Northwestern Polytechnical University

Xi'an City, China - Northwestern Polytechnical University Located City


Xi'an, the capital and political, economic, and cultural center of Shaanxi Province, is located in the middle part of Guanzhong (Central Shaanxi) Plain, nearby Weihe River in the north and Mount Qinling in the south, covering a total area of 10,108 km2 governing 10 districts and 3 counties, including the urban area of 369km2. Currently, there are 8.63 million permanent residents in Xi'an.

1. Long History

Xi'an is reputed as the cradle of Chinese civilization and Chinese people, as well as the representative of Chinese culture with the longest history and most influence. As a time-honored historical and cultural city, Xi'an has been regarded one of the four greatest cities of ancient civilization in the world.

 Xi'an was built 3,100 years ago and had been made the capital city for 1,200 years for 13 dynasties including Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang, etc., winning the honor of “land of empire for centuries”. In the primitive times, “Lantian Ape Men” lived here; in the Neolithic era, “Banpo people” developed tribes here; in the 11th century B.C., King Wenwang of Zhou Dynasty built Fengjing and Haojing here, thus initiating the splendid history of Xi’an. 

Barbarian invaders caused the collapsed of the Western Zhou Dynasty in 771 BC. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty began and made its capital at Luoyang. In 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shihuang unified the country and built a strong feudal society, with its capital at Xianyang, just north of Xi'an. However, it wasn't until the Tang Dynasty (618–907) that Chang’an (today’s Xi'an) came into its own. Chang’an was one of the biggest international cities at that time, a great metropolis of equal importance with Rome in its heyday. The Tang Dynasty witnessed advances in many fields and the capital city boomed. It was built with grand, symmetrical layouts and became a model for city design at that time. After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, Xi'an went into decline and its tenure as capital of China came to an end. But Xi'an still played an important role as a commercial center on the Silk Road in the later dynasties.

As the previous political, economic and cultural center of China, Xi’an has been the first Chinese city opening up to the outside world and the start point of the well-known Silk Road. The Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin, one of the “eight wonders of the world” fully represents the profound historical and cultural deposit of Xi’an. What’s more, known as the “natural history museum” in China, Xi'an holds a great number of precious cultural relics and sites, more than 4,000 historical sites and tombs have been excavated, and many of the cultural relics and historical sites are rarely seen in China and even throughout the world.

2. Economic Growth and Blooming Industry

Xi'an has witnessed rapid economic growth and blooming industry. In recent years, particularly since the commencement of West China Development, Xi’an has undergone accelerated growth and drastic change in urban landscape, thus entering a new age for fast social and economic development. For nine successive years, its economic growth has been kept above 13%, and its comprehensive strength has been enhanced remarkably. In 2009, the GDP of Xi’an reached 272.4 billion Yuan, up by 14.5%. 

Over years of development, Xi’an has established a complete industrial system covering machineries, transportation, electronic information, aviation and space, biomedicine, food and beverage, and petroleum and chemical engineering; cultivated five leading industries including hi-tech, equipment manufacturing, tourism, modern service, and cultural industry, and; founded eight development platforms including Xi’an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone, Xi’an National Civil Aviation Industrial Base, Xi’an International Trade & Logistics Park, and Xi’an Fengwei New District, etc. Among them, Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone has been recognized as one of the six Chinese hi-tech parks to be built into world first-rate ones; Xi'an Economic & Technological Development Zone has dedicated to building a manufacturing base in Jingwei Industrial Park with the investment of 100 billion Yuan; Qujiang New District has been listed as one of the two national demonstration districts for cultural industry in China. Today, such development zones and bases have agglomerated the leading industries, promoted the local economy, and expedited the modern urban construction of Xi'an.

3. Technological and Higher Educational Achievements

Xi'an is a city of advanced technology and outstanding innovation capacity. In terms of comprehensive technological strength, Xi'an ranks the top in China. So far, there are 49 institutes of higher education, over 3,000 technical research institutes, and 661 independent research institutes in Xi'an, including 44 national key labs and industrial  test centers. At present, there are 632,200 on-campus college students and over 417,700 technical professionals in Xi'an. Each year, more than 10,000 students of master and doctorate degrees graduate from local universities. Besides, there are 45 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, and many first-rate scientists in Xi’an. 

At present, there are 820,000 people above the educational level of junior colleges, accounting for 10.92% of the total population in Xi’an, and ranking first in China. In terms of the percentage of adults (above 18 years old) who have received education, Xi'an also ranks first in China. What’s more, Xi'an has attracted more than 1/3 of the technical forces for spaceflight in China. Spaceship, and the rocket engine, propellant, rocket-borne computer, and remote sensing facilities for “Shenzhou-V” and “Shenzhou-VI” spaceship are all made in Xi’an. In 2009, 12,772 patents were submitted in Xi'an, which contributed for 51% of local economic growth.

