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1. Geographic Location
Located in the west part of the Sichuan Basin, Chengdu is adjacent to Deyang City in the northeast, Neijiang City in the southeast, Leshan City in the south, Ya'an City in the southwest and Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest. Its geography
features mainly plains, hills and mountains, with the terrain slanting from northwest to southeast. To the northwest is Qionglai Mountain, and to the northeast is Longquan Mountain. The average altitude of the Chengdu Plain is 500 meters, with the highest
part reaching 5,364 meters above sea level and the lowest 387 meters. Chengdu covers an area of 12,300 square kilometers, and has a population of over 10 million of which 3. 36 million are urban. There are 6 urban districts: Jinniu, Qingyang, Wuhou, Jinjiang, Chenghua, and Gaoxin; 4 suburbs: Xindu, Qingbaijiang, Longquanyi, and Wenjiang; and 10 counties: Jintang, Pixian, Shuangliu, Xinjin, Dayi, Pujiang, Qionglai, Chongzhou, Dujiangyan, and Pengzhou under its jurisdiction.
2. Status and Reputation
~ Chengdu is one of the 24 China Key ratified by the State Council. Historical and Cultural Cities
~ Mt. Qingcheng together with the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is inscribed on the List of the World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO.
~ Wuhou Temple is a Key Cultural Relic Under State Protection, an important memorial and commemorative location of the Shu Han
Dynasty.
~ Mt. Qingcbeng is the birthplace of Taoism in China.
3. City Features
As one of the 24 China Key Historical and Cultural Cities, Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, has many tourism
resources. UNESCO lists Mt. Qingeheng, the birthplace of Taoism, together with the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, as the World Cultural Heritage. In the downtown areas of Chengdu, are a number of historic sites and relics, such as: Du Fu's Thatched Cottage, Wuhou Temple, Wangiian's Mausoleum, Yangsbeng-an Temple, Mausoleum of Prince Xiwang of the Ming Dynasty and Jin Sha Ruins, etc. In the surronnding districts and counties there are: Mt. Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, the world cultural heritage; the Xiling Snow Mountain, a national key tourist resort; and other provincial key scenic spots like: Chaoyanghu Lake, Mt. Tiantai, Mt. Jinfeng, Yunding Stone City, etc. Xiling Snow Mountain and Mt. Qingcheng near Chengdu are ideal summer resorts. Longchi Forest Park and the Xiling Snow Mountain are places where people in Chengdu and tourists from other southern provinces can appreciate winter snow. Since ancient times, Chengdu has been known as the "Land of Abundance"
. Today it is also world famous for the Giant Pandas, and is recognized as the hometown of pandas.

Commentary
Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and one of the China Key Historical and Cultural Cities ratified by the State Council, enjoys an
illustrious, time-honored history and culture. It began to serve as a capital city as early as 2,500 years ago, when King Kaiming,of the ancient Shu State abandoned his old palace and chose to settle here. In 256 BC, Li Bing, governor of Shu prefecture, aided by his
son, built the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, which made the Chengdu Plain virtually flood resistant and ensured annual bumper harvest, benefiting the plain enormously, even today. For the past two millennia Chengdu has prospered from increasingly advanced
agricultural techniques as well as the handicraft industry , and has come to be known as the" Land of Abundance"

The history of city development
In the Eastern Han Dynasty (35-330 AD), the Jinguancheng( residence for the Brocade Officials sent by the Imperial Court to take
charge of the fast-growing brocade industry. Chengdu therefore earned the nickname "Jincheng" or "Jinguancheng ", viz. the
brocade city. Silk washed in the river flowing past the city turned out to be brighter and fresher and for this reason the fiver was named Jinjiang , or Brocade River. Beside the river stands its namesake, the present Jinjiang Hotel. During the Five-Dynasty Period
(907-960 AD ), the hibiscus-lov{ng King Meng Chang had these flowers planted throughout the entire city. When the hibiscuses
were in bloom, the display of the many colors Of hibiscus flowers presented a fantastic spectacle that extended for 65 kilometers.
