Chengdu in Brief

As the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu is the center of science, technology, trade, commerce and finance, as well as the hub of transportation and telecommunications in the southwest. The electronic and information, machinery (including automobile), medicine, and food industries in Chengdu are thriving rapidly in recent years. Tourism has become a new economic growth point of the city.


Geographic Features

Chengdu is located in the middle of Sichuan Province in the west part of the Sichuan basin, between 102o54 -104o53 east longitude and between 30o05 -31o26 north latitude. The city covers a total area of 12,390 square km with a total length of 192 km from east to west and 166 km from north to south. The average altitude is 500 meters. Due to the situation against the Qinling Mountains in the north and facing the Yungui Plateau in the south, Chengdu enjoys a humid, subtropical monsoon climate. It is mostly cloudy and damp. It is neither very cold in winters nor hot in summers. The average temperature is 16Co with the annual rainfall of 900-1,000 mm.



It is a big and heavily populated city with 9 million residents. There are 15 ethnic groups and it is common to see Tibetans,Uigurs,Miao and Yao. The main religion here is Buddhism and Taoism. The natives speak Sichuan dialect, but the government language is still mandarin.



23,00 years ago, a Shu Emperor named Kaiming moved his capital slightly east and named the new town Chengdu (meaning, "becoming a city") in hopes that it would one day be a m?s2ietropolis. Chengdu has remained Sichuans capital ever since. During the Warring States Period (453-221 BC) an emperor from Qin kingdom conquered the Shu Kingdom and, in order to take advantage of the fertile plain, he moved thousands of Qin people to the former Shu Kingdom. The emperor had thick city walls built around Chengdu in 311 BC and divided the city into two parts: the larger for officials and the army and the smaller for merchants and peasants, who mostly lived outside the walls. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 35-330), the imperial court appointed an official to supervise the fast-growing brocade industry in the town. It was then known as Jincheng, or Brocade Town. When it was discovered that the brocade turned brighter and fresher after being washed in a nearby river, the river was given the name Jin Jiang, or Brocade River. The Chengdu Plains rich soil and flourishing economy made it an important strategic post and for 2,000 years both warlords and statesmen prized it. Possibly the most famous of Chengdus overlords was Liu Bei, who ruled the Shu Han Kingdom from Chengdu during the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-263). In the 1940s, Chengdu and neighboring Chongqing were first bases for the "Flying Tigers", a renowned group of American and Chinese fighter pilots who fought against the Japanese invaders during World War II, and the cities were later the final strongholds of the Chinese Nationalist Party. The Nationalists fled to Taiwan after Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the Peoples Republic in 1949, and the Red Army liberated Chengdu in 1950.

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