> Shaanxi Province

Shaanxi Province

Population: 34.4 million

Urban population: 12 million

Nationalities: Han (99.5%), and Hui (0.5%).

Local Weather: Click for Hua Shan, Shaanxi Forecast

Area: 205,800 km2

GDP (2007): CNY537 billion

Climatic features: temperate, semi-arid, monsoonal climate in the north changes to subtropical, humid, monsoonal climate in the south.

Average temperature: -11oC to 3.5oC in January, 21oC to 28oC in July.

Annual average rainfall: 400 - 1,000 mm; precipitation highest in the southern mountain areas, lowest along the northern border; most of the rain falls occurs from July to September.

Physical features: plateaus in the north, plains in the central area, and mountains in the south.

Mountains: the Qinling Range is an important geographical divide between northern and southern China and the major watershed of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers.

Rivers: Yellow River, along the northeastern border; Luohe, Jinghe and Weihe Rivers, which are tributaries of the Yellow River.

Products: wheat, corn, sorghum, rice, millet, potatoes, soybeans, rape, peanuts, tea, sugar cane, sesame, peas; cotton, ramie, ambary hemp, silk cocoons, walnuts, peaches, grapes, dates, chestnuts; palm, raw lacquer, bamboo, medicinal herbs; coal, iron, graphite, salt, molybdenum, copper.

Administrative divisions: 8 cities and 89 counties.

Capital: Xi'an

Neighboring areas: Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, and Gansu Provinces; Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions.

Major cities: Xi'an, Xianyang, Baoji, Hanzhong, Tongchuan, Yan'an.

Tourist attractions: terracotta army excavated near Xi'an; Mount Huashan, one of the Five Sacred Mountians, east of Xi'an

Elevation extremes:

The province has three distinctive landforms from north to south. The Loess Plateau in the north has an elevation of 800-1,300 meters, and accounts for 45% of the total area of the province. The Central Shaanxi Plain in the middle averages an elevation of 520 meters. The Qinling and Daba mountainous areas in the south include the Qinling Mountains, Daba Mountains, and Hanjiang River Valley, accounting for 36% of the total area of the province. The Qinling Mountains measures 1,000-3,000 meters in elevation and the Daba Mountains in the southernmost of the province, 1,500-2,000 meters.

Natural resources:

So far, 91 kinds of minerals have been found in the province, 58 of which have deposits ranking among the top ten in China. The reserves and output of gold rank fifth and fourth respectively. The output of molybdenum amounts to half of the country's total. The proved deposits of coal, the most abundant mineral in the province, come to 161.8 billion tons. The Shenmu-Fugu Coalfield in northern Shaanxi has reserves of 134 billion tons. It is one of the best fields in the world because of its thick coal layer and easy access and exploitation. In addition, northern Shaanxi has a gas field with proved reserves of 350 billion cubic meters.


North of the Qinling Mountains is the Yellow River system, composed of the Weihe, Jinghe, Luohe, and Wuding rivers. South of the mountains is the Yangtze River system consisting of the Hanjiang, Danjiang, and Jialing rivers. The Hanjiang River, the largest river in the province, provides more than half of the province's total water runoff. Shaanxi has an annual water runoff of 42.6 billion cubic meters, which has a power-generation potential of 14 million kw.

Animals: Shaanxi has more than 750 species of wild vertebrates, 79 of them rare. It is home to 12 species of animals and birds under state protection including the giant panda, snub-nosed monkey, and clouded leopard.


The province has 5.93 million ha of forest in the Qinling, Daba, Guanshan, Huanglong, and Qiaoshan mountainous areas. It has a 28.8% rate of forest coverage. It has 3,300-plus species of wild plants, 37 of them rare. The province has 800 species of medicinal plants of great economic value including sea-buckthorn and gynostemma pentaphylla. It leads the country in the output and quality of raw lacquer. The traditional exports of the province are dates, walnut meat, and tung oil.

By 2005, the number of nature reserves in the province had reached 45, covering a total area of 995,000 hectares.

Tourism resources

Dispersed in Shaanxi are 72 imperial mausoleums, witness to the ancient economy and culture. The province is best known for ten scenic spots including the Mausoleum of Huang Di, the Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses, the Xi'an Forest of Stone Tablets, the Shaanxi Museum of History, and the city gate and wall of Xi'an. The Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses are often called the Eighth Wonder of the World and have been included by UNESCO in the list of World Cultural Heritages.