Geography and climate
Located at 36°03′ north latitude and 103°40′ east longitude, Lanzhou is China's only provincial capital where the Yellow River flows through the city. The average elevation is 1,530 to 1,580 meters. Lanzhou enjoys a pleasant temperate continental climate, with a yearly average temperature of 10.3 C, making it an ideal and well-known summer resort. The city has an annual average sunshine of 2,446 hours, a frost-free period of 180 days, and an average annual rainfall of 327 mm, almost all of which falls from June to September.
History and culture
Lanzhou has a history of more than 2,200 years. It is one of the important birthplaces of Chinese culture, and also a major intersection of four cultures, namely the Yellow River culture, Silk Road culture, the Central Plains culture and culture of Xiyu (or the western regions).
Located in the geographic center of the mainland's land territory, Lanzhou is one of the nine comprehensive transportation hubs in China. There are 4 main railway lines and 6 national highways, as well as 56 airlines that provide direct access to major large and medium-sized cities. Non-stop flights to Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul have been opened. With four digital optical cables integrated in Lanzhou, the city's communication facilities have been ranked among the most advanced level in the country.
It was historically a famous place where the tea-and-horse trade on the ancient Silk Road originates. With the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative, its geographical advantage as the core node city of the Silk Road Economic Belt has become more prominent, and gradually it is becoming a strategic platform for opening to the west.
Currently, the city is an important regional business center and modern logistics base in western China. It is also one of the country's nine major logistics regions, 10 major logistics channels and 21 national logistics node cities.
The city has a national-level new district, Lanzhou New Area, and two national-level development zones: Lanzhou National High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Lanzhou Economic and Technical Development Zone.
It has formed an industrial system with its main industries including petrochemicals, machine manufacturing, metallurgy, energy and electricity, bio-pharmaceuticals and building materials.
It also possesses strength in science and education, with more than 1,200 scientific research institutions and 10 national key laboratories represented by the first large-scale heavy ion accelerator produced in China.
In 2018, the city's total production value reached 273.29 billion yuan ($38.92 billion), an increase of 8.3 percent over the previous year. Among them, the added value of the primary industry was 6.15 billion yuan, an increase of 5.9 percent; the added value of the secondary industry was 88.17 billion yuan, an increase of 3.1 percent; and the tertiary industry was 158.03 billion yuan, an increase of 7.2 percent.
Lanzhou has three counties and five districts: Chengguan District, Qilihe District, Xigu District, Anning District, Honggu District, Yongdeng County, Yuzhong County and Gaolan County.
There are 36 ethnic groups in Lanzhou, which include the Han, Hui, Mongolian, Zhuang, Miao, Yao, Tujia, Korean, Tibetan, Yi, Yugur, Dong, Bouyei, Tu, Manchu and Hani. The population of these ethnic minorities (excluding the Hui) accounts for 3.6 percent of the total population of Lanzhou.
The forestry land is 182,550 hectares, accounting for 13.46 percent of the total area. There is also an abundance of wild animal and plant resources.
Well-known Gansu specialties such as liquorice, Angelica sinensis, Codonopsis pilosula, ephedra, Gentiana, podophyllum, cortex daphnes, rose and other Chinese herbal medicines are widely distributed throughout the area.
Land resources can be divided into three types: medium and low mountain forestry and pastoral areas, river valley vegetable and fruit areas,and low mountains and hills grain and oil areas. The complex and diverse land types make Lanzhou suitable for the development of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, sideline production and fishing industries.