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Shangqiu

Shangqiu (aka Shangkiu) is a prefecture-level city in eastern Henan Province, 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, who helped Yu the Great 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, 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, Tang overthrew the ruling Xia Dynasty and founded the Shang Dynasty, with its first capital at Nanbo (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.

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), the legendary inventor of Chinese characters, was living in Shangqiu in the far-ancient periods. Zhuangzi (Zhuāng Zǐ), the great ancient philosopher of China, was born here around 4 century BC. Another great philosopher, Mozi (Mò Zǐ), living in the same period as Zhuangzi, was also a Shangqiu native. The famous woman warrior, Hua Mulan (Huā Mùlán), was also among the great figures of Shangqiu.

Tourist Attractions
The ancient city of Suiyang
Temple of Hua Mulan
Former residence of Zhuangzi
Ebo Tai, the first star observatory of China
Mangdang mountain tourism site
[edit] Famous people of Shangqiu
Cangjie
Zhuangzi
Mozi
Hua Mulan
Jiang Yan
Hou Fangyu
Xiaolan Huangpu

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