Xi'an
Xi'an, called Chang'an or Jingzhao in ancient times, is one of the four famous ancient capitals of the world. It is located in one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization as well as one of the cradles of the Chinese people. It represents an outstanding miniature version of Chinese culture, and is the starting point of the Silk Road. Xi'an's status as an ancient capital is unparalleled in many ways, including as the place to have been used as a capital for the longest period of time in Chinese history, as the place to have functioned as a capital over the largest number of dynasties in Chinese history, and as the capital with the greatest influence. Some of the most powerful dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang, chose Xi'an as their capital. In fact, 13 dynasties used Xi'an as a capital. Xi'an is among the first batch of cities proclaimed as "World Famous Historical Cities" by the UNESCO and among the first batch of National Famous Historical and Cultural Cities announced by the State Council. It is a world-famous tourist site and is popularly referred to as a "natural museum of history." As the capital of Shaanxi Province, Xi'an nowadays is one of the six large cities in China known to each play a leading role in their respective regions, a center of knowledge and technological innovation in Asia, the leading city in the Chinese segment of the New Eurasian Land Bridge and in the Yellow River basin, and a jumbo jet manufacturing base of China. The city ranks third among all Chinese cities in terms of technological strength, only behind Beijing and Shanghai. In a plan released in 2011 by the State Council under the title of Results of Planning for Major Function Regions Nationwide, Xi'an is chosen as a "National History and Culture Base" and it is noted that efforts will be made to build Xi'an into an international metropolis.
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