Shaanxi: New Glories on the Silk Road

    Written by: Feng Yang
    Posted on: November 08, 2017 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文

    View from the North Peak of Mount Hua, Shaanxi Province (Source: Chensiyuan) - Shaanxi: New Glories on the Silk Road

    View from the North Peak of Mount Hua, Shaanxi Province (Source: Chensiyuan)

    Shaanxi, known as “Shann” or “Qin,” lies in central China, alongside the middle reaches of the Yellow River, covering both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River basins. It is the gate to the Asian part of the new Eurasia Continental Bridge, and to Northwest, Southwest, North, and Middle China – hence having the geographical advantage of connecting the East to the West.

    Endowed with a variety of landforms, such as plateaus, mountains, plains, and basins, the terrain runs down from the west to the east. The North Mountains and the endless Qinling Mountains geographically divide the province into three parts: the primitive Loess Plateau (Shannbei Plateau) is in the north, the graceful Qin and Ba Mountains are in the south, and the middle consists of the Guanzhong Plain. The landforms result in beautiful and spectacular sceneries, including the dangerous Mount Hua, the grand Hukou Waterfalls of Yellow River, the legendary Mount Li, and the snowcapped Mount Taibai, which is the highest peak of the Qinling Range. Its various climates and terrains give birth to thousands of life forms and rare species, turning it into a museum of natural history.

    Loess landscape near Hunyuan

    Loess landscape near Hunyuan (Source: Till Niermann)

    Shaanxi has an extremely rich historical and cultural heritage. The province is the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization: over 800,000 years ago, Lantian Man, a subspecies of Homo erectus, lived here. Over ten dynasties had their capitals in the province, during a span of more than 1,000 years, including the West Zhou, the Qin, the West Han, the Sui, and the Tang dynasties. Hence, Shaanxi has been the “capital province” of most dynasties. There are altogether 79 imperial mausoleums in the province, which are called the “pyramids of the East.” The Yellow Emperor Mausoleum, located in Huangling County of North Shaanxi, is regarded as a spiritual symbol of the Chinese nation.

    The Mausoelum of the Yellow Emperor

    The Mausoelum of the Yellow Emperor (Source: CB Wentworth)

    Yayue classical dance

    Yayue classical dance (Source: Craig Ferguson)

    In its long history, as dynasties changed from one to another, glorious cultures and fine arts were created by great masters: the Duke of Zhou, who established the rules of and created the yayue of Chinese classic music (the imperial court music); Cheng Miao of the Qin Dynasty, who created li calligraphy; Sima Qian, the great historian of the Han Dynasty; Wang Wei, Bai Juyi, and Du Mu, the master poets of the Tang Dynasty; Liu Gongquan and Yan Zhenqing, the great masters of Chinese calligraphy. Their immortal works and creations stand as testaments of Chinese civilization.

    While counting the glories of the past, one must always remember the present. With rich natural and energy resources, strong scientific and technological power, a railway, highway, and airline network that extends in all directions, Shaanxi has substantial interactions with Central Asian countries, in fields such as trade, modern agriculture, communication and culture. With the “Belt and Road” initiative, Shaanxi, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and a key hub on the new Eurasia Continental Bridge, is thriving.

    On April 1st, 2017, China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone was founded. In the same month, Shaanxi government issued “The 2017 ‘Belt and Road’ Construction Plan of Shaanxi Province,” which aims to build a transportation trade logistics center, an international capacity cooperation center, a scientific and technological education center, an international tourism center, and a regional finance center, to set up a platform for cultural exchanges, and to support an environment in which development can occur.

    Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an, Shaanxi

    Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an, Shaanxi (Source: National Geographic)

    From CRE Chang’an to the grand international trade passageway of land-sea transportation; from University Alliance of the New Silk Road and the “Belt and Road” Aerospace Innovation Alliance founded in Xi’an to the collaborations with Central Asian countries in university alliance, think-tank research, and agricultural technologies; from China-Russia Silk Road Innovation Park and China-Kazakhstan Apple Park to the cooperation extended to “Belt and Road” countries in fields such as business, trade, energy resources, finance, and culture - Shaanxi, stands at the starting point of a new history. It marks beginnings in endless new areas, composing chapters of well-being, with new glories and new dreams.

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