An An­cient City Chug­ging into the Fu­ture

That's China - - That's China 城市漫步 -

In the sub­con­scious of Chi­nese peo­ple, Zhengzhou is syn­ony­mous with China’s ‘zhongyuan’ (lit. the ‘Cen­tral Plains’).This an­cient city was aban­doned as ru­ins, long be­fore the First Em­peror of China. Since 1950, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds within a walled city in East­ern Zhengzhou has pro­vided ev­i­dence of Ne­olithic Shang dy­nasty set­tle­ments in the re­gion. Zhengzhou at­tracts Western tourists pri­mar­ily due to the in­ter­na­tion­ally known ShaolinTem­ple.The des­ti­na­tion is renowned for be­ing one of China's most im­por­tant Bud­dhist shrines, as well as the an­cient cen­ter of Chi­nese Kungfu, lo­cated more than 50 miles south­west of down­town Zhengzhou. Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda For­est were in­scribed as a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site in 2010. Leg­end sug­gests that in the Western Zhou pe­riod (1111–771 BC) the site be­came the fief of a fam­ily named Guan; and the city was named Guanzhou when it first be­came the seat of a pre­fec­tural ad­min­is­tra­tion in AD 587. In 605 it was first called Zhengzhou - a name by which it has been known as ever since. It

nd was a cap­i­tal dur­ing the five dy­nas­ties of Xia, Shang, Guan, Zheng, and Han, and a pre­fec­ture dur­ing the eight dy­nas­ties of Sui,Tang, Five Dy­nas­ties, Song, Jin,Yuan, Ming, and Qing. The pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of He­nan Prov­ince ly­ing on the south­ern bank of the Yel­low River in east-cen­tral China and one of the Eight Great An­cient Cap­i­tals of China, Zhengzhou has long been serv­ing as a ma­jor trans­porta­tion hub for Cen­tral China. In 1903 the Bei­jing-Hankou Rail­way ar­rived at Zhengzhou, and in 1909 the first stage of the Long­hai Rail­way pro­duced an east-west link to Kaifeng and Luoyang; which was later ex­tended east­ward to the coast at Lianyun­gang, Jiangsu, and west­ward to Xi'an (Chang'an), Shaanxi, as well as to western Shaanxi. Zhengzhou thus be­came a ma­jor rail junc­tion and a re­gional cen­ter for cot­ton, grain, peanuts, and other agri­cul­tural pro­duce. To a large ex­tent, rail­way al­lowed Zhengzhou to be­come the city that it is to­day. Through­out most of its mod­ern his­tory, the city was the ‘heart’ of China’s rail­way net­work. For many decades, the rail­way-re­lated in­dus­try em­ployed al­most half of the city’s pop­u­la­tion. How­ever the ‘heart’, went through a sud­den car­diac ar­rest in early 1923, when a work­ers' strike be­gan in Zhengzhou and spread along the rail line be­fore it was sup­pressed. A 14-story dou­ble tower in Erqi Square in the cen­ter of the city com­mem­o­rates the strike. On June 10, 1938, Chi­ang Kai-shek's Na­tional Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Army opened up the dikes re­tain­ing the Yel­low River at Huayuankou be­tween Zhengzhou and Kaifeng, in an ef­fort to stem the tide of in­vad­ing Ja­panese; how­ever, the en­su­ing 1938Yel­low River flood also killed hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chi­nese.

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