Chengdu became known as "the hibiscus city." As one of the principal cities in China, Chengdu holds an
important position in the history of Chinese metropolitan development. It had already become a renowned business hub during the Qin Dynasty ( 221-206 BC ) and Han Dynasty ( 206 BC-220AD ). Dynasty, with the other four cities being Luoyang, Handan, Linzi and Wan . It was second only to Yangzhou in the Yang Dynasty (618-907) and next only to the capital city Northern Song Dynasty ( 960-1127 ). As early as in the Tang and Song dynasties, the commerce and trade of Chengdu had already been transformed from the traditional family workshops into a modern city of sophistication. Over the past 2,000 years, Chengdu has remained an important
political, economic, cultural and military center in southwest China. Gongsun Shu, King of Eastern Han Dynasty, Liu Bei, King of the
Three-Kingdom Period and Meng Zhixiang, King of the Later Shu Kingdom, all made Chengdu their capital city. During the
dynasties of Yuan ( 1279-1368 ), Ming ( 1368-1644 ) and Qing (1644-1911), Chengdu continued to be the provincial government
seat of Sichuan. On December 27, 1949, Chengdu was liberated and chosen as the location for the administration office of Sichuan. In
1952, Chengdu was made capital of Sichuan Province. The commerce and industry in history Chengdu has always been blessed with prosperous industries and booming businesses. In the Qin (221 BC-206 BC) and the Han (206
BC-220AD) dynasties, it was already a well-known business center, and held a different fair for each month: January, lamps; February,flowers; March, silkworms; April, embroideries; May, fans; June, incense; July, jewelry; August, sweet-scented osmanthus trees; September, wines; October, plum trees; November, Chinese roses; and December, peach wood charms. Meanwhile, the night markets in the downtown areas began to prosper. The names of some of the streets given then are still used today, such as Yanshikou (street for salt trade, ) and Business Street . The first piece of paper currency in China and in the world was made and used in Chengdu in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), an indication of the advanced level of trade and the sophisticated levels of financial transaction and economic development at that time. Chengdu excelled in paper making in the Sui (581-618) and Tang
(618-907) dynasties and the hemp paper made in Chengdu was designated for official document writing. The wood block printing
technology emerged later, .another major contribution to world civilization, and Chengdu was among the first to introduce and adopt
this new invention. During the Song Dynasty (960 -1279), Chengdu became one of three printing centers in China. Its printing technology was acknowledged as the most advanced in the country. Chengdu has the longest history of gas exploration and utilization. Early in the Western' Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD), natural gas was discovered and used in a salt refinery. Canals were built linking Chengdu to adjoining locations. Due to this convenient means of water transportation, merchants were better able to commute between Chengdu and other destinations, and so the silk trade was facilitated.
In addition, the well-known Southern Silk Road started from Chengdu, passed through Yunnan and arrived in Myanmar and
India. Chengdu 'is proud of its illustrious history of contributing to the spreading of Chinese culture to the outside world.
Education and culture Chengdu has a glorious history and tradition of education. Public
education in China began first here in Chengdu in 141 B. C., sponsored by Wen Weng, who built a number of schools to promote
education. During the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) a college with up to 1,000 students was established. This may explain why
Sichuan has been the birthplace of numerous talented and prominent figures, with the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25AD ) and the
Eastern Han Dynasty (25AD-220AD) as its prime time. Sichuan Opera, one of the indigenous operas in China,
originated, developed and continues to flourish in Chengdu. Since the Tang and Song dynasties, this style of performance covers a wide range of repertoire, its comic show being especially impressive. Delivered in Sichuan dialect, with exquisite, unique voice production and elegance of movement, the Opera fascinates both domestic and overseas audiences. Representative plays include: Tales of White Snake, Red Clouds, Good Men from Sichuan, etc. In addition to $ichuan Opera, talk-and-sing quyi, comedies, traditional stage plays, Peking Opera, all sorts of music and dancing and acrobatics can be found in Chengdu. The Chengdu Acrobatic Troupe has not only inherited traditional repertoire, but has also contributed greatly to the development of the art introducing many novel skills which integrate dancing, drama and gymnastics, expressing beauty, simplicity, bravery and wisdom. In 1981, the Troupe achieved intenational recognition in an overseas performance. The art of puppet shows in Chengdu has an equally honorable
ancient tradition, dating back to the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The art of Shadow shows came to Sichuan from north
China. During the time of the Republic of China ( 1912-1949), the lantern shadow show, together with the gong and drum music,
blended into a type of famous folk dramatic art. Following the founding of the People's Republic of China, a professional puppet and
shadow theater was established in Chengdu, with a repertoire of up to 100 presentations frequently watched by children and teenagers. Since the 1980s, Chengdu has exported its puppet and shadow shows. Hand:crafts and local products Chengdu is famous for its handicrafts. The history of Chengdu lacquer wares dates back to the Warring States (770-476 BC ) and
the Hah Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), when lacquer products were sold even to foreign countries near and far. With its long experience of brocade weaving and tradition of silk culture, Chengdu is also home to the famous and precious Shu satin. It is recorded that colored silk made in Sichuan was extremely popular as early as the Han and the Jin dynasties, and that most silk products exported to Middle Asia between the Six Kingdoms and the Tang Dynasty (618-907) were made in Chengdu. In 1909, the Shu Colored Silk won first prize in the Southeast Asian Fair. Sichuan embroidery, one of the four influential types of
embroidery in China, has a history of more than 2,000 years, a pure handicraft of superb craftsmanship, with a great many varieties. The double-faced embroidery such as Carps and Lotus, and Panda Playing with Bamboo have been well received by collectors.
