Yan'an

Yan'an

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Yan'an is a prefecture-level city
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

 in the Shanbei
Shanbei
Shanbei specifies the northern portion of Shaanxi province, Northwest China, and is a natural as well as cultural area, forming part of the Loess Plateau...

 region of Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 province in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, administering several counties, including Zhidan County
Zhidan County
Zhidan is a county in Shaanxi province, China. The county falls administratively under Yan'an City. Zhidan County and surrounding areas host oil drilling and industry.-History:...

 (formerly Bao'an), which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role.

Yan'an was near the endpoint of the Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

, and became the center of the Chinese communist
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 revolution from 1936 to 1948. Chinese communists celebrate Yan'an as the birthplace of the revolution.

Administrative divisions

Map
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2004 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Baota District
Baota District
Baota District is a district in Yan'an Municipality, Shaanxi Province, China, and contains the municipality's headquarters. The district is named for the Baota Pagoda, which is contained in its borders.-Baota District:...

宝塔区 Bǎotǎ Qū 400,000 3,556 112
2 Yanchang County
Yanchang County
Yanchang County is a county under charge of Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province of China. It has a land area of 2,295 square kilometers, and a population of 140,000 in 2002.-Administrative divisions:Yanchang County consists of 6 towns and 6 townships....

延长县 Yáncháng Xiàn 150,000 2,295 65
3 Yanchuan County
Yanchuan County
Yanchuan County is a county in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province of China.Total area: 1941 km2. Total population is 180,000 in 2002.-External links:*...

延川县 Yánchuān Xiàn 180,000 1,941 93
4 Zichang County
Zichang County
Zichang County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transportation:*China National Highway 210...

子长县 Zǐcháng Xiàn 240,000 2,405 100
5 Ansai County
Ansai County
Ansai County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China. It has a total area of 2,950square kilometers and a population of 1.5million people. It has an average elevation of 1,200meters, which is typical for the Loess Plateau...

安塞县 Ānsài Xiàn 160,000 2,984 54
6 Zhidan County
Zhidan County
Zhidan is a county in Shaanxi province, China. The county falls administratively under Yan'an City. Zhidan County and surrounding areas host oil drilling and industry.-History:...

志丹县 Zhìdān Xiàn 130,000 3,781 34
7 Wuqi County
Wuqi County
Wuqi County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, China.-History:An account of Wuqi in 1936 can be found in Edgar Snow's "Red Star over China". At the time, it was the main industrial center of the communist-controlled Shaanxi/Gansu/Ningxia borderlands area, This is where the Red Army's arsenal...

吴起县 Wúqǐ Xiàn 130,000 3,776 34
8 Ganquan County
Ganquan County
Ganquan County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transportation:*China National Highway 210...

甘泉县 Gānquán Xiàn 80,000 2,288 35
9 Fu County
Fu County
Fu County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China....

富县 Fù Xiàn 150,000 4,185 36
10 Luochuan County
Luochuan County
Luochuan County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transportation:*China National Highway 210...

洛川县 Luòchuān Xiàn 200,000 1,886 106
11 Yichuan County
Yichuan County, Shaanxi
Yichuan County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China.-See also:* Hukou Waterfall...

宜川县 Yíchuān Xiàn 110,000 2,945 37
12 Huanglong County
Huanglong County
Huanglong County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China....

黄龙县 Huánglóng Xiàn 50,000 2,383 21
13 Huangling County
Huangling County
Huangling County is a county of Yan'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transportation:*China National Highway 210...

黄陵县 Huánglíng Xiàn 120,000 2,288 52

History


In medieval China, Yan'an was once called Yanzhou, a location of strategic military importance for the Chinese empire and Tanguts of the Western Xia
Western Xia
The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

 Dynasty. It was once successfully defended by the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960–1279) era Chinese scientist, statesman, and general Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo or Shen Gua , style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng , was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty...

 (1031–1095 AD). However, it was eventually taken over by the Tanguts in 1082 once Shen's defensive victories were marginalized and sacrificed by the new Chancellor Cai Que (who handed the city over to the Tanguts as terms of a peace treaty). Yan'an and the whole of Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 were taken over by the Mongols in the late 1220s, only after their leader Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 had died during the siege of the Western Xia capital in 1227. The city was maintained by the successive Chinese Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 (1368–1644), as well as the Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 (1644–1911). After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the city fell into the hands of the newly-created Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

.

Red Capital



In December 1936, at the start of the Second United Front, Yan'an was taken over by the Chinese Communists. They had arrived in the area in October 1935 after making the famous Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

 from Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

. When Edgar Snow
Edgar Snow
Edgar P. Snow was an American journalist known for his books and articles on Communism in China and the Chinese Communist revolution...

 went there in 1936, it was under Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 control and a Red army siege had recently been lifted. Unknown to him at the time, there had also been contacts there between the Communists and the generals who later staged the Xi'an Incident
Xi'an Incident
The Xi'an Incident of December 1936 is an important episode of Chinese modern history, taking place in the city of Xi'an during the Chinese Civil War between the ruling Kuomintang and the rebel Chinese Communist Party and just before the Second Sino-Japanese War...

