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Provinces | Shaanxi Province

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shaanxi Chinese nameshaanxi
Population37,500,000
Area205,600
CapitalXian
Main Industriesaviation, textiles
GDP14,583
Foreign Trade5,360
Ethnic minorities1%
Urbanization41%
Inner Mongolia Xinjiang Heilongjiang Jilin Gansu Liaoning Ningxia Qinghai Tibet Hebei Yunnan Shandong Sichuan Guangxi Shanxi Hainan Shaanxi Guangdong Chongqing Fujian Henan Guizhou Zhejiang Hunan Jiangsu Hubei Shanghai Jiangxi Beijing Anhui Tianjin

Shaanxi Province is near the geographical centre of China and is certainly one of the oldest centres of Chinese civilization. An ancient neolithic village at Banpo takes the story back to 4,500BC.

The reason that the name is so confusingly similar to Shanxi Province is that the names differ only in the tone of the 'a' sound. In order to make the provinces distinct when tone marks are not shown the name is printed with a double 'a' to indicate it is of third tone.

The first emperor to unify China, Qin Shihuangdi (221 to 221 BC) is buried with his terracotta army at Xian the provincial capital of Shaanxi. Early Chinese people settled on the fertile loess valleys around the Yellow River (Huang He). Thereafter Xi'an was capital to China for a thousand years. It is a popular tourist destination but is also an industrial city noted for aviation and textile industries.

The province stretches NE to the Great Wall and SW to the Daba Shan mountains. In communist times it is famous for Chairman Mao's base at Yan'an - the eventual destination for the Long March. It is rich in natural resources particularly coal and oil.

See also :

Marble boat, HuaQingChi Park
Field terracing, Suide County

More information on Shaanxi

Terraced fields
Landscape of terraced fields. 1974

Neolithic pottery
4000 year old pottery objects from early man, Kangjia, Shaanxi

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