Definitions

Shangqiu

Shangqiu

[shahng-chyy]
Shangqiu is a prefecture-level city in eastern Henan province, People's Republic of China. It borders Kaifeng to the northwest, Zhoukou to the southwest, and the provinces of Shandong and Anhui to the northeast and southeast respectively. An ancient city with a rich history, Shangqiu was also the first capital of the Shang dynasty.

Once merely a small village, Shangqiu has grown significantly in recent years. It is important geographically because it lies at a confluence of several major railway tracks, making its train station a major regional transportation hub.

History

The history of Shangqiu is closely related to the very beginning of Chinese history. Dates back to the Three August Ones and Five Emperors periods (about 25 century BC), Emperor Shennong, Emperor Zhuanxu and Emperor Ku were living in the present Shangqiu area. The son of Emperor Ku, Qi (契), who helped Yu the Great (禹) to control floods, was enfeoffed the area of Shang (which is the current day Shangqiu area), who also became the ancestor of the ancient nationality of Shang. It is said that the Shang people first started trading with neighboring countries by shipping the goods with ox wagens. Since then, people doing business are called Shang people (Shāng Rén 商人, means businessman), which is still the case now, although people are not likely to know the origin of the words. The thirteenth generation grandson of Qi (契), Tang overthrew the ruling Xia Dynasty and founded the Shang Dynasty, with its first capital at Nanbo (南亳, currently south of Shangqiu). Around 11 century BC, Shang Dynasty was replaced by Zhou Dynasty. The royal descendants of Shang Dynasty were enfeoffed the area of Shangqiu, which later became the state of Song.

Geography and Climate

Shangqiu is located in the east part of the Henan province. The longitude is from 114°49′E to 116°39′E and latitude is from 33°43′N to 34°52′N. The prefecture-level city of Shangqiu covers an area of 10,704 km² and has a population around 8.22 million (2002). The climate is typical of a temperate characteristic, with windy warm Springs, hot summers, cool falls, and cold Winters. The annual average temperature is 14.1°C. The average annual precipitation is about 712 mm.

Government

The government of Shangqiu is responsible for the making and implementing of local policies. Since agriculture is still a major part of the economy of Shangqiu, many of the work is related to farmers and the development of the rural area. It is also observed that the government is exerting more and more efforts to attract foreign investment to spur local development. The current mayor is Wang Baocun.

Administration

The prefecture-level city of Shangqiu administers 2 districts, 1 county-level city and 6 counties.

Economy

Agriculture

Situated on the North China Plain, Shangqiu is traditionally an agricultural region. The fertile soil and convenient irrigation facilities greatly help the production of crops and other plants. As of 2005, there are about 719,864 hectare planted. The most important agricultural products are wheat, maize, cotton, sesame, vegetables, fruit, tobacco, and livestock. In 2002, it produced about 4.5 million tons of crops, 200 thousand tons of cotton, 1.1 million tons of fruits, and 550 thousand tons of livestock.

Industry

Compared with the agriculture, the industry of Shangqiu is relatively less-developed. However, since the 1990s, it has experienced rapid growth. The food producing and packing company, Kedi group, has already been the number one exporter of frozen vegetables in the country. The large reservation of coal in Shangqiu (the Yongcheng-Xiayi coal mine is estimated to have a total reservaion of 10 billion ton) also boosts up the energy industry, such as electricity generation and Aluminium electrolysis.

Transportation

Since the completion of east-west running Longhai railway in 1916, Shangqiu has been a local transportation center. This standing is greatly enhanced following the construction of the Beijing-Kowloon (Hong Kong) railway in 1996, which crosses with Longhai railway at Shangqiu. Nowadays, Longhai railway has become the Chinese segment of the larger "European-Asia continental landbridge," which runs from the sea port city Lianyungang to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Shangqiu thus obtains the name of the city of the "golden cross." On the other hand, the road transport is also convenient and getting even better. The east-west direction Lianyungang-Khorghas (Xinjiang) national route 310 and north-south Beijing-Zhuhai national routh 105 also cross at Shangqiu. Highway traffic is fast-developing too. The Shangqiu-Kaifeng segment of the Lianyungang-Khorghas highway is already in use. Future planning for highway construction is also underway.

Education

The education sector of Shangqiu is mainly professional training oriented, with an increasing number of such colleges coming into sight ever since the 1990s.

Colleges and universities

Society and culture

Lying in the heart of the North China Plain, Shangqiu benefits from a deep cultural tradition. The first star observatory in China, Ebo Tai, was established in Shangqiu. Yingtian Shuyuan, one of the largest four official education agencies in north Song Dynasty, is located in the Suiyang district of Shangqiu. The Suiyang traditional city, which was built in 1511 during the Ming Dynasty, is one of the best protected traditional cities in China, and was enlisted as one of the famous historical cities in China by the central government in 1986. The rich culture also raised many famous cultural figures. Cangjie (Cāng Jíe 仓颉), the legendary inventor of Chinese characters, was living in Shangqiu in the far-ancient periods. Zhuangzi (Zhuāng Zǐ 庄子), the great ancient philosopher of China, was born here around 4 century BC. Another great philosopher, Mozi (Mò Zǐ 墨子), living in the same period as Zhuangzi, was also a Shangqiu native. The famous woman warrior, Hua Mulan (Huā Mùlán 花木兰), was also among the great figures of Shangqiu.

Tourist attractions

  • The ancient city of Suiyang (睢阳古城)
  • Temple of Hua Mulan (木兰祠)
  • Former residence of Zhuangzi (庄周故里)
  • Ebo Tai, the first star observatory of China (阏伯台)
  • Mangdang mountain tourism site (芒砀山文物旅游区)

Famous people of Shangqiu

Miscellaneous

  • Shangqiu is also a Roman Catholic diocese.
  • Dazhouzhuang village, the hometown of the heroine Hua Mulan, lies about 55 km southeast of Shangqiu city. The village contains a temple dedicated to Mulan, and many nearby businesses use her name as a local trademark.

References

External links

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