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Baoji

About Baoji

379,400 in city
18,000 km² (6,950 mi²)
Located on the Wei River in southwest Shaanxi, Baoji is an important railroad junction. The city of Baoji has existed as far back as B.C.2000. Historically, this area (and the Xi’an area) are the birthplace of the Han Chinese people – and of China itself. China grew from these areas and spread out across the land to cover it’s current dominion. In the twelfth year of Qinxiaogong in the Qin Dynasty (B.C.350), the area was established as a city and named Chencang. Chencang became the cradle for the Zhou and Qin dynasties, as well as their major cultural center. During the Three Kingdoms period (A.D.220-265), this area was the battleground for wars between the states of Wei, Shu and Wu. Baoji City (which means "Precious Chicken" or "treasured cock" in Chinese) received its present name under the T'ang dynasty (AD 618-906). Until the name changes in the 1950s, Baoji was called Pao-chi or Paoki. On a nearby hillside is the Jintai Monastery, built in the Ming Dynasty (A.D.1368-1644) and home to the founder of the Taois kung fu sect, Shang Sanfeng. Baoji was a major commerce center on the Silk Road during that time period. There are many other historical relics and sites from the past centuries of Chinese life in the Baoji area. Baoji is the starting point of the road south over the Qin Ling Mountains leading to Hanzhong and further into the Sichuan province. This road was first opened in the late 4th century BC by the ancestors of the First Emperor (Qin Shihuangdi) as an invasion route for the conquest of the Sichuan province. The road is famous for it’s "gallery constructions in the sheer cliffs of the torrential mountain river gorges." After 1937, Baoji developed as a railway center. From 1945-1952, the railway was extended to Lanzhou and in 1960 to Xinjiang (in the far China northwest).