Western Turkic Khaganate Ashina Duzhi *Xue Ne (649–720), a general and official of the Tang dynasty *Feng Changqing (?－756), a general of the Tang dynasty *Xue Song (?－773), grandson of Xue Rengui, a general of the rebel state Yan *Li Keyong (856–908), a Shatuo military governor (Jiedushi) during the late Tang Dynasty *Li Cunxiao (?－894), an adoptive son of Li Keyong and considered as one of the strongest warriors in ancient China history *Li Cunxu (885－926), the Prince of Jin (908–923) and later became Emperor of Later Tang (923–926) *Li Siyuan (867–933), the second emperor of imperial China's short-lived Later Tang during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period *Shi Jingtang (892–942), the founding emperor of imperial China's short-lived Later Jin during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period *Huyan Zan (?-1000), a military general in the early years of imperial China's Song Dynasty *Di Qing (1008–1057), a military general of the Northern Song dynasty
EducationMajor tertiary educational institutions in Shanxi include: * North University of China () * Communication University of Shanxi () * Changzhi Medical College () * Shanxi Datong University, Datong University () * Jinzhong College () * Lishi District#Education, Lüliang Higher College * Shanxi Agricultural University () * Shanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine () * Shanxi Medical University () * Shanxi Normal University () * Shanxi University () * Shanxi University of Finance and Economics () * Changzhi College () * Taiyuan Normal University () * Taiyuan University of Science and Technology () * Taiyuan University of Technology () * Xinzhou Teachers University () * Yuncheng University ()
See also* Major national historical and cultural sites (Shanxi), Major national historical and cultural sites in Shanxi