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see Xi'anXi'an
or Sian
, city (1994 est. pop. 2,114,900), capital of Shaanxi prov., China, in the Wei River valley. Situated on the Longhai RR, China's principal east-west line, it is an important commercial, tranportation, and tourism center in a wheat- and cotton-growing area.
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, China.



a city in China, in the valley of the Wei River, a tributary of the Huang Ho. Population, 2.8 million (1971). Sian is the administrative center of Shensi Province and Sian Municipality.

Sian is a large industrial center in Northwest China. A major highway junction and an important transportation junction, it has a station on the Lunghai railroad. Sian has various industries, notably ferrous metallurgy and machine building, which produces machine tools, machines for agriculture and the textile industry, drilling equipment, electrical equipment and instruments, motor vehicles, and tractors. It also has a chemical industry, which produces mineral fertilizers, toxic chemicals, detergents, and plastics. The city’s textile industry is represented by the spinning and weaving of cotton, the weaving of wool, dyeing and printing, and the manufacture of knitwear; one of China’s largest textile combines, the Hsipei combine, is located in Sian. Sian is known for its leather and porcelain; various enterprises in the city produce foods and condiments. Sian has several steam power plants. It is a major cultural center, with a university and other institutions of higher education.

Sian is one of China’s oldest cities. The area around the city was settled during the Neolithic by tribes of cultivators, who created the Yangshao culture (seePANTO). Later it was the area in which the Chou ethnic group took form. During the Chou period (1027–249 B.C.), it was the site of the ancient capitals of Hao and Feng. In 202 B.C.. the capital of the Han empire, called

Ch’angan, was founded here; by the beginning of the common era, it had become one of the largest cities of the ancient world, with a population of more than 300,000 (excavations since 1956 have uncovered the remains of the city walls and several buildings).

From the third through sixth centuries, Ch’angan was the capital of a succession of states in North China. In 583, during the reign of Emperor Yang Chien, the new capital of China, Tahsing, was built where Sian now stands; subsequently renamed Ch’angan, it remained the capital until 923. From 881 to 883 the city was held by rebels under Huang Ch’ao.

After the tenth century, as economic and cultural activity shifted to the east, the city gradually declined in importance. In the 14th century it became the capital of the newly created Sian district (Sianfu); since then, the city has been known as Sian. In the second half of the 17th century, Sian was made the capital of Shensi Province. In December 1936 it was the scene of the Sian Incident. Sian was liberated from Kuomintang rule by units of the People’s Liberation Army on May 20, 1949.

Sian is essentially laid out in the regular grid typical of a T’ang city. Architectural monuments include three-tier towers of the 14th century—Ch’unglou and K’ulou. The Shensi Provincial Museum has collections of bronzes, coins, ceramics, stone stelae, and inscribed tablets. Near Sian are the remaining city walls from the Han capital of Ch’angan, the Ta yen and Hsiao yen pagodas (707–09), and the T’ang burial mound Shunling.


Vasil’ev, L. S. “Sian’—pamiatnik drevnei kul’tury Kitaia.” Vestnik isto-rii mirovoi kul’tury, 1961, no. I.
References in periodicals archive ?
And Sian is now saving up for a BMX bike with all the tenners she is expecting.
But what would really please Sian is a reunion with her old BBC Cutting It hair salon buddies from the days when she played nail technician Sydney Henshall.
Sian says Corky had arranged for Kristina to go to the property while he was out to collect a box of her belongings stored in the garage - but she decided to storm into the house.
A search was launched for Sian last week after she failed to return to her family home.
When O'Toole finally vows to give up drink it is not out of respect for Sian and his two daughters, and what he has put them through, but simply to save his own life.
Midlands would like to define a significant gold resource on the Itilima, the Sian property and on the Kwahu Praso as soon as possible.
Ym 1979, y flwyddyn daeth Margaret Thatcher yn Brif Weinidog, aeth Martin, gwr Sian, i weithio tan ddaear yng nglofa Abernant, ger Pontardawe, yr un lofa y bu ei thad yn gweithio ynddi.
Sian, 35, from Whitchurch in Cardiff, has just completed the first year of her degree course after switching careers from being a dental nurse.
I spoke to him the night before he died and he was telling me all about the surf skills he was going to do the next day," said Sian, who lives on St David's Crescent in Penarth.
During an intensive few days, Sian has interviewed Casualty actress Suzanne Packer, Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and veteran actress Sian Phillips.
MUM Sian McNevin was yesterday granted her wish to spend Christmas near her ill husband.