A land of abundance

Updated: Jun 2, 2021 Print
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Chengdu, referred to as Rong, is the capital of Sichuan province. In 1993, the State Council identified it as a center for science, technology, commerce, trade and finance - as well as a southwest region transportation and communication hub. In 2015, Chengdu was upgraded to an important national high-tech industrial base, a trade and logistics center and an integrated transportation hub with the approval of the State Council, becoming a critical city in the western region. The midwest city also has the largest number of foreign consulates and the most international transport routes.


21.268 million  (2022)


14,335 square kilometers

Geography and climate:

Chengdu is located in the western part of the Sichuan Basin, on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. To the northeast lies Deyang city, to the southeast is Ziyang city, to the south, Meishan city, to the southwest, Ya'an city and to the northwest is the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. Chengdu lies geographically between 102°54’ E to 104°53’ E and 30°05’ N to 31°26’ N.

The topography of Chengdu is inclined from the northwest to the southeast. The west is dominated by deep hills and mountains, most of which reach an altitude of 1,000 to 3,000 meters. The east belongs to the basal plain of the Sichuan Basin, formed by alluvial deposition of rivers such as the Min River and the Jian River. As the heartland of Chengdu Plain, the east part is mainly composed of plains, plateaus and low hill areas. Its altitude is generally around 750 meters. Due to the huge vertical height difference, Chengdu has a unique landform type of one-third plain, one-third hills, and one-third mountains.

Chengdu is located in the subtropical monsoon climate zone, with plenty of heat and abundant rainfall, featuring four distinctive seasons and similar periods of rain and heat. Except for the mountainous areas on the northwestern margin, most areas of Chengdu have a mild climate. There is no intense heat during the long summer and no heavy snow in the short winter, with low wind speed, high humidity, frequent foggy weather and little sunshine. The average annual temperature of Chengdu is 16.5 ℃ to 17.9 ℃, and the total annual precipitation ranges from 643.3 mm to 1256.2 mm. The rainfall is mainly concentrated in July and August, accounting for about half of the annual precipitation.

History and culture:

Chengdu has a long and unique history with a profound cultural heritage. As early as about 4,500 to 3,700 years ago, a series of settlement centers for the ancient Shu people appeared in the Chengdu Plain, which was later called "Baodun Culture". In 311 BC, the county Sheriff Zhang Ruo built Chengdu Great City and Shaocheng on the basis of ancient Chengdu, the capital city of Shu. The city was modeled after Xianyang, the capital city of Qin. This significant event was recognized by later generations as a symbol of Chengdu's foundation. After that, Li Bing, the Sheriff of Shu, commanded the construction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, based on the Shu people's water-control experience. Dujiangyan made Chengdu Plain become a land of abundance, which laid the foundations for the development of Chengdu city and made Chengdu rise to be an economic, political, and cultural center in the southwest.

During the Han Dynasty, Chengdu's urban economy developed rapidly. By the end of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), Chengdu had become the second largest handicraft and commercial city in China after Chang’an. Chengdu was not only the largest center for the activities of the commodity economy in the southwest, but also the starting point and an important port of the "Southern Silk Road". From the Han Dynasty to Shu Dynasty during the Three Kingdoms period, Chengdu's exquisite brocade(Shu Jin)was always highly appreciated and welcomed by the government and people. During this period, Chengdu was called “Jin Guan City” and “Jin City” due to the emergence of an official workshop, “Jin Guan City”, that specialized in weaving brocade.

In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the "Jiannan Xichuan Road", centered on Chengdu, was the richest area in the country. At that time, there was a saying: “Yangzhou comes first, Yizhou (Chengdu) comes second”. During the pre-Five Dynasties, Hou Shu and the Song dynasties, Chengdu's prosperity once again reached a peak. Hou Shu's master, Meng Chang, once gave an order to plant hibiscus all over Chengdu, so Chengdu got the name "Hibiscus City". In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Sichuan area was divided into Yizhou Road, Zizhou Road, Lizhou Road, and Kuizhou Road: called the "Four Roads of Chuanxia" for short. The name of "Sichuan" came from this, and Chengdu city was the governing area of Yizhou. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Sichuan was set as Executive Secretariat, referred to as Sichuan province, with Chengdu as the governing center. This was the beginning of Chengdu as a provincial governing center.