4. Convenient Transportation

Xi'an enjoys superior traffic and location advantages. Located in the geographical center and the bordering area of Middle China and West China, Xi’an has been a portal and traffic hub that connects Northwest China with other regions. In the regional economic layout of China, Xi’an, the biggest central city in the Chinese section of the New Eurasia Land Bridge and the Longhai-Lanxin Railway Economic Belt, has been the bridgehead for West China Development and has played a significant strategic role in linking up different regions of China. Besides, as an important traffic hub in the national “cross-shape” railway network and the radiating railway network of Shaanxi, Xi'an has become one of the largest nodes of the trunk highway network, and one of the six largest aviation and communication hubs in China with outstanding advantages. Along with the accelerated construction of high-speed railway network in China, it's expected that in the future five years, the “one-day traffic circle” of Xi'an will cover more than half of China, and the population influenced by it will grow from the current 600 million to more than 1.2 billion. Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (airport code: XIY) is the major airport serving the city and is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China. There are many direct flights from Xi'an to many major foreign cities.

5. Beautiful Ecological Environment

Xi'an is endowed with pleasant ecological environment. Located nearby Weihe River, the largest branch of the Yellow River in its north, and bordered on Mount Qinling, the national park of China in its south, Xi'an boasts fascinating natural landscape. In recent years, its investment on urban construction has been increased; urban infrastructural conditions have been further improved. Urban road, greening, supply of gas, water, power and heat, telecommunication, and sewage and garbage treatment have been consummated. Comprehensive urban service capability has been outstandingly elevated. 

So far, the coverage rate of fuel gas in Xi’an has reached 97.7%; 100% of the source for drinking water has lived up to relevant standards; daily water supply capacity has reached 1.75 million tons; sewage treatment capacity has reached 0.95 million tons/day, which makes Xi'an the first city in northern China to solve the problem of water supply. In addition, by implementing the programs such as “large area of water surface” and “blue sky and green water”, the landscape of “eight rivers surrounding Xi’an” has been revived and the quality of residential environment has been improved remarkably. With the forest coverage of 42%, Xi’an enjoyed 304 days with the air quality above Grade-2 in 2009. Up to now, Xi’an has won several honors including the national clean city, national garden-like city, outstanding tourism city in China, and best Chinese city with the sense of happiness, thus making it an ideal place for living, recreation, investment, and business pioneering.

6. Development and Opportunities of Xi'an in the Future

Xi'an will meet important strategic opportunities in future. It is proposed that Xi'an will be built into a cultural, lively and harmonious city in the years to come. It is also proposed that the GDP of Xi'an will increase by more than 13% annually. The local GDP of Xi’an has reached 350 billion Yuan, and per capita GDP has exceeded US$ 4,500, doubling that in 2005, assuring the well-off society of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, and making Xi'an the bellwether among the innovation-oriented cities in West China, and engendering Xi’an a first-rate tourist destination and the most livable city in China. In June 2008, the State Council approved the Development Planning of Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone, in which Xi'an was positioned to turn into an international metropolis. 

It is expected that by 2020, with total population of more than ten million and total urban area of 800km2, Xi'an will become an important R&D center in China, a regional center for trade, logistics, conference, exhibition and finance, a first-rate international tourist destination, a vital base for hi-tech industries and advanced manufacturing in China. The implementation of Development Planning of Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone signifies that “Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone” has become a national economic area and Xi'an will play a leading role in the regional development of China. At present, guided by the scientific outlook on development, all the people in Xi'an have been working hard to promote various courses, so as to create better future for Xi'an and happier life for local residents. Today, Xi'an, a time-honored ancient capital, has become a vigorous modern city and a hotspot for investors. 

7. Climate of Xi'an

Xi’an has a temperate continental monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. Summer in Xi'an is hot and rainy; while winter it is usually cold and dry. The rainy season is from July to September, though there is significant rain from April to October, with showers that come and go quickly. The weather is generally pleasant all the year round, but spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Xi'an. Have a look at Xi'an and choose your time of travel.

Spring is from March till May. There are dust storms due to the rapid increase of temperatures, but only occasionally. The warm sunshine and gentle breeze make spring a good time for traveling and outdoor activities.

Summer (June to August) in Xi’an is typically scorching with strong sunshine at noon. Visitors should avoid going to outdoor sights at noon, such as the Ancient City Wall, and visit indoor sights instead, such as Shaanxi History Museum. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen and hats, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water when going sightseeing. Cool mountains around the city such as Huashan Mountain are very popular among travelers for escaping the heat.

Autumn is cool and cloudy in Xi’an, with a fair amount of precipitation, but it gradually turns dry and sunny in late autumn.

Winter (December to February) is cold, dry and overcast with a good amount of foggy days. There are occasional snowfalls, but they rarely settle for long. There are a few ski resorts around the city, but they are mainly used by the local people. If you plan to add a skiing experience to your tour of Xi'an, we recommend you to use Cuihuashan Ski Resort, as it is the best one there.

Population: 8.63 million

Temperature:  average 13.68 °C (56.6 °F)