The capital city of Sichuan Province, famed as “Land of Abundance” since ancient times, the center of science and technology, commerce, trade and finance as well as leading hub of transportation and communications in Southwest China. Chengdu is situated in the middle of Sichuan Province, the West Sichuan Plain. Covering an area of 12390 sq km, it is 192 KM long from east to west and 166 KM wide from south to north. Up to the year 2000, the city zone of Chengdu is 208 sq km. Chengdu is adjacent to Deyang City in the northwest, Ziyang District in the southeast, Meishan District in the south, Ya’an District in the southwest and Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest.
Chengdu belongs to the inland zone. It is 1,600 km away from the East China Sea and 1,090 km from the South China Sea. Chengdu has also been famous for its rich cultural heritage. Within its jurisdiction are Qionglai city, Chongzhou city and Pengzhou city, all of which are listed as Cities of Rich Cultural and Historical Heritage by the government of Sichuan province. In November 2000, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Qingcheng Mountain (the Taoist Mountain) were ranked as Cities of the World Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Historical significance: The spectacular landscapes and remoteness of many parts of the province firmly established it within Chinese folklore. Over the centuries it became a home for a number of breakaway kingdoms. In more recent times, however, it was the fertile soil of the Sichuan Basin and the water supply that made it the most heavily populated province in China.
Sichuan is rich in mineral resources. Large deposits of coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore and salt contribute to the industrialisation of the province. Sichuan also has more than 132 mineral resources including vanadium, titanium, lithium and cobalt.
Chengdu is situated in the centre of the province and is about 275 kilometres for Chongqing, which, though physically contained within the province, is now a municipal government that comes directly under the State Council, and hence, in terms of government administration, is equal to a province.
The city of Chengdu existed 2,500 years ago and became prominent as a silk weaving centre during the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD). Over the centuries it had a varied history as a result of its remoteness and a strong sense of independence of its inhabitants. For example, Chengdu resisted the Mongol invasion in the 13th century and was virtually destroyed.
It is the leading industrial complex of the province, by a substantial margin, but has nevertheless retained much of the early greenery. Many tourists consider it to be one of the most intriguing cities in China.
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