. Snow actually met Mao at Bao'an
Zhidan County
Zhidan is a county in Shaanxi province, China. The county falls administratively under Yan'an City. Zhidan County and surrounding areas host oil drilling and industry.-History:...

 (Pao An).

Having rebelled against Chiang, the local warlords decided to hand over Yan'an to the Communists, who were now allies. They pulled out and the Red Army walked in without a fight. This is described by Agnes Smedley
Agnes Smedley
Agnes Smedley was an American journalist and writer best known for her semi-autobiographical novelDaughter of Earth. She was also known for her sympathetic chronicling of the Chinese revolution...

 in her book Battle Hymn of China
Battle Hymn of China
Battle Hymn of China, by Agnes Smedley. Also published as China Correspondent. This book is a first-hand account of the Sino-Japanese War, from the viewpoint of a left-wing US woman who tried sharing the lives of ordinary Chinese.-Synopsis:...

. She was in Xi'an at the time and got to Yan'an shortly after the take-over.

From 1937, Yan'an became the seat of the communist government of what became known as the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region
Shaan-Gan-Ning
Shaan-Gan-Ning was one of the two border region governments with the capital at Yan'an, named after the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia...

. It became the center for intensive training of party members and army troops. In 1941, Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 put special influence on a series of training programs to "correct unorthodox tendencies" and essentially mold the peasantry to the communist model. One of the first CPC programs launched was the Yan'an Rectification Movement.

World War II


During the Second World War almost all buildings, except a pagoda, were destroyed by Japanese bombing, and most inhabitants took to living in yaodong
Yaodong
A yaodong or "cave house" is a particular form of earth shelter dwelling common in the Loess Plateau in China's north. They are generally carved out of a hillside or excavated horizontally from a central "sunken courtyard"....

s, artificial caves or dugout
Dugout (shelter)
A dugout or dug-out, also known as a pithouse, pit-house, earth lodge, mud hut, is a shelter for humans or domesticated animals and livestock based on a hole or depression dug into the ground. These structures are one of the most ancient types of human housing known to archeologists...

s carved into hillsides which were traditional dwellings in Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

. While Yan'an was the center of Chinese communist life many prominent Western journalists including Edgar Snow
Edgar Snow
Edgar P. Snow was an American journalist known for his books and articles on Communism in China and the Chinese Communist revolution...

 and Anna Louise Strong
Anna Louise Strong
Anna Louise Strong was a twentieth-century American journalist and activist, best known for her reporting on and support for communist movements in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.-Early years:...

 met with Mao Zedong and other important leaders for interviews. Politically, Yan'an symbolizes for many a utopian period in modern China's history where Chinese communists sought to realize their idealized vision of life, culture, and social justice, and thus stands for a former "golden age" when communist principles and ideals were actively pursued by many sincere, youthful supporters.

During the Second World War, Yan'an played host to the United States Army Observation Group, also known as the Dixie Mission
Dixie Mission
The United States Army Observation Group, commonly known as the Dixie Mission, was the first U.S. effort to establish official relations with the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army, then headquartered in the mountainous city of Yan'an...

. A joint military and civilian mission, it was sent to establish official ties with the Communists and explore possible plans of cooperation against the Japanese. The Americans had a presence in Yan'an from 1944 to 1947.

Later history


Yan'an was briefly captured by the Kuomintang forces in the Civil War. The Communist leadership learned of a planned attack in advance and decided to pull out. From then until their capture of Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 they were usually based somewhere else, often with a mobile headquarters.

Geography and climate


Yan'an has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dwa) that borders on a steppe climate (Köppen BSk), with cold, dry, and moderately long winters, and hot and somewhat humid summers. Spring and autumn are short transition seasons in between. Monthly mean temperatures range from −5.5 °C in January to 23.1 °C (73.6 °F) in July, for an annual mean of 9.9 °C (49.8 °F). The area receives 511 millimetres (20.1 in) of precipitation and nearly 2450 hours of bright sunshine per year.

Education

  • China Yan'an Executive Leadership Academy: training on revolutionary traditions and conditions in the country

See also

  • Yan'an Rectification Movement
  • Yan'an Talks on Literature and Art
    Yan'an Talks on Literature and Art
    Yan'an Talks on Literature and Art is a seminal 1942 speech given by Mao Zedong on the role of literature and art in communist China.The "Yan'an Talks" effectively dictated the approved style in art and literature in China from the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 until after the...

  • 2693 Yan'an
    2693 Yan'an
    2693 Yan'an is a main-belt asteroid discovered on November 3, 1977 by Purple Mountain Observatory at Nanking.- External links :*...


External links