There are also other local products, including brocade, porcelain, articles made of bamboo, lacquer ware, and gold and silver products, which are ideal souvenirs for tourists. Sichuan lacquer crafts were first manufactured in the Qin and
Han dynasties and were particularly popular in the Han Dynasty. The craftsmanship was intricate and sophisticated even 2,000 years ago. Many of the lacquer wares unearthed from the tombs of the Warring States Period and from the Mawangdui Han Tomb of Changsha City have markings indicating their origin in Sichuan, still amazingly fresh and bright upon discovery even after over two
millennia of burial. Sichuan lacquer works are produced mainly in Chengdu, using halogen lacquer, carved into different images and
patterns, painted with pigment, all showing a smooth elegance. These wares have transparent and bright surfaces and can survive long-term usage. The porcelain articles coated with bamboo strips, or Zhusikouci, is a unique kind of art-ware of Chengdu. With the famous Jingdezhen-made ceramic as its base, the object is then closely wrapped with interwoven bamboo strips as thin as hair and as soft as silk before being painted with lacquer. These exquisite creations are hailed by foreign friends as the "oriental flower of art."
Sichuan is also a traditional production place of China's silver thread artworks, well known since ancient times. This was verified by
the huge number of silver-thread works discovered in Latter-Shu King Wang Jian's mausoleum. The craftsmanship had reached quite a high level. Chengdu silver-thread artworks are made of silver as the raw material. Silver threads are drawn hair-thin, woven into vivid images such as human figures, birds, animals, insects, and fish, as well as flowers, grass, and trees. They are hot sellers among Sichuan's exports and favorite souvenirs of tourists. Snacks and teahouses Chengdu is acknowledged as the ".Land of Abundance" not only for its mild climate and plentiful resources, but also for its distinctive Sichuan food, one of the four recognized schools of Chinese cuisine, characterized by its hot and spicy flavor. More than 1,000 years of evolution has produced over 3,000 varieties of Sichuan dishes, and new ones are still emerging. In Chengdu, you may find about 200 sorts of snacks, each with a unique flavor. Hot-pot dishes also enjoy great popularity in Chengdu. Chengdu is one of the birthplaces of China's tea culture. Xinjin
, a county of Chengdu, was the first to begin tea trade. In the poetry concerning Chengdu we find the earliest descriptions about tea
drinking. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Chengdu remained an important base for tea production, and as a significant center for the tea trade, both in retailing and wholesale. Since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), teahouses here gradually developed their own unique style whictT ~:emains popular today, an important part of the ancient Sichuan culture. The low tables and bamboo chairs are peculiar to Chengdu and the three-piece tea set (including the bowl, lid and tray) enhance the unique tea culture. Chengdu is reported to have the largest number of teahouses in the world. Numerous teahouses can also be found scattered across the towns and cities of the province. Sitting in a tea house, you may be transported by the delicate aroma
and strong aura of the local customs, tasting different kinds of tea while appreciating story-telling or other art performances.

Tourism development
Tourism of Chengdu increased in the early 1980s, and has grown into a pillar industry of the city. The development of tourism has been coordinated and well established, integrating food, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping and entertainment, with comprehensive services and a complete set of facilities. The city now has: 57 tourist hotels, of which 53 are star-rated, with a total of 20,000 beds; 142 travel agencies including 23 international agencies; 11 tourist and designated
bus companies; 108 taxi companies; 3 tourist airlines which offer charter services; 3 special tourist trains; and one tourist shipping
company. There are five shopping streets, 12 designated commercial centers for tourist shopping, 18 designated tourist restaurants, more than 10 tourist recreational centers, 14 tourist safety and relief centers and 8 tourist consultation and supervision institutions.
During the seventh and eighth Five-Year-Plan period (1980- 1990), Chengdu hosted a total of 1.28 million overseas tourists and
103 million domestic tourists. In the first three years of the ninth Five Year Plan, the figures came to 491, 100 and 60.5 million
respectively. Before the eighth Five-Year Plan, tourism accounted for no more than 3 percent of the city's GDP. But it rose to 6 percent in 1996, 6. 5 percent in 1997 and 6. 88 percent in 1998. Tourism has become a new economic growth point of the city. In 1998, Chengdu and its satellite city Dujiangyan were registered among the first group
of "top tourist cities of China".