In the late Ming (1368-1644) and early Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, multiple wars between Zhang Xianzhong's Western Army, the Ming Army, and the Qing Army took place in Chengdu. The city suffered devastating damages. From Emperor Kangxi to Qianlong, the Qing government implemented an immigration policy of "Huguang to Sichuan" and encouraged the reclamation of land, making the western Sichuan Plain and Chengdu's urban economy prosperous again. After two reconstructions and expansions during the reign of Emperor Kangxi and Qianlong, a magnificent Chengdu city once again lay on the original site. In December 1949, Chengdu was liberated and made the station of the West Sichuan Administrative Office. In 1952, the administrative office was revoked, and Sichuan province was restored. Since then, Chengdu has been the capital of Sichuan province.


In 2022, Chengdu achieved a GDP of 2.08 trillion yuan, an increase of 7.8 percent, ranking seventh nationwide and rising one place up from the previous year. The total investment of fixed assets was increased by 10 percent. The total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 9.9 percent. The general public budget revenue grew by 7.9 percent over last year. The per capita disposable income of urban residents and rural residents rose by 8.9 percent and 10 percent respectively. 

Focusing on building the “5+5+1” modern industrial system with openness, we optimized the deployment of 66 industrial functional areas and 14 industrial ecosystems, and introduced 411 key projects with a total investment of 678.5 billion yuan.

Chengdu actively participated in the 2nd China International Import Expo and the 16th China-ASEAN Expo. The “100-day Challenge Competitions” and the Foreign Investment Promotion Season events were held to attract investors; 447 key projects, including Chengdu industrial base of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation were signed; 578 new foreign-invested enterprises were approved, and the number of Fortune 500 companies presented in Chengdu increased to 301. Extended efforts were made to optimize the geographical and product structure of imports and exports, as a result of which the total trade with the European Union and ASEAN rose by 36.5 percent and 20.6 percent respectively, making Chengdu the top city of foreign trade in western China and making ASEAN the largest trading partner of Chengdu.

Administrative divisions:

As of June 18, 2020, Chengdu has jurisdiction over 12 districts (Jinjiang, Qingyang, Jinniu, Wuhou, Chenghua, Longquanyi, Qingbaijiang, Xindu, Wenjiang, Shuangliu, Pidu, and Xinjin), five county-level cities (Jianyang, Dujiangyan, Pengzhou, Qionglai, and Chongzhou), and three counties (Jintang, Dayi, and Pujiang).

Chengdu has a state-level new district (Chengdu Tianfu New District), a national innovation demonstration zone (Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone), and a state-level economic and technological development zone (Chengdu Economic and Technological Development Zone).

Ethnic groups:

Chengdu is a multi-ethnic city, including 56 ethnic groups, including Han. The permanent population of ethnic minorities is 129,300. Among the minorities, the top ten populations are Tibetan, Hui, Yi, Qiang, Tujia, Manchu, Miao, Mongolian, Zhuang, and Bai. Chengdu has five religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Christianity and Islam.


The mineral resources that have been discovered in Chengdu include iron, titanium, vanadium, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, gold, silver, strontium, rare earth and other metal minerals, as well as geotherm, coal, glauberite, serpentine, bittern, gypsum, calcite, limestone, marble, mineral water and other non-metals, amounting to 60 different kinds. The reserves of glauberite, boron rock, sylvite and lithium ranked in the top three in Sichuan province. The proven natural gas reserve in Chengdu is 53 billion cubic meters and the potential resource is 384 billion cubic meters. It is an advantageous mineral resource in Chengdu.

Mineral water resources in Chengdu are widely distributed. Potable mineral water is buried in the lower aquifers of the plain and the hillier areas. The recoverable resources are 171 million cubic meters per year, which has promising development prospects. The medical mineral thermal water is distributed in Longmen, Qionglai, and Longquan mountain areas. Chengdu has become the country's most concentrated site of glauberite resources with a proven reserve of 9.75 billion tons, which is mainly distributed in Mumashan area of Xinjin county. The abundant reserves of non-metallic minerals for construction raw materials mainly include limestone for cement and shale for bricks, which are also the dominant mineral resource of Chengdu.

Chengdu is rich in biological resources. In 2017, 3,390 species of higher plants were recorded in Chengdu, accounting for one-tenth of the country's total and one-third of the province's total. There are six species of first-grade state protection plants, such as Davidia involucrata, and 23 species of second-grade state protection plants. There are 638 vertebrates in Chengdu, of which 15 are first-grade state protection animals, 58 are second-grade state protection animals, and 484 species of wild birds (accounting for 66.48 percent of the province's bird resources and 32.7 percent of the country